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Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker Series Book 1) by [Graybosch, Matthew]
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Without Bloodshed (Starbreaker Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Altogether, this book is a great opening to the series. It's well put together with intriguing plot and well-developed characters. The maturity of it is refreshing since it strikes a good balance between adult emotions and relationships and the action and larger plot." -Shen Hart, The Review Hart

From the Author

I often suspect that my ambition for Without Bloodshed exceeded my ability. Whether that is the case or not is for the reader to decide.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1336 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press (November 17, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 17, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for giving me a copy of this e-book to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. I personally give this book 3.5 stars, but as most rating systems require whole numbers only, I shall give it 3 stars on those sites.

Goodreads Blurb:
<blockquote><strong>"All who threaten me die."</strong>

These words made Morgan Stormrider's reputation as one of the Phoenix Society's deadliest IRD officers. He served with distinction as the Society's avenger, and specialized in hunting down anybody who dared kill an Adversary in the line of duty. After a decade spent living by the sword, Morgan wants to bid a farewell to arms and make a new life with his friends and his music.

Despite his faltering faith, the Phoenix Society has a final mission for Morgan Stormrider. A dictator's public accusations made Morgan a liability to his organization. He must put everything aside, make his way to Boston, and put down Alexander Liebenthal's coup while taking him alive to prove he is not the Society's assassin.

Despite the gravity of his task, Morgan cannot put aside his ex-girlfriend's murder, or efforts to frame him and his closest friends for the crime. He cannot ignore a request from a trusted friend to investigate the theft of designs for a weapon before which even gods stand defenseless. He cannot disregard the corruption implied in the Phoenix Society's willingness to make him a scapegoat should he fail to resolve the crisis in Boston without bloodshed.

However, the words with which he forged his reputation haunt him still.</blockquote>

First and foremost, I must share just how much I love the book's Disclaimer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In a world post Nationfall, the Phoenix Society is the law. The blunt instrument of force keeping the worst of the criminals in check is Morgan Stormrider. He is used by the agency time and again to make their point about keeping order, but lately he has been wondering just who is pulling the strings and if everything is as it has been presented. Until now, with the death of an ex-girlfriend, he's believed in his mission. He's taken the good with the bad in his roll as the bad man's bogey man. Now with his true love in the line of fire and things not jiving with what he knew of his ex, Morgan has taken on a new mission...figure out who is pulling the strings, who murdered his ex, who is yanking his chain and why.

This is a fast paced thrill ride of science-fantasy. The plot, the twists, the revelations, and the parallels to society today make a mash-up of the best of science fiction and fantasy and meld it deliciously with speculative fiction. There is something for everyone here: conspiracy theories, martial arts, action, spying, high tech hackers, aliens that aren't so alien, and weapons that are only dreamed of, yet have kernels of possibility and truth.

If you are looking for one new author, one new book this year, this is the one! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for the first Starbreaker novel to come out for awhile. When it did, I was not disappointed.

Set in a near-future world in the wake of Nationfall, this book combines great sci-fi elements—cool new tech, a slightly futuristic setting—with many fantasy themes. Swords have come back into fashion as commonly-used weapons, as a means of honor as much as murder. The lower focus on guns, and the return to such a classic weapon as the sword, gave some real character to the setting.

Speaking of setting, it was masterfully done in Without Bloodshed. None of the "future" tech was over the top—in fact, I found myself perfectly imagining these exact kinds of technological advances becoming popular in real life. The first thing that springs to mind are these implants people have. It's some kind of device connected with your brain, and it allows you to text, make calls, and communicate with a personal AI assistant, all controlled directly by your mind. Reminds me so much of how cell phones are used nowadays, and this jump felt completely natural. And the book is filled with other little cultural references, which added greatly to the sense of realism.

At first, I have to admit I found the story a little disorienting. It felt almost like this was the second book in a series. There was so much background to each of the characters, and it didn't immediately explain it all. I thought I would find that confusing, but the more I read, the more I found the opposite to be true. Not knowing kept me interested, not confused. The narrative gave me just enough information to hold my curiosity and interest.

Truly, this is one of the few books I found myself frequently thinking about when not reading it. I had to know more!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You know, initially I liked this book and I must admit that it's better than much of Stephen King that I've read, Dean Koontz and Joe Hill. However, it edges a bit close to mainstream tastes and cliches for my own liking. It suffers from a lack of world-building, an overidentification with cats, and not enough backstory. This makes it lack the depth I wish it had, however it did suceed in making me suspend disbelief.

For example, I have no idea what the world is like post-Nationfall. Graybosch never bothered to explain this and there are many unanswered questions such as Who is Imaginos? What is the deal with the Executive Council? Who the heck are Amellech, Astoreth and Thagiron? What are asura simulators vs. devas? What the heck is up with CPMD other than to let the author express his liking of cats?

Back to something good. The author managed to make me look up several words/terms/concepts in wikipedia and while reading. This is good, this means the author challenges the reader. I urge him to keep doing this to stretch the reader a little bit.

I found the attempt at trying to mimic humanity lacking. The character building was poorly done. I hate the cardboard cutouts of Naomi and Morgan. And also the oversexualization of women in this novel. There's this myth that women control men through sex and several women such as astoreth, claire and Thagirion (I can't spell her name) do this, as if their only power lies in what they can give men. There were also several times that women in the book conceded power to men, such as when Naomi was fighting against Thistlewood and Morgan ex deus machina style came to save her at the nick of time, and also when Thagirion was fighting Imaginos…and conceded to his power and then submitted to him sexually.
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