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Summary

Tom Thrush thinks basic officer training is tough - until he joins the frigate Kestrel and finds out what tough really means. The crew resents him. The first officer is actively hostile. As the ship hunts pirates in deep space, Tom struggles to fit in and wonders if things can get any worse. They can.

A devastating attack leaves the ship crippled with half the crew dead or dying. The senior officers are wiped out, leaving a terrified sublieutenant in the last place he wants to be.

In command.

©2018 Jake Elwood (P)2018 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Rumors of War

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Excellent start to a series

This is an excellent start to what could become a classic military space opera series. A slow detailed build up to a gritty and action packed last third make this a very satisfying read. It follows Tom Thrush from a raw recruit who only joins the navy to avoid prison to a capable if inexperienced acting Captain. The story is excellent and is backed up by some engrossing writing. I read this in one session and was fully involved in the story throughout. I hope this series keeps up this standard and, I have already bought the next one in anticipation of that. Great characters with issues and attitude. Some quite emotional scenes and a super climax. The narration really enhances the story giving it depth and emotion. I loved it and highly recommend it

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Looks like a very good start to the Series

Enjoyed it. Did not fall asleep once due yoborh the plot anc the excellent naration.

3 people found this helpful

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Great surprise

i usually prefer sci fi with aliens, but this one still got to me. 4 stars. can not believe this was included in the plus catalogue

2 people found this helpful

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Mildly entertaining mil sci-fi

Johnathan McClain performs well in this bog standard mil sci-fi tale. Distinct voices and good characters.

Audible has far too much military sci-fi. Much of it pretty similar in plot, military culture and characters. Rumors of war sits right in the middle.

There is some mild interest in the story of a junior officer trying to keep a battle worn ship going. The narrator saves what could be a boring book about life on a medium sized fighting starship.

Like many similar works there is a lot of military style dialogue and reliance on regulations to drive the plot. For example, our protagonist ends up in charge (no surprise) although there are some non command experienced officers around. Furthermore he doesn't consult with the more experienced staff.

There is no humor in the workplace. Frankly, the more unpleasant the task the more hunour comes out.

On the plus side the story is listenable.

1 person found this helpful

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A really Good Story nicely executed

One might easily imagine that a collection such as these books being free to members might be a tad down market..NOT SO by any means.

The author has written a great Space Saga complete with Characters of all sorts of dispositions and in my opinion worthy of5 Starts without question.

For me at least, this author has not allowed themselves to get bogged down in convoluted plotting and unnecessary incomprehensibly invented techno babble. Yes it has plots but they're good plots, maybe sometimes predictable but not always. The techno stuff (which I very rarely struggle with) was nonetheless well written and worked into the story very well.

OK, being English I do often have a few issues with the American use and verbalisation of the English Language but in fairness, the Narrators was very easy on the ears.

Very easy and pleasing listening.

Although this review is for Book 1, I'm well into Book 3 and thus far it has not disappointed.

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5*

First of all fabulous narration by Johnathan McClain.

I have been in the doldrums with regard to books of late they all seem much of the same.

I am so happy I picked this one and have downloaded all the rest. Different to the usual space stories and love the main character Tom. I’m not going to say anything about the story only that it is well worth the read/listen. And on to the next. 😊

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Pass

Painfully naff. There is great sci-fi out there - albeit precious little of it on Audible - this isn't it.

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Had potential

The story had potential but didn't live up to it, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone though, it was slow and with minisqual character developement. I skipped through lot of the book.

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loved it amazing story fantastic characters

cant wait for the next one, cant believe this was free. performance was very good.

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  • Shawn
  • 04-10-18

It’s good a good set up book.

This story is good not a masterpiece but the pacing is good and the characters are likable. If you want something that will keep you captivated from beginning to end this is probably not it. But it’s a good set up for what could be a great series. The first 3/4th of the book is character development. But it was done well and the banter mixed with the internal thoughts made the story good.
I think there is potential for a good series here, I will buy the next one.

9 people found this helpful

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  • AGreviewer
  • 29-11-18

Meh

The voice actor constantly puts emphasis on the wrong syllable. It is very distractinseparateg from the story. Also he changes accent midsentence with the different characters. The story is OK, but it doesn’t really make a lot of sense at times. Why is there a thin spine separating two halves of a warship? Why does the ship have actual windows? And the main character is annoying. I’ll probably finish the series because I have spare audible credits but meh.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Darth4Less
  • 27-11-18

okay

it was okay and I would have probably picked up the second one if it weren't for the narration. one of the worst I've ever heard. I couldn't hear some lines because of the narrator's propensity to whisper. irritating beyond measure.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 08-02-19

Not my favorite...

In my opinion, this book started slow and had rare moments of action. I was also put off with the lead character's painful development.

I am debating on whether or not to get the next book. Maybe the author will hit his stride!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shanon
  • 10-04-21

Meh...not good, not bad, could be so much better

At least the narrator is pretty good. This author is a moron. It is despicable that he the type that believes the government has the right to come into your home whenever they want for any reason they want so long as they claim it is for your protection! That is socialist beliefs at its heart. It is illegal in most countries and violates your born rights to live how you choose, even if that lifestyle is hazardous to your health! He also thinks might makes right, the ends justify the means. This book pure garbage at best and socialist propaganda at worst.

2 people found this helpful

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  • David Hannan
  • 14-11-18

It's a Good story, but...

The concept of the story is good and for the most part it's entertaining, but a little bit too much drama queen dialog for my liking.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Truth Matters
  • 26-04-21

Plenty of Action

SHORT VERSION: Enjoyed this quite a bit. Young man forced into Navy service, boot camp, offcer training, bad 1st assignment as a Jr. Lieutenant, pirates, war begins, 1/2 the crew dies leaving him in charge & onward into his galaxy spanning adventures in Command, rife with problems. action & spaceship battles.

Standard format you say? Yes, BUT something about how this author does it makes it interesting, filled with action, struggles & hardships to overcome or at least live through.
This isn't a happy, glib, swashbuckling adventure (which I also like & usually prefer), but a serious story with compelling characters & plenty of emotion along with the action. Narration is fantastic.


LONGER VERSION:
While it follows a traditional scifi military space opera outline, there's something about the way this author moves the story along that is compelling & had me wanting to know what was going to happen next & rooting for the characters.

I also like that while different parts of the military - officers, non coms, swabbies, marines, engineers, etc. do fit expected potrayals, they aren't done as caricatures, but treated with the respect that they deserve, recognizing the value the different components have towards making the whole function.

The side characters have personalities fleshed out better than their assignations - wise older officer, tough marine, deckhand with a chip on his shoulder, etc. They aren't as one dimensional as many.

I got roped in & while knowing the general format, the details of how the story gets there are exciting & caught my interest. Mr. Elwood's story telling had me able to picture the scenes, sometimes even feel like I was there, standing on the bridge, seeing the action firsthand.

I had a hard time 'putting the book down,' being bummed when I'd finished getting dinner ready because I had to turn the recording off to serve & eat, when all I wanted to do at that moment was to stay on the ship (i.e. keep listening)!

I could probably pick out all the flaws or unbelievable things that would never happen in real life. (Kind of hard to argue though when space travel of this nature & colonization aren't realistic either!) But those things didn't bother me as much.

Maybe it's me feeling extra sensitive that's got me caught up in the emotions of the story & if I were in a better place I'd be much more critical, it's hard to say. Usually a story like this would leave me more depressed, perhaps even putting it down. For some reason, as serious as this book is, I still want to read more.

I can't tell you how realistically imagined the battle scenes are, but I did get swept away in the action, tensing up, agitated, not knowing how it was going to play out. It definitely wasn't glibly done & won.

I also like the MC because he isn't the perfect 'pulls a rabbit out of his hat' & wins the day kind of guy. Nothing comes easy. He's got real demons he's got to fight within himself & has to really struggle to overcome his own inner turmoils (including about his own heritage & culture) & the many & sometimes overwhelming obstacles he's forced to confront.

He isn't black & white in his thinking & understands different perspectives even if he doesn't agree with them. He seems to be a real reluctant hero.

SUMMARY:
Well done space warfare/military (Naval), galaxy spanning sci fi action/ transformation of a boy into a man finding out he's capable of much more than he could even imagine, filled with action, spaceship battles, angst, drama all done in a serious, mostly realistic way with characters that are human.

I thought it was well done & will be starting the next in this series shortly. if it continues as it's begun, this could be a great series.

The Narrator was superb too. She did male & female voices well, made it easy to follow who was speaking & gave much weight & life to the characters, infusing them with appropriate personalities matching with the author's intent, IMO.

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  • coop
  • 22-12-18

fun books

kind of like wagon train the old western show where they never get anywhere ..but enjoying it all the same on third book now...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sailfish
  • 14-09-19

Mostly backstory but very realistic

One of the more enjoyable part of this novel is the care that was taken in making the whole military indoctrination and training parts, from boot camp, to AIT, to noob half lieutenant (aka butter bar lieutenant) lack of command responsibilities, &c. The MC is also a realistic representation of a young man, forced into command of a frigate space craft on entry into war, who is overwhelmed with fear, uncertainty and doubt and the trials that end up making him a credible commander.

Also, another item I found interesting was the description of warp speed (aka slip space, slipstream space, &c.) Most SciFi explain it in terms of some, almost magical, spaceship device. Here, it was explained as entering into 7th dimensional space being the means in which they are capable to traverse the galaxy at superluminal speed. As one can imagine a wormhole allowing one to travel vast distances by traveling through folded 3D space, being able to do so via 7D space makes sense (in a nonsensical way, of course).

Jake Elwood is a good writer and Johnathan McClain makes even the tedious parts of training very listenable.

I have high hopes for Book 2.

2 people found this helpful

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  • RONALD L. GILDERSLEEVE
  • 22-11-21

Great story !!

Really good story with great character development !! I really enjoyed book one and am looking forward to book two ! Only problem I had was with the narrator’s volume when the main character is thinking . It gets a little low where you need to turn the volume up or miss his “thoughts “. Overall though, it’s a great listen !!!