Some secrets carry the weight of the world.
Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally - a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.
Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead - all except for one strange, new alien being.
She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn't the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.
In this race for the truth, he's going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.
Winner of a SFR Galaxy Award 2016 and the Prism Award 2016 for Best Futuristic.
©2015 Michelle Diener (P)2016 Podium Publishing
"A Perfect Sci Fi / Romance Series You'll Love!"
Last year when I found this series on Kindle, I was stunned by the beautiful writing, plotting and character development -- something I've never seen in a typical sci fi romance before. I could only hope that if the series was ever given the Audible treatment, that the author would choose the perfect narrator as well. And she did!
I LOVE sci fi romance novels, but too often the writing suffers from authors who lean a bit too heavily toward ever more bizarre alien sex scenes, and overly bit*chy dialogue for the women as a substitute for strength and/or wit. It gets old after a while, and I had given up ever finding a well written book in this sub genre, until I found this amazing series.
Michelle Diener is a wonderful author who can really write, and she has written three great books in this series. Each book contains a lovely romance, lots of action, and spectacular and well thought out science fiction -- it's a freakin miracle!
AND -- Christina Delaine is wonderful in this series, and performs it as well as any of the great narrators out there. I'll be looking forward to hearing more from her!
What a treasure!
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (For anyone who loves sci fi romance, but also wants to read well written books!)
Note: There is no explicit sex in this series, and you won't miss it at all.
Without preamble, this audiobook is nothing less than excellent. I was extremely impressed with everything from the story, the writing, the narration... I simply can't say enough.
The story begins with Rose, a human from earth, escaping from a Techron ship. A prisoner for 3 months, Rose was abducted from a remote vacation cabin by the technologically superior alien race. She has been cut open, experimented on, and left to live in tight, horrible conditions. The only person she has to communicate with is the ship's AI. Then, the AI strikes a deal with her... If she frees him from the hardware that limits and restricts his actions, he will get her off the ship and into the hands of another kinder alien race more similar to herself. The catch is, she must take him with her and keep him a secret.
The story explores the concept of artificial intelligence in depth. Rose guides her new friend through his development of emotions, helps him develop a sense of ethics, and becomes his first true friend (a feeling that is reciprocated). However, the power and abilities of her new AI friend and his desire for vengeance on his former captors make him very unpredictable and a possible threat to her new friends and allies who have rescued her.
There is alien technology, space battles, multiple alien races, and great characters. Any fan of science fiction will surely like this book.
I believe this book could be classified as a Sci-Fi Romance due to the relationship the main character develops with the captain of the ship that rescues her, but I did not find the romantic components overpowering and they added more to the story and characters.
The narration was absolutely top notch here. One of the aspects of the story is the main character's ability to sing, so finding a narrator that was good with so many voices, has good inflection, keeps the right pace, AND has a good singing voice must have been difficult... But Christina Delaine was spot on for the entire book.
I have found one of my new favorite authors AND one of my top 5 favorite narrators. I feel like that's saying something since I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks...
This is a must read for sci-fi fans. 5 stars all around!
loves the book when I read it loved listening to it just as much Def worth the buy
"Love this book! New fave author."
I loved this book. I won a copy of the audio addition from a giveaway of the authors. But I already own the kindle addition. The author brings you into her world and makes you want to belong to it. I loved her unique take on things and the plot was excellent. Now the audio addition was good. I did have a little trouble with the voices the narrator did for the Class 5's. I had just imagined something a little different. It was a little TOO much "Good Morning Dave" for me. But once I got used to it, it was fine. I also could tell the growth of the Class 5's as their voices became a little more humanoid for lack of a better tone. But sometimes the narrator would be speaking in Sazo's voice and it wasn't until after when Rose "could tell from Sazo's voice he was embarrassed" that I could actually picture him embarrassed. I hope that makes sense. But that would be my only negative with the audio addition. And it was only a small thing. I really enjoyed it and this author went on my auto buy list. In fact I've gone and bought the other two books I. The series that are out.
"A different new world"
An ordinary woman had to become something more in situations she had no control over, just to survive in a new universe.
I read the Kindle version several times just because I liked the story. When I found the Audible version I jumped at the chance to listen to a good narrator. I am looking forward to the remainder of this series to be recorded.
"As good as a whole season of a great sci-fi show!"
This audio book is so, so awesome! It has 14 hours of top notch Sci-fi entertainment, and I can't wait for the next book in the "Class5" trilogy. It is now on my list of my top 5 favorite audiobooks ever.
"Dark Horse" is as vivid and compelling as an entire season of a really good Sci-fi TV show. I recommend this to all Sci-fi fans, especially trekkies and fans of artificial intelligence. This book is certainly not a copy of Star Trek. "Dark Horse" has a few elements that people like about Star Trek, but it has so much more. It is a wonderful mix with really great internal consistency, a plot with twists and turns, vivid characters, danger, space battles, and artificial intelligence. The heroine is one of the most admirable, tough, intelligent, multi-faceted heroines that I have ever encountered in Sci-fi or in any other genre. I am more of a Star Wars fan than a Trekkie but I was captivated by this audiobook. By the way, there is no paranormal or telepathic ability element in this book. There are, however, plenty of cool high-tech tech equipment and space ships.
I usually do not like much politics in books. It is strange, but I seem to like politics in outer space if it involves a federation of planets and multiple species of people, like in here.
The author Michelle Diener really impressed me with the intrigue, secrets, suspense, and depth to this book. She even includes details of linguistics and cross-cultural adaptation! Great! I think it is one of the five best science fiction books in the last decade. I certainly need to buy the remaining two audiobooks in this trilogy when they are released.
I have heard that this book has been classified as Sci-fi Romance. I would disagree and call it simply Sci-fi. There is a bit of romance, but it does not overwhelm the plot or take over the book. For a frame of reference, I do not think this book has much more romance than the movie "The Empire Strikes Back". FYI, there are only one or two love scenes, and they are not explicit.
I do not want to give too much away about the plot, so you can read the blurb to see what the book is about.
The narrator knocked my socks off! She is very skilled with accents and with both male and female voices. She has more than 15 very distinctive-sounding character voices in this epic novel, and all of them were outstandingly done! The narrator also had to do a bit of singing, and I congratulate her on how lovely it sounded. In the first chapter I was not sure if I liked how the Sazo voice was done, but I really warmed up to it by the end of that chapter. At the end of this Audible production is the first chapter of "Dark Deeds", the next book in this "Class 5" trilogy. The writing and narration on it are awesome, and I will be buying it as soon it is available. I am so hooked on this series, and I am very happy about that!
"Awesome Sci-Fi Romance."
After reading the review from another reviewer on this book, it sounded like something that I would like. I am so glad I gave this book a look, I really liked it. I like the whole music aspect of the story, I kept trying to guess what music choices Rose was singing throughout the book. I like the friendship Rose made with the Class 5 ship and realized it was not just a machine. This is an interesting new world and I hope there are many books to come from this series. In my opinion there were a few flaws in the details, but they were minor. Mostly that everything came too easy for Rose to learn and that not many of the other species seemed to ask an questions about Earth. There were hints of it but I feel the story would have been just that much better with a bit more wonder in the plot. Narrator is really pretty good, she does pretty good on all the voices by making them distinct, only a few a bit weird but hey this is an alien society she is speaking for.
All three of these books are exactly the same with only the characters names changing. Different women, different male gree, and a different ship, but the exact same story. Listen to the first book and save your money, because there is no need to buy the next two. I did thinking the story would evolve, because the narration is good and it is well written. I feel like I have ben scammed!
"So much better than I expected"
I'd totally recommend this story. It's so much more then a romance.
I bought it expecting a trashy/sleazy romance, but its so much more than that. Its a first contact/ai rights/political intrigue story with romance as a sub-plot.
I loved the scene where Rose confirmed she could see though the camouflage.
Hell yeah! I wish I had found the ebook version first, I would have finished the series already if I had.
I can't wait for the sequels to be released.
I found this such a fascinating tale I missed sleep several nights, the time just went by without notice. the narration was done wonderfully, I was pulled into the story with all the characters voices. Just Wonderful. The story was gripping, I didn't want it to end.
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