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Burnt Ice (Fury of Aces) Kindle Edition

10 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Wheeler was born in 1957 in NZ. He was given the option at age 18 of becoming a Catholic priest or a policeman - he chose the latter. He has served in the military, and since 1987 has worked as a bronze sculptor, knifesmith and swordsmith. He lives with his wife and children in Hawkes Bay.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1635 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (April 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 1, 2012
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #855,785 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Angelya on April 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Captain Michael Longbow and his crew of engineers, warriors and operatives are about to catch up on some recreation time on the resort world of Cygnus 5 when an investigation of some ancient underwater ruins turns into a full-scale battle. A series of missions takes them to different worlds to investigate alien tech and rogue Artificial Intelligences, during which the crew must work together and innovate to survive.

I found Burnt Ice to be an entertaining read, although it wasn't quite the epic space adventure I was expecting, but rather a series of shorter episodes with down time between each. It reads a lot like a television series - four or five episodes with a variety of outcomes. The only problem with the story being separated into episodes is the sometimes drawn-out story building between each action sequence. I didn't really need to read about each crew member's exact preparations before they set off on their mission. I realise its a good way to introduce new locations and technologies but when the Captain gives each member of the crew exact instructions, my eyes start to glaze a little.

When the action does happen, it's much faster paced and well-described. The heroes and their various bio-enhancements are pretty awesome in how they deal with situations, and it's all recorded for broadcast by the Games Board. No wonder they become celebrities!

This book contains a lot of technical descriptions - the team's every invention and creation are intricately described and I found I had to really pay attention to keep up sometimes. The creations themselves are amazing though - Artificial Created Entities created from the combined traits of various animals to make a pet with benefits? Awesome!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave de Burgh on December 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
The first thing that impressed me about the novel was its scope – just reading the blurb put me in mind of the kind of Space Opera that Peter F Hamilton writes, and though I knew not to expect something similar, I was damned surprised but just how detailed the universe that Steve created is.

Earth has been left behind (a major catastrophe struck the planet, forcing humanity to leave behind the homeworld), and now inhabit what is called the Sphere of Humanity – a region of space encompassing hundreds (if not thousands) of planets linked by wormhole-travel. The Sphere is governed by the Administration, but they have their own control-struggle going on with the Games Board, a faction that runs every conflict and war for entertainment value and ratings. It’s unlike anything I’ve encountered in SF before, and Steve does an awesome job exploring the factions and their policies, motives and technology.

A word of warning, though – Steve doesn’t spoonfeed the reader. You may find yourself a bit lost in the beginning, as there are many names and acronyms you’ll read that you won’t immediately understand, but if you’re patient you’ll experience how everything builds into a coherent and understandable picture, and you’ll see just how many threads and ideas Steve packed into this novel.

Character-wise, there are plenty of stand-outs, with a slight leaning toward one character, Marko, but Steve gives everyone their time in the spotlight. Each member of the crew has specific abilities that not only set them apart but also bring them together in innovative ways, especially when they need to do something or build something. There’s a real sense of camaraderie among the crew, though there are the odd disagreements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By on January 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Many years ago, when I was a part of a "Medievalist" group, I first encountered Steve Wheeler's craftsmanship when I was introduced to some of his steelwork. If someone had told me that a decade and a half later I would find myself seeking every opportunity to sit and read his debut sci-fi space opera novel, I would have wet my gambeson laughing. And yet... here we are...

Reading like a cross between a slightly toned-down version of Peter F Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon" and Robert A. Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" with a touch of "The Abyss" movie thrown in for seasoning, this is a rollicking tale that has almost every ingredient for a hit story in my books - aliens, genetic engineering, advanced weaponry, nanotechnology, artificial intelligences, wargames, FTL flight via wormholes, intrigue, hidden past lives, plot twists that make a bowl of spaghetti look like it's on Dress Parade... un-flaming-beatable.

To take a little of the shine off and put a bit more perspective on though... this is clearly a debut novel for Steve. Though it has been meticulously researched and all the technology in it is within realistic grasp within the next 4 or 5 decades, there is something about the structure that just feels a little loose... but you know what, I love how it comes across! There's no sign of lofty, pretentious prose, no diamond-hard nuggets of techno-babble... it's a fluid story with a lot of potential, and it speaks to the Kiwi in us.

With this opening gambit, Steve has thrown down the challenge to himself to come up with a Part Two that rocks us even harder... I am dying to know the resolution of the thread that ends this book... some elusive hints and a bit of prediction based on reading a LOT of similar stories...
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