At 15, Alexis Carew has to face an age old problem - she's a girl, and only a boy can inherit the family's vast holdings. Her options are few. She must marry and watch a stranger run the lands, or become a penniless tenant and see the lands she so dearly loves sold off. Yet there may be another option, one that involves becoming a midshipman on a shorthanded spaceship with no other females.
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I shall say right out front, that I received a promotional copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
I will further say, that I plan to spend one of my own credits when the talented Ms. Klett and Mr. Sutherland release the next book in audio.
Perhaps I was a lost cause from the start. I adore a good scifi. I adore a new clever take on faster than light travel. I adore a military scifi (especially naval). I adore sailing and tall ships. I adore a smart, tough female protagonist refusing to let patriarchy define her.
And I adore a well intonated British accent.
"Into the Dark" would have had me from the third page... even if it WEREN'T a darn good story.
Horatio Hornblower, Honor Harrington, Sassinak, Kylara Vatta, Keladry of Mindolin, a bit of Nicholas Seafort...
if Mr. Sutherland isn't familiar with all these series, he damn well ought to be, for it's hardly a ground-breaking genre... but why should it be? Sutherland's story is well-paced, plausible, amusing and somber by turns. Alexis Carew is a fine inheritor of the reluctant, or perhaps humble, hero mantle. Her demeanor is charmingly modern, her disinterest in the trappings of expected behavior admirable, and her interaction with others totally credulous.
I was charmed.
The book is also, in many ways, absurd.
The mental gymnastics required to shoehorn Tall Ships into interstellar space are... daunting. BUT, by God, Sutherland managed it, and I was willing to buy the whole line of nonsense... and smile. It IS absurd, but... I found myself shrugging and saying "well, and why not?" Sails and rigging and cannon and broadsides, and 18th century British naval discipline alongside FTL transit, and colony disputes. I laughed, I shook my head in astonishment that I was OK with it.
And I was. Completely.
Elizabeth Klett is charming, well paced, and clearly in tune with the material. Her cultured British accent at times both at odds with the content, and yet perfectly tuned to set the stage. The production is clean, the audio quality top notch, and I applaud her performance. I look forward to more.
Do treat yourself to this one. If you are a lover of Sci Fi, if you are an admirer of strong female characters who simply (to quote a recent meme) "give absolutely zero ^#$(*&" about what the world expects of them. If you love a good naval romp, or if you just want to have a fun time in a fanciful yet gritty world...
I TRULY enjoyed the Story of the young Alexis Carew and her innocent tough kid willing to take on the unknown to attempt to save her family properties while not just falling inline to the unfair status quo laws. The Story gives you more of a European or British style of how young people are a bit more grown up a little earlier in life, at least where it counts.
Elizabeth Klett does a wonderful job reading this first book in the Story of Young Miss Carew. I did not expect to enjoy this book nd thought it may be a good listen for my daughter but I couldn't put it down. I hope my daughter grows up to be as tough, sharp, responsible and respectable as the young lady in this book. Good Show Lass!
I am a single 40 something guy with a daughter who's Audible library is pushing 400 books and hope to write something worth publishing one day. Audible needs a single section or chat room because I read so much I don't have time to date. "Reading can take you anywhere you want to go without leaving your home" Kawika