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First Admiral (The First Admiral Series) (Volume 1) Paperback – May 7, 2012

3.2 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the First Admiral Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William J. Benning lives in the beautiful countryside of south-west Scotland. He is a graduate of Strathclyde University (Glasgow) where he studied Psychology and has pursued a career in Human Resources/Learning & Development having previously worked for the (British) Red Cross for many years. William likes his sci-fi, but is also keen on military history and speculative fiction. Among his fiction favourites are Harry Turtledove, the late George MacDonald Fraser, Bernard Cornwell and Clive Cussler. In the real world, William is a dog-lover who collects Edinburgh Crystal and has a terrible weakness for malt whisky. He is has published his novel First Admiral with Malachite Quills in 2012. He has an author site at http://www.wjbenning.co.uk/.
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Product Details

  • Series: The First Admiral Series
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Malachite Quills Publishing (May 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615639895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615639895
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,033,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a Rocketship, Robots and Raygun sort of guy, I fully expected to dwell in the details of the First Admiral in space, yet I found that while it was very interesting, and sometimes moved me deeply with some of what he was seeing (more on that in a moment), I found the more interesting parts was the 'new' Billy on Earth, being a son and a schoolboy.

First Admiral has some very epic space battles, does a few things I rarely see in space opera, like firing solutions that work. Reasons why a fighter really is just a convention of space opera and not a good idea at times. Although in fairness to those who love space fighters, the author does use them well on both sides of the space battles.

I know I found a book I would return to again when I saw our hero not just winning battles but making the universe a better place. Its more than just about survival and that last message is one the author paints back on Earth as well as out in space.

Billy's life before was just survival as I hope you'll read. I skipped it at first, thinking 'oh another average school life while I wait to get back to the -real- story'. I was quite wrong. What was happening out in space was building a better Billy at home. At school, against bullies, even saving a life, and helping his parents be happier, its a Billy who doesn't just use superior abilities newly gained in and of themselves, he uses them wisely.

There were some wonderful moments that I found myself bookmarking (hey its a kindle!), and surprised that most of them weren't how well a battle was fought. The author can be so surprisingly warm and meaningful. Billy seeing the cost of war was expected, Billy seeing how he could make a difference in some refugee's life, still chokes me up a bit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 9 year old grand son writes books. His last involved a hero who kept leaping through worm holes to arrive on different planets where he would find a "special" sword and do battle with a serpent, a robot and a robot serpent.

"The First Admiral" reminded me of my grandson's style, it's the kind of book he might be writing when he's 15.

Totally lacking any pretense of sophistication, and contemptuous of internal consistency and the laws of physics, it nevertheless succeeds by shear dint of pace of narrative. Having started it I was reluctant to put it down.

The story takes place on two (unlikely) fronts. Young Billy, an English schoolboy, flits between his role as First Admiral of an alien alliance and battling bullies at his school. Does this sound strange? Well, yes it is, unbelievably so. But there is always something happening and the story just drives along.

Mr. Benning, please learn some elementary physics -- when a space ship runs out of fuel it does not stop dead. And a stricken craft does not "fall". But by all means write some more of these stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised with First Admiral. The author did a nice job of mixing in teenage angst with classic space opera battle. I think the first in a new series books are tough to write because you have to develop brand new characters while simultaneously keeping the pace quick enough to keep the reader interested. First Admiral does an nice job. I am looking forward to the next in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First Admiral by William J. Benning

Rating 3***

This saga is split between a space battle and a life of a boy named Billy here on earth. First of all let me explain as I am not a fan of science fiction, but the concept here is interesting. While I enjoyed Billy's instance here on Earth, the space scenes simply seemed to draw out and not progress. With what little I know about space travel several scenes seemed very far fetched even for fiction. In my opinion, I would love to see the story of Billy and his adventures here be the focus and maybe snippets of the spaceship adventures. This book will appeal to teen boys and men, so it does have an audience.
Michelle McQueen
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When 14 year old Billy is stranded during a mission to earth, this unlikely hero will have to use every bit of will power he has to rise to the occasion. He is young but has the mind of a military genius. This is straight up science fiction, if you know any boys that like things like Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars, I think they would really enjoy this book. I am not a huge Sci-fi reader anymore, but the book is really well written. Has fantastic plot, battles, and adventure with several sub-stories going on within the book. I think any kid into Sci-fi will love this one.
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I rated this "2 stars" as the story-line, though an often used theme, has potential. In addition, the "early years" portions, possibly drawn from the author's experience & observation, came across well...

As noted in several reviews, the "science" was atrocious, in physics & biology at minimum. "Aliens", defined only by skin & hair color, was a unbelievable until a possible explanation was presented far too late in the story.
Mentioning only a few difficulties:
A refugee fleet, averaging only 400+ Km/hour (moderate for a WWII prop plane), then stating a search area in square Km (vs. cubic) was ridiculous. Carrier space defense weaponry, spaced every 50 yards for a Km (confusing measurement types) was incorrectly calculated.
With battles within only a few Km, much sounded like a land/sea battle hastily converted to "space".
There was also far too much detail & redundant explanation -- colorful phrases followed by drab explanations of the phrases, and repeated detailed (and erroneous) explanations of physics.

As also noted in other reviews, the lead-in segment was far too long & detailed, losing the audience in the "final battle" where it should have led them into the primary story.
Losing colorful redundancy, inaccurate physics, and far too detailed explanations, this book should have been half its size, while concentrating on its theme rather than the superfluous.

I really dislike being this negative. The story-line does have potential, as long as the author concentrates more on (his) experience, and accepts assistance from outside sources in developing consistency & accuracy in the sciences...
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