When Rosalen Maldonado tinkers with the derelict freighter, she's just hoping to prove she deserves a scholarship to University. She certainly doesn't count on waking the ship's damaged AI or having three stowaways, Micah Rotherwood and brothers Jem and Barre Durbin, along for the ride. They all have their private reasons for hiding aboard and lives they are seeking to escape, but if the accidental crew can't work together and learn to trust each other, they'll die together, victims of a computer that doesn't realize the war ended decades before any of them were even born.
©2014 Lisa Janice (LJ) Cohen (P)2015 Lisa Janice (LJ) Cohen
The reader did a good job of breathing life into this book but there were some craft issues that were still fairly clear. Characters acted from the demands of the plot rather than from internally consistent motives. Plot arcs were tangled and in some cases repetitive. While the overall story arc related to character development rather than plot (and credit where credit is due; this is a rarity in space opera), in the end I was left with a feeling that the characters could have liberated themselves before the events of the story and that nothing had really happened. Overall, I found this unsatisfying.
"What Teens can do !!"
Oh, yes, indeed !! I could not put this audio book down !!
This story has a lot of twists & turns !! Plots within plots !!
How, Ro, Micah, Bear & Jim, got a 40+ year old transport ship to run. They worked together as a team.
With all the turn-a-bouts in this well written story, these teenagers, accomplished, victory !! And rewarded, as well !!!!
I do not think so !! But I must say, that he kept me riveted to this book !! Excellent voice with each character too !!
Do not underestimate, four teenagers !!
"Great story. Excellent narration."
This was a welcome relief from the last few stories I listened to. The story wasn't as formulaic as most sci fi. The narrator did n excellent job as well. I didn't find his reading tedious half way through the book as I have in the last few books.
I would definitely buy another in this series of the writing style And narration were the same.
"This was ok"
The book was ok overall. The characters were real but some of the relationships were strained to be dysfunctional. Pretty much every adult was cast as a villain that saw their kids as secondary. Also the main character's relationship with the communications officer was rushed and felt forced. Either this could have been cut from the book or more time should have been spent developing it. Overall a 3 3/4 stars book. If you like Sci-Fi read this, if not skip it there are better books out there.
"Story was a solid "B""
This book had an interesting concept regarding an AI being an key part of every spaceship. Unfortunately the concept didn’t help this one fully developed into a “Great” book. Before you mark me as being unhelpful, I liked the story, I just don’t want to marry it. It was entertaining enough and the narrator did a good job. The story just needed something.
If you’ve got a credit burning a hole in your digital pocket I say go for it. You could do a lot worse than this book.
"3.5/5 YA with Very Strong Language"
Summary: Ro and a motley stow-away crew find trouble on a derelict ship.
What I Didn’t Enjoy:
- There’s a LOT of strong language in here, which is weird because the book otherwise seems aimed at young adults. I work with teenagers. There are some that curse, but very strong languages loses its impact when used this casually.
- There was not one fleshed-out, competent, sympathetic adult. The adults here come in three flavors: overbearing jerks or manipulative, overbearing jerks or manipulative, overbearing, psychopathic jerks.
- The friendships and rivalries seemed genuine but the subtle (F/F) romance thread was kind of bizarrely paced.
- At its heart, the plot’s actually rather simple. (Girl wants to get away. Girl and acquaintances get into trouble. Runaway ship nearly kills ’em all.)
- The purpose of Deadilus (sorry about spelling, I heard the audio version) was never really made clear.
What I Enjoyed:
- The technology aspects of this book were pretty cool. The computer programming aspects were nicely described.
- The way music is integral to Halycon is also neat.
- The narrator’s performance was nicely done.
- The 4 main characters were well-developed and likable. I enjoyed how their names unfolded piece by piece.
Conclusion: If you’re okay with a lot of strong language and quite a bit of adult-bashing, you would probably enjoy this book.
*I received a free copy of the audiobook. It did not affect my decision to review or the rating I gave.
"Egaging YA sci fi with some interesting dynamics."
Rosalen is a young teen who is brilliant with computers. Her cold hearted and abusive father refuses to sign papers for a university scholarship. Ro begins to tinker with a derelict freighter moored outside of their space station. She runs into another troubled teen, Micah, the son of one of the higher ranking officers. Micah is doing secret botany experiments on the freighter. Ro suspects his work may be illegal but she is willing to keep his secrets in exchange for hers.
Ro discovers another hidden cargo on the freighter that she thinks is connected to her own father. She is intent on getting the derelict ship to operate to show her own skills even if that action plays into her father’s plans. Ro enlists help from a younger friend, Jem, who has great programming skills. Jem doesn’t realize Ro’s intent but when he begins to think she can activate the ship he drags his brother Barre onto the ship too. Barre is a gifted musician but their doctor parents don’t appreciate his music. They are ready to send him away which would separate the brothers.
Ro manages to activate the damaged AI on Halcyone. When the ship takes off like a scared rabbit, it takes the combined efforts of Rosalen and Jem, with surprising input from Barre, to get and keep control of the AI. The teens are all in trouble just for being on Halcyone but they face greater danger from two leaders back on the station who are intent on getting the ship’s hidden cargo. They will take drastic measures, without regard to the lives of the teens, to complete their covert plans.
The story has some usual YA elements including dysfunctional parents and teenage angst as they try to establish independence. Each of the four teens struggles in their family settings with different reactions. I liked the inclusion of the AI as a side character and really enjoyed the unique interplay of the characters’ skills that allowed the teens to succeed only by working together. I didn’t care for the handling of the friendship of Ro with another female working in communications. The story moves a bit slowly at first with the introduction and development of the characters. Further on there is good action and suspense.
There are some unrealistic events near the end, but the ending leaves the storyline open to allow more adventures for Halcyone and the teens. I would like to listen to the next book to see where the author takes the characters. I recommend this particularly to readers who like easy sci fi.
Audio Notes: Bill Burrows does a good job with the character voices and the portrayal of emotions. I am pretty sure I would not have enjoyed reading this in print/ebook as much as I enjoyed listening to it.
I received this title through Audiobook Jukebox for an honest review.
"This story moves very slowly."
Not until about a third of the way through the book does it start to get any traction. The characters are developed in a way so that you knew what to expect from each of them. However I didn't have the urge to want to know more.
***Spoiler Alert*** You think that some big secret will be announced at the end, some big revelation, but there isn't. In fact it was kind of boring.
I haven't bothered to see if there is another book in the series. Maybe that would be more interesting since we've already met these characters.
Not bad, but not what I was looking for. As an I.T person the computer stuff was irritating.
"Not quite what I expected."
It's a futuristic turn on the centuries old conflict of the passage to independence and responsibility. I hesitate to say adulthood because the parents of the four main characters do not embody the accepted norm for parents. It's a glimpse of what we might expect will be the environment that our future youth will grow up in with the PC so engrained in our lives that nothing can be done without it. The plot is well played and the young ones move on, matured by a wild adventure aboard their newly awakened ship. Mr. Burrows does a wonderful job, smoothly, making the story flow and taking the listener with it.
"Great idea, but the angst was a little too much.."
Overall I thought this story had some really good bones and I really liked the premise. Strong female protagonist who also happens to a hacker..deep space..danger, you get the picture.
What ruined this for me was that the characters were way way too emotional! I know this is supposed to be a YA novel and teenagers are angst filled and their emotions are all of the place, but this was little too much In one sense we are expected to believe that in this new world kids going to University at 15-16 is the new norm and they are mature enough to do all their course work to prepare for school pretty much unassisted, but they are not mature enough to do make basic logical decisions. That took me out of the story a lot because this dichotomy kept happening over and over.
Also, just like I don't really like all good characters and all bad (since people have plenty of shades of gray) this author seemed to only be able to give the teenagers in the book dimension and not any of the adults. All of the parents were awful, wish seemed very contrived and unrealistic. I would have liked to have seen one adult portrayed as a decent human being!
This is entertaining and if you can get past all the emoting then you might enjoy the listen. The narrator was excellent so he did save it for me.
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