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Showing 1-10 of 722 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 806 reviews
on March 20, 2017

This is, without any doubt, the best space OPERA that I have ever read. Michael Hicks, in several trilogies, has charted the confluence of two great interstellar empires as they fight for dominance of the galaxy. There are elements of so many disparate genres within his tale: dynastic contests, military battles, coming-of-age, personal growth, spiritual growth, mysticism, hundreds of thousands of years as civilizations rise and fall, tied together by constant action.

I just can't say enough about how good this entire series is to read. After each book, I also have a lot to ponder, as the different concepts take on a life of their own. I would give it ten stars, if I could!
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on August 6, 2015
I found this science fiction novel to be an intriguing read. I truly cared for the characters the author so devotedly developed. The alien culture he created was rich and imaginative, and he expertly weaves the tale of a young orphaned boy ripped from not only his Homeworld, but the second planet he called home and the friends he possessed there. In order to survive, Reza must immerse himself into the Kreelan culture and follow their Way.

The only criticism I can compile is I felt some parts of the novel were too wordy explaining to the reader how the characters felt rather than showing how they felt through their behavior. Sometimes a few too many pages were spent telling a character's backstory. Also, the author describes the wheat on Reza's second planet as as tall and towering over the characters' heads. I would find this to be an unfavorable characteristic of wheat, seeing as the added height would make harvesting more difficult, make the plant more liable to lie down in strong winds and heavy rain, and cause the plant to produce less because the length of the stalk would have difficulty supporting a heavy head of grain. One will find that wheat has in fact been bred to do the opposite, and I would assume a more technologically advanced society would have realized this.

The descriptions are rich, but not overly lengthy. I found I was able to overlook bulky blocks of text anticipating the next twist in the novel's plot. I truly enjoyed this read, and I will be purchasing the sequel.
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on October 29, 2009
Plot/Storyline: 5 Stars

This is one of the hardest types of reviews for me to write. It's much easier to write a review of a "good, mediocre, or bad" book. It's not that I enjoy being so critical, just that it's easier to explain flaws than it is to explain why a book has achieved `greatness'. I can sit here and type all of the words: compelling, interesting, wonderful, intriguing, etc., but none of them do it justice. They don't really explain how a book speaks to the reader, how it draws the reader in and echoes in the mind long after it is finished.

This book grabs the reader with the opening scene and rarely relaxes its grip. With a wonderful mix of science fiction and fantasy, the plot is vastly different from most science fiction books I have read. Sure, you have your hero, your war, your deadly aliens. However, this story takes you in a different direction.

In the beginning, our hero is only seven years old and nobody special. He manages to meet the enemy up close and live to tell the tale. When we next see our hero, he is twelve and living the hard-knock life of an orphan that makes Little Orphan Annie look wealthy and happy. This section is intense and fraught with realistic danger.

Later, Reza must learn to live among the aliens who are attempting to obliterate his entire race. The reader is taken into the minds of the aliens, discovering that there is some humanity there. Reza's exploration of the Kreelan's society is fascinating. The reader is introduced to a marvel of the imagination with an intricately woven description of an alien lifestyle.

While this book is the first in a series, it is still a terrific stand-alone. Yes, it will make you want to read the next book, but you can be satisfied with this one.

Character Development: 5 Stars

Reza's character is not only believable, but fascinating. Even in his most outrageous moments, never do you feel that he has done something outside the scope of reality. His thoughts and feelings are so well related that you feel as if you are going through his life with him.

The other characters are also well developed. You feel his parents' grief and sense of hopelessness. You begin to somehow comprehend the aliens' mindset, even if unable to feel the same things.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

Mr. Hicks' writing is exquisite. It is fortunate that he has chosen this genre, for his imagination truly shines here. The sentence flow is excellent, building tension without ever letting the reader down. There is just enough foreshadowing to maintain interest without the reader feeling `dragged along'.

The dialogue is realistic and `easy on the ears'. No, I don't ever use audio books or text-to-speech; I am referring to the voices created in my mind by good dialogue. The descriptions are vivid and concise where needed.

Editing/Formatting: 5 Stars

Both were of professional quality.

Rating: R for Violence, Attempted Rape, and a couple of detailed (but tactful) Sex Scenes
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on August 17, 2013
First let me say I knew this was a Trilogy going in [see personal comment below]. The story is reasonably well crafted and it generally meets the criteria of a story in that this volume 1 stands reasonably well by itself. Will I buy volumes 2 & 3 probably not. This is another case of trilogyitis probably with progressive pricing. Not every author can write a viable trilogy or serialized saga. I wish this author well with his endeavor.

A personal comment:
While I realize every author would like to make a buck lately I’ve noticed most have become hacks in they don’t tell a complete story. I'm getting tired of it and I feel cheated also. A story has a beginning, middle, and an end. I admit I’ve been sucked a few times in the e-book marketplace. Having read the teaser and looking at the ratings numbers upon buying the book and reading it only to find I’ve been “TRILOGYIZED” or “Serialized” at the end of what would be a at best 150 page paperback if that. And worse yet each “book” [chapter] cost’s more than the one before. To the authors I say each “Book”, should stand on its own. Or at least be honest enough to admit up front that it is PART [chapter] ONE of the never ending saga up front and have “chapter” two and or three in print.
I will say that most of these authors are actually quite good. Though they need to take a lesson or two from the pulp fiction writers from the 1940s thru the 1970s [Prowl the used book shops.]. Create a main character or two and follow through {Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Alex Cross, James Bond, Dirk Pitt, etc.]. “Stay tuned for the next thrilling adventure.”
In closing, with regards to my future reading of e-books, I’ll be looking at the “teasers” and ratings a lot closer and researching the books a lot more before buying.
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on May 12, 2016
I don't like the choices for the questions that you must answer before you can write a review. Luckily they only make you answer one.

This is a better than average book. I got it as part of the free promotions. I have now read about 30 of these free books they give away as loss leaders and this one would rank in the top 5. I would rate it somewhere between 4 and 5 stars, since that isn't a choice I choose 4 stars. But, I have a real problem with over pricing of digital books and the next book in this series is priced at $4.95 for 314 pages. Not the worst that I have seen but definitely overpriced. They try to make it seem cheap because they charge a ludicrous amount of money for the paper back version which is $10.95 for 314 pages? lol, LOL

The last paper back book I bought was GOT:Dance with Dragons which I bought at a discount when it came out of $6.49 for around 1100 pages (sorry I don't remember exactly and too lazy to look it up). That is a price well below a penny a page, so when I see any digital book approaching a penny a page or more, I'm not going to fall for this idiocy.. I have yet to pay for the 2nd book in any of these series, but I must admit I would buy this one if the price was reasonable.

Now the real review - If you like alien martial arts, spartan-like training, unbelievable human abilities created by shear will power, determination and work, then you will like this book. There are clear lines between the good and the bad, although characters can change over time. Several story lines were left undeveloped that I assume are pursued in the rest of the series. Military honor and respect are big themes. Overall I really liked this novel, as I said it is among the best I've read, but I can't get over the price gouging so I'm done. Even if you take into account the fact I got the first one free, it is too much for too little.
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on December 17, 2011
I'm a strong believer in the new wave of independent authors the last few years have seen. Michael R. Hicks is proof that you don't HAVE to be published by a traditional house in order to craft a decent yarn. His In Her Name: Empire novel is the first part of his In Her Name work. Originally one volume, he broke it up into a trilogy, and this is the result: an introduction to a different time and place. A whole new alien species. A fantastic universe all of his own.

Yes, he borrows a lot from other works. There's a whole lot of Star Wars going on in the background. There's a Starship Troopers (the Heinlein version mixed evenly with Verhooven's take) kind of vibe as well. But it's all tied together in his own style and for the most part the story makes sense.

There are some problems. It's by no means perfect. But it is a debut effort (really, the entire first In Her Name trilogy is) and taken as such it has an awful lot to recommend it.

I can recommend this for readers of sci-fi/fantasy/romance novels. There's enough of each in here to keep people who enjoy genre-specific stuff occupied. I will note that his treatment of romance is very male, but I believe there's a place in that genre for more masculine voices.

In short, if you're a sci-fi, fantasy or romance reader (or a general fiction reader, of course) looking for a new series you can't really go wrong picking this one up and giving it a read. Don't treat it as an impulse buy (the low price tag is only there to get you hooked, it's worth a higher price), just put it in your regular reading list and get started on it.

Chances are very good you'll be caught up in the tale within the first quarter of the book (which is the point at which Hicks *really* starts to hit his stride) and you won't want to let it out of your hands.
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on March 17, 2016
A Review by, Cathbad


(In Her Name: Redemption Trilogy, Book 1)

By, Michael R. Hicks

What can one say when one can hardly get past the first chapter?

It’s not that it’s badly written; quite the opposite – Empire extremely well written! It’s just too…


I could absolutely, without error, have told you everything that was about to happen in that first chapter at least a page ahead of time.

But let’s not be hasty! There were some great preambles in there, and the action was hot and steady. My dislike of predictability notwithstanding, it
was a good beginning to the novel.

The story follows a young boy named Reza Gard, who gets taken as a slave by the forces of the Kreelan army, whom humans have been at war with for over a century.

Reza and a young warrior named Esah-Zhurah find themselves bound together, fated by a millennia old prophecy.

The aliens of the Kreelan Empire are way cool. They have blue skin, fangs, razor sharp talons, and technology that is well advanced of the human Confederation’s. Yet, their warriors seek out close combat with sword and their natural weapons, those hideous claws. They believe that by fighting and dying, they honor their god-like Empress – which is everything to them.

The storyline is quite a bit over the top, but it is well-told, and there is never a let-up in the action.

The technology isn’t well explained, but the story isn’t about technology. It’s about growing up, the struggle for survival in an apocalyptic time, and relationships. And all of this interacts to bring an adrenalin-filled, emotional story to life!

I though the Queen was just way too over the top, but I’m convinced she did have to be powerful to command such awe and devotion from the war-like Kreelan.

The story never does become less predictable (but that’s my only real beef). It has an unsatisfactory ending… duh! It’s the first book of a trilogy, dude! And it does what a first book of a trilogy should do – it leaves you hungry for the next instalment!
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on November 13, 2011
In Her Name: Empire clocks in at slightly over 5,800 locations (not including the peak at the next book). It's not excessively long, as many modern books feel like they need to be.

The book covers multiple stages of the life of Reza, our main character. Reza starts with the loss of his family, then loses his new "family" and finally gains a 3rd one. The ending was inevitable, I suppose, but I actually didn't think it would happen as I read the book.

The love story part isn't expected at the start, but it is laid out well during the book. Keep in mind, the characters spend years in this one book, so things that happen quickly for the reader, aren't that quick for the characters.

The Kreelans are a fascinating read. You WILL find out about them, and why they do what they do in this book, so feel better about that. A race of genocidal female warriors is a fun read. Please remember, they aren't humans. They don't act like humans. Did they once? Well, read and you will find out. Tesh-Dar and Esah-Zhurah are both stand-out characters who you grow to love (remarkable, considering how they are introduced.)

This is a book easily worth purchase, but as a free it definitely got me interested enough to buy the next 2 books. The 2nd trilogy is a prequel set, so not as sure about those. Regardless, download this one now. Adding for certain to my 5 star Kindle list.
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on March 15, 2015
A great science fiction story that shows what happens when a young teenager is forced into a circumstance that could ultimately destroy him. The Kreelans have come to destroy another earth outpost, the people are fighting back using everything that they have left. A young male child is the only living person left and has been caught by the High Priestess warrior. He remembers that in his hand he has a knife and strikes the warrior from forehead to cheek. She hesitates to kill the child and gives him the same Mark from forehead to cheek with her talon sealing his fate as the story unfolds.
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on September 23, 2015
So I read the first trilogy first where it is described how the war started so I already had a lot of background to know what happened and therefore felt I understood everything that maybe without that info I might have been at a loss. Now that being that there are 2 things that surprised me:

1. These three books where the first written and therefore I was expected a sloppier narrative and a less attractive story as the other trilogy but surprise, they are better! Not trying to put dirt on the other trilogy because it is well written and all but if we compare, well this one is more engaging and less cliche. The characters I feel are made for a purpose in the other three books that kind of goes out the window with a lot of characters that could well have been non existent.
2. I remember that I read in the introduction for the last war trilogy that I would read about the characters from the such books in this trilogy. Well the war in this trilogy has gone over 100 years so non of the characters of the last war trilogy are touched, all except but one...but I was rather waiting for at least a mention of the name Sato somewhere, after all the man ended up to be very important.

Anyways to wrap it up this book as the beginning of the trilogy has a lot to offer, from great narrative to a romantic story that I was not expecting. I mean from the other trilogy sure there is some romance and all but like I said, characters are not all that wow so I don't felt compelled to like them or their romance, but in this book and in this trilogy its different. I am usually into books with wars and violence and I am not very into romantic narrative but I was not disappointing with this book's romantic telling. It was great, I fell in love with the characters, their struggles and their love!

Good piece of work!
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