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Raven Stratagem

Machineries of Empire, Book 2
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Machineries of Empire, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Summary

Captain Kel Cheris is possessed by a long-dead traitor general. Together they must face the rivalries of the hexarchate and a potentially devastating invasion.

When the hexarchate's gifted young captain, Kel Cheris, summoned the ghost of the long-dead General Shuos Jedao to help her put down a rebellion, she didn't reckon on his breaking free of centuries of imprisonment - and possessing her. Even worse, the enemy Hafn are invading, and Jedao takes over General Kel Khiruev's fleet, which was tasked with stopping them.

Only one of Khiruev's subordinates, Lieutenant Colonel Kel Brezan, seems to be able to resist the influence of the brilliant but psychotic Jedao. Jedao claims to be interested in defending the hexarchate, but can Khiruev or Brezan trust him? For that matter, will the hexarchate's masters wipe out the entire fleet to destroy the rogue general?

©2016 Yoon Ha Lee (P)2017 Recorded Books

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

There is an elephant in the room

The books suffers from middle book syndrome, too much talking and not much action. Still it does let the author reveal more how the world they created works.

The only problem for audio book fans is that there is no world on whether there will be an audio release for book 3. So if you don’t want to be left in limbo, don’t even start this series, you will just be wasting credits.

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  • A Texan 2
  • 18-07-17

Talking, and talking, oh and hey, more talking!

I was really looking forward to this book. Ninefox Gambit was a compelling and original take on an interstellar empire.

Unfortunately, this book feels like it was written by a different author. The structure is completely different and the focus of characters is also essentially completely different.

The biggest disappointment for me was how little actually happens. Most of the book consists of conversations. Instead of the characters doing things, they mostly talked to each other about what they were going to do, or what other characters had done offscreen. Several chapters consisted of flashbacks for various characters that didn't really payoff for those characters in the present. It became draining to listen to and I found myself growing more incredulous with each chapter.

It seems structured the way it was in part to reveal a big "twist" toward the end. Quite frankly, by the time it came, I was neither surprised by it, nor did I care. I finished the book as much for completeness as anything. Were it a physical book, I probably would have put it aside.

What the first book introduced as an exotic universe with interesting characters who were human, yet alien - this second book largely squanders.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Ocean State Prime
  • 28-07-17

fell off a cliff

The story arc takes a detour through Game Of Thrones territory, not to the benefit of the story or the reader. Only about three of the first 19 chapters are critical to the story. Chapters 20 - 27 are similar to the first book. Voice and accent used for the undead general is grating. Left me wishing I had stopped with the first book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • cdbomaha
  • 26-07-17

Great Book

The reader was great but volume was inconsistent. Probably could have used some smoothing out.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 13-07-17

Even better than Ninefox Gambit

Our story begins where Ninefox Gambit left off: The mad revenant, Shuos Jedao, has seized control of the body of Captain Kel Cheris, and gone on to seize command of General Khiruev's swarm, relying on formation instinct and the fact that Kel Command is far away. He quickly offloads everyone who can't be controlled by formation instinct--the non-Kel, and Lt. Colonel Kel Brezen, who is a crashhawk, one of the rare Kel in whom formation instinct didn't take.

Jedao proceeds to do seemingly exactly what Kel Command would want him to do: defend the hexarchate against the Hafn invasion. Khiruev has, at least in theory, two problems. The first iw whether Jedao can really be trusted to defend the hexarchate as he seems to intend. The other is whether Kel Command can be trusted to let them do it, or will instead sacrifice the entire swarm to eliminate the problem of Shuos Jedao.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Brezen finds his way back to Kel Command and is sent out on a new mission: Promoted to High General, and sent out with an agent of yet another faction, able to enthrall the opposite sex, with the goal of taking back the swarm from Jedao--but not till after he's defeated the Hafn, if that's really what he's doing.

The question is, what is Jedao really up to?

This isn't just a great follow-up to Ninefox Gambit. It's a better, stronger, and at the same time more accessible book.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.

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  • Brandon Dolinski
  • 17-09-19

An amazing world I can not wait to hear more of!

An amazing world I can not wait to hear more of!

Space ships. Technology based on religion political intrigue. Amazing hats off to Yoon for creating such a wonderful universe

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-11-18

Very good sequel

Very good sequel. I actually enjoyed it more than Ninefox Gambit. Before reading it, I ran across reviews complaining that we weren't getting Cheris-Jedao's viewpoint, but, imo, that would have revealed too much, too soon. The viewpoints that we do get are quite enjoyable, most especially for trying to figure out what Jedao is actually up to.

I struggled a bit with the technological system in the first book. It comes up a bit less here, but I was heartened to see Yoon Ha Lee refer to it as 'magic', which makes it easier to tolerate. Trying to wrap my head around any remotely scientific way of the calendar affecting technology made the first book slow going for me.

My favorite details were the small hints that other characters observed about Jedao, as well as some deliberate subterfuge.

#SF #magic #xanatos #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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  • Laura R
  • 02-08-18

Excellent narration

I read the first book in this series and then listened to this one. Although I think I might have been a bit lost had I not started with a written reference, the narration on this was very easy to follow, with close detail to pronunciation and the tone of the passage. The plot was an excellent, thoughtful continuation of the first book as well, but I am really leaving the review of the narrator.

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  • SC
  • 03-06-19

absolutely wonderful

The best reader outside of William Hurt.
A very fresh sequel to a fresh series.

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  • @kostrzewa_coach
  • 03-05-19

excellent

great plot facinating scenery and world building perfect narration looking forward to third book to buy

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  • jhanken
  • 26-03-19

Great continuation off the story of Shuos Jedao

The crazy universe that Yoon Ha Lee has created for this series is something truly novel in science fiction, a world in which exotic quantum technology stems from and depends on adherence to a pan-galactic system of near-religious beliefs. He tells a story of a struggle to make this world more humane, and it's a great one.