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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British Military Sci-Fi That I've Read
Nuttall is a bit of a find I'm glad to say in this sub genre. Sci-fi has a huge range of styles and genres with hundreds of authors - sadly most of them punting out utterly unreadable pap. The military sci-fi seems to be particularly badly affected with the majority of (American) authors punting out risible garbage. I've started many books only to give up in dispair after...
Published 7 months ago by M. G. Chisholm

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By far the best self published novel I've read - but really needs a good editor
As the title says, this really is the best self published novel I've ever read - most of those don't even deserve a 1 star review.
It is a good read with a well thought out, gripping storyline but the lack of an editor - or even a really good proofreader - is glaringly obvious at times and keeps throwing me out of the story.

Couple of examples;...
Published 7 months ago by Pb


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars By far the best self published novel I've read - but really needs a good editor, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
As the title says, this really is the best self published novel I've ever read - most of those don't even deserve a 1 star review.
It is a good read with a well thought out, gripping storyline but the lack of an editor - or even a really good proofreader - is glaringly obvious at times and keeps throwing me out of the story.

Couple of examples;

*POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

In one paragraph the author describes the titular Space Carrier Ark Royal as the "oldest" spaceship operated by Humans "anywhere" (in fact this is a major plot point). Just a couple of pages later he describes the carrier passing through a far flung Human colony system whose spaceships were "even older than Ark Royal" (I'm paraphrasing but the point was clear).

At one point we're told there has never been a hint of intelligent alien life elsewhere - that Humanity has concluded it is alone in the galaxy. A few pages later a character casually mentions that there have been fleeting long range sensor contacts with unidentified ships for years.

On another occasion, upon examination of an alien body, we're told the aliens are physically tougher than humans. Later an expert giving a run down on alien features describes them as being weaker.

One character (a senior naval officer) muses to himself that perhaps mass driver weapons, as fitted to the obsolete Ark Royal, are no longer built as the major powers have a secret agreement to limit their use. A few chapters later this theoretical secret agreement is an established fact that everyone knows about. It seems like the author has just realised that the lack of these highly effective weapons on modern ships is a major plot hole and he's scrambling to fill it.

*END SPOILERS*

These are just little things but they're not isolated examples, things like this keep cropping up and it's jarring when they do.

Characters and ships appear, do things, or say things when needed to by the plot, even when their presence or existence or statement contradicts earlier events, plot points or statements.

There is frequent overuse of particular words or phrases - the author badly needs another word for both "aliens" and "humanity"; ships lie "doggo" an awful lot and in every attack someone or something is "rocked back on their heels". Again these aren't the only examples of this.

Finally there is an awful lot of repetition of information (anyone who's read any Harry Turtledove will know what I mean by this). If I hear one more time about how:

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

the Ark Royal's armour and mass drivers make her unique and capable, I'll scream (it's even more annoying when this frequently repeated plot point is contradicted when other armoured and mass driver equipped ships make an appearance when the plot requires them).

The captain is a recovering alcoholic and is afraid one drink will tip him back over the edge... We know! You've told us before!

*END SPOILER*

Again this isn't isolated, certain plot points are absolutely hammered home by repetition, enough so that when it starts to happen I've found myself able to skip entire pages without missing out any plot. Other plot points are so heavily and repeatedly foreshadowed that I've found myself groaning when we come across another "hint" of what's to come and again skipping whole sections.

I'm sorry if this comes across as really negative, it isn't meant to, I'll reiterate that this is by far the best self published novel I've ever read and is well, well worth a read, just be prepared for its idiosyncrasies and be prepared to give the author a little leeway and you'll enjoy it.

Give it a try, there's really nothing to lose. I really hope that the author's deserved success (I hope this has been successful anyway) allows him to employ an editor for the sequels (and if there aren't sequels there should be!)
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best British Military Sci-Fi That I've Read, 27 Jan 2014
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
Nuttall is a bit of a find I'm glad to say in this sub genre. Sci-fi has a huge range of styles and genres with hundreds of authors - sadly most of them punting out utterly unreadable pap. The military sci-fi seems to be particularly badly affected with the majority of (American) authors punting out risible garbage. I've started many books only to give up in dispair after the first ten pages because it's so badly written. With that in mind I bought this based on 100% favourable reviews - which are not always reliable.

However, I'm glad to report that Nuttall has broken the mold and written an excellent book with a taut storyline and believable characters. And they are British which makes an interesting change. The references and interaction are instantly recognisable. You could be down the local pub.

He can write well. I hate it when an author's imagination exceeds his or her ability to convey it on paper. Nuttall has a rare talent in that he has joined the small group of those people who can write this sort of story without having a reader of even passable intelligence grinding their teeth.

Without a doubt the nearest I would say this story comes to is the Black Jack Geary stories of Jack Campbell. Better written with more action and three dimensional characters. My current favourite author in this genre is Evan Currie and to that list I'll add Nuttall.

The story revolves around Britain's first and now mothballed interstellar carrier, captained by a bored drunk. The newer carriers are faster, sleeker and of course better. Apart from the small fact that they lack the old heavyweight armour of the Ark Royal. Because of that in the first conflict and first war, Ark Royal is pulled back into operation and of the captain has to both fight his inner demons and keep hold of his command against all odds and of course expectations.

Its a great yarn. It's not Hamilton or Asher - but then it's they tend towards more complicated plots and the grotesque. Overall a worthy rival to Currie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you like characters being told to "get some sleep"..., 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
The basic storyline of the book is quite interesting. And being set in the Royal Navy of the future is a novel idea (no pun intended) that holds great promise.

However, the characters, plot development and writing don't live up to the potential of the original idea. To say the cast is formulaic is a huge understatement. From the old ship with its drunk Captain, the ambitious First Officer, to the washed up Flight Commander with a failing marriage and a moral dilemma.

The thing that really grated on me was the dialogue. When characters meet throughout the book, they have almost EXACTLY the same conversations with each other. On top of this, the number of times one character tells another character to "get some sleep" is ridiculous. Seriously. Once I noticed it (which didn't take very long) it really began to grate on me. At one point it seemed like every couple of pages, someone was being told to get some sleep. There's one bit where the Captain and First Officer spend over a page actually arguing over who should go and get some sleep first. "Go get some sleep" "No, you go get some sleep" "Okay, I'll get a couple of hours' sleep but then you have to get some sleep". Really? The Royal Navy of the future spends all its time sending each other to bed?

I didn't hate the book, but it was hard to keep reading it at times. I don't think I'll be reading this author again.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs editing., 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
I saw the reviews on this, and then saw it was top of the Kindle SF chart, so thought it was worth a read. Although I enjoyed it, I definitely think the large volume of 5*s is way over the top. The story itself is quite good, but fairly typical military SF. My main concern was that it is desperately in need of a good edit. Not only are there multiple typos, but considerable repetition and some clumsy sections that cry out for a good editor. I appreciate that it is self published and so has not gone through the "traditional" process, but these issues definitely reduced my enjoyment of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its more than a book...Go Ark Royal, 2 July 2014
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Ok lets get this out of the way first, The Bad Bits. The prose at the start of the book is in my opinion a little amateurish. I have tried writing many times and the first few pages are always hard work so it reminded me of my failed efforts. Unlike me, Mr Nuttall has lots of great ideas and the book soon gets up a head of steam. Bad bits 2 & 3: Too much stuff on the reporters, couldn't see the relevance really and finally what the hell happened to the Russian Commandos? ....maybe they are in the second book?? Good Bits; Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, cracking action, nothing too deep but very enjoyable. I kept thinking it was a bit like a game, anyone remember Tie Fighter and the original PC Star Trek, where you a grid system and warped to each sector but didn't know what was in there until you got there ....No? Ok maybe I am just showing my age. So, is it worth buying, well I have bought the next one and I am hugely looking forward to immersing myself in the Nuttall universe again. Go Ark Royal...I felt proud to be British again, at last.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tosh, 31 July 2014
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I didn't want to write a review until I had read all three books and I am sad to report that I have wasted both my time and money in the effort book one showed promise and was value for money however as I progressed through the series the price kept going up the quality of the work did not I am sad to say that I gave up on book 3 at 64%
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Garbage, 17 April 2014
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Incredibly boring, internal monologue after internal monologue, couldn't finish it. The book could have had half the word count and it would been much better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretty unreadable, 13 July 2014
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Some of the concepts are pretty cool, but the ideas just get drowned out in the monotony of reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A struggle, 14 May 2014
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I struggled to get to grips with all of the characters. But, most of all I was disappointed with the battle scenes. I anticipated being pulled to the edge of my seat during the battle scenes, but they left me feeling a little flat. I shall try the next one in the hope that it improves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good... but..., 28 Mar 2014
By 
A. Farmer (Stratford Upon Avon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ark Royal (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed it, but the writing got tiresome, the over use of certain phrases got repetitive.the characterisation was a little off, and what was with ending every other paragraph with a question? Would appeal to Weber fans, the story was intriguing but i am not sure i would read a sequel.
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Ark Royal (Unabridged)
Ark Royal (Unabridged) by Christopher G. Nuttall
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