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Vick's Vultures (Union Earth Privateers, #1)…
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Vick's Vultures (Union Earth Privateers, #1) (edição 2016)

por Scott Warren

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215851,936 (3.71)Nenhum(a)
In the far future, alien technology captured by the Union Earth Privateers has fueled Earth's tenuous expansion from a single planet to a handful of systems across the Orion Spur. Victoria Marin, captain of the U.E. Condor, and her crew of Vultures have been running dry for months. In danger of losing her command and her credibility if she can't locate fresh salvage, she locks onto the distress signal of an alien ship in hopes of valuable cargo. What she finds instead is First Prince Tavram, the heir apparent to one of the largest empires in known space. Tavram's ship has been crippled after narrowly escaping an ambush and his would-be assassin is coming to finish the job. The Vultures launch a high risk mission to rescue the prince and recover every last scrap of xenotech they can before the hunter catches up to his prey. But there are more dangers than notorious interstellar assassins when it comes to ferrying an alien prince across the stars, and Victoria must contend with dangerous alliances, old grudges, and even her own government if she means to bring her crew home alive. Whether she succeeds or fails, the consequences of her choices will affect the path of all humanity.… (mais)
Membro:bored_panda
Título:Vick's Vultures (Union Earth Privateers, #1)
Autores:Scott Warren
Informação:Parvus Press, Kindle Edition, 226 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:to-read

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Vick's Vultures por Scott Warren

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Mostrando 5 de 5
I received this book from Parvus Press, in exchange for an honest review.

Just a few days ago I was reading a fellow blogger’s reasons for not accepting submissions from indie authors any longer, and I could sympathize with those reasons: more often than not, the writing and editing quality of these books is not exactly stellar, or the premise and promise of the stories don’t hold up against closer scrutiny. And that not even taking into account personal reading preferences and biases. My own experience is that only one book in ten doesn’t end in the DNF pile, if I’m lucky, so I appreciate why some would choose to concentrate on more tested and tried offerings – I’ve held that thought myself several times, especially after a particularly disheartening encounter.

Then I “meet” books like this one, and I understand the reason why I have not given up yet: because otherwise I would miss out on exciting discoveries. Vick’s Vultures is precisely the example of the kind of potential that could get lost in the huge crowd of emerging authors struggling for recognition, if it couldn’t get under a helpful spotlight: it’s a good, solid, entertaining story, and even if it’s not a world-changing reading experience, it’s an enormously enjoyable book, and sometimes that’s all we look for.

The best feature of Vick’s Vultures is its premise: once humanity ventures beyond the Solar System it discovers that the Galaxy is peopled by a great number of alien races, all of them far more advanced and far more belligerent and dangerous than Earthers. Starting out with such a handicap, humanity chooses to keep a low profile, forging alliances with lesser civilizations, while trying to acquire technological improvements in the most unobtrusive way. This is the origin of the privateers, to all intents and purposes scavenger crews who gather scraps of alien tech in the wake of the endless conflicts between the major races: retro-engineering this alien technology, Earth is able to further its own advancement while staying out of sight of the big guys – and out of harm’s way - as much as possible.

The Condor, under the command of Captain Victoria Marin, is one of these privateers: as the novel opens, Vick is worried by the lack of valuable finds that has plagued her crew in recent times – she needs a sizable profit, something truly outstanding, to keep her ship afloat both financially and morale-wise. Fate brings the Condor across the wreck of a Malagath ship, drifting in space after a battle with their arch-enemies the Dirregaunt: the salvaged materials alone could be a dream come true for Vick and her people, but the real bonus comes with the Malagath survivors she finds on board, because one of them is First Prince Tavram, the heir to the throne. Taking him home will be a great coup, and coupled with what the Condor will bring back in alien tech, it will mean a great deal for the Vultures and their captain' future as privateers.

Trouble is, the Dirregaunt – in accordance with their wolf-like appearance and predatory nature – are not ready to give up on their quarry, and this starts a dangerous hunt for the prince and the ship that rescued him, a hide-and-seek chase through interstellar space that will take its toll on the already stressed Condor and its crew, pitting Captain Marin’s willpower and cunning against that of a very determined, very savage enemy.

This premise results in a fast-paced, at times breathless story that makes for a compelling reading while laying the background for the author’s vision of the future, one that is quite believable in its lack of glamorous technological advancement for Earth, whose people try to carve their own niche in the grander scheme of things, despite the obvious disadvantages they started out with. You will not find exotic and hard-to-believe (or comprehend…) technobabble here: Earth ships all but forge on through makeshift repairs, inventive use of purloined technology and a good dose of human stubborn resourcefulness, which make it quite easy to root for the characters.

Captain Marin is a good example of this: a strong, determined woman who cares deeply about her ship and crew – and shows it through action rather than words, which is a very welcome change. A woman who has learned the hard way how to survive in the doubly hostile milieu of space, where environment and people lie in wait for that single moment of distraction which will mean one’s death. Vick knows what she wants, and knows how to take it, be it precious salvage, a tactical opportunity or a moment of passion to make her forget the heavy demands of her position. As far as female characters go in this genre, she’s sound and believable, and does not need to be beautiful and alluring, or dark and tormented (or one of the possible permutations…) to stand out: she’s a capable, reliable professional, and she has charisma – it’s more than enough.

This novel is not immune from a few problems, however, but they are indeed minor and do not detract from the overall experience of the book: the background information, for example, is pared down to the essentials but at times it intrudes on the narrative flow in such a way as to prove mildly distracting. While I understand the need to flesh out the author’s vision and to offer useful details on this imagined future, there are times when the didactic nature of this information feels a little too much – at least for me. Then there is the characterization, that is not explored in great depth, although the adventurous nature of the story requires a tighter focus on action, rather than introspection. And again there is a thread about two Earth marines playing infiltrators where the suspension of disbelief is stretched somewhat thinly. Still, these are considerations that did not spoil my enjoyment of the story or took me out of the narrative “bubble”, and are quite superseded by some intriguing, unusual details that make a difference: for example the fact that the few colonies Earth managed to establish are largely ignored by alien expansion because the oxygen atmosphere humans need is not in great demand with other species. It’s a small thing, but to me it speaks of an active imagination capable of intriguing lateral thinking.

Vick’s Vultures will be available from October 4th: if you feel the need for an engaging, adventure-filled story and the beginning to what could turn out to be a good series, you need look no further.



Originally posted at SPACE and SORCERY Blog ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
I received this from Netgalley and Parvus Press in exchange for an honest review.

Outstanding space battle/sci-fi that made my "favorites" shelf.

This one had some definite "Star Trek/Capt Kirk" vibe to it, especially like the old battles with the Klingons and the Romulans. I was reminded a lot of Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country. Lots of plot twists, surprises (and the expected "surprises", too!).

The writing was very good, and drew me in almost instantly. Very quick read, and very entertaining.

The ending leaves it wide open for a sequel (or sequels). Hope they come quickly! ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 7, 2018 |
This military science fiction novel crossed my review desk ages ago. The publisher requested that I review it saying it had “pioneer spirit and the wisecracking tone of Firefly combined with the action and taut pacing of Mad Max: Fury Road.”

At the mention of Firefly I was hooked. How could I resist?

Vick’s Vultures is set in a future where Earth, far behind the rest of the universe in terms of technology, runs a privateering fleet of spaceships whose crews scavenge alien tech from wrecks. This enables earth to gradually expand its reach into universe and slowly cultivate tenuous alliances while aiming to keep Earth’s location off everyone’s radar.

The story emphasises the position of Earth as being at the bottom of the universal dung heap with a government that walks a fine line between keeping Earth’s location secret because they’re hopelessly outgunned and slowly acquiring power / tech so they can one day defend themselves in a universe full of more advanced and often predatory species.

Victoria Marin is the Captain of the U.E. Condor and on one of her scavenging missions, she and her crew stumble upon an alien prince in need of rescuing, then find themselves firmly in the middle of an age old war between two of the most advanced civilisations in the universe.

Vick's Vultures is fast paced from beginning to end and the action sequences are excellent. The story arcs, tension and world building thoroughly engaging.

The character of Victoria and the obsessive Dirregaunt Commander, who is the villain of this piece, are a little stereotyped but none the less fun to read. I found some of the secondary characters more interesting than the main ones. I felt like the end needed a couple of extra scenes rather than an epilogue that summed everything up. I would like to have read the unfolding of the final events after the big battle finale.

However, what I particularly enjoyed were the various alien civilisations that Warren constructed. I found them unique, enjoyed the different cultural / social customs and loved the backstory of intricate politics and betrayal.

The whole feel is rather like Firefly crossed with Star Trek. It’s space opera done very well. I became hooked on reading it and abandoned my afternoon plans to finish it. It was rollicking good fun.

I’m definitely going to read the next one and check out the rest of Scott Warren’s books.

Four Stars!
( )
  tracymjoyce | Nov 16, 2017 |
In a galaxy full of politicians, aliens, and royalty in distress, Victoria Marin her crew of the privateer U. E. Condor are having difficulty locating some worthy salvage. The Vultures are getting restless, so Victoria takes a chance on a faint distress signal. What the Vultures find may be more than they are prepared to handle – First Prince Tavram and his entourage.

This was a fun fast-paced space story. Vick and her Vultures are an efficient crew. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of Tavram and his crew, same as Vick. I was pleased to see several of Tavram’s people meshing with the Vultures. There’s even a little side romance.

Meanwhile, the aliens that tried so hard to take out Prince Tavram won’t easily be put off. Best Wishes of the ship Spring Dawn is in pursuit. I really enjoyed the names of these aliens, such as Modest Barry. Wishes and his crew have their orders and their empire has these hidden motivations that eventually become clear. There are bigger things at work and Vick and her Vultures are now caught up in the middle of this mess.

I read somewhere that this book has been compared to the TV series Firefly. For me, Firefly has a lot of great humor, and it’s a mix of the obvious and the subtle. This book really only has the obvious humor, which is good but I wouldn’t compare this book to Firefly in that way. This book has a great mix of cultures represented in the characters, such as Hu-wan, Uri, Red Calhoun, Vega, etc. In some ways, this story has greater diversity than Firefly.

Over all, it was a pretty fun, light action story. There’s no great in-depth meaning or some soulful love story. It was the perfect book for a busy time of the year when I just want some brain candy. I look forward to seeing what the author does next with this series.

The Narration: Steven Barnett does a great job with all the accents and then the made-up alien accents as well, which included a kind of bug voice and a slightly bubbly like underwater voice. I was really impressed with his range. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Dec 31, 2016 |
I received this from Netgalley and Parvus Press in exchange for an honest review.

Outstanding space battle/sci-fi that made my "favorites" shelf.

This one had some definite "Star Trek/Capt Kirk" vibe to it, especially like the old battles with the Klingons and the Romulans. I was reminded a lot of Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country. Lots of plot twists, surprises (and the expected "surprises", too!).

The writing was very good, and drew me in almost instantly. Very quick read, and very entertaining.

The ending leaves it wide open for a sequel (or sequels). Hope they come quickly! ( )
  ssimon2000 | Jul 20, 2016 |
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In the far future, alien technology captured by the Union Earth Privateers has fueled Earth's tenuous expansion from a single planet to a handful of systems across the Orion Spur. Victoria Marin, captain of the U.E. Condor, and her crew of Vultures have been running dry for months. In danger of losing her command and her credibility if she can't locate fresh salvage, she locks onto the distress signal of an alien ship in hopes of valuable cargo. What she finds instead is First Prince Tavram, the heir apparent to one of the largest empires in known space. Tavram's ship has been crippled after narrowly escaping an ambush and his would-be assassin is coming to finish the job. The Vultures launch a high risk mission to rescue the prince and recover every last scrap of xenotech they can before the hunter catches up to his prey. But there are more dangers than notorious interstellar assassins when it comes to ferrying an alien prince across the stars, and Victoria must contend with dangerous alliances, old grudges, and even her own government if she means to bring her crew home alive. Whether she succeeds or fails, the consequences of her choices will affect the path of all humanity.

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