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Summary

A fleet of warships operated by the digitized minds of former humans. An unknown enemy lurking in the dark of space. The one man who hopes to conquer them both.

Jain was the lieutenant commander of an elite SEAL team. He was accustomed to order and discipline, which he used to give the men under his command that particular brand of killer instinct his unit was known for.

But one day that semi-comfortable, ordered life ended when he opened his eyes to find his body replaced by a starship. His mind had become its AI core.

He is somewhere in deep space. Most of his systems are badly damaged. He has no memory of how he got here, or what his mission is. Evidence points to an attack by an unknown entity.

He finds other damaged vessels in the vicinity and reactivates them. They, too, have no memory of the events leading up to their current situation.

Jain, thrust into a leadership role, soon learns that commanding a fleet of starships isn't all that different from leading a platoon of SEALs. It helps that his database is chock-full of tactics and military strategies gleaned from every space battle humanity has ever fought.

As he and his fleet explore their surroundings and slowly piece together what happened to them, they realize their attacker is not from any human system.

And that any misstep means not only the loss of his fleet, but potentially the destruction of humanity itself.

©2018 Isaac Hooke (P)2019 Podium Publishing

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It's ok

The narrator is good but the quality of the writing poor and the idea behind the book is a good one. I would love to know how many times "he said" was used, it really grated on me like it was written by a teenager. Considering I just listened to we are bob which was masterfully written, this was far far away from that level.

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  • Davis
  • 08-12-19

Not just space battles

What to listen to this review instead of reading? Hit the play button below.
(Play button Removed for Audible.)

Narration
Paul Heitsch does an excellent job with this book. His character voices are unique and identifiable. His pacing is great. I have no complaints.

Basic Summary
Jain wakes up to find himself floating in the void of space with little to no memories, oh and he’s also spaceship. There are other ships out there, all dormant and in free fall in some unknown system. Jain and the others make repairs, search the system they are in, and try to put together who they are and what they were supposed to be doing, but they aren't alone. After surviving a few encounters with an alien vessel the group manages to return to human controlled space only to find they are too late.

The Good
Writing is good. The world in interesting and unique. The characters interact in a mostly realistic way. I love the concept of starships being fully A.I. or in this case, run by scanned in humans, it makes sense as the engineering of vessels would be drastically easier without the vulnerable organic bits. Unlike other science fiction I've read, the space battles have a lot more tactics involved.

The Bad
The author doesn’t understand geostationary orbit. The characters sit in geostationary orbit over a tidally locked moon, a moon sits in geostationary orbit over a tidally locked planet, there is a place specified as “High” geostationary orbit. The author seems to do a great job with a lot of science stuff, but this is one major flaw. I’m also not sure I like the “Alien Tech” side of the story. It gets into a science-magic type thing. One of the characters can teleport, another has invisibility, another has a portable shield thingy, and probably the worst is the black whole gun. The whole thing seems kind of video game like.

The Interesting
Not just space battles. The use of drones to do urban combat and repel boarders in the narrow corridors of the ships is awesome. This should be a video game, or at least in more novels.

Final Thoughts
It’s a great science fiction space based book. It manages to cram space battles, mystery, alien encounters, and some unique takes on the future of space colonization into a well written story.

Review by rcdaviswrites, 12/07/2019

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  • Julie Pickerill
  • 10-08-19

All in all, an excellent read.

While the book falters from time to time with not quite enough science-science and a bit too much science-magic for my tastes, overall it's a refreshing variation on military sci-fi novels, and does a good job dealing with sentient AI overall.

Probably my one big gripe is the author pinning some of the philosophical discussions of death and the soul on a combination of a particular bit of pseudo-science woo already discredited in our time, and the presumption that such a thing as a soul might exist in the first place.

However the same theme in future books is a bit more balanced and not a huge part of the book so I'll give it a pass.

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  • Mac Briggs Johnston
  • 29-06-19

Forerunner: Breath taking

A fantastic Audible rendition of the book Forerunner, written by Isaac Hooke, performed by Paul Heitsch. Paul Heitsch is another great Podium actor, in the vein of Eric Martin or Luke Daniels, who does great justice to this military Sci Fi epic. Once the action gets going, it doesn’t stop, and just keeps going. Each of the Void Warriors has their own personality and ship capabilities, and together they work well and complement each other in different tactical situations throughout the book. There are some great discussions, everything from philosophical discourses between Aristotle and Plato to quotes from the battle of Thermopylae.

Forerunner was breath taking!


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  • Pavel Antokolsky
  • 15-06-19

A trashy sci-fi garbage

I might be soiled by mostly reading good sci-fi by acclaimed authors, so when I bought this book by unknown authors lured in by what seemed like an interesting premise, I didn't have high expectations, but didn't expect complete and utter trash like it is. The wiring is on a level you would expect from highschooler it fanfic writer, the characters are bland and stupid, the plot is ridiculously idiotic, the technobabble is cringworthy - author uses even real-world terms incorrectly, and obviously has no idea what they mean (e.g. his characters call personal ship on-board knowledge database "cloud storage" *faceplant*). Also the author opts for pseudo-realistic ship physics (e.g. he talks a lot about expanding propellant, delta-v, gravity assists and so on) yet has no idea how actual physics and gravity works, which result in such hilarious mistakes, like ships "assuming geostationary orbit" around tidally-locked (non-rotating) satellite and otherwise hovering over arbitrary points on planets.

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  • Ahmad Alnusif
  • 04-05-21

Started ok then nothing happened

I listed to a few hours of this book before I realized that there's no real plot. The ships do this, go here, go there, work on this and that and fight some aliens but what's the plot? It was a question asked by the characters from time to time but apparently the author is also clueless about it.

Stopped listening midway through the book, didn't want to waste my time.

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  • Brian Taylor
  • 04-05-21

horrible writing. impossible to listen to

every tenth word is said. good authors can write without using the word said very much. but it is a sure sign of a bad writer or author when they use the word said every 10 words.

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  • W.
  • 28-04-21

Good, easy, enjoyable read

In the future people have volunteered to have their minds recorded and inserted into systems that control space warships. The story starts with one such group of warships who have been involved in some battle and severely damaged. They regroup and repair and then find another ship in a decaying orbit near a gas giant and decide to save it. But things aren't as they seem.

There is a reasonable amount of character development with several existential questions being posed along the way, including do the warship "minds" have souls and the continuity (Start Trek transporter) problem.

The bad-guy aliens are much as expected but seem almost overpowered and the good guys really shouldn't stand any chance against them. A bit of suspension of disbelief is required here.

One glaring thing that bugged me was although each warship has an unique ability (teleporting, cloaking, shooting black holes, etc) they each only have one of these abilities because the tech was stolen by humans from aliens and the humans just use it without understanding it and can't duplicate it. That doesn't bug me. Then another group of warships arrives to investigate what happened to this group and at least one of these ships has several/all of the abilities "that can't be duplicated"????

Anyway, overall a very enjoyable, easy read/listen and I will definitely be reading the next book.

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  • Matt B
  • 15-04-21

Excellent story, Damaged AI's with amnesia

Excellent story featuring battle damaged warships awakening after a major battle that left them crippled with no idea what their mission is/or was and an unknown enemy that could possibly be lurking in their midst.

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  • steve white
  • 04-04-21

A boy named Jane.

I read in the comments about this being stolen from the bobiverse. but the original was a short story by Larry Niven. I really don't care it's kind of like writing about zombies how many zombie books are out there. And this this book is good just got the other two.

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  • Kristina
  • 02-04-21

Fun story very sophomoric descriptions

The story was ok and the idea was fun but some of the descriptions and attitudes of the characters were very sophomoric. As a veteran I have a herd time believing that some of the “officers” would act this way. But then again I also cannot imagine being in their particular situation. Worth the listen because it was included in my membership. Might listen to part two of it is available for free download.