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Renegade Audiobook

Renegade: Spiral Wars, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

One thousand years after Earth was destroyed in an unprovoked attack, humanity has emerged victorious from a series of terrible wars to assure its place in the galaxy. But during celebrations on humanity’s new Homeworld, the legendary Captain Pantillo of the battle carrier Phoenix is court-martialed then killed, and his deputy, Lieutenant Commander Erik Debogande, the heir to humanity’s most powerful industrial family, is framed for his murder. Assisted by Phoenix’s marine commander Trace Thakur, Erik and Phoenix are forced to go on the run as they seek to unravel the conspiracy behind their Captain’s demise, pursued to the death by their own fleet. What they discover about the truth behind the wars and the nature of humanity’s ancient alien allies will shake the sentient galaxy to its core.

©2015 Joel Shepherd (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (266 )
5 star
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Story
4.6 (256 )
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 (192)
4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Peter Richardson 05/02/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Excellent listen. More volumes please. I need to know what happens next. You can't leave the story unfinished!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mara 24/07/2017
    Mara 24/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't be scared of politics, it's full of action!"

    Great quality of the story, great narrator and interesting from start to finish. Going to listen to the next book without a pause.

    If you're like me and are not sure if to listen to this book because it sounds like it will have a lot of politics involved, put your worries aside. I hate politics, but I loved the book. The author knows how to present a story - to involve you with the characters and to put high action and a lot of surprises in between the setting of the world situation and politics, not letting you even think of falling asleep at too long parts of too deep descriptions. Perfectly balanced which counts for a quality story building.

    It seems like the author has saved quite some bunch of secrets for us to discover in the next book, so I expect for it to be as good! We'll see!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamlyn Kemp 08/03/2017
    Tamlyn Kemp 08/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Very little happens"

    Despite looking forward to a John Lee reading, this was tough work, and I probably paid close attention to only 10% of the story.

    The vast majority of the book described in detail the camaraderie of the military folks or plodding action sequences, which don't touch on Neal Asher, and didn't feel relevant to any clear plot.

    The main characters are a kid who unconvincing becomes a military genius and his comically competent commando sidekick. Any growth is happenstance and not through described events.

    Tantalising tidbits come from the aliens, but that's all left for another book while all we get simple and unimportant human politics.

    Boring and I won't listen to the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Voxsmart 08/03/2017
    Voxsmart 08/03/2017 Member Since 2014

    Voxsmart

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
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    "John Lee is excellent"
    Would you try another book written by Joel Shepherd or narrated by John Lee?

    No


    Has Renegade put you off other books in this genre?

    No


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favourite?

    None of them


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    John Lee's narration


    Any additional comments?

    I think I will have to change my genre, I'm finding most the science fiction books I bought have become the same old, same old. Space warring is now boring. I keep falling asleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peacelily 10/02/2017
    peacelily 10/02/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "very enjoyable"

    a good story with well developed characters and plenty of action! really enjoyed it, kept me hooked throughout

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham 31/01/2017
    Graham 31/01/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    Story
    "A proper ripping yarn"
    What made the experience of listening to Renegade the most enjoyable?

    great escapism, ignore those who talk about the slow start. The author is setting the scene.Sometimes when a friend says don't read the synopsis it will spoil it, just read the book it's great. Well for me this is one such book.


    What other book might you compare Renegade to, and why?

    Reminds me more of the latest Star Trek films, all impossible but fun to watch and in this instance read


    Any additional comments?

    Just going to buy the next in the series, Can't say better than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve L London, England 24/11/2016
    Steve L London, England 24/11/2016 Member Since 2015

    Steve Lunn

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant story, great characters."

    Great story with brilliant characters that you can really connect with. superbly performed really bringing things to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atupele Chakwera 14/07/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    23
    5
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    "One of the best audio books ever."

    It's been years since I enjoyed an audio book this much. Amazing SciFi story and John Lee is the best as always. Easy recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Pa Davies swansea S wales uk. 02/07/2016
    Mrs. Pa Davies swansea S wales uk. 02/07/2016 Member Since 2010

    trisha davies

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic book"

    could not stop listening. looking forward to book two. some say it started slow but it gave time to invest in the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billie Thompson London, UK 25/03/2016
    Billie Thompson London, UK 25/03/2016 Member Since 2015

    Billie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    146
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    "Slow start, awesome climax"

    A narrator I was familiar with and who always gives good performances.

    Story was a little slow to get started but it set the scene for a brilliant climax

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Andrew Pollack
    Cumberland, Maine USA
    19/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow. Really great. Some different approaches"

    In Renegade, Shepherd starts a new series that should be classic space opera. It's not. Strong characters, both male and female are a welcome highlight here. On top of that, his space battles rock. His descriptions of the movement of the ships, the punishing forces and multiple directions of force, and the way it might be to try to be a human amidst all of that are brilliant and refreshing. This is the second series I've read from Shepherd. His first book, "Breakaway" was a fast and fun but a bit juvenile. That series got better and more mature as the author did and by the end of the series was some of the best science fiction I've read in a really long time. "Renegade" starts off with that maturity of skill and subject matter and combines a really well considered world. I loved it.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • C. Hartmann
    D.C. & St. Croix
    17/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perhaps this Year's Surprise 6 -- but stealthy"

    Let me begin by saying that John Lee could read a cookbook and give it the subtle impact and nuanced inflection of Richard !!!. So part of my reaction to this book is a result of his performance.

    That said, my favorites are Neal Stephenson, Peter F. Hamilton (Void Series), Dan Simmons (Hyperion), Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space Trilogy, Terminal World), Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon) and Charles Stross. (Halting State and Rule 34. -- also Corey's Expanse series.) Although the plot mechanism here is not a complex revelation (no pun intended) the execution is really good.

    Military space opera with a pretty standard lead in -- junior command officer has to take over valiant ship and fight his way out of big trouble. A slightly slow start but oddly akin to the beginning of Hamilton's Void. I was totally unprepared for this being so much fun. Don't read it for the new ideas, read it because it is well done. The dialogue, pacing and characters are just that.... a lot of fun. I really hope that this is the first in a series.

    (When I read the first book in the "Galbraith" detective series, I almost remarked that it reminded me of another, more sophisticated writer. When I read The Martian I almost stopped because it seemed so simple at first. So this time I'll ask even if it sounds odd....has anyone seen Joel Shepard, Alistair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton together in the same place ????)

    And by the way, speaking of Richard III -- keep in mind the scene where, left alone with his executioners, the stunned Hastings slowly realizes that Stanley was right all along. Richard is a manipulative, power-hungry traitor, and Hastings has been dangerously overconfident. Always a risk.

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Jim "The Impatient"
    Springfield, MO, United States
    13/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Politics"

    According to some reviews, there is some space battles in this book. All I know is that I listened to three hours and none of the characters left the planet. The book is heavy into politics. It is the usual cliché, feel sorry for the rich kid type of book. This is the second book from Shepard I could not finish, there will not be a third.

    51 of 61 people found this review helpful
  • Skipper
    California
    08/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Humans, aliens, and cyber-species"

    Contents: PG 13. No sex, lots of F-bombs (marines), no religious cussing, several ship-to-ship battles and close-quarters combat. There is obviously death, but nothing too grisly. The violence does not feel gratuitous. The tone of the series (three books so far) is fairly upbeat and heartwarming, but serious, not frivolous.

    I've heard all three books in the series and am looking forward to book four. Sequel or bust!

    Set in the distant future in the far reaches of the Milky Way, Joel Shepherd serves up a solid space-opera populated with humans, aliens (froggies, humanoids, furballs, bugs) and even some robots and drones (various species of cybernetic super-intelligence). The crew of the military warship Phoenix are likable, and the main characters grow on you across the three books published so far. Bonding occurs credibly as this honorable but renegade crew gradually uncovers a conspiracy at the highest levels of authority, a secret terrible and fearful, hidden away for centuries, and protected at all costs. When Phoenix stumbles on the truth, they are forced to make some tough choices, and to engage in desperate missions, driving them further and further from home, into deep space. For the most part, they stand alone, but gradually they do acquire a few allies. I hope to see some of the current alliances deepen.

    Spiral Wars feels a little like Sullivan's Riyira fantasy series, because long-believed lies are slowly uncovered, history revealed to be myth. Some friends prove fickle and some alliances false. There is a sense of suspense and intrigue, of holding one's breath for the next shoe to drop.

    I've been reading space opera lately, but I tend to avoid tales told in 1st person "i-me-my perspective" because a singular voice gets old fast. This series, told in 3rd person, is better than most I've read. It compares on a par with Bujold's Vorkosigan series. I would rate it higher than Ryk Brown's Enjoyable Frontier Saga, and a little better than Dalzelle's Black Fleet and Omega series. I liked it more than Fox's Ember Wars series, and slightly more than the Expeditionary Force series by Alanson. I also recommend the engaging Linesman series by Dunstall, but it is somewhat lightweight. I also enjoy the Liaden series by Lee and Miller, but it is a very slow work in progress.

    One flaw in Shepherd's writing style is that he tends to slow the pace by stopping to describe things too much — including trivial aspects of the setting, and how the technical stuff works. Some people might like the technical explanations, but I zone out a little.

    If the author can maintain this quality of storytelling until the conclusion of the series, he will have created a solid hit. I say quality of storytelling, not quality of writing, because his books are riddled with punctuation errors, resulting in fragmented sentences that hamper reading. I recommend the audiobooks instead of the e-books. He needs an editor.

    The narrator John Lee cleans up all the proofreading issues and delivers a value-added and highly enjoyable rendition of Spiral Wars.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    19/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Made me fall in love with Sci-Fi all over again!"

    I took a chance when I got this book as it was brand new and not yet reviewed. Sometimes when you take a chance you come up empty, other times you strike gold. This was one of those golden moments.

    This book captivated my imagination and really made me remember why I love Science Fiction.
    The characters were excellent, the plot was great, but most of all, the world was immersive and beyond interesting. The universe Joel Shepherd created is intriguing and it has left me wanting more!

    Can't wait for the next one!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Trudy Owens
    Orem, UT, US
    19/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ooh-rah! Love the Marines!"

    "We come in peace. Please ignore the bloodstains."

    The story is not bad, being the question of what does a huge, influential military do once they have won the war, and now there is no need for them? Do they just retire and play golf? Not bloody likely.

    The story takes a long time to rev up; in chapter 4 we finally get enough conversation to get relief from pure, mind-numbing narration, and then this is so full of the "F" word that it is a shocking eye-opener. Didn't see that coming. Finally around chapter 6 something starts happening and we keep going into 5th gear from there. After the exciting escape from jail, things move along pretty well and in the last third of the book there are some great battles and some high action.

    The best part? The brotherhood of the Marines. And the best one among them is a woman, and she's believable. She provides the best action, the best camaraderie, the most emotion. You will want to rush out to the Marines recruitment office if you can only become like these fighters!

    Our hero, the Lieutenant Commander, has a lot of stereotypes going against him, but he does manage to overcome them and become a distinct personality. There aren't many others.

    This would have been a lot better if read by one of the usual space opera narrators. John Lee's speaking style is so overly stuffy and prissy, it infects everything he says. It is a relief when there is conversation because his voicings are not half bad, but still infused with that over-the-top public school accent. "Parallel" becomes "paddle-el" and "her eyes," "heh dies." I thought they were all calling Eric, the Lt. Commander "Elsie" until I realized it was "L. C." Something wrong with the inflection there.

    This does not stack up with the great of the genre, but it's not bad, and there will be sequels.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • ochoavida102
    18/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Politics?"

    Ok, there is another review with the tittle of "politics" on top. That other review gave this book 1 star rating. This book is a 5 star easy.
    If you are a reader, chances are you read treasure island. Do you remember how boring the introduction to the book was. But then, the journey for the treasure gets on its way, the story grips you and doesn't let go until the end? Ok this book does the same thing with the only difference that it grabs and takes u on a smart, well thought out thrilling, action packed adventure that last all thru the three books in this series. He author introduces the characters and their backgrounds and sets up the background for the galaxy in which they will Interact. So yes, the first third of the book will be slow, but once that rollercoaster gets to its apex, you better hang on because you are in for....
    One more thing, if you like starship combat ( who doesn't right?) you will love this book. Its combat scenes are fresh and original with a different take on the combat mechanics. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Joshua
    Winnipeg, MB Canada
    28/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing. Far more than I expected."

    Given the cover art, I was expecting little more from this book than the usual space opera heavy on space battles, and character development consisting of the usual unbelievable success after success.

    This book was so much more than that. The world the author builds is deep and creative, defying just the sort of stereotypes that I had resigned myself to at the outset. An involving, believable and epic political backstory, characters who draw introspective insight from their experiences, and aliens that seem all too "human."

    The voice talent is top notch too. If you've listened to any of Peter F. Hamilton's books on audible, this is the same narrator.

    This was all so much more than I was expecting from what had been a quick purchase to kill some time. In the end, I believe I have found a new favorite author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lois
    Somerville, MA, United States
    22/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Reminded me of "A Mote in God's Eye""

    It reminded me of the SF classic "A Mote in God's Eye," not so much for the details of the plot but for the classical sea-novel flavor of starship-naval life, the brisk pace of development and vivid characterization. The opening scene had me concerned it might end up being just a gung-ho space opera shoot 'em up, but it developed in a very unexpected direction that introduced all kinds of fascinating tensions and ambiguities, which the author handles extremely well. I only wish the series were already finished so I could binge-read it to the end.

    My one complaint is the same one I always have with John Lee. To wit: there are very few Brits who can do a convincing American accent (and vice versa), and John Lee is not among them. He keeps attempting "southern," too, which resembles nothing spoken by any human being anywhere, ever. Southerners actually *soften* their "R's" guys, not lean on them so hard it practically makes your teeth hurt.

    I don't know where they get this idea that the hard "R" is an indispensable requirement to do "American" but if even the magisterial Patrick Tull gets it wrong I guess Lee shouldn't be too harshly singled out. Fortunately there aren't many "American" characters here and none of them in primary roles, so I cringed through those bits and (mostly) enjoyed the rest of the narration.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • tekone
    New York, NY USA
    06/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great grand military scifi story!"

    Frankly, I had never heard of the author and only decide to buy and listen when there was nothing else of interest... But, wow!

    I was surprised at how interesting the story was and how enjoyable a listen it was. I honestly can say it was in my top 5 of new scifi military books for 2015. John Lee as always is great!

    I really look forward to the next one.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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