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The Refugee (The Korvali Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 354 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
***** 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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is my favorite SciFi book I have ever read, and I have read a lot of scifi books!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I like to mix up my genres so when I randomly started the book I was disappointed because I had just read another sci-fi. Well I wasn't disappointed for long because I loved it!! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
I enjoyed reading the whole series & my book club discussed the first book with positive results.Published 2 months ago by Jerdermorat
Very well written, with good characters and a good plot. I recommend this book to all who like reading science fiction.Published 2 months ago by Tompkins & Amp
I am not a writer by any means and will probably have poor grammar throughout this post. Because of this, in order for me to be able to point it out in a book it must be really... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Merry Demko
Interesting concept. Few contradictions and some bad decisions by protagonists.Published 2 months ago by Gerard E. Trigo
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