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The Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles Book 1) by [Hartman, C. A.]
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The Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Length: 354 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is much intrigue, with lots of twists and turns, making it a book I did not want to put down."  -The Two Gay Geeks Podcast

Product Details

  • File Size: 1433 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: 5280 Press (May 19, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 19, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KGK8O9I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,065 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. The premise is not bad, and in fact very reminiscent of Star Trek: humans and some allied aliens are exploring space in the name of military, political, and scientific progress. A mysterious refugee from a mysterious (and vaguely Vulcan-like) species joins the crew of the ship our main protagonist is on. Action and mysteries abound, and romance blossoms quietly. It ought to be interesting.

Unfortunately, the story was not to my taste. The main characters' motivations are lacking or unclear to me. While I love the idea of a female human scientist who excels in martial arts and is one of the first to open up to the alien refugee in their midst, I found no reason to care about her work, or the strangely shoe-horned marital arts subplot. Chapters are interrupted with odd letters from the protagonist to her father, an awkward device to "tell" the story rather than "show" it to the reader.

Something that bothered me was the human crewmembers' response to the alien refugee in their midst includes rampant speculation about his sexuality and whether he is gay or not--something that seems out of place in a futuristic society, particularly since it's acknowledged that little is known about the species (they could very well be entirely asexual, have more than two sexes, etc.). In-universe comments about whether an alien is gay (more derogatory terms were used) felt entirely irrelevant and inappropriate within the story. As if to counter the in-universe homophobia, the alien (apparently male) of course has a sexual relationship with a human woman--a relationship that left me rather uncomfortable.
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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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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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