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Blackcollar (The Blackcollar Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Timothy Zahn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The blackcollars—an elite, genetically enhanced fighting force—may be humanity’s only hope

Decades after a successful invasion of Earth and the Terran Democratic Empire by the Ryqril—hostile, leathery-skinned aliens—resistance fighter Allen Caine is training for an undercover mission. He will assume the identity of an aide to the senate—part of the government that colludes with the invaders. But when the mission begins earlier than planned, Caine finds himself stuck on the off-planet outpost of Plinry with no idea of what awaits. He’s responsible for the most important mission undertaken by the resistance in twenty years, and when the operation goes awry, Caine’s only hope is to locate Plinry’s so-called blackcollars—the elusive, martial arts–trained guerilla force whose wartime resistance efforts are legendary. With his life and the freedom of everyone in the TDE on the line, Caine’s success will depend on whether or not he can find them. . . .

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy Zahn is a New York Times bestselling science fiction author of more than forty novels, as well as many novellas and short stories. Best known for his contributions to the expanded Star Wars universe of books, including the Thrawn trilogy, Zahn won a 1984 Hugo Award for his novella “Cascade Point.”He also wrote the Cobra series, the Blackcollar series, the Quadrail series, and the young adult Dragonback series, whose first novel, Dragon and Thief, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Zahn currently resides in Oregon with his family. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 3945 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1453297871
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy (October 16, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094ANSJ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,264 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story; poor technology - now fixed! December 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
EDIT: I've received word that this has been fixed. Downloaded a new copy and I see that all the ones I had bookmarked have been corrected. Thanks for that!

I really like the storyline. Zahn has put together a gripping story that sucks you in and makes you want to find out what's going to happen next. Highly recommended!

However, the publisher has done it a great disservice. Typos are all over this book - it reads like they took the original print version, ran it through OCR software, and then never bothered to fix the typos that introduced. "Who needs copy editing? Just push it out there and make that money!" It's like the publisher in "Elf" who signs off on printing a book with two missing pages. Who's going to notice something small like that?

Well, I noticed and it's really, really annoying. Yes, it's "only" the Kindle edition, but take some pride in your work and show some respect for the author's vision!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zahn's Best Work! August 3, 2003
By events3
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This and the Spinneret book are Zahn's best (he eventually lost me in the Cobra series & Coming of Age). This is action-packed and suspenseful. The Blackcollar, with their super-human reflexes were man's last hope against the alien invaders. This is the story of their guerrilla war against that enemy - and their human nemesis, Galway, who is attempting to prevent the Blackcollar from doing greater damage to mankind than has already been done by the aliens. Excellent.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard-hitting military science fiction. January 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I often find myself disappointed by Timothy Zahn, especially with the inordinate time he spends with fantasy and Star Wars themes. His major contribution to military science fiction writing is via the creation of the Blackcollars and the Cobras. These display Timothy Zahn at his best with convincing plot lines, well-developed characters and interesting stories which make for page turning anticipatory reading. The best recommendation I can offer for Blackcollar is that I own the series. Definitely five star material.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a bad kung fu movie, only worse October 18, 2014
By RussS
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am hard pressed to understand what redeeming qualities others saw in this book to justify a four or five star rating. It was, quite possibly, the slowest, most uninteresting military science fiction book I have read in recent years. Contrary to the description, the plot was slow and uninteresting. The characters were equally uninteresting and extremely underdeveloped, literally all falling into very clear "good rebel" or "bad loyalist" categories. As the book progressed, the action scenes became increasingly intolerable. Similar to a really bad kung fu movie, every encounter was a small group of rebels with extremely archaic under-tech weapons beating an extremely large, well trained force with high-tech lasers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Military Sci-Fi Adventure August 13, 2013
Timothy Zahn broke into Star Wars in part due to his military sci-fi series Cobra and Blackcollar. When approached to do Heir to the Empire, Tim had nine books under his belt: The Blackcollar (1983), Cobra (1985), A Coming of Age (1985), Cobra Strike (1986), The Backlash Mission (1986), Spinneret (1985), Triplet (1987), Cobra Bargain (1988), and Deadman Switch (1988). Of those, Cobra and Blackcollar caught the eye of Bantam and led to the recommendation to Lucasfilm. As a fan of Zahn's Star Wars works, it was only natural to branch out and read his other work. Blackcollar was certainly a fitting choice.

The book takes place in the future, sometime around 2447. The Terran Democratic Empire and it's 28 planets, including Earth, lost a war to an expansionist species known as the Ryqril. Humans now live under occupation. Each planet is completely isolated from the others except for select government personnel. Humans in high level positions are forced to go through re-conditioning, ie. brainwashing. Living conditions are not exactly optimal and the Ryqril aren't very compassionate overlords. It is in this environment that a few cells of resistance remain. The main character, Allen Caine, is a young member of the resistance on Earth who has trained his entire life to fight the Ryqril and undermine their authority. After a lifetime of preparation, he's been given a mission to sneak off Earth and make contact with the resistance on another planet. It's their hope that this contact can lead to a new paradigm in the war against their oppressors. The key to their success lies with the Blackcollars.

What's interesting about this book is just how important the Blackcollars are to the story. Zahn could have gone a lot of different ways with the story.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of science fiction and martial arts March 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you enjoy science fiction mixed with martial arts, as well as a book with plenty of action, this book is for you. It's companion novel, "The Backlash Mission", is also a worthwhile read. After re-reading the novels for the -nth- time recently, I'm ready for the (long awaited) third novel in the series!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Zahn's best March 14, 2003
By Ben
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was a good book. A fun book. UNfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to Zahn's potential. Everything else of his I've read has a lot of gray areas. Not this one. It's just Blackcollars good, alien conspirators bad. This was still a fun book, and I highly recommend it, it just didn't have that great sense of balance that his other books, like Cobra, or Angelmass have.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic series
Tons of action, twists and turns keep you on the edge. These books are hard to lay down. Leave you hungry for more.
Published 1 month ago by William Belson
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it BIG!
The Blackcollar series has more twists and turn than a pigs tail. From the start of the story to the very last word there were twists and turns to madden the best of us and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steve G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Had no idea this was written back in the 80s
This book was a great read. Single story line, but full of action the whole time. Nothing seems "out of date" even though the book was written a few decades ago.
Published 2 months ago by xmadmax
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Military Science Fiction
This is the first in this military science fiction series. Very well-written, with a few plot twists the reader will appreciate. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Howard G. Anders Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book, love the black collar series!
Published 2 months ago by apple2
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic ending to a great series
As much as I hate to see it end, the Blackcollar series was a fantastic read. Highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good military spy story.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Zahn's first novel
Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of Timothy Zahn in general, but this was his first novel an it honestly wasn't great. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great series. Looking forward to the rest of the books.
Published 4 months ago by George Hancocks
5.0 out of 5 stars Zahn is still weaving tales...
I have been a longtime fan of Zahn's world building stories with Cobras and Blackcollars at the tool of the list. Great read. Thank you for continuing to write. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shazzamsan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good
I would not have bought this book except in a teaser sale and it has not exceeded my expectations. It is a very mediocre piece of writing. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jonathan Harris
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More About the Author

Timothy Zahn is the Hugo Award-winning author of more than a dozen original science fiction novels and the bestselling Star Wars trilogy Heir to the Empire, among other works. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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