- File Size: 1835 KB
- Print Length: 186 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 164355008X
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Magical Scrivener Press (September 18, 2018)
- Publication Date: September 18, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07H4X7KP9
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,442 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Wayward Saint: Mission 1 (Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire) Kindle Edition
|Length: 186 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Now he begins a new series, set in the same universe, a sequel to the first. Taking two of the most intriguing characters and giving them their own shot at adventure. So, like any first, this is a great jumping on spot. Or a spot to continue if you have read all the Black Ocean series.
Not quite a good place to jump in if you have only read part of Black Ocean, which unfortunately is where I am (currently "paused" (real life seems to get in the way some times) between books 11 and 12 (and just discovered that there are four more as well)). As such I know these characters, but not quite how they ended up where they are.
Esper is a wizard "innnnnn space" (ok, my muppets "pigs in space" sound effect was much better in my head than written out). In the Black Ocean universe, wizards have the ability to tell reality to what to do, sometimes nicely, other times a bit more forcefully. This tends to get in the way of science based tech however, as when you tell one law of science to sit down and shut up, the other laws around it tend to listen a bit too much as well. A very interesting take on magic, and one I quite enjoy as an alternative to spells or magical items. Esper's back story is hinted at enough to interest the new reader, but not so much as to recap what old readers already know.
Kubu is NOT a dog, in much the same way that a Lion or Tiger is NOT a cat. He was one of my favorite characters in the Black Ocean series, and watching him grow (both figuratively and literally) has been a lot of fun. Not only is he getting bigger, but smarter as well (he is still quite young you know), and coming into his own as a full, rich character. I really look forward to seeing where he goes not as Esper's pet or even companion, but as her partner. (I can even see the idea of him taking center stage for a story).
While this isn't the strongest story, it is much like the first episode of a well written television show. My wife didn't care much for the first episode of "Breaking Bad", but by the third she was hooked. I like this analogy, because Morin's writing is extremely cinematic. While reading his books, it often feels more like I am watching a great space opera (kind of Firefly with magic). While many authors have engrossed me in their worlds, rarely have I had one paint such a vivid verbal portrait that I can practically watch it in my mind as I read. And much like a great show, I want to get to the next episode and don't want them to end. And while it isn't (yet) possible to binge-read the Mercy for Hire series (since there is only the one book out so far), I enjoyed it enough to already pre-order the next three books, as well as complete my collection (if you can call it that on a Kindle) of the original series as well as the first spin-off series (Astral Prime, co written with M. A. Larkin (which appears, for Star Trek fans, to be the Deep Space Nine to Black Oceans Next Generation).
I am looking forward to more adventures of Esper and Kubu, and whether you are a long time fan or someone who is dipping their toe into the Black Ocean for the first time, Wayward Saint is a great place to jump in.
I spend a lot of money, and more reading time than I like, looking for genuinely original science fiction and fantasy. J. S. Morin’s “Black Ocean” series looks like a major find. If you’re tired of Galactic Empires and wars for the future of Mankind, and would like something whose conflicts and values are human-scale, try this novel.
Bounty-hunting wizard Esper Richelieu is as original a hero as science fiction sports today. Her canid sidekick Kubu, a nine ton giant compelled by circumstances to assume the appearance of a large dog, adds spice and humor as he eats and sniffs his way from star to star. Hired gun Odin and his boss Roger St. Cloud are worthy adversaries to be overcome. Candace St. Cloud is worse still, but that doesn’t become apparent until the very end of the story -- and to compound the difficulties, Esper is nominally her employee. Tiffany St. Cloud, the sixteen year old whose custody is being fought over by Candace and Roger and who functions as the McGuffin, has charms of her own, somewhat diluted by her foul mouth and unwillingness to admit that she just might not know everything.
All this for $2.99! This series might be the bargain of the year. Well done, Mr. Morin. Five stars.
Top international reviews
There's a bit of a character arc, but it's not deep. Esper is already a well-established persona. We do see her struggle with the moral conundrums posed by her titanic supernatural powers. Is mind control ethical if it's for a good cause? Is it alright to change someone into something else, even for their own good? These inner struggles are the key to bringing the tales of this mighty wizard down to a personal level that we can all relate to. Esper isn't saving the galaxy - at least, not in this first volume - and I'm glad for it.
If you like space opera, snappy dialogue, great world building and twisty plot - or indeed, the other Black Ocean books - then you'll love this, the first installment of a new mini-series. Knowledge of the preceding books is not required (but really, go read them, they're action-packed and hilarious). Looking forward to the next one.
To be honest, I was surprised at how much I liked this book. It had been a while since I read the Black Ocean series, and for whatever reason I hadn't read beyond mission 8. And from what I remembered about Esper and Kubu, her Goody-Two-Shoeism and his very child-like manner (especially the baby talk) had kind of grated on me towards the end.
But a lot has happened in the Black Ocean between where I left off and where Wayward Saint starts (there may be some spoilers for the original series), Esper and Kubu have both grown up, so to speak, so I was pleased to have my prejudice against those two proven wrong. :)