2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth's Moon - a history-making clandestine project - and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan's mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient - enough so to have built a lost civilization.
However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he's been given is anything but secret or safe. With assassins and saboteurs dogging his every step, it's clear that someone doesn't want his mission to succeed. In the end, it takes the keen insights of an intelligence analyst and a matching instinct for intrigue to ferret out the truth: that humanity is neither alone in the cosmos nor safe. Earth is revealed to be the lynchpin planet in an impending struggle for interstellar dominance, a struggle into which it is being irresistibly dragged. Discovering new dangers at every turn, Riordan must now convince the powers-that-be that the only way for humanity to survive as a free species is to face the perils directly - and to fight fire with fire.
©2013 Charles E. Gannon (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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"Would have been good as 1950s SF"
I do not think the author adds anything to the genre. I feel he took the Star Trek premise of a federation but does not tell it as well.
I just couldn't care about any of the characters in this books. I find it amazing that the female character in the book was put in cryo in 2066 and she is amazed that you can give a car voice commands and they can drive themselves. It is like the author wrote this book in 1955 and didn't update any of the technology.
"cant even think up a witty title."
i couldnt finish it. character so perfect can instantly figure out anything instantly. spoilers.
the main character is able to instantly identify a random person as an assassin, and figure out his convoluted plan to assassinate him by suicide using antimatter drive of a ship he rigged to explode, which would have killed some 8000 people. because a company tried to cover up alien life.
the guy is the gariest and sueiest of gary stus. he is a ploymath, which evidently means he is perfect at everything. think sherlock holmes meets house without the attitude/personallity problems as he is just so charming.
some attempt to make him seem more human with overblown ptsd issues and other tot.
the narrator doesnt help much, using a bad accent for all the foreign characters, and the 1940s radio/dudly doright voice for the main character.
this is one i REALLY wish i could return.
So the cover of this book is really misleading. It is not a military scifi with lots of action where Caine Riordan rains fire down upon his enemies from his combat drop ship. It is a thriller and a spy novel more than anything else. Think journalist Jack Ryan in space. It is a bit slow at times and Caine is almost always the smartest person in whatever room he happens to step into, but I liked it regardless.
The characters, even the ones I happened to strongly dislike, were believable, with real motivation and the story was intriguing enough that by the end of book two I found myself quickly searching for when book three would come out.
"Fun story EXCELLENT Narration"
Enjoyed the story. Has several unpredictable twists.
But the narration was one of the best I've heard for a science fiction novel. Really made the story come alive.
Excellent story, fast paced with no time wasted on superfluous actions or extended moralizing. The only weakpoint I could point to was in the Audible narration, this could have been stronger as many of the accents and vocal aspects did not convey as well as one would like. However, I would certainly recommend the book for any fan of science fiction.
"Better than expected."
I liked this book. It is reminiscent of the old-school Sci-Fi of Edmond Hamilton and Andre Norton. I was back and forth with it for awhile, wavering from liking it, to not. It's a bit unfocused, jumping around between known characters and not so known ones. Even though it was confusing from time to time, in the end I believe the author pulled it out. The characters took too long to develop, but by the end they were, and now I really want to see what happens to them. I will be getting the next book
"Someone said "Jack Ryan in Outer Space""
Jack Ryan Meets Aliens, I know it's 4 but that is as close as you can get.
It did have a Tom Clancyesque framework, you cans ee the story starting early in, but the twists and plots make it worthwhile. Although you do have to wonder how such a super spy organization can't figure out someone outside is messing with them.
Not sure, I have a few hundred books, but the guy does a really good job.
Nope, just like to listen to a good story as I drive my 1.5 hour commute.
Good book, good story, well presented.
"The infallible Riordan"
Caine Riordan, no matter the situation, always seems to have the upperhand, be it surprise assassination attempts or interstellar diplomacy, the point of exhaustion.
The book starts off a bit slow, a bit of "What does all this mean?" Caine, formerly a journalist and analyst wakes to find he's been woken from Cryosleep for 13 years and he's missing 100 hours (give or take) of his memory leading up to the events that put him in cryostasis.
From there, Caine is recruited into a shadowy organization without much choice. However, despite his disposition, rarely does Caine encounter a challenge he can't defeat.
The book stumbles a few times with the awkward timelines, revisiting events that unfold but adding details that weren't told first go around. You're not given the full story with a chance encounter, and then only when the book takes a giant leap forward we get the full scoop. It feels slightly haphazard and somewhat confusing. I imagine reading it perhaps it might be a little more natural.
The book goes in a few unexpected directions, in a good way but even in the most unlikely circumstances, Caine has an unnerving grasp. Other characters get a little more honest treatment, and the book really picks up after a hostage situation.
That said, occasionally the logic of the diplomacy seemed slightly off. Good, but not great. Gannon isn't afraid of complexity or depth which is appreciated. The end cuts off without much fanfare and we're reminded that we can continue in Caine's adventure in the follow up book and given a 15 minute taste of the sequel.
Overall, I enjoyed it but found myself backtracking a few times just to make sure I caught everything.
"Sat in my Wish List for way too long"
I am ashamed to have let this wonderfully narrated story sit in my wish list for so long. This became one of my easy favorites right away. The story is complex with deep political intrigue. The characters are relative and equally complex.
"A sophisticated story"
Excellent story line, believable characters, plenty of action.
Great narrator and no mistakes in pronunciation or emphasis. Really enjoyable from start to finish.
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