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Star Crusades: Valentine

Narrated by: Shamaan Casey
Series: Star Crusades: Valentine, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
4 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Summary

Valentine never thought death would be so difficult. Tough, a crack shot and popular with her unit. She’s a young woman with a bright future in the Corps. But everything changed the day her unit boarded the dreaded "Burijas", a Leviathan Class Battleship and flagship of the invading Star Empire. The assault is a bloodbath, but little does she know it will be her last action. A devastating blast tears her fragile body apart, leaving her a broken woman close to death.

Nothing goes to waste in the Alliance, and trained and experienced marines are prized assets. Valentine is given a unique chance, one that could see her return to the frontline as part of the Novas. A brand-new elite unit of cybernetic super-soldiers, and lead by the charismatic Captain Olik. And he’s no regular marine, he’s an enhanced Jötnar that’s twice the size of a man, and 10 times more dangerous. Valentine will need to prove her worth as she fights for a place among the Novas. War is brewing on a distant world, a war that will need the Alliance’s best, and the Novas will be leading the charge.

Valentine is the first book in a brand-new saga in the style of Starship Troopers, Aliens, and Predator. A story which will take the listener to new worlds, to face new and deadly threats to the Alliance. This is an epic story with incredible characters and even more incredible and advanced technologies.

©2019 Michael G. Thomas (P)2019 Michael G. Thomas

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

enjoyable book

Style of Starship Troopers, Aliens, and Predator. good book lots of action
enjoyed it from start to finish

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

Good New Series

This universe has a lot to offer ,although it does take a while to get into and so it is with this audio.
The main MC a battle hardened and upgraded solider ,It's a common theme and is done quite well.
I have heard this theme done better as it takes a while to get into this busy story and bond with her although she lives up to her kick ass type.
The overall story promises lots of battles and a new enemy to fight which is something Thomas excels at. The first story usually takes a while to really get you going, and so it is with this, I'm sure the 2nd will up the ante as he does frequently so it's a 4 stars so far.
Narration by Casey a new narrator for me was done well although I would prefer something slightly softer for Valentine, the other characters are very well done however so 5 stars.
Overall this was about 4.5 stars and something I will check out in the future as more become available.

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Profile Image for Ivy Moore
  • Ivy Moore
  • 07-07-19

Awesome Action

This is the second pairing of Michael G. Thomas and Shamaan Casey and wow I hope they stick together. I love action adventure books and Thomas has it down perfectly.

The book is almost non stop action in the vein of Alien and Predator. The soldiers are augmented in absolutely amazing ways. Having screwed up my back, I was daydreaming that I was one of the soldiers and able to do the same things they could. Yes, warrior woman here. Lately, only in spirit but still ... :) The technology is seriously amazing. The enemy they go up against later on is fascinating. I don't want to say too much but it wasn't what I expected but in a really good way.

And writing about women and men as fairly equal and interchangeable where abilities were concerned was fantastic to listen to. Michael G. Thomas writes from a woman's point of view and nails it. At least a woman I can totally relate to. Thank you, sir!

Now Shamaan Casey's voice. I'm actually a bit embarrassed to write this but ... think "expensive cognac". Fantastic voice to listen to. He also pulls off a credible woman's voice with his deep voice which is crazy talented. My other review said that the other books by Michael G Thomas need to be redone with Casey as the narrator and I still stand by that.

If you like action filled, science fiction, military space operas then you'll LOVE this series. Five stars all the way around.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Sturgeon
  • 03-07-19

Great Story!

Fantastic writing and excellent narration makes this futuristic tale a very exciting and enjoyable experience.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Quella
  • Quella
  • 04-08-19

A solid story and performance, wanted more depth

“Star Crusades: Valentine” is the first audiobook in what is to become an epic space marine sage under the series with the same title. If you are one who enjoys listening to large battles involving massive cruisers and battleships along with the men and women on the front line fighting for their lives, I think you may find this book to your liking. The story is written by Michael G. Thomas who is well known for his many science fiction space sagas. The audiobook is expertly narrated by Shamaan Casey who is an up and coming audiobook narrator with a unique sound and style. The story is that of a strong female Marine who during the heat of battle is severely injured and near death. The last thing she remembers seeing is a powerful explosion ripping though her ship and then things went black. No one could have survived such a blast, and she knew it. Surprisingly for her, she awakes broken and confused in a Marine medical facility. To her astonishment, she discovers that her body, while in a coma and recovering from her injuries, was modified using cybernetics. This had me recalling the old TV show, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, but this one is better. All of this work to restore her was done so she could become one of the elite fighting members of the newly formed Novas. If you like big battles and massive amounts of action, you may want to check out this audiobook and even the author’s other works if you like science fiction.

The audiobook has many scenes with action, violence, exploration, and discovery. There is a clear mission with a powerful foe who needs to be defeated. There are large ships, epic battles and some clearly unique and interesting technologies. Not only are we shown the advancement of things like autonomous mules for carrying goods, we see some quite amazing technology used to augment our wounded soldiers. The CORTEX integration system was both functional and snarky at the same time, and I liked its many quirks. Even in the future computers will have their issues. Maybe like today, turning them off and on might fix most of the problems. I quite enjoyed the character’s interaction with the cybernetic subsystem. As the book stated, these modifications provided the Marines the power of a god in the form of a human. My favorite aspect was the world building, ships, and technology. The writing was detailed and often well developed. I would also like to say that the military tactics and actions seemed realistic and researched. Even though the story took place in the future, it was believable.

I felt the book lacked a few of the things that make a story go from good too great. Although I liked the main characters, most of them seemed thin or flat. I wanted more than just information about them, I wanted to know and understand them. I did not feel a deep connection to most and a few flashbacks or other details on why these characters were who they were would have made the story more personal and connectable. The plot was solid, but I wanted to know more about the war, the reasons, cultures, etc. To me, it felt a bit like knowledge transfer than it did a story told. This is not saying the book was bad, not at all. I just like more depth and connection in my stories even if they contain space Marines.

The audiobook’s narration by Mr. Casey was deep, rich and clean. His professional voicing gave me a feeling of the vastness and coldness of space. He was able to clearly distinguish the various characters with their own voices and personalities which can be difficult when you have a number of characters along with mixed genders. For me, I was not a fan of Captain Olik’s voice, but I understand why he was voiced in this way. The narration had a few slight audio plugs where you could notice a correction was necessary, but these were very few and far between. The rest of the audio was well-produced and professional. I have enjoyed and reviewed other books by this narrator, and I look forward to many more.

For parents and younger readers, it should come as no surprise that the book contains violence and some of it being rather graphic. There is also vulgar language and crude humor sprinkled in the storyline, but I thought the author did a good job of limiting this to only sections unlike other space Marine stories I have listened to. Because of the violence I would not recommend this for younger listeners.

In summary, the plot and tech are solid. I like the character interaction and working together to achieve a goal. I would have like to have had more details on why and how they got to this place, more about the tech, more about the ships, etc. More back story, flashbacks, or other details making the characters feel more rounded and connected. The book’s narration was solid and rich. There is a concrete story here in the book, don’t get me wrong. For those who like the space military genre, I would say give it a listen.

Disclaimer: This audiobook was provided free of charge from the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Layla
  • Layla
  • 29-07-19

Military Science Fiction

As my son would say this was Epic! I have read a few military sci-fi and I would always feel dissatisfied after reading it. I think they put too much back story which pulls you out of the action. The author builds up the tension to only fall flat when they start inserting back stories. Not so in this case. I thought it had enough backstory to give you some understanding of the history of the world they live in and the characters.
This one jumps in from the get-go and is fast paced all the way through with plenty of tension, action and suspense.
The book is told from different pov's which I liked, and you get a better understanding of what is going on elsewhere and what the characters are thinking.
This book reminds me of pitch black. So, if you liked the movie you would love this only difference being the characters are part of the military.
This is cyberpunk sci-fi and not farfetched to believe would happen in the future (human parts being replaced by mechanical parts not the aliens).
The narrator did a great job in voicing the characters and he suited this type of book well.
Dying to find out what happens next.
There is no sexual content or profanity (that I can think off) with moderate violence.
Would highly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maly C
  • 16-07-19

Intense

Book was really intense and kept me on the edge of my seat as you never could tell what the author was going to throw at you next. Characters were well thought out as well as the story line. If you are into action then there is plenty of action in this book! Love this narrarator! He brough the characters to life and had me fully invested in them from the first chapter. Very soothing and easy to listen to him! Great book to add to you library if you are into sci fi!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brian
  • 16-07-19

Well This Was Fun

It’s pretty rare that a book just jumps right into the story – this one was one of those books. I was thrown directly into the fight and I wasn’t 100% sure what was going on but I caught on fast. Even though it is part of a bigger series – there was still some explaining and teaching about the world and the characters.

The thing that stood out to me quickly was the combination of action-writing from Thomas and the Casey’s narration. I love when a narrator/author combo works out – even when the main character is a female. Shamaan has a baritone voice but that didn’t take me away from the badassery of Valentine as a character at all – it added to it somehow.

The thing that I took away from the book was the use of enhancements and improvements to the human body. That part was interesting and felt real and even though I’ve heard it done before also felt pretty unique. Throw that in with the insanely fast-paced storytelling and lots and lots of action and you have a space opera/military thriller for the summer that will knock your socks off.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would definitely continue the series once those books are released.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cindy
  • 12-07-19

I want some too!

I love the enhancements. To bad fantasy can't be real, at my age I could use several...Oh well.
Lots of intense action,. interesting characters, overall a great listen.
Narrator really brought out the personalities.
My only drawback, and this could be on me., somewhat confusing at first and took several chapters for the story to flow.
This audio was given to me free and I voluntarily gave this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • D M Reynolds
  • 31-12-19

Just couldn’t get into it

There’s action. There’s tech. There’s bad guys. But honestly, after 2.5 hours I wasn’t engaged with the main character and I’d sort of lost track of who was fighting which bad guys or why... could be me. I’m into military sci fi but I’m also not into a series of tech plus battles with minimal plot (or subtle plot - I like obvious ones!). This could go either way... but the characters didn’t make me want to figure it out.

NB: I received this book for free in exchange for the review.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 17-08-19

good scifi

I have enjoyed the start of the series and look forward to the next books. the characters are is to follow and the story has a good mystery to it both in the characters and the storyline. the only thing I did not like was a losing of so many characters in the first book.

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  • Hunter
  • 02-08-19

It was pretty good but not for me

** I received a free review copy of this book my review is voluntary and unbiased.**

The story was honestly pretty good, However, the way the action scenes were framed, the pacing of the narrator, and the cutaways to different perspectives just couldn't keep my attention the way I was hoping for a cyborg spacemarine novel. There were some slower exposition points and then some parts where they just gloss over something I thought would be interesting, honestly this book kinda felt like an extended prologue to what would be an excellent book series.

The story follows Valentine and a group crazy cybered up space soldiers who take on the toughest missions in the galaxy, many of which involve encounters with biomechanical monstrous alien creatures, most of the characters are interesting enough though I found Valentine herself to be just a bit boring.

There was enough interesting stuff that went into this book to justify the 4* rating though. Some really interesting world building and the bio cyberware stuff, and the mil-tech design was interesting. The biomech aliens were neat. There was a lot to like about this book it just felt like the pacing was off somewhere so I'd personally rate it about 3.7* out of 5