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Shadow of Empire

Far Stars, Book One
By: Jay Allan
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: Far Stars, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Summary

The first installment in the Far Star series, a swashbuckling space saga that introduces the daring pirate Blackhawk and the loyal crew of the Wolf's Claw, from the author of the best-selling Crimson Worlds saga.

Smuggler and mercenary Arkarin Blackhawk and the crew of the ship Wolf's Claw are freelance adventurers who live on the fringe of human society in the Far Stars. A veteran fighter as deadly with a blade as he is with a gun, Blackhawk is a man haunted by a dark past. Even his cynicism cannot banish the guilt and pain that threaten his sanity.

Sent to rescue the kidnapped daughter of his longtime friend, Marshal Augustin Lucerne, Blackhawk and his crew find themselves drawn into one deadly fight after another. When the Wolf's Claw is damaged, they are forced to land on a remote planet subsumed by civil war. Pulled unwittingly into the conflict, they uncover disturbing information about secret imperial involvement that could upset the plans of Lucerne. For the marshal is determined to forge a Far Stars Confederation powerful enough to eliminate all imperial influence and threats in the sector. He needs a skilled warrior like Blackhawk on his side, but the mercenary, plagued by dark memories from the past, refuses to join the cause. All too soon, though, he and his crew will have to take a stand.

©2015 Jay Allan Books (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Quite as Good!

Its a simple story really. Arkarin Blackhawk is entrusted by his friend, Marshal Augustin Lucerne, to rescue his daughter, Astra, who has been kidnapped and has to cope with all the shite along the way.

For me, it was let down a little by the narration. I usually like the narration of Jeffrey Kafer, but I found his voice kept dipping as he spoke, causing me to keep having to turn up the volume.

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Great book five star's

Great second book I recommend listen to the first book and then the rest of the series i am looking forward to listening to the next one

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, great narration

This book and narration is great, the only gripe I've got it the last of pause before switching scenes. when it switches between worlds and characters something like "chapter 3 planet, optimus prime, world 3, year 3017" would be nice just so I could work out who where and when I am in the story. it's annoying trying to work out when the story jumps area and characters.
I'm half way through book 2 now and it has the same problem but it is a great series so I will persevere and try to work it out.

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A good start

A good start to this book with a great reeding to. the caricatures are interesting if not that little bit silly as all sci-fi caricatures are as plot. but I will get more of the books.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for J
  • J
  • 23-04-16

Clichés galore

I liked the story, and the performance is fine, but I almost drove off the road from rolling my eyes so hard. I found myself talking to my car stereo, says, "OK. I get it. He is haunted by his past. Move on."

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Copper Minehart
  • Copper Minehart
  • 01-02-18

Overweight & underpowered..

Hot, high, heavy, and dirty is a dangerous combination when you are trying to get an airplane off the ground with only a few thousand feet of runway... lucky for Shadow of Empire that swashbuckling Sci-fi always gets an Edwards/Rogers 24,000ft runway from me :-) Jay Allen can thank Harry Harrison, Heinlein, and Alan Dean Foster (among others) for that!

Even so, this book chewed up almost all of that runway as I forced myself to choke it down. I would not have made it past chapter four if I were actually reading it.

There was just SOOOOOOO much superfluous inflection... it felt like an attempt to wrap a Harlequin novel in a blackbeard-starwars mashup. The sentences were just, well...silly. Wading through the predictability and weak character development was "challenging"... like slogging through a Louisiana swamp in August.

In attempting to wrap up this unfortunate review on a positive note, i will say: A spark of hope remains, albeit hiding somewhere under a sagging weight of disappointment. Any ex-cubscout that can recall the excitement of their first snipe hunt (and its conclusion) will likely understand my meaning.

in it's defence, the back story and the universe are decent, so perhaps the author will improve upon his future stories. He has some good ideas, they were just not executed well here (imo). good luck in the future.

The narrator is quite good though and his solid delivery saves this one, allowing it to stall out, just above the runway, pehaps causing a few spilled drinks, nervous smiles... and more than a few cheers from the surviving passengers.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Brian
  • Brian
  • 29-01-18

Bad Plot and background story

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The background information changed a couple of times in the book. Describing a planet one way and then change a couple of chapters later.

Motivation of the main character. Describing the main character one way but have him do something else.

Motivation of the crew. Not following orders when the main character tells them to leave but when it happens again, some of the crew follows his orders and leave him.

Describing the team. Are they mercenaries, smugglers, pirates, or adventures? They story starts off with them being mercenaries but ends with calling them adventures.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-01-18

A shallow plot with an unrealistic story.

Suitable story for a comic book, not a story about human reality. Read the first chapter, and it's all the same. I was glad it was over.


1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for luke davison
  • luke davison
  • 19-11-15

absolutely terrible.

this book was absolutely horrible and written at a high school level, the main protagonist combined all the worst features of Captain Kirk Conan and John Wayne and threw in a hefty dose of Twilight like love angst. I am ashamed of the fact that I paid money for this the only good thing was the narrator and even he was hard pressed to save this train wreck of a book.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 10-11-15

No a fan of uninteresting Mary-Sue type characters

Right off the bat everything is too perfect for these "underdogs" to be in as bad a situation as they end up. A ship that is superior to all others, a crew un-paralleled, the protagonist being perfect despite a "troubled past", you can stop me if any or all of this sounds very familiar, and with all that very little of it has any originality to it. Save your money and time, find something else.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for andrew
  • andrew
  • 08-03-16

fast fun and multifaceted!

I didn't think this would be more then a bit of fluff to pass the time. But it turned out to be a well-rounded story with fun characters a good backdrop and a lot of great action. definitely going to continue this series!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Zenzer
  • 09-09-19

Great start

Came here because of Jeffrey Kafer but am a big fan of Jay Allan books, and this did not dissapoint. I'll be back for book 2.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gary Carter
  • Gary Carter
  • 31-08-19

Surprise!

I was pleasently surprised to find that the characters were known to me and they were as amazing as before. This story flowed smoothly and was at the same time full of action. Another winner for Jay Allen.

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Profile Image for Theresa Horton
  • Theresa Horton
  • 29-08-19

Great

I really enjoyed this audio book the characters brought out all the action it was a great science fiction story great writing I look forward to book two great narrator h