- File Size: 763 KB
- Print Length: 90 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Legion Printing and Publishing, Inc (June 4, 2012)
- Publication Date: June 4, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008ADNAME
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#30,404 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
- #209 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
- #267 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Science Fiction & Fantasy
- #771 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Literature & Fiction
|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$5.99|
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Ship's Boy (The David Birkenhead Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 90 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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However, the character writing is awful: almost all significant characters can be divided between the perfect and the dastardly, and no one really has any depth. The dastardly hate the protagonist especially and meet messy demises; the perfect spend almost all their time encouraging him and praising him to the sky even if to the reader he hasn't actually done anything much. I mean, I like a well-placed "I'm proud of you, my rabbity surrogate son" speech as well as anyone, but when there are two or three in every (short!) book they feel overdone and cheap. (Then after he does something actually impressive in book 3, the praise becomes almost ridiculous.)
There are also many passages of social and moral commentary--always somewhat trite, sometimes naive, sometimes contradictory with the commentary from six pages earlier. It doesn't help at all that the "perfect" characters are actually on a crusade to improve their social structure--they love to talk at length about it and how the protagonist is so centrally important to the future.
Although for the first while it's not obvious, by book four the protagonist has acquired most of the hallmarks of an author-insert character. It reminded me a lot of Honor Harrington, except that instead of HH's random passages about history and technology you get random passages about how social inequality is bad.
Anyway, the Kindle versions are cheap, so if you're bored read 1-3. They're fast, and 3 has the best space adventure ratio of the lot at around 85%.
Don't expect some liberal rant in these books about how his society is fundamentally evil and the bad guys are really the good guys. That's not the case at all here. The bad guys are just more competent, and half of David's struggle is to see whether he can change that.
Second, the series is very readable, although in a juvenile-book style. Things tend to be very black-and-white, and the hero has a 'deus ex machina' connection to the heir of the system monarch right from the get-go.
Third, the story line is essential a 'what if?' of the usual Horatio Hornblower series in space. The twist here is that the hero is a animaloid slave (rabbit body) freed for valor in the first book. The 'rabbit' body is a metaphor for skin color, but doesn't really make much sense. (His fur sheds, yet rabbits are used for all sorts of serving activities.) Luckily the author glosses over the details here, so the base Hornblower-type story is the main plotline.
I gave the series four stars, despite the weak implementation of the slave concept, mainly because the series is a good read.
Guesz is an author to watch.
If you can get over the choice of species for the main character it is a good classical story of a young kid who, due to unforeseen events, blasts off into the galaxy on a journey of adventure. His benefactor and protector ending up being nothing less than the royalty of the kingdom in which he lives.
To add to the weirdness of being a genetically modified rabbit he is, or rather was, also a slave as most of these rabbits apparently are. This, of course, gives the author an excellent opportunity to add some obstacles based on prejudice for our young hero as well as the opportunity to weave in some moral finger pointing into the story. In the short book that I’ve read and the first few pages of the next one the author manages to do this rather well without it becoming too intrusive.
The science in the book is more on the fictional side than on the science one but given the rabbit stuff that’s rather expected I would say. It’s still fairly okay and the book does not go too much into details about how things work which is probably a wise move in this case.
If it wouldn’t have been for this rabbit business I would have rated this book higher but I have a hard time getting over that bit when reading it. Otherwise it is a good story, although clearly intended for the younger audience as I mentioned above, and I quite wanted to see where the story went so I have already started to read the next one in the series. It’s not exactly a big commitment since, as I said, they are quite short. Even though the next one is twice as long it’s still not more than 179 pages.