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Summary

The UFS Phoenix is hunting for the long-lost drysine data-core. Within it lie the secrets to saving humanity from the resurgent deepynine machine-race. To recover it, Captain Erik Debogande must work together with the man who holds his sister hostage - the power-hungry parren leader Aristan. Aristan has sworn he will return Lisbeth Debogande once Phoenix grants him equal access to its prize. But now from the direction of hostile space comes word of a dark force hunting humans and parren alike, determined at all costs that the store of the lost Drysine Empire's knowledge should be possessed by neither....

©2017 Joel Shepherd (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 01-11-17

FANTASTIC Sci-fi!

The Spiral Wars is one of the best Sci-fi series every written and vastly underrated! Pair this with the excellent narration by John Lee and you have near perfection!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could do better!

John Lee sounded like an automaton. Unable to get into the plot, which sounded as though it should have been a good one. Totally useless.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Improves towards the end

I did not like the start and middle. Less mystery than the predecessors. But the last seven hours were good, more like previous installments.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

lots of marines and space combat if you like it

lots of marines doing this and that if you like it, also a lot of space combat mechanics. its not unentertauning, but very thorough

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • Leamington Spa
  • 27-10-17

This series just gets better and better

Genuinely fun thrill ride. If you read 1 space opera series make it this one.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • 26-10-17

Arrrghhh... now I’ve got to wait for Book 5

So, it occurs to me that John Lee’s narration could make a Local Government Parking Policy document sound enthralling, so it is plausible that these books by Joel Shepherd are actually only mediocre Sci-Fo, simply elevated to sublime by the mellifluous Lee...: BUT I think they would actually read just as mesmerizingly as Lee narrates them. The “personal space opera” feel of the series is done tremendously well by Shepherd ... and there is rarely a moment, where interest wanes throughout the series. This 4th book is another triumphant effort, winding character development into the often epic narratives with customary aplomb.

POSSIBLE, BUT NOT REALLY SPOILER ALERT:

My only problem is that, while I love the cast & plot, I was sort of envisaging this as the conclusion to the tale ... and was looking forward to that. Now I don’t think this acts as a Spoiler, but by the end of the book, I realized that this series could only be getting warmed up ... and I have no idea how many books are actually planned. Normally you feel some clue as to where the author is heading too - with Shepherd I have only the roughest outline as to where we are next headed.

Still I look forward, but not to the wait, for the next books in the series.

Definitely recommended listening (Oh and did I say how masterfully John Lee narrates this!)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

good read

as expected it was a good story. at times I struggled to follow the story as so much was happening.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

awesome series

Joel Shepherd is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. while this wasn't quite as good as the previous three in the series, I already can't wait for the next one.

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  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 28-10-17

Drifting further from humanity and back in time

Defiance is Joel Shepherd's 4th installment in his Spiral Wars series. After successfully recovering the diary that can lead them to the Drysine datacore, this episode focuses on the recovery of the datacore itself requiring heading deeper into Parren space and dealing with the Parren societal and governmental structure.

While much of the sci-fi elements are in line with earlier installments, there is much attention to the organization of the Parren society with a complex interaction of the 5 overall houses, each with internal, oppositional contingents, vying for dominance. One bit of new is the revelation of Drysine technology toying with fundamental aspects of the laws of physics with some interesting results. Much of the presumed history with Parrens and Drysine is revealed as incomplete at best and contrived at worst. More background on Styx is revealed although whether her nature is benign or malevolent is still undecided. What is clear is that the Deepynine / Allo alliance is serious about preventing Styx and Phoenix from playing any future role. Lizbeth emerges as a major player in holding together the shaky alliances Phoenix needs to maintain. The tale ends with the emerging standard of Phoenix heading off further away from known (at least to humans) space hunting for clues that go back further in time to understand the true nature and origin of the Deepynine threat.

John Lee's outstanding narration is an added plus to an otherwise excellent, engaging story. Character discrimination is exceptional, especially given the wide assortment of ethnicities and alien races.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Angus
  • 31-10-17

Strong showing in this excellent series

Though I do enjoy its better practitioners, I'm not a superfan of military sci-fi. But the Spiral Wars series is about as good as this sub-genre gets. Of course, John Lee is a superb reader, making even the characters' names sound mellifluous, and he is consistently great across the entire series to date.

What I find most interesting is that despite some "genre-y" elements - for example, much detail on the aspects of ship leadership and its rather heroic practitioners - for the most part, Shepherd keeps these veering away from cliches, or if he goes there, it's earned and appealing when he does.

The most badass Marine captain (you never learn how to spell names in audiobooks!) comes from a place where the most effective fighters build their strength via deep meditation and obsessive discipline that makes her not JUST a badass, but a pretty interesting human character as well...a sort of elite Zen killing machine but also raised with an ethic that makes lying nearly impossible, and makes trust in her actions unquestionable. Alien species are political and interesting, and a lot of the tension in the books is political and interesting - these are the subtleties that set it apart from the more tedious aspects and growling testosterone of the genre. It's got interesting diplomacy and failures of diplomacy that are often as exciting as the battle scenes.

But: This volume in the series unfolds like one gigantic battle, with incredibly complex alliances, and was so tense that I was forced to binge listen over a weekend. I could not stop listening. So genre or no, this is a great read.

The series would also make for great cinema, and this book really amps up the sweeping scope that has been building over the first few outings of the series. There definitely seems to be room to keep going in and I hope that happens. Soon, please, Mr Shepherd?

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Skipper
  • 04-10-17

More please!

I am really enjoying this series -- the characters, the contrast between organic and synthetic life, the plot, the dialogue, and the unique alien species and worlds. In this book, Shepherd makes a case for an artificial intelligence learning to wonder and dream. Electric sheep....

So, we see more of the parren species, with their House rivalry and intense psychological moods, and the propensity to shift psychological states en mass. We also meet some cool aquatic creatures, a mix or sting rays, squid, and elephants. Lol. Someone named Hannachiam. A place called Defiance. A duel to the death (great scenes!). A singularity. And a creepy queen.

This series is best if the books are read in order. This book takes off from where Kantovan Vault finished, in tavali space. Soon enough, it's off to parren space, to the rock-strewn Brehn system and planet Cephilae, in search of the data-core.

We learn more about Styx and the history of the organic-synthetic wars. The author maintains the suspense, a doubtful hope about the powerful Styx's intentions towards organics, especially humans.

Hunted by determined deepynines (DP-9s), the ship and crew take some hard knocks (boo-hoo!), but in the end, UFS Phoenix is primed to rise from the ashes. I hope.

Waiting for Book 5. When?

Narration is excellent, but occasionally / sometimes I am not totally sure who is speaking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dunadan
  • 12-02-18

lovely Space opera

Excellent depth of characterization. Enjoyable action and adventure. This is a book all space opera buffs should enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • APW
  • 14-11-17

Fourth Chapter picks up the pace

While I found the third novel in the series a bit of a slog through a high-tech bank heist, the fourth book, Defiance, picks up the pace again and was very enjoyable listen. The author continues to do a great job building a believable, complex and intriguing universe with a multitude of interesting alien races, but without going overboard with dozens of generic races. The cast remains a massive swarm of characters, but were well-managed and the pacing in action in this book were far better. As always, the narrator could read you the text off a cereal box and still have a riveted. Great narration and a great story. I eagerly await the next book in the series.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Greg
  • 08-11-17

An exciting and well done continuation

If you liked any of the previous books in this series, you will enjoy this one too. The narrator does a wonderful job with the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally
  • 17-10-17

Fantastic - Best one yet.

The Spiral Wars series has been great from book one, but this one kept me me on my toes all the way (great for getting extra steps per day.)

The books should be read in order. I can't wait for the next one.

I always like John Lee as a narrator, another fine job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tekone
  • 15-10-17

An awesome series with an awesome narrator

First off, I could listen to John Lee all day... I got hooked on him as he was narrating the commonwealth series so it is pretty much guaranteed that I am going to buy a sci-fi book read by him.

Second of all, I really enjoy this series... it’s straight up military sci-fi with some interesting twists thrown along the way,

I really look forward to the next in the series!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-17

Can't wait for the next one. Also.,John Lee rules.

I am a huge fan of the author and of John Lee's always perfect narration. I hope the author writes a lot more of these. Say 20 or so.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roland63
  • 25-10-17

Great addition to the series

Great addition to the series. The story goes into more of the PareDrysine mysteries and there's lots of action

2 of 3 people found this review helpful