Jake Melkins is a few months away from turning 21. By the Seceltor Empire's laws, he will have to go to a breeding camp, or directly into slavery. Neither choice appeals to him. All this changes with the arrival of a space-and-time-traveling being known as Evaran at the space-station-turned-rest-stop that Jake lives on. To make things complicated, Greecho, the slaver who abducted Jake as a kid, has arrived at the station. He and his crew, along with his 22-year-old human pet, Kathy, are about to go on a slave run to Earth. Evaran has decided to interfere and free Jake and Kathy. That decision will lead him to Earth, where he will need to deal with the consequences.
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Remember that old 70's show Kung Fu, where Caine travels the old wild west with nothing but a pack and a stick? (Loved that!) Well mash that up with some Starman vibes, and a dollop of Dr. Who -- (and maybe a bit of Lost in Space) -- and you have some idea of this new series.
Everan is a man, (but not a human man), who has been alive for 500,000 years. He has a belt full of tech, and a time traveling spaceship, complete with a robot companion. At least part of the time, he's busy catching criminals and dispensing justice.
He's clearly an entity who's seen it all, done it all, (and wasn't particularly impressed the first time). He isn't moved emotionally, but is measured and steady in his responses when faced with danger, the way someone of his vast age should be. But he isn't omniscient.
In this one, he rescues a couple of human slaves from nasty alien slave traders, playing a minor con that results in the female slave being rescued. The way it's written, Everan doesn't appear to know what the consequences of his actions might be, and that "anything can happen" note added to the weird, moody tension throughout the book.
The author has written in a spare and minimalist way, with little description provided for characters or scenery. That consistent lack of prosey description provided a sort of mental 'green screen effect,' which allowed me the freedom to decide how everything looked -- which was a fun exercise for me. (I don't know if that was intentional, but if it was, it was kind of brilliant.) Others may prefer more detail.
So far, I'm definitely interested in continuing and have begun the 2nd book which is really good, too. I hope this premise lives up to it's potential, and maintains the alien-ness of it's main character as the series progresses. I'd also like to see Everan become a little less bumbling and absent minded when it comes to the danger his friends are in. A little less human, full stop. Either he's this long lived superior being, or he's just another dope with fancy gadgets who has to resort to brute force when things get tense. (Personally, I'm not interested in the second choice.) It would be far more original if Everan had a big brain.
The reader: Michael Pauley is new to me, but I thought he did a great job with the material -- until he came to the dreaded action scene at the end of the book. At that point, he became over-emotive and read the material WAY too fast. His performance highlighted the lack of description and the spare descriptions of the characters, despite his valiant efforts to instill some excitement. Still, I'd happily buy other books narrated by him because, overall, I think he's good.
All of the characters are well served by this reader, and the dialogue is great. So is the pacing and the tone of the book. And Everan has a strangely innocent POV that I found intriguing -- and most important, it kept me listening.
For a two hour book, that's impressive.
Highly Recommended -- at least for this first book. (I'll let you know about the 2nd!)
Loved this prequel! I have not read the following books, this can be a standalone short book. It was reminiscent of Dr. Who, and I thoroughly loved listening to the book. It is appropriate for young teens, with no sex or language. The story immediately grabs you. I was pleased with how well the author developed the characters in such a short period of time. Following the listening of this book, I am absolutely going to read the rest of the series!
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."