- File Size: 4791 KB
- Print Length: 373 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: July 24, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07DTC94MX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,040 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Aries' Red Sky: A Vergassy Universe Novel Kindle Edition
|Length: 373 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The story is supposed to be centered on the clash of two very different alien cultures (the Confederacy vs the Spartans), but honestly, they sound just alike. You can only keep track of which side you're reading about by double-checking the section headings, as the focus flips back and forth multiple times within chapters. Both sides say things like "The size of the alien threat is unknown at this time."
At the beginning of the initial Big Battle Scene, the author lists the names of all the ships on each side, and then we are supposed to just remember who is who. That's actually hard to do since they don't sound remarkably different. For example, both sides have ships named after famous Western historical figures, such as the Hamilton, and the Oliver Cromwell.
If the two sides are so different (they can't understand each other) wouldn't the names of at least one side look a bit foreign and incomprehensible? And why in the world does a civilization that calls itself the Spartans have a ship named after an English military dictator? You'd think the Spartan ships might have Greek names, but I guess that's asking for too much logic.
It's also impossible to figure out who the main protagonist is supposed to be. Right when it looks like we've identified that individual, and start to care about him, zap, he gets fried into a lump of charcoal. Buh bye.
The one bright moment of the book occurs when the auto-translator is trying to figure out the demands of the enemy, and says, "...final potato. You will be danced overhead." Which sounds about right for translation programs.
Ultimately, I got tired of trying to figure out who was doing what, and bailed out about 3/4 of the way through the book.
The author here used history to make you think about what a future could be. You get entertainment and an education.
The Spartans are a long lost exiled colony of humans that hold a grudge like no one else. They believe the Terrans are in the wrong & must be beaten at all costs. The Terrans don’t call themselves that, having long since left the cradle of Earth to populate other planets. They consider themselves the Confederation. So that added to the confusion. Towards the end, I started making a list of characters and here’s my best guess as to which side they are on:
Spartans with their PainBringers
Cpt. Aginor Akiros (spelling?)
War Minister Arnaud Dew
Vice president Geramund Dew (brothers)
Lt Cl. Peterman
Ian & Eubony
Terrans/Confederation with their WarHammers
Jacqueline aka Katnip
Commander Johanson (Torturer)
Ensign Michael Rogers (Surviving CO)
McPhereson (red head, captured, sent back to Confederation with messages)
Lt. Applewhite (woman)
MacKenzie Bolan (man)
Debra the empath
Admiral Enjemy (spelling?)
Oderkirk (Katnip’s boyfriend)
June (Katnip’s friend)
Marcy Cochran, sister is April
There’s a lot more characters not captured on this list but perhaps it will help audiobook listeners down the road. I searched the author’s website for a character list to help keep everyone straight, but, alas, I didn’t find anything.
OK, so besides the characters there’s plenty of other proper names floating around. Planet names, ship names, military unit names, nicknames, etc. That added to the confusion. One of the ships is named Taken Umbrage and it took me a while to figure this out because it’s such an odd phrase.
So let’s chat about all the good stuff. I love that there’s ladies everywhere in this space opera and that they get stuff done. Some are smart, some are not. Some are good guys, some are bad guys. It’s a great mix and the guys hold their end up too. I did keep thinking of Katniss from Hunger Games every time Katnip came on the scene (Katniss’s nickname was also Katnip). They have very different attitudes, but by the end of the book I had settled into this new Katnip.
Several different cultures are represented too. I love that it’s not an issue; the general mixing of ethnicities and cultures is totally normal for both the Spartans and the Terrans. Both sides have comparable tech, though the language tech on the Spartan side is a little better. The Terrans have to find a Yiddish speaker to break that first language barrier. I’m not sure why the Terran computers had such a hard time with Yiddish, given that it has some strong similarities to German, but I appreciated that the Spartans have kept the ancient Earth languages alive.
All together, the series holds promise. This book ended on a high note with plenty of room for the main conflict to continue in Book 2. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Jennifer Jill Araya gave a pretty good performance. The story opens with everyone in a good mood on both sides (before they bump into each other) and it did sound like laughing gas was being piped into the bridge with everyone being on the brink of a chuckle. For the most part, the characters had distinct voices though the male Spartans sometimes blended together. For instance, Akiros, Ian, and President Nathan all sounded the same to me. The male voices did sound like men. Katnip sounded like a cheeky 12 year old, which was sometimes funny but sometimes didn’t work at all. I loved Araya’s voice for Morovia – all steel and venom. Perfect! Araya’s pacing was good and there were no technical issues with recording. I especially liked how Araya included the Spartan war chant and the Terran Oscar Otter mascot song. 4/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by James Young. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
With Kindle Prime, we have access to far more books than we can ever read; that means that we sometimes drop books without giving them a real chance. This book more than rewarded my effort. The fact that I am eagerly awaiting the next installment speaks for itself.
Complex story that pulls many threads together. Lots of action and interesting characters.
The writing is a little curtailed (? - not sure if that is the right word to use); sometimes I had to reread a page to grasp the thread, but that is as much a commentary on my reading skills as on Young's writing skills.
Minor carp - a few too many typos, but that will almost certainly be corrected in a subsequent edition.
Well worth reading.