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Burnt Ice (Fury of Aces) [Kindle Edition]

Steve Wheeler
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $10.67
You Save: $4.32 (29%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Move over Star Wars! This is a superb space opera. Humans and hybrids and strange new creatures fight for survival on Earth and across the galaxies. A superb space adventure from a fresh new voice. In our future worlds the Administration rules the Sphere of Humankind, the Games Board sanctions and funds wars and conflicts, and the Haulers' Collective roams the space routes like the caravanners of old. Marko and his crew of fellow soldier-engineers are sent to investigate an unknown planet. When they encounter strange artefacts and an intelligent but aggressive squid species, they are forced to embark on a perilous journey far from the Sphere. They will have to survive not only other alien encounters but also their own Administration's deadly manipulations. Political factions and galactic media moguls vie for power ... and money.


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: 630 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (April 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HXGVFM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
(8)
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas let down by developing story telling skills October 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
While there is plenty of interesting exploration along with some exciting action sequences set within this future biotechnological space faring society, the story telling just doesn't unfold smoothly. The author has created a fascinating universe for the reader's enjoyment, but falls short in the ability to communicate this effectively. Early in the book, the mind boggling amount of technical wizardry introduced overwhelms the fleshing out of our main characters, the Engineering Research Crew and the society in which they function. It seems the author has so much to tell us that he is impatient to spill it all out. In common with most Science Fiction, most of the characters are two dimensional, which is a real pity, given each crew member looks to have a fascinating background just itching to be told.

There are several useful appendices that I wish I'd found before getting too far into the book; a useful glossary, a list of acronyms and abbreviations and finally the rules and articles of war for the Games Board, that mysterious, ever present shadow that seems to be behind many of the misfortunes AND fortunes of the crew. Make sure you check these out after the first few chapters.

While I found the book uneven, with the occasional annoying gaps, over all it was an interesting first book from a promising author. Hopefully the planned sequel (given the several dangling story threads one has to be planned), will be a smoother and more enjoyable read. I'll look forward to reading more about the main characters and their intelligent bioconstruct 'pets'. Reading this book gave me a much deeper appreciation of the skills of a good writer and brought home how very hard it must be to produce a saleable product. So well done to the author for sharing your ideas and to the publisher for taking a chance on a new writer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High-tech Space Opera April 10, 2012
By Angelya
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced, Inventive and Excellent! 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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