- File Size: 5663 KB
- Print Length: 312 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: November 20, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00MXN33M4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Into the Dark (Alexis Carew Book 1) Kindle Edition
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1. This story and series is "sailing ships" in space - and it's clear this author has a love of the age of sail novels such as the Hornblower saga or Master and Commander. I'd even go so far to think this author has some experience with actual sailing ships or sailboats. Some reviewers have found it hard to wrap their minds around the transition of sailing to space ships, yet this series is not horribly different than David Drake's RCN series featuring Daniel O'Leary. I've read that series and this book compares very favorably; in fact, I'd probably give the nod to this story being a more faithful adaption of life on a man of war of the age of sail taken into space. Whatever the case may be, the other thing this author does well is that there is consistency in the science fiction universe, which is also one of the things that sinks a lot of authors. Casually disregarding the laws of physics or space travel as you posit them is a big no-non and that doesn't happen in this story.Maybe it's hard to conceptually visualize "sailing" in space, yet there is consistency and order in this universe.
2. The other thing other reviewers have commented on is the story telling - and it's superb and tight. The book starts fast, grabs you with a very compelling and likable character in hard circumstances and doesn't stop until the end. There's no unnecessary "fluff" that frequently bloats other stories by thousands of words and you really don't want to put this book down. Which in fact, I didn't. I started reading the story and finished it that night. I've already pre-ordered the second book in this series the next day and am really looking forward to publication next month. The book is long enough that characters are developed and the story is well told, but not so long as the book takes days to read. There's no slogging here.
All in all, this book is a superb launch to what I hope is a series of highly entertaining stories with a universe of possibilities.
In the 4th book Sutherland explores the issue of post traumatic stress, an issue he feels that science fiction has neglected. Sort of like a romance writer exploring the issue of STD's. All well and good, but by now Alexis is far removed from the magical girl of the first book. In addition, the writing itself is becoming more turgid and repetitive. The good stuff seems to have just vanished.
I would have quit the series but the 5th book is named Privateer. I have always found those kind of books to be a lot of fun, so I gave it a chance, which I regret. In this one I had to force myself to keep pushing through the turgid writing. As Alexis observed:, "It was as though her ship were stuffed into a basket, unable to move..." The same thing I was thinking about the novel. Worse, Alexis herself has lost her moral compass, which up to now had been her concern for her crews. In this one she has no qualms about leading them into unnecessary mortal danger so that she can search for her lover, and keeps her motivation for the decision a secret from them. To cap it off, there is no true ending to the book, and not even a cliffhanger. It just stops, followed by an author's note that it was too long and would resume in the next volume. It was too long because of the plot that went nowhere, endless repetition, and endless details about mudbanks and other unbelievable details of the dark space. He even invented a character whose job was to unload tedious info dumps on the reader. So at this point the Alexis I loved in book 1 seems to vanished and the writing is just too bad to keep wading through. But 5 stars for the 1st 2 books.
The hero of Into the Dark is fifteen year Alexis Carew a fiesty, quick-witted young woman whose desire to be useful leads her to sign onto her Majesty's warship, Merlin. She soon finds herself dealing with crew-men who find a female mid-shipman a novel concept (while there are women in the navy, there are very few of them), she has to fight against prejudice, pirates, battle losses, death and deal with the ins and outs of navel life. Alexis Carew is just one of those memorable characters that find their way into readers hearts, inspiring sympathy and hope that she will overcome any and all obstacles that she comes up against. Will be starting the next book just as soon as I have finished this book :)