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Showing 1-10 of 54 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 68 reviews
on January 21, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It has a bit of everything...time travel, quantum computers, wormholes, FTL, aliens, nice weapons, evil AI, gen-mod superhumans, and more. Our female hero is thrown 40,000 years into the future and lands on her feet fighting. I really admire how the author managed to incorporate so many scify aspects into a good action story, and did so without any glaring logic holes. The only hole I found was how the station at first wasn't able to defend itself once a ship got inside the graviton beam range, but then later it had all sorts of surface mounted weapons to throw at Panda. I did find our heroine's ability to utilize new tech with near instant expertise a bit of a stretch, but I'm not sure if I would've rather had long "training" explanations to make it more realistic, or not.

But overall the tech was very polished and consistant, without lengthy tech explanations. The action was good and the plot was imaginative and well paced. Really the only thing that kept it from being a 5 star for me, was that my interest level seemed to dip a bit through the final conflict resolution. Not really sure why...but I stopped feeling as invested in the action.

Am happy to see there's a sequel...going to go buy that now.
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on September 7, 2013
Doug Dandridge's work that I've read so far is pretty good. Not on the five star read it again and again type work, but fondly reminiscent of the early Sci-Fi work somewhere between Campbell's Arcot, Morey and Wade, and Smith's Subspace series - with a heavier dose of tech explanation thrown in.

This particular series represents one of the more interesting Sci-Fi fantasies - thrown thousands of years in the future to explore strange new tech and new peoples and kill them or be killed...The tech is similar/common to other Dandridge work. You will see familiar names, places, tech, but in a different universe.

The main problem for me is the inconsistencies in the tech explanations and usage. Invulnerable, impenetrable armor gets penetrated all the time. Superduper killer weapons aren't so great after all. It sort of follows the Heinlein/ Haldeman 'even a couple hundred savages with a rock in each hand can bash your brains out while you are trying to read a vernier' theme, but not consistently and easily understandably. The next part of the series will be getting into advanced ships and ship tactics, so we will see if Doug steps up and eliminates the inconsistencies. The tech is not consistently used in its most advantageous manner either. I keep almost wanting to shout, use a wormhole, use a wormhole dummy!

The characters are not as developed as some of other better known Sci-Fi people. Pandi is not militarily trained and it shows. Even Watcher makes big, big rookie mistakes in the second book. (So much for being "superman".) I almost wish that Doug had spent more time letting Pandi learn and explore before throwing her into a battle against "Landru" right off the bat.

But enough negative. This is a solid 4 star read. 5 star reads are ones that I go back to again and again. 4 Star reads are those that capture me and make a 4 hour plane ride fly. Battle scenes are exciting, the characters are interesting and growing on me, the tech is different, but familiar to Dandridge readers.

Good read, great value.
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on October 11, 2012
As soon as Pandi Latham brought her "twin forty-five automatics" into space, I knew she was my kind of gal. I love a heroine who is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with the bad guys (and in this case, an army of robots). Not only that, but she's intelligent and passionate about what she wants. Watcher was equally fascinating as a leading man, and just enough of an enigma to keep Pandi on her toes through the twists in the plot.

The amazing thing about this author is that Dandridge not only gives us engaging characters in The Deep Dark Well, but a startlingly original world for them to inhabit. I had never encountered many of the inventions and concepts that he details in such clarity. The style was reminiscent of classic sci-fi from the old masters, but with a fresh approach and modern eye. A real treat for those interested in the "science" part of the genera. At the same time, those details didn't detract from the overall story arc, which kept the pages turning for this reader. Well done, and highly recommended for sci-fi fans.
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on January 9, 2012
Not too bad. I am in agreement with the product blurb, in that I was often reminded of the great grandmasters of sci-fi like Asimov and Niven. Set in far distant future, when galactic empires have risen and fallen, leaving barely a memory of their existence. Massive engineering on incomprehensible scales. There are also nods to some of the great writers within the story.

The story was well-paced. It wasn't a frenetic page turner like some action novels, but I don't think there was any moment where I felt bored with the story. Mysteries are introduced in such a way which made me wanting to keep reading. The major actors were introduced in a manner which felt natural, and the overall backstory developed over the course of the novel. I would certainly like to read more of this story.

Edited on September 10, 2012: Earlier versions of the book had formatting issues. If you look at the comments thread for this review, you'll see the author's own comments on the issue, and addressing the issue, so I'm removing the comments regarding editing and boosting it to a much-more deserved 5-stars. Great to see authors who are proactive (and interactive, not just a name on the title page!)
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on February 24, 2013
I enjoyed the opening sequence of "The Deep Dark Well", it's what hooked me into thinking this was going to be a hard sci-fi novel with an action twist.

Which suggests there is a 'but' coming, and the but is that the bulk of the book required serious suspension of disbelief on a number of fronts. That suspension is because this is essentially a character driven story, with the two main protagonists - Pandora Latham, our female 'fish out of water' and the Watcher, a male super being who controls a far future galaxy spanning wormhole network - pitted against each other and then working together against a common set of baddies further into the novel.

The high tech aspects - wormholes, black holes, multiple FTL modes, immortality and the like - are where I needed to suspend disbelief because Pandora is dropped into this and despite an initial (and understandable) panic attack, she essentially comes up trumps time after time against baddies from the future where she should be splatter on the walls.

OK, for the purpose of the story I can see why this needs to be so - and to be fair the Watcher character helps out here - and being additionally fair, Dandridge does a good job of keeping the tension level up on that front. Still, Pandora does prevail so I'll move on.

A larger problem is the very obvious plot twist around the Watcher; it's a twist that a savvy reader will figure out way before it is declared and I can imagine Dandridge was to-ing and fro-ing a bit because revealing it too soon saps the life out of the middle portion of the story, but it can't be reasonably maintained for the duration that it is. Pandora muses on it, trying to work it through, and that's a good middle ground to keep the "is he, isn't he" aspect burbling along, but it's still a little frustrating to read it.

The baddies were good, fanatical Human's with a diabolical FTL system who view Watcher's black-hole orbiting space station as a treasure trove of technology that they need ro plunder. I will admit that I had some trouble visualising the dynamics of said space station - it seemed to have a seriously soft underbelly where the defences were suspiciously thin. It is the kind of defect that a post-Human super being surely would not have missed but you need some flaws to keep any story going and it's a minor niggle.

Then there are the white knight's, another set of Human's with a different FTL system who arrive from the sidelines unable to effectively engage for all sorts of reasons but keenly interested in the results of a seriously full on firefight using a host of exotic weapons that rip space asunder with the might of titans.

Pandora bounces from crisis to crisis, stress levels rising with each chapter, but her plucky nature keeps her on track as she fights the bad guys at every turn and to add to her stress, love is in the air. Any more on that would be a spolier, but certainly Pandora has a ton of stamina and I really liked how her world-weary "been there, done that" attitude conflicted with her "Gee-whiz I'm in the future" starry eyed amazement.

This is a reasonable story - and has a natural sequel, though this novel is standalone - with good characters but I felt there are a considerable number of points where the consequences of the high tech are dumbed down, and that detracted from the Star Rating for me.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed it but I've not rushed out to buy the sequel. I will at some point, probably, but there are other novels I want to read first.
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on June 28, 2014
I am a huge fan of Doug Dandridge's Exodus series, so I decided to take a chance on another of his ST series. This story takes place some 40,000 later in a universe similar to the Exodus series. The action takes place on the "Donut" a Ringworld-like device that provides an almost infinite number of gates to the worlds. Galatic civilization has mysteriously come crashing down and that mystery is revealed to an Alabama asteroid miner that find a gate on an abandoned spaceship that mysteriously a pears on Solar system. There are also two competing space faring civilizations that are attacking the Donut to obtain the technology contained within. A good story, great character development and the action that us Dandridge fans have to expect. A definite buy recommendation.
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on June 16, 2014
I am not a stickler for grammar, but the grammatical errors were a huge distraction in this book. I thought the concept was very interesting and I wanted to see the story til the end. I am about 60% through the book. I don’t believe I have the patience to finish. I question if this book was proof read based the number and type of errors. I think it would be beneficial for the author to republish after a good proof reading.
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on January 3, 2013
This book was most interesting. While I saw the part about the watcher and vengence comming. I failed to see how the watcher ultimately would resolve the question. I was hopping to find a 2nd book or a follow up to explain things the imagination wanted to know.

What happened to the two human fleets, did the quantum computer get working and grow. why are some gates locked and not others. where did Venegance go too.

I would hope there will be a 2nd novel following this, there are many story lines to follow, can they have children, does one section of the ship listen to her and another to him. how would they guide the different groups to the future.
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on September 22, 2012
This is a heck of a good read. I found it to be a Space Opera with well-developed characters and technology without too many data-dumps (if you've read any David Weber you'll know what I mean).

I'm not going to describe the story (read the book!) except to say that early on I thought I had figured out the plot, only to find the author pulled a slippery twist and surprised me more than once. I love when that happens!

My only (very minor) complaint that in my Kindle edition the typestyle kept changing seemingly at random. Different type is often used to show different viewpoints or different characters, but if there was a plan here I couldn't find it.

I hope for a sequel.
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on June 5, 2013
well... not quit old-fashioned... R rating for some sexual content, and the science is modern.

enjoyable read, good characters, good plot. I'm looking forward to the sequel ( though this episode is entirely self-contained).

for a while I thought a mystery was obvious, but I don't give out 4 stars to that kind of book!
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