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on 28 December 2016
I bought the series some while ago and recently re-read it. The review is therefore to some degree a review of the series not just book 1. At the beginning of this book, the author makes a strong statement about using language: 'to enjoy this book fully you should have a high school education or at least be willing to use a dictionary'. OK, so far so good; I have no objection to an author using words I might need to look up. I also agree that some authors need to work on their writing skills. Unfortunately dear Mr Da Prima does rather fall on his face metaphorically speaking. There are big words used, but sometimes, sadly, not correctly. One shining example he uses a couple of times is the use of the word 'orotund' to refer to a table: orotund refers to speech or writing which is pompous or pretentious, or of a voice that is imposing or resonant, and its use as an adjective for a table is just wrong. I would agree that his writing is, however, on occasion orotund, especially in book 1, though it does taper off in later books. Also, for an author claiming to write to a high standard, the confusion of discrete and discreet is shameful.
Having got my rant over, what about the storyline? Well, as space opera it fits the bill well enough, and the adventures of Jenetta Carver are interesting in a fairly superficial way. I found the best bit to be the way our heroine manages to work out how to get out of what seems to be one impossible fix after another. She does, though. tend to lead a charmed life in terms of always getting to meet people who are nice to her with a few carefully chosen exceptions among the 'baddies', so her advancement in the ranks proceeds without any real issues of jealousy which I found unrealistic. I have no real issue with the physics; after all it is space opera. I do however feel the aliens are not really very alien at all, but all seem to end up sounding very human even if they don't always look like it. All in all a jolly enough read.
[Catachresis: 1: use of the wrong word for the context, 2: use of a forced and especially paradoxical figure of speech (as blind mouths)]
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on 17 June 2017
I am a long term fan of David Weber's Honor Harrington but our heroine appears to be cut from the same cloth and the plot equally good. I am off to read the second book in the series RIGHT NOW.
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on 18 April 2017
A very enjoyable book, and a good start to the series. Having read this went on to get the rest of the series and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.
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on 1 August 2017
I'm reading this series of books for the second time a number of years after the first time i read them. The writing is involving and I like how the author builds the character in this book. I would rate this as a 'can't put down' book. Hope you enjoy it as much as i did.
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This is perhaps the best of the Jenetta Carver books, in so far as you haven't yet settled in to the formula of victory against the odds. The books are compelling and fun, Jenetta is a good hero, you want her to triumph. There are some interesting SciFi ideas the zeroG devices and faster than light travel, but neither is exactly in an unexplored space either - apologies for the pun. Less comfortably Jenetta exterminates ever increasing numbers of aliens - in this book tens of thousands but the death toll seems to increase by an order of magnitude in each book. Oh well there we go...

The writing? Well there is a bit too much repetition, and each book gives you a few reminders of the last book and explains the technology again, but still if you do read these you would be mad to do so without starting from book one.

I have read all the books, and couldn't put them down, but ultimately feel I have had popcorn rather than a decent meal. Bizarrely I look forward to the next one - a guilty pleasure, very escapist and one I hope I will soon outgrow. You have been warned.
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on 14 April 2011
An easy read, with a fascinating plot and interesting main character, who I would like to get to know further. However, the quality of the writing is inconsistent, with stilted sections of narrative, poor continuity and spurious and intrusive descriptive details which detract from the story. I don't need to know the exact height of every character, nor their hair colour.
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on 24 March 2011
A well written novel. As a long time science fiction and fantasy reader I found that this book contains all of the elements of classic space opera as well as having really unusual central character. The story engaged me from the start and I suffered from a few late nights because of the (just one more page) syndrome I suffer from when enjoying a good read.

A complete story in itself, there are obviously unresolved parts and hints of things to come.


I am really looking forward to the next part of the story.
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on 22 June 2011
I've now read seven of the Jenetta Carver books, and to be fair they all have a similar formular of victory against the odds. That said the books are fun, and impossible to put down, always moving at a pace. The hero is someone you want to see triumph, although the fact that luck and fortune always seem to be on her side can become slightly tiring.

As for the writing? Well Thomas DePrima won't win any awards, but the read is fun and the journey light and fast.

I have read all the books, and couldn't put them down and I look forward to the next one.
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on 6 March 2011
Sorry to disagree with the majority of the reviews but this book is actually very poor. The premise is interesting and I wanted to really like it but the execution of the plot leaves a lot to be desired. I found the character to be one dimensional and the story to be quite thin and unfortunately quite unbelievable. I bought the next book in the series to see if it got any better but unfortunately it worsened. I lost track of the number of times and different ways that the heroine's medals and the reasons she was awarded them were described.

I wouldn't recommend this book. If you want better written science fiction in this vein then try Elizabeth Moon or David Feintuch, or for a more character driven read try CJ Cherryh. Unfortunately few of their books are available on kindle. (For those of you who haven't discovered her try Octavia E Butler ... great writer, tight prose, fascinating ideas and available on Kindle!) And no I have no vested interests, BUT, if people think that Thomas DePrima is 'great' then they should really try some of these other authors who also write a similar style of Science Fiction, the difference is that it is done (in my opinion) a heck of a lot better ...

The Serrano Legacy: Omnibus v. 1 includes Hunting Party, Sporting Chance, & Winning Colours.
Midshipman's Hope (Seafort saga)
Octavia E. Butler: 'Xenogenesis' / 'Lilith's Brood' (Genre Fiction Sightlines)
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on 15 March 2011
The universe created by the author for A Galaxy Unknown is commendable; the technology is believable and interesting and the premise of the book itself is good, but sadly the story and ultimate character development is it's downfall.

The story start's off well, with a good introduction to the character and a fairly believable situation she finds herself in. But after the twists, turns and general excitement of the first 2/3rds of the book, you're left to wonder what the big finale will be - well, there doesn't seem to be one. The author decides to down his sci-fi and open up a drawn-out politics scene that will bore your socks off and make you wonder why you bothered in the firs t place. Personally I wish more time was spent on the action in the book and less on the lovey dovey bit at the end.

The protagonist herself starts off being a little lucky and then becomes a little bit more, it seems nothing can slow her down. Quite why the author spends the second chapter expressing all her weaknesses and then presents her as wonder woman I'm not quite sure, it appears he forgot he wrote that part of the character development and it starts to become a little ridiculous by the end of it. The author also makes sure to gift her a unique set of unrealistic super powers part way through the book, in order to give him room for more craziness in the future. Overall I feel that this undermines the universe that was created with a degree of realism and thought.

At least the author keeps us up to date at all times on what the crew is wearing and how tall they are.
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