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To The Stars (The Harry Irons Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

199 customer reviews

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Length: 514 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch) by Ann Leckie
"Ancillary Mercy" by Ann Leckie
The stunning conclusion to acclaimed author Ann Leckie's space opera trilogy that started with Hugo, Nebula, and award-winning Ancillary Justice. Learn more | See related books

Complete Series

Product Details

  • File Size: 923 KB
  • Print Length: 514 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper's Press (July 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AK1TK0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,627 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

My fascination with alternative or speculative fiction began as a boy. Hot Texas summers were filled with baseball, fishing, and reading. In college, I was a mediocore student, studying writing, classical literature, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science. Struggling with finances, I dropped out my senior year and enlisted in the Navy, serving two tours of duty with the Seventh Fleet in the closing years of the Vietnam War. Afterwards, I returned to school to complete my first degree and subsequently landed a position as a teaching fellow in the English Department at North Texas State University. It was either that or go to Fiji with the Peace Corps. To be honest, I think I would have preferred Fiji.

I have worked as a teacher, technical writer, systems analyst, martial arts instructor, and various other odd jobs. For a while, I thought I would end up as a musician, but music would have been a poor career move, sort of like deciding to be a fiction writer.

My stories are most often in the science fiction genre depicting characters under stressful and extraordinary settings. Even in a fantastic setting, I strive for honesty by creating characters who respond to their circumstances as I believe actual people would. The aliens, however, are unpredictable because of their very nature. That's why we call them aliens.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 81 people found the following review helpful By ShirleyB on February 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm always looking for good new SF authors and originally had high hopes for this book. I was willing to overlook some early shallow characterization and thin motivation, hoping it would improve as the story developed. Unfortunately, it got worse.

First of all, this author clearly doesn't understand the basics of the science involved:
--You can't sit on someone in a microgravity environment to subdue them
--It's VERY hard to imagine high-tech spacesuits that don't have radios and can't communicate with the ship in orbit or the shuttle on the planet.
--It's even harder to understand how these same suits magically DO have radios later as they're jetting across 90 MILES of open space up in orbit. Never mind surviving this with a major solar flare in progress...
--Red dwarf stars don't go nova
--Stars that DO go nova don't go from quiet and stable to imminent nova in a day and a half
--Shock waves require an atmosphere to travel--they don't propagate through space
--Electromagnetic pulses just don't 'dissipate quickly in the vacuum of space'

And so on. If you're gonna write SF you really need to get the science right. Otherwise, choose a different genre where this lack of understanding doesn't matter, assuming there is one.

Almost every character other than Harry Irons (the main character) seems driven by shallow self-preservation. They're mostly ready to abandon shipmates without much concern, to collect their bonuses for finding a probably habitable planet. If the big corporation funding all these mission really sent such poorly trained people out on their missions they'd lose their investment so quickly they'd have to cash in the entire effort.
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141 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Sprinkle on August 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Readers, please take note of a few words the author should have considered while writing this book. I'm sorry I couldn't like this book more; I realize it must take an awful lot of time to write and publish, but some attention must be paid to the following for a really top-notch, or even easily readable book.

1. Thesaurus. The use of which would prevent the author from over using words. For example: when the author wishes to inform his readers that a character is a genius, he won't have to say, "Character X is a genius." or have another character say, "Character X is a genius." over and over until the reader starts muttering under her breath, "Yeah, I know already."

2. Exposition. This concept differs from "explication," which is when an author tells the reader something. Exposition is when an author shows the reader something and should be used as much as possible. Constant use of explication where exposition should be used makes the reader feel as though there is a barrier between him and the action.

3. Sexism. Usually I'm the last person to complain about sexism -- especially in a science fiction book, since sci-fi generally appeals more to males than to females it's very common for there to be a tilt toward sexism. Yet in this book the only positive female character is a wealthy, perfect-bodied blond whose only real talent is a positive attitude! By contrast, the other major female characters include an ambitious career driven Russian, an aggressive and not overly bright black woman, and a computer who is willing to dump her masters for humans because she thinks humans are better predators. (Like a gang moll in an old gangster movie "trading up."_)

4. Racism. Oh, yeah, the black woman.
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37 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Huelstrunk on August 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Everything Heather J. Sprinkle says about this book is correct, but:
-- The plot is very good. You get two first contacts for the price of one.
-- The writing gets better as the book moves along. About halfway through you stop noticing the poor phrazing, etc.
-- The shifts in perspective are handled very well. They flow togetehr and you're never left wondering where you are.
-- The plot is not very predictable. Well, maybe in retrospect, but that doesn't count. As you're reading you want to know what will happen.
-- I like to think that the inherrent racism and sexism is because of undeveloped writing skills and the author trying to affect a 1950's space opera ambience.
Stick with it. I'm glad I did.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Garbone on June 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Considering I picked up this book for free I can not say I over paid for it.

I liked some aspects of the story and the interaction with both alien races except the end with the Aboriginals, wrapping them up seemed odd and lazy.

Being science fiction based over 100 years in the future you think they would have better tech than is available at the mall today.
Their communications device should at least as good as an Iphone or droid.
Whats with the "optical discs"? Was there no 8 tracks available?

All the humans seemed to be fools at one point or another. I imagine after loosing a shipmate to an alien I would prefer to carry a sidearm at least. Is it just me or would you bring more than a 3 shot stun gun on a boarding action?

After reading the first Spinward Fringe for free I was expecting this book to be in the same league. Oh well, we can't win them all.
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