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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 November 2013
Now and again you encounter a book that sets a cracking pace, is full of interesting incident... and is written in clichés, with two-dimensional characterisation. Do you remember the classic Dennis Wheatley novels? Just like this one, except that this is space opera and Wheatley was crude inter-War thrillers.

Suspend your literary critical faculties and just enjoy! A hero who can't put a foot wrong, wins medals, money, promotion... and gets the girl in the end I've no doubt. Great fun!

Can't wait to read the follow-up.
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on 23 July 2015
This coming of age book takes young Steve from his job as a busboy to managing to get a berth on a merchanter off Earth. I enjoyed the world and Steve’s gritted determination to succeed no matter what. Grant clearly has spent a great deal of time fine-tuning his world, which mostly works well.
While the writing style isn’t particularly smooth and at times the dialogue clunks, there is nevertheless an engaging charm about this book that meant the obvious flaws in the writing was more than compensated by the conviction and energy Grant displays. The good news is that as this is the first book in the series, the writing should steadily improve.
Steve’s progress is down to his hard working, intelligent approach – though there were a couple of times when I would have liked to see him falter or just majorly mess up. He teetered on the edge of being a male Mary Sue by about two-thirds of the way through the book, but Grant at least rectified that somewhat by the end. However, the chirpy, can-do tone of this book makes it an enjoyable read – and also provides a very readable contrast when things do kick off and get violent.
The action scenes are handled well and this is when Grant’s writing comes into its own. When I finally arrived home last night, I was sufficiently hooked by the story that I stayed up waaay later than I should to discover what would happen next. While this book isn’t without its issues, I enjoyed it and will be looking to read the next one in the series.
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on 17 May 2013
Worth reading twice, in quick succession.
The first read takes you into the violent and uncertain world that the main character, and speeds you through one dangerous drama after another...
The second read should be taken more slowly, so that you can savour the level of detail the author has packed into his universe.
Shades of Heinlein and the Darwinian effects of emigration, shades of Firefly with independent characters who rarely bow to those they do not respect.......
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on 10 October 2013
Like early Heinlein or a Nathan Lowell book this coming of age novel is all the better for it's slightly awkward style.

I really enjoyed the book, I've started the next in the series. I hope Grant's style develops with the characters
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on 3 November 2013
Very good , could'nt put it down .
fine mix of intrigue and action to keep me interested , great characters and enough tech to
flesh out the steve maxwell universe.
looking forward to next book which i have just loaded.
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on 27 May 2013
I bought this as I follow Peters blog and enjoy his style of writing there. The book did not disappoint me. It's scifi in the style of E.E. 'Doc' Smith and Andre Norton and moves along at a fair pace. My only complaint, if you'd call it one, is that the main character exhibits decision-making skills of someone ten or twenty years older.
Bring on the next book, please.
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on 19 May 2015
Normally i wouldn't dream of reaching a final judgement on my feelings about a novel until having at least finished it.

However after reading the first half, and partially skimming over the rest, i have no doubt that some tech manuals offer a more enthralling read.

Flat, wooden, humourless, dry, boring, little descriptive flair and an over emphasis on minutia or trivialities; are some terms/phrases which spring to mind.
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on 4 June 2014
Good story with action and interest leading to a great lead on for a follow on story. Hope its soon
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on 21 March 2015
A very enjoyable read. Doesn't break new ground and the language can be a bit stilted. However, these are minor points. A good story line, plenty of action and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.
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on 28 May 2013
This is a nice debut and an enjoyable coming of age novel reminiscent of early Heinlein. The lead character is principled and reasonably engaging, if a bit over-lucky and under-challenged at times. Criticisms are that threat is sometimes too easily dispatched and that he occasionally exhibits more maturity than would be expected. The glimpses of backstory we have seen so far do not satisfactorily explain his acquisition of such wisdom - an opportunity for a prequel?

Recommended.
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