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4.5 out of 5 stars
Koban
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book since there were many fresh ideas that complemented some of the more repetitive sci-fi concepts employed. Mr. Bennett takes a harder, in-depth stance on the science in his book that may be a turn off to some, but I rather enjoyed the inclusion. I was a bit concerned that the book would be dry and bland from the somewhat tedious prologue, but once he gets to the actual story, things rapidly pick up. A lot of what is introduced in the prologue is either repeated later in the narrative, or could probably be reworked into the narrative in different ways to make it more engaging and seem less like a dull history lesson from the future.

The pacing of the book is a bit unusual, it does not really build up to a single climax but maintains a rather high level of action with less energetic interludes that were interesting and helped build the world and characters. The chapter structure could use a little work also since some of them just suddenly ended in a way that felt a little jarring. As I got more used to his style, I didn't mind it as much since the story completely held my interest.

Proofreading could use a little work, but coming from an indie author with a low price of admission, I would only take off half a star at most. No typos were in evidence, but missing words and awkward sentences caused minor problems in flow. This is also a rather long book so you will get a lot of reading for what you do pay, some trilogies are not much longer than this debut novel.

I truly hope that the next book in this series comes out quickly, but if Mr. Bennett is making book 2 anywhere as long as book 1, it could take a while.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I took a chance, and was richly rewarded with an engrossing read.

A well written and polished story, that hit on most of the themes that draw me to science fiction; Space, Aliens, Evolution, War, High tech, discovery, exploration.

The plot keep things interesting. Hat off if this is a first effort, but it reads as the work of an experienced writer. The Universe is well constructed, and consistent.

Death and conflict as a forge, a planet as an anvil.

Satisfyingly long, but left me wanting for more, despite 2 days of marathon reading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book to those interested in science fiction. The character development is done nicely. The science fiction technology is interesting and integrated into the plot line cleverly. Toward the end of the book, the editor must have gotten tired or so involved in reading the book that several grammatical edits slipped through (I wish there were a way to feedback edits to the author/publisher on these e-books). The needed edits are not a problem to the read; I forgive the author for these, commend him on the story-line and anticipate the follow-on book. The first book is a complete read and one is not left with a cliff hanger waiting for the next book, however there are a number of tantalizing hints of things to come and my imagination started building possible scenarios. It will be fascinating to see where the author goes with the story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I loved the story. The aliens that are fierce, but not terribly bright, the method of space travel involving using alternate universes as propulsion..........my only complaint was the rather awkward method of writing. I felt at times like I was reading a "Dick and Jane" book. Conversations punctuated with "She said" and answered by "Bill replied". The author missed a chance to describe in detail the environment of Koban. Other descriptions and settings were rather scant as well. I am hoping that the sequel shows a more sophisticated writing style and that the characters and surroundings are described in more detail. I am not asking for James Mitchner, but a little more "meat" to the story and less childish dialog would be welcome.
PS: I do not mean this to be a criticism of the author, but rather I would hope, some helpful suggestions. I seriously doubt that I could write a story as inventive as this one, and applaud his efforts overall. I just had some trouble paying attention at times with the problems I mentioned above. Nice job!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Koban was a novel that I enjoyed for a weekend read. I could follow along with how the various cultures came about and found the plot moved along reasonably well. I will say that I found he Krall a little bit over done. I would think that in general their whole best predator mindset would have taken a bit of a beating somewhere in the whole 25,000 years of their conquests. If they really are that technologically stupid then why have their slave classes haven't successfully staged some kind of revolt (or sabotage of their system). I understand the Raspani devolving but the Prada and Torki might have a sub-culture simply waiting for their chance.

I look forward to the second book but wonder just how the rest of the human race will fare against the Krall if the effect of the gene-war is as complete as was implied. I think in general that it can't be for any number of reasons and expect that we will see a large change in human space soon.

In general I'm quite curious about the 2nd planet that was observed in the Kobani system. It was behind the star when the Fancies arrived, was it visible to the other new arrivals? You implied it could be class M, I would think it could be reachable if they fix some of their ships. You mentioned the need for a control group that could interbreed with the Kobani what better way to separate them then putting them on a 2nd planet.

I am a bit surprised that no other civilizations (while not being aggressive) were technologically advanced and defensive enough that the Krall wouldn't find them almost impossible to conquer.

Can't wait for the next book (I fell I picked this up at a good time since your discussion says it should be out before valentines day.

gallandro
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I really enjoyed the book. Well written, and contains very few of the distracting typos/grammatical issues seen in many other kindle books.
I'm very much looking forward to the follow up! Thanks to the author for all his work!!! :-)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The earlier comment/review about Space Prison was accurate. I wanted to give up on the book mid-way. Having slogged my way through the book (2/3) it became very interesting and hard to put down. My hope is the author, in his next offering in this series, learns from his mistakes and moves the story line a little faster. I don't want to leave you discouraged--it is a good read--frustrating at points but in the end well worth the effort. I also want to give the author credit for writing a book with some meat to it (for lack of a better term)-- this isn't a short story stuffed with filler and fluff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I read quite a bit of self-published indie sci-fi authors on Kindle and I have found that, in general, indie sci-fi ranges from mundane to downright awful, yet once in a while you find a gem that makes it all worthwhile. Koban is such a gem. Mr Bennett has created a complex universe filled with interesting protagonists and antagonists, weaving just enough plausible and consistent science into the fiction.

The first three Koban books were very hard to put down and I had mixed feelings about finishing the them. On the one hand I can't wait for the next installment of Koban, on the other hand I was glad to have completed reading them so I could start getting to sleep before 5am once again.

I really enjoyed the first three books of this new series and I look forward to many more.

Now for some minor criticism, as is often the case in indie titles the author could use an editor to double check spelling and grammar. Apparently Mr Bennett did secure an editor for the 3rd book but she seems unable to correct the same mistakes he makes in the first two books. Here are some examples of such errors found in the three first books:
The most important city in a country or region is called the capital. A capitol is a building in which a legislature meets. By extension the most important ships of the navy are called capital ships, not capitol ships.
Some predators (wolves, lions) are pack hunters, they are not pack animals. Camels are pack animals.
Hangers are for clothes, hangars are for air/spacecraft.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I hope you will all pardon me. I read both books back to back, so I wrote the same review for both books.

I was astounded and impressed by these independently published books. I dug around for at least an hour trying to find what all other books Mr. Bennett had published, because they read like the finished product of an author with quite a bit of experience under his belt. If I had any clout at all, I would walk down to Baen books and beg them to consider making an offer to sign this author so these books could be more widely marketed. I have been recommending these books to anyone who I vaguely think might be interested in them.

I read the first book in pretty much one sitting, and immediately purchased the second book which, (due to the constraints of family life), took me two days to complete. The storytelling sucked me in and left me craving more like a drug. The science (especially the bio science side of things) was convincing and believable, even to a reader who has more than a passing interest in science, biology, and physics. The conflict over the ethics and legality of altering the genome of themselves and their children is a compelling part of the story as well. I have to say that my angsty inner teenager is really looking forward to seeing how the author handles the eventual clash of Kobani and Hub societies.

I read a very nasty review earlier mentioning some similarities to the Science Fiction classic "Space Prison" by Tom Godwin. To be honest, it ticked me off. Having read both stories, I would have to say that they are similar to each other in the same way that "Planet of the Apes" is a knockoff of "Farnams Freehold" or "Twilight" is a plagiarism of "Romeo and Juliet."

I actually asked around about this to a few authors that I occasionally chat with on a social networking site, and this is what author Ryk Spoor had to say to me:

"I'd look at "The Fountains of Paradise" and "The Web Between the Worlds". As Clarke himself pointed out, both books came out within a year of each other, both involved a man (whose name was Merrick or Merrin) who was famed as the builder of the biggest bridge in the world, approached by a wealthy industrialist to attempt a far more ambitious undertaking, the construction of a space elevator, etc... There were a LOT of parallels between these books, yet they were written entirely separately.
Unless "Koban" duplicates characters, dialogue, and detailed events from Godwin's work, at MOST it's going to be "inspired by" and at best it's "I had no idea Godwin wrote such a book". Many casual reviewers simply don't realize how many times the same ideas and even general plotlines have been used, and will continue to be used. I haven't read both books so I can't comment on the specific case here, but I'd bet there's no more plagiarism in it than there is in most other books."

Enough with that nastiness, anyhow.

I had a question about availability and distribution of the books. Is there any chance of the author contracting through one of those online companies that print and bind books? I would love to purchase a (preferably signed) hardbound or paperback copy to add to my bookshelf, as well as some others to loan out to my non ebook reading friends.

I just wish I didn't have to wait til Fall to read the rest!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Let's be frank. There are many self-published books which are pain to read at best. The good news is that Koban is NOT one of them. Actually it's a rare find. It's involving, reasonably fast-paced and it's hard to put aside before finishing. There are definitely some minor flaws, like somewhat cartoonish characters and at times too high level of required suspension of disbelief. But overall the book is joy to read. I'm looking forward for a sequel.
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