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The Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

C. A. Hartman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
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Book Description

"Hartman shows us great character development, solid plotting, and a good grasp of science. An unusually strong first novel."  -K.L. Roberts

"Great science fiction with intriguing characters. Excited for the next book in the series!" -N. Stasnopolis


The Korvali allow no outsider to visit Korvalis. They forbid their citizens to leave. They're brilliant geneticists, but they refuse to share their genetic secrets with outsiders. Their xenophobia excludes them from the Orion Interplanetary Alliance, and the other planets don't like or trust them. However, everyone tolerates the status quo... until a Korvali geneticist escapes his planet and takes refuge among humans on a starship. 

The Refugee--the first of the Korvali Chronicles series--tells the story of Eshel, the Korvali refugee, and Dr. Catherine Finnegan, the human geneticist who befriends him, as they face the political, scientific, and interpersonal ramifications of Eshel's living among outsiders. From censoring of their scientific work to intolerance for Eshel's cold arrogance, struggles abound... until an alarming incident changes everything.


Product Details

  • File Size: 952 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: 5280 Press (May 19, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KGK8O9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starship of Fools? June 13, 2014
By Nick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
C.A. Hartman’s The Refugee
***** A No Spoilers Review *****
C.A. Hartman’s outstanding first novel, The Refugee, successfully blends myriad science fiction elements into a compelling and interesting story that recalls the genre’s early tales of exploration. There are multiple elements in the novel that that make it both a good read and great science fiction.

First, Hartman creates a world that is both engaging and interesting. It takes place far enough in the future that faster than light technology has been developed but near enough to contemporary time that many of the trappings of our society and culture remain. There is a shaky alliance that exists among four planetary systems including Earth. It is a very loose federation in which the interest of each system generally supersedes the alliance’s best interests. One of the elements in this alliance is Earth’s Starship Cornelia.

It is an USS Enterprise-like vessel; its mission a mixture of military security, exploration and scientific research. However this is where the comparisons end. As we quickly discover all is not “ship-shape” on the Cornelia or with the Alliance. The drama begins with they discover a refugee named Eshel from a nonaligned and extremely xenophobic planet called Korvalis. It is a world whose myopic focus is on researching and manipulating genes. When Eshel requests asylum and to become a crew member of the Cornelia the fun begins!

The second aspect of the story that draws us in is the sophisticated use of genetics as one of the most fascinating sub plots. The use and misuse of genetic research by a variety of people and planets plays a major role in how the story plays out. Of course the catalysts for this are Eshel and the novel’s protagonist, Catherine Finnegan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By CE Cook
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, let me start by saying, current political strife aside, I would love to live to live among the Korvali! The author has set an interplanetary stage that is familiar enough to relate to, but different and imaginative enough to still provide that entertaining escape that makes fiction so satisfying. It's a good first novel and I look forward to the next in the series.

I was a bit surprised to enjoy the book as much as I did given some past experiences with sci-fi novels. While I love the science (and this one has a good dose, including genetics, which has always fascinated me), I've found the characters in a lot of sci-fi novels to be caricaturish or wooden. The dialog is often stilted or unrealistic. The Refugee, on the other hand, was refreshing in that it introduces a slew of interesting characters and cultures who interact in believable ways. They are also quite clever at times and action oriented, which makes the story even more enjoyable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review **No Spoilers** June 24, 2014
By Laura
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. It has a nice mix of action and plot development, and the characters are all well developed. The science fiction elements were unique, and it is clear the author knew what she was talking about. Many of the concepts discussed are higher level ideas, but they are explained in such a way that the reader can (at least mostly) understand what is happening. I would recommend this for anybody who enjoyed the Star Trek series (there is quite a bit of starship politics discussed) as well as anyone who enjoys reading about space-based science fiction in general. I am looking forward to the next book in the series, and am extremely glad I chose to purchase this book over my other potential buys at the Denver Comic Con this year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's great to see character-driven science fiction! July 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The Refugee, C.A. Hartman’s first novel, is a breath of fresh air in the often obscure and overly entangled worlds of current science fiction. The story of the spaceship Cornelia is driven by her diverse crew, which includes military personnel from the five planets of the Alliance, scientists, and career Space Corps leaders. Like the Star Trek series, most of the action centers on the relationships and activities of these characters aboard ship and on the planets on which they land.

The Cornelia’s world is turned upside down when they take on Eshel, a refugee from the closed planet Korvalis, who mysteriously shows up still alive after a lengthy sojourn in space where the rest of his crewmembers died. As Eshel is found to be an expert genetics researcher from his own planet, where the Korvali have raised genetic manipulation to a high art, the leaders of the Alliance become involved in a search for the genetic secrets that Eshel possesses without harming their fragile relationship with the planet Korvalis. Catherine Finnegan, a geneticist on the ship, befriends Eshel, and much of the novel is about the progression of their relationship, as well as Eshel’s attemps to understand and fit in with alien cultures.

While this book has plenty of science in it – especially relating to genetics, the thing that I really liked about it was that it has multi-dimensional characters, realistic dialogue, and multiple female characters who seem like real human beings, not the caricatures of women we often see in sci-fi. I look forward to reading about the further adventures of the Cornelia’s crew in the next book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book!
The Refugee is an engaging novel that transports you to an interstellar future littered with all the sub-genre favorites- interspecies relations, FTL travel, exploration of... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Tamara Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!
Loved it!! Great characters, I am not normally a science fiction reader and I truly enjoyed this book. Can't wait for the next one in the series.
Published 2 months ago by amyamy
2.0 out of 5 stars Good premise, disappointing execution
I consider myself a decent fan of sci-fi and speculative fiction in general. I love old Star Trek and space operas, and from the other reviews I expected to enjoy this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Moob
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid debut
Reading The Refugee, the first in Christie Hartman's The Korvali Chronicles, reminds me of some of the best elements of Star Trek: We have a strong, character-driven drama set in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian Kowalski
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, quite the page turner!
I really, really liked this book! It started out a bit slow and I thought the first few pages of dialogue were a bit stilted. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Story Well Told
A wonderful story well told, The Refugee fires your imagination while also latching onto your heart, refusing to let go. C. A. Read more
Published 5 months ago by James C. Stage
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced Science Fiction Leaves You Yearning For More!
C. A. Hartman's novel breathes a breathe of fresh air into the science fiction genre. The first pages immediately grab your attention and then you are unable to put the book down. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Teresa
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a very good novel and an excellent first novel
This was a very good novel and an excellent first novel. The characters are well drawn and believable. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Shadeauxmom
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More About the Author

C.A. Hartman specializes in writing near future science fiction. Recovering from her years as an academic scientist, she's refocused her overactive, analytical mind on creating and appreciating thought-provoking stories with memorable characters. She recently released her novel The Refugee, the first book in a series that chronicles the fallout that occurs when an alien scientist escapes from his oppressive, xenophobic planet and comes to live among humans on a starship.

Hartman loves film as well as books and enjoys in-depth film analysis. She strongly prefers films that utilize memorable visual style as well as intelligent characters and storytelling. Bonus points if the film has a good psychological component. Some of her favorites include Inception, Blade Runner, The Matrix, and Hitchcock films. And although she prefers sci-fi, she secretly loves good fantasy and has spent many an hour re-watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A graduate of the University of Colorado (CU), Hartman earned her PhD in Behavioral Genetics and worked as a scientist at CU for 11 years. Living in Denver with her husband, she enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling to faraway places.

Check out Hartman's books, blog, and events at 5280Press.com. You can also find her on Twitter: @5280_SciFi.

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