The Reluctant Hero (The Owen Reynolds Chronicles Book 1)


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BRIEF STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY... or Why THIS List?

I felt whole and healthy and right.

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Hiding something and playing emotional tug-o-war with Owen. He keeps pulling back from him. After a wonderful Halloween night they go back to Owen's place and Nick drops his bomb shell of a revelation on Owen. At this point I lost the plot! My red wine and chocolate consumption shot through the roof. Sat on the sofa up to my neck in used tissues.

I was a wreck. Just when you think that Owen has a future someone he can depend on and love, the world is shattered once again. However, due to June, Nick's family and a good friend Nathan, Owen gets his head straight and fights for Nick. Nick has got as big a problem as Owen and he is not going to let this get between what they had felt for each other.

There is fault on both sides, but this time the tables turn and it's Owen showing Nick the way! Yes, you made a mistake. You deserve to be loved. And to be happy. Again we see how much family can really effect their children and their confidence in later life. Nick's parents come to visit for Thanksgiving and I could feel the warmth and love these guys had for their children.

It was pure and unconditional. Owen felt this too and revelled in it. When Owen's parents came we get a completely different picture. His mother; domineering, overbearing, always complaining and worst of all blaming Owen for everything. Yes, I felt aggressive, protective and wanted to smack the woman for Owen. Owen realises that if he is ever to be happy he first has to stand up to his mother.

That he does and sends her packing. Never again would I question myself because of her. With his new found confidence he wins Nick back for good. WOW - to be honest I can't really put into words how this story got to me. Marie Sexton's writing for me is so full of feeling and empathy for her characters that you connect with their desperate situations immediatley.

Feeling their hopelessness, sense of insecurity, thier fears and angst, but also thier joys and triumphs. Marie has the most incredible insight into social situations, behaviour and interaction, I keep asking myself whether she has ever experienced anything like this personally. To be able to write about these things with such a depth of perception and intuition bringing these feelings into words is a truly incredible thing. The plot in this story I found to be so well balanced, going from constant highs and lows, but not just an erratic roller-coaster of emotion.

She takes you on a journey of Owen and Nick becoming constantly stronger, dealing with their problems and realisng that together, they are strong and everything will be just fine. It was believing I was normal, and knowing I was desired. It was the newfound hope that my life really could be more.

But more than anything, it was about trusting him. Until this point I had really turned my nose up and had been very sceptical about such books, until one day I thought let's give it a go. I read Between Sinners and Saints and was blown away. Hooked and have never looked back. I have now read a lot and often think if I had maybe read something else the effect wouldn't have been quite the same. I'm so grateful that by pure chance I managed to pick a book by one of most talented writers of this genre. There are still a lot more books from Marie that I wish to read, but I'll get there eventually.

As for this book, all I can personally say is "read it and weep" but take heart for a great end that will send your heart soaring. View all 14 comments. Feb 07, Cole Riann rated it really liked it Shelves: Review posted at The Armchair Reader. Not because of the book itself, but because I read this book about two months ago and then didn't write the review promptly not a surprise, honestly!

But, in a twist I didn't expect, but should have, I find that this book comes back to me in detail that books I read two months previously usually never do. And that just shows how much of this book stuck with me. I rem Review posted at The Armchair Reader. I remember thinking about it for a couple of weeks afterward, and when I consider that I usually hold books that stay with me for a few days in high esteem, then this was a really special read for me. And without doubt, the best book in the Tucker Springs series by far.

Admittedly, my feelings about the books in this series so far have been so so; while I liked them all, none of them really stuck with me a statement I've made in past reviews of those books. Enter Never a Hero to make me eat my words… We first meet Owen sequestered in his dark apartment, the main floor of a split level home in Tucker Springs. He rarely leaves, working at home on his computer and getting his groceries delivered.

Her Unexpected Hero Audiobook

His life is a pretty depressing one. Raised to be ashamed of his missing arm, the result of a congenital amputation that's where the blood supply to a limb is cut off by the amniotic cord in the womb and the fetus is born without a limb or with a partial limb , Owen was further humiliated by his mother's negativity and verbal abuse as a child to the point where he has extreme social anxiety that goes even beyond his embarrassment over his missing arm and his stutter. Even worse, his mother's campaign of abuse frequently centered on his obvious homosexuality and her relative displeasure at such a prospect of a gay son.

Naturally, as an adult Owen's life is rather tormented and lonely, and even though his courage stretched far enough to move away from her influence, his mother's work was done. Owen takes hardly any pleasures in life, and the one he cherishes is soon to end. Owen has fallen in love with his downstair neighbor's daily piano playing and by proxy, Owen fancies himself in love with the woman himself. Even worse than the prospect of the absence of his unrequited hetero love, Owen's new neighbor is a beautiful gay man.

Owen could easily resent Nick's presence -- he's confident, sexy and doesn't deal with the same sort of social anxieties as Owen proved by the loads of gay male friends who come to help him move in -- but Nick's charm and easy going nature seem to deflate Owen's bubble of derision and longing.

As the two get to know each other, Owen starts to find it difficult to pretend that he still wants his old neighbor, the woman, especially when Nick cooks for him nasty healthy food and little by little starts to draw Owen out of his shell and out of his apartment. But the best thing about Nick is his reaction to Owen's missing arm. He doesn't stare, but he doesn't ignore it either.

He's comfortable talking about it. Of course, Nick isn't perfect. As his self-confidence grows with Nick's patient encouragement, Owen finds that as much as he needs a hero and found one , Nick needs one too. He's full of secrets that he's extremely persistent to keep and each subsequent intimate step forward in their relationship leads to Nick taking two steps away.

Take one look at the tags for this book, even without knowing what the book is about or having read the blurb, and you'll be able to tell that the characters in this story deal with a shitload of adversity. It's enough to pound on the angst button and send me clamoring for the hills! But, once again, Marie Sexton won me over by the charm of her writing. Some writers just have a way of connecting to the reader through their words. Sometimes I like to think of it as if I'm reading the book out loud.

Would it sound and feel like I'm telling a story? It doesn't necessarily require a strong or unique character voice, but the narration immediately takes a spark in you and you're hooked. I shouldn't have been surprised… Marie's words have done this to me before in other books of hers. Nevertheless, I felt as if the charm and honesty in the writing cut through whatever natural angst exists from dealing with characters who have such enormous difficulties.

While the growing relationship between Owen and Nick is central to the story, the real star of the story is Owen and the ongoing catalyst to keep the story moving is really Owen's personal growth. It is important that Owen take the steps to take control of his life himself. I think it's also important that Owen has a goal other than his own self-worth. I think that having both characters dealing with really heavy issues isn't only to show that the two much rely on one another in any kind of relationship, but it's important to motivate Owen, to show that he can help not only himself but Nick as well.

There's something I found unique to this book in the series that I was really happy to see. You can see in the book that Marie made a decision to incorporate all of the past characters from the books into the story, and not just the ones that are affiliated with her books. I really appreciated this, because the opposite has been true for some of the other books and showing the other characters really helped build a feeling of community in the story. It refreshed all of the connections between the men in a way that wasn't as apparent before.

When I first heard that there was going to be a multi-author series based on interconnected stories set in the same town, I think I got a perhaps misconstrued notion of a series that was going to be much more interconnected that it has been thus far, which has been somewhat disappointing to me. This book went quite a way appease that disappointment and I hope that in the future the characters from other books start to pop up here and there, or even better that characters would have a more important part to play in books that aren't their own.

Maybe authors have an unspoken rule not to fuck up other authors pet characters ; Maybe not. Maybe this isn't even in the cards for this series, but I would love to see these authors having a more hands on approach to the other authors' characters, perhaps even working together to plan character trajectories over each other's books so that the stories are more integrated. Just my own wish: The fact that the stories are by and large separate means that though this is a series, you can feel free to enter at any stage and read whichever books take your particular fancy.

If that's the case with you and you haven't read any of the Tucker Springs books, or even if you've read the others, this remains my favorite and as good of a place as any to start reading. You can always go back and read the others if you find yourself interested in the secondary characters in Never a Hero. This is instead a slightly more serious, subtle and rather short book about two in mind and body wounded men who need to get on in life and who don't dare to believe in a real change.

As a new neighbor moves into Owen's house the piano will once more be playe 3,5 Stars - moving and beautiful about two partially damaged men, playing piano, ask for what you want, to love yourself and a lost hand Some novels are great, loud with divine, superhuman, unforgettable characters - this is not such a novel. As a new neighbor moves into Owen's house the piano will once more be played. A lost hand doesn't matter. Everything is suddenly possible. The new neighbor Nick also generates a lot of new emotions, thoughtfulness, a real close friend, encouragement and attraction and it all allows a new life, so much warmer and better, for these lovely men.

Nobody sees him, and no one says what he needs to hear: There is also Nick's three dogs, his funny and so brave on hand sister, some friends, acquaintances and family. But best of all; this man who wants to create a change for Owen. Oh god, I love people like Nick, who sees others and knocking on those who really need a push in the back. This is a nice, quite simple but so memorable story. Why does minor defects, flaws, shortcomings really influence you life?

With affection, love and the ability to see others can so much be so much better. To my suprise, ha began to blush too. I have up to now read 4 of of Ms. This novel is perhaps not her best, but as always, give this author me a subtle, slowly developed romantic story about brittle, loving and so genuine credible people. There are parts in this story where I think it burst and fading sometimes and got a little to much of fishing after cruel injustice, viciousness, strange parents etc, but I can overlook and ignore that and rounds up to a 4 star novel anyway.

Well worth reading - characters that grow and tender romance always gives a good meeting for me. A beautiful short novel pages - a heart-warmer. I LIKE - beautiful about hope and new opportunities View all 20 comments. This was short and cute. I liked Owen and the way he grew as a person after he met Nick, the handsome veterinarian who moves in next door. Owen is missing his left hand due to a birth defect; he also stutters when he's nervous. As a result, he's become a bit of a recluse. He suspects he likes men, but he's done one too many things to displease his mother, and he just doesn't dare to be gay too.

It turns out Nick's sister, June, has the same birth defect her right hand is missing , but she's not This was short and cute. It turns out Nick's sister, June, has the same birth defect her right hand is missing , but she's not ashamed of her difference the way Owen is of his. When Owen shows an interest in playing the piano left behind in Nick's apartment, June decides they can play together each contributing a hand and signs them up for piano lessons.

Of course, Owen is interested in Nick, and Nick seems very interested in him. But Nick blows hot and cold, which confuses the hell out of Owen. The two get their HEA, even if the ending felt a bit abrupt. Although there was an epilogue, and, damn it, I'm a sucker for epilogues! I think I've decided that I'm just not a huge fan of the Tucker Springs series, finding it a bit simplistic, perhaps not angsty enough.

It was fun to see Seth in this book although there was no mention of Darren - hmmmm We also see the entire cast of books again, which was cheesy in a feel-good kind of way. I liked Nathan, so I may read book 6 after all. OK, so now my soapbox of gripes, all in a spoiler tag: The reason Nick blows hot and cold is because he's HIV positive.

It's a secret he keeps. He lives a celibate existence to punish himself for sleeping with a guy in Cancun without a condom. This is , Nick. Being HIV positive is not a death sentence! You're a vet for hell's sakes; you have medical training. You can have a happy, full life living with HIV. I have several friends who are healthy and joyful and have boyfriends and have HIV.

It's normal to mourn, but after five years? You have to let yourself live. And you can't be ashamed of it, especially not in a gay community like Tucker Springs. I get the idea here was for Owen to heal Nick much like Nick heals Owen, but I wasn't sure a man as intelligent and sensitive as Nick, one so accepting of Owen's issues, would act like this and keep his status a secret.

Owen's mother - dear god, mary, and jesus - there are some shitty moms out there, but this woman takes the cake. She was just a crazy, raving bitch, so much so, that I couldn't believe a person like this with no redeeming qualities! Are there really people like this out in the world? Like walking around and everything? If you know one, please let me know, cause I just don't believe it. And Owen's dad - I'm not sure there was enough justification provided for him staying with above-mentioned crazy, raving bitch for 30 fucking years!

You love your son, and she treats him like shit, and you stay with her long after said son moves out of town? And I think the whole dad-may-be-gay thing was just too much. We really didn't need anything else in that soup. It felt really sudden and random. May 25, Gina rated it it was amazing Shelves: He ends up moving to the downstairs apt next to Owen. Owen left arm is partially missing from a birth defect called Amniotic Band, and the poor guy stutters as well. And because of both these issues Owen pretty much stays in the house and has no friends. OMG my heart broke in two for this guy.

So Owens new downstairs neighbor immediately starts up a friendship with him. Owen finds himself quite smitten with his new neighbor. I like June a lot, OMG what a fire cracker this young lady is, full of life and spunk and character, I absolutely adored her Tina you were so right. As Owen is drawn closer and closer to Nick, Nick is equally drawn to Owen.

But fairly quickly Nick puts the brakes on everything. I flew through this book, i just had to reach the end.

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Deathstalker

I had to know what the hell was going to happen between these two. This book is about self-acceptance, overcoming disabilities, love and friendship. Thanks to the author for an outstanding read!!! Jun 28, Tina rated it it was amazing Recommended to Tina by: Never a Hero is the 5th book in the Tucker Springs series and I enjoyed seeing the other couples we got to know in the previous books. I loved seeing funny Nathan again. In Never a Hero he shows a sensitive, caring side.

Owen has a congenitally amputated arm and stutters. Raised by a mother who always has been ashamed of him his self-confidence is non-existent what a vil Finally!!! Raised by a mother who always has been ashamed of him his self-confidence is non-existent what a vile woman who doesn't care at all for Owen.

I was so glad when her son and husband finally stood up to her. He lives like a hermit. When his neighbor downstairs moves out, Nick moves in. Owen is surprised by how comfortable Nick is with him. It turns out that Nick's sister June was born with the same genetic defect. Together June and Nick help Owen come out of his shell. Drawn to Nick's laid-back and easy manner in regards to his arm, Owen decides to step out of his solitary life. Along the way Owen and Nick start to fall for each other.

Nobody ever touched my left arm. Not casually, at any rate I felt the need to hold perfectly still, lest he realize he was touching my ruined arm and pull away. His fingers moved again, a tickle on my flesh, a spark of energy that raced up my arm, over my shoulder, and raised goose bumps on the back of my neck Nick is drawn to Owen and definitely wants him, but something is holding him back.

He has his secrets and is ashamed of his past. He doesn't think he deserves happiness or to be loved. Nick broke my heart in a few places but he also made me angry at his stubborn refusal to be happy. But luckely Owen doesn't let him get away with that. A chance at joy. When he spoke, his voice was barely more than a whisper.

She's like a breath of fresh air. Her ease and acceptance of her disability help Owen finding his own acceptance. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the difficult issues it dealt with. I hope to see glimpses of Nick and Owen in future installments of Tucker Springs. For me the best book of the series so far. Feb 03, Trisha Harrington rated it liked it Shelves: I liked this book and it had some really good points to it. For fan's of the series it is a must. I just didn't love this book. There were a few things that annoyed me and it stopped me from giving it five stars.

But that doesn't mean everyone will dislike the book, it just means that, for me, it was not the greatest book ever. Owen and Nick started out well and you could easily tell they wanted each other. Owen, a virgin was very shy. He hated his stutter and his missing a 4. He hated his stutter and his missing arm.

Nick had no issues with that because of his sister, who also was missing an arm. I loved the way they started and it warmed my heart to see Owen finally realise his bitch of a mother was not right about him. Unless in a joking manner I hate that phrase. Added to that Owen being a virgin and that bombshell, it annoyed me and I don't really know why. The way Owen's father dealt with his mother was good and the revelation view spoiler [that he might be gay too and had a relationship with a man hide spoiler ] made me laugh, I will admit that.

Although, I would have liked a bigger ending for Owen's mother.

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She was a right bitch and I wanted to see her embarrassed and for Owen and his dad to get their own back. Overall I can say I liked the book. I just wish it hadn't gotten to me with some of the plot holes. I did enjoy it, but the theme for me was not fitting to the characters. A must read for fans of the series. Apr 06, Deeze rated it liked it Shelves: I enjoyed reading about Owen and Nick, and I loved the slow build of the relationship. There were a few funny moments and a few more heart breaking ones.

June was a delight, especially the way she treated her missing limb. Some of her snappy answers to the looks and questions were part of the high lights of this story. Also the epilogue with Regina? So she forgot his name, Owen admits they rarely spoke. She had no idea the piano had come to mean so much to Owen, I just felt that Owens reaction to her was a bit silly considering her only real crime was not evolving into the ideal dream Owen manufactured about her. A little more than a 3 but not quite a 3. Jan 04, Lenore rated it did not like it Shelves: I agree with Ami's review on this one.

The idea behind the story was decent but the execution was poor. In fact, it barely scratched the surface. The outrageous detail that's largely responsible for my rating was the view spoiler [equation of an HIV seropositive status with an actual AIDS diagnosis. I won't comment on the disability parts, or the unloving mother trope, or the piano parts or that ending. They were one step up from being totally ridiculous. Feb 16, Heather C rated it it was amazing Shelves: My favorite Tucker Springs story so far!!

Both of the characters were so beautiful and I teared up more than once. I think Marie handle the heavy topics very well here. Plus, I love how she incorporated all the previous couples into the story at some point. View all 5 comments. I thought this book was a profoundly beautiful story.

Right from the start you feel the emotions and insecurities from Owen. It guts me when you see the result of appalling parenting. Poor Owen was born with a disability but with a bitch of a mother it was became so much worse that he eventually became a recluse. Well until he meets his new neighbor Nick. May 10, Samington rated it it was ok Shelves: I laughed when Owen confronted his mother. Not because it was satisfying, but because it was ridiculous. Of course she ruined his life! She appeared to be a frontrunner in the Worst Person in the World competition; what else could she possibly do?

Really, though, that entire plot line was so absurd I had to work hard to keep from just skimming through all of it. The sex was hot, especially the first scene they were together. Owen was overall a pretty sympathetic character, and I thoug I admit it: Owen was overall a pretty sympathetic character, and I thought the author did a good job portraying his anxieties and discomfort I have no idea what the hell that was even about, considering view spoiler [she had done literally nothing whatsoever to him hide spoiler ] , but it was nasty.

It seriously soured things for me in the eleventh hour. Nick's hot and cold act was pretty irritating, especially since view spoiler [ he's just HIV-positive. I say "just" not to downplay the consequences of HIV which are still serious but because he acted like he was hideously, uncontrollably radioactive or something, instead of ill with a chronic-- but controlled-- virus. In this day and age, HIV is no longer the guaranteed death sentence it once was, and while the book did address that somewhat, it was paired with sloppy semi-misinformation that drove me a little crazy.

It's not actually that hard to avoid catching HIV, as long as you use protection, get tested regularly, and stay vigilant; there's not actually a need to reduce oneself to a chaste social leper. Also, a little thing, but Owen's comment about shell shock vs. PTSD was so incredibly dumb it nearly set me completely against him from the start. I'm not interested in characters who are that thick-headed, sorry. Jan 29, Tiya Rosa rated it liked it Shelves: I'm giving this 3. Let's just say that the constant soapbox-ing got to the point where I stopped agreeing with everything the characters were saying and started wondering whether the author should have written an editorial piece to itemize all her stands in several important social topics instead.

I mean, there's expressing a character's point of view and there's radio talk show commentator. I've to say, though, that I was all standing ovation when one of the MCs made that little speech about most people trying to treat you the way they think you want to be treated. Also, the thing with the mom being a Disney villain caricature and the dad's belated backbone-growing felt like something that should either be in a different book or a pitch for a daytime drama subplot.

It didn't jive with how the two MCs and their friends were portrayed, which was flawed but real. Aside from these two gripes, though, I enjoyed the story. If it had just focused on the issues of and the romance between the two MCs, and the sermons had been dialed down, this would have easily been a 4. Feb 04, Nic rated it really liked it Shelves: It was nice to revisit Tucker Springs and disappear into the lives of Owen and Nick. This is the story of Owen, a young man who is hugely self-conscious of his physical disability and has hidden himself away from the world.

He has felt like a disappointment his whole life and being gay is only another reason to disappoint his mother. So he is not going to be gay! That's working pretty well until Nick moves in downstairs. The plot is slightly predictable - I was able to determine the reason for Nic It was nice to revisit Tucker Springs and disappear into the lives of Owen and Nick. The plot is slightly predictable - I was able to determine the reason for Nick's reluctance to start a relationship long before he announced it - but it was still an enjoyable albeit frustrating journey.

It was great to see Owen's character develop through the book, from a stuttering man who did not want to leave his home, to a man confident enough to fight for what he wanted. He was able to acknowledge that his missing arm did not define him and that his own fear and actions were resulting in his life not moving forward. He could see through Nick's stubbornness and finally understand the reasons for his behaviour. Owen developed the strength to make his own decisions and take control of his life.

Jul 01, Amy rated it it was amazing Shelves: My first Marie Sexton read! Definitely the first of many. This book totally captured my heart. Owen lives like a hermit in his apartment, thanks to his horrible mother who has made him feel self conscious and ashamed of his stutter and his partially amputated arm. He works from home, has his groceries delivered, and rarely ventures into the outside world.

Nick moves in to the apartment downstairs. Everything that Owen is not. Owen falls hard for Nick, but every time he gets close, Nick pulls away. I was not expecting that at all. My heart broke for the two of them and how lonely they both were. Owen quickly became my hero, forcing Nick to look past his issues and see the wonderful life right in front of him. View all 4 comments. Feb 11, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: Owen and Nick are both damaged, but decent guys who really need someone to love.

I loved their interactions and how they just seemed to get each other from the first time they meant. Nick's sister was a great parallel for Owen and a really entertaining side character. Speaking of side characters, I hated Owen's mother with a passion. Looking forward to more from this great series! May 18, Purplegirl rated it it was ok Shelves: I may have to give up on this series. This is the third one I've read and they are quite lackluster. This one had some good parts.

I liked Owen and Nate. I think they were just boring to me. The story had its ups and downs. But it was basically boring just as the other ones I have read. I did love June, she was the best part of the book. I first read this story way back in my teens and remember it being a crazy read even back then.

I was a bit worried this would not hold up well but surprisingly it did. I think I might even have enjoyed this as much this time around as I did when I read it in my early days! It was very well done. The music and sound effects were done well and the narrators also did a great job with the characters. View all 7 comments. Great laser-mounted cannons of excess! What is this nonsense? In one first volume of a space opera we have, in no discernible order: A merciless and corrupt ruler! A lecherous old woman-hater in charge!

Two ninjas who both disguise themselves as Emo Philips! A rag-tag band of sidekicks! Gay assassins in love! A washed-up ex-hero who comes out of retirement To Do the Right Thing! A washed-up dead hero who comes back to life To Do the Right Thing! Lesbian polyamory which everyone goes out of their way to point out is icky! Think, for instance, what they might be like all together in a Discworld book. But here, they not just beggar belief but strip it of tickets, money, passport, clothes and dignity.

In the everloving fuck. Owen Deathstalker historian, no death-stalking thank you very much is mysteriously and suddenly outlawed by Empress Lionstone and very much a persona non-grata in the Empire, with a very big price on his head. Meanwhile, in a whole other part of the book, there is lots of court intrigue, starring many Mob-style families who vie for power.

Which is all fine and good, except that Green likes to go on at length about the rules of vying, and then halfway through the book one of the families blatantly ignores all those rules and goes batshit on another with exactly zero consequences. Plot wherefore art thou. This could've been a fun romp. But instead it's just a mess. And they're really bad Emo Phillips impersonators. Which always tits me off sideways. Not one meal is eaten in pages.

Including, at one point, when Owen and friends have been on the run, bopping bad guys on the head for like, two days. View all 16 comments. I have to say, that if you can't read a book without analyzing and reading to actively criticize, then you will certainly find loads of things to criticize about this book - the gore, the incessantly repeated phrases often within a couple of pages of each other, the cliche's and the ways that the main characters get out of situations.

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But, I read for pure enjoyment, nothing else, and if like me you read for enjoyment, love fantasy, science-fiction, and pure fun, then you will love this book. For I have to say, that if you can't read a book without analyzing and reading to actively criticize, then you will certainly find loads of things to criticize about this book - the gore, the incessantly repeated phrases often within a couple of pages of each other, the cliche's and the ways that the main characters get out of situations.

For anyone who is slightly confused - yes, this book has the flaws that I have mentioned, and many other people mention them also, but I either don't see them as "flaws" or they barely influenced my enjoyment for more than a few milliseconds at a time - hence the five star rating. Deathstalker is a book centered around a young man named Owen Deathstalker, an amateur historian, outlawed with a price on his head by the Empress also known as the Iron Bitch. The novel follows his adventures to several enigmatic planets with his companions - Hazel D'Ark, ex-clone-legger and pirate; Ruby Journey, the bounty hunter; Jack Random, the professional rebel; Tobias Moon, the cyborg; Ozymandius, the AI artificial intelligence ; and Giles, the year old original Deathstalker, founder of his clan.

The book also follows the movements of the Empress's court and the nobility, with intriguing and diverting characters here also - Finlay Campbell, the fop and dandy with a deadly secret; Evangeline Shrek, lover to Finlay and, as seems to be common among the nobility, with dark secrets of her own; Kit Summerisle, Kid Death, the Smiling Killer; David Deathstalker, cousin to Owen who became head of the Family upon Owen's outlawing. And perhaps my favorite character in terms of disposition, not character, mind you ; Valentine Wolfe. Valentine is an amazing character - a "professional" drug user, with cunning fighting skills and intelligence hidden behind the everyday mask of his scarlet mouth and mascaraed eyes.

Despite his to be frank oddness, and not so much in this book but certainly later on in the series his increasingly unpleasant or downright evil actions, you cannot help but love this character, with his unique attitude and dialogue - a marvelous character to read. And lastly, this book follows Captain Silence of the Darkwind, and later the Dauntless, and his comrades Security Office Stelmach and Investigator Frost, in his attempts to do his duty and follow orders from the Iron Bitch that he often has no taste for.

I think perhaps, aside from the dialogue which I shall get to later , my favorite thing about this book and the later books in the series which have their own charms is that Simon R. Green shows us without a doubt that there are good people on both sides of a war. People whose differing beliefs prevent them from ever being able to agree or work together or even like each other - but because of the different points of view we are given, people on both sides are wonderful and like-able, or if not that then at least enjoyable characters nonetheless.

The dialogue, though as mentioned containing many cliches and barely disguised repeated phrasing, is consistently light and amusing, with friendly and sometimes not so friendly banter, jokes, and overall, a unique tone that Simon R. Green has throughout Deathstalker. This tone is not always "funny" as such, but it does certainly have a light touch and vague air of amusement to it at all times - except when there are heads exploding and the like. But the overall tone of the dialogue and descriptions, which is hard to explain unless you have read the book, prevents you from taking things like that too seriously - but just seriously enough.

Perhaps one of my favorite sequences where this banter and amusement is brought in is the sequence where Owen and Hazel go to find a name from a clerk, who subsequently goes on a rant about being "up to his lower lip in paperwork and sinking fast. I'd quit if it wasn't for the pension. And the constant chances to screw up peoples lives D Lastly, I should like to mention that I first stumbled across these books when my dad gave me the audio-books by Defiance audio for Deathstalker, Deathstalker Rebellion and Deathstalker War.


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  4. A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound.

The later books were done on audio with the same voice-actors, but by a company called Graphic Audio. I can justifiably say that the audio-books of Deathstalker are by far the best I've ever encountered. There is one amazing narrator, who does some of the voices along with the main descriptions, and he is accompanied by three or four other voice-actors - two men and two woman, I think. And these voice-actors also have wonderful variety and seem to me very talented. On top of this, the books have special effects like making the voices echo slightly when said characters are, for example, in tunnels , sound effects like the sounds of rushing water, sword fighting or energy guns firing , and also various fitting pieces of music that play along at suitable moments.

The audio-books are quite expensive, but I would highly recommend them. I have both the paperbacks and audio-books - for reasons mentioned above, the audio-books have their own charm, but the paperbacks do have things that the audio-books left out, and make the story feel less interrupted. Plus, they're far more fun to have on your bookshelf. D Overall, a wonderful, fun book that definitely has it's many flaws, but none of which ever bothered me in the slightest.

View all 30 comments. Oct 28, lostinabookbrb rated it really liked it. This is definitely not a book for every sci-fi lover. Especially those who like serious space adventures. This book is satirical in nature and explores most standard plot lines for a space opera. Evil ruler, gigantic empire, and epic battles are a given in this book. Plus he adds zombies and all sorts of things you won't find in, say, Star Wars. Also, this book has some of the most reprehensible villains that you find yourself growing a little fond of.

My personal favorite is Valentine though, This is definitely not a book for every sci-fi lover. My personal favorite is Valentine though, he's more in the later books than the first. Smiling, aristocratic, drug addicted, immoral and very humorous Valentine. The kind of guy you love reading about but if you met him in person, you'd be running in the other direction.

If you don't like anything over the top or the unexplained or hell, anything that drags on, you're not going to like this book. Jun 04, Mary JL rated it liked it Recommends it for: Fans of science fiction--esp space opera. Review is a bit late guys--unpacking from the move took longer than I thught!

Amazing how much stuff one accumlates after 15 years in one apartment. Did not get much reading done either. When it first came out, the cover looked to me like the story inside was a Star Wars clone; so I was in no hurry to read it. However, while there are many similarities to Star Wars, there are such similarities in many space opera tales. Simon Green's style is interesting. I liked the Review is a bit late guys--unpacking from the move took longer than I thught! I liked the different characters.

He also explores the political infighting on both therebel and Empire side and how it affects things--a really nice touch. Since he is on the Empire's side, he is one of the "bad guys". But as a young cadet, he swore an oath to defend the Empire and the Iron Throne. He feels that just because he does not agree or even like the current Empressand she is really evil, btwthat does not release him from his oath. A nice reminder that in any conflict not all the players are horrid, evil people but just soldiers dong their jobs. Really amusing dashes of humore here and there.

Pure, fun, escapist adventure for all fans of space opera. Competently written; a bit long; could have used a little better editing. Still, a great fun advenutre story to spend an evening or two reading. Jan 06, Collin rated it did not like it. I've recently been on something of a Simon Green kick. That's ok, let it out.


  • Deathstalker (Deathstalker, #1) by Simon R. Green.
  • Fancy Flying.
  • Honor Harrington: Wie Phoenix aus der Asche: Bd. 11. Roman (German Edition).
  • What can I say? I kind of like this guy. He's prolific as all heck, clearly has a very active imagination and is making a living as a writer. He's practically my idol. However, he also drops books like an overfed pigeon and when you do this there's absolutely no way they are all going to be good.

    Deathstalker is, I think, the best example of this. When you read a lot of an author's work you start to pick up on their ti I've recently been on something of a Simon Green kick. When you read a lot of an author's work you start to pick up on their tics and mannerisms. A vigilant author is aware enough to see these and self-edit. A logorreahan is too busy talking or writing to have time to notice or catch these.

    The thing that Simon Green does that drives me nuts is that his characters are almost all defined by one paragraph of physical description and then 1d6 catch phrases or mottos that they utter without fail or end throughout the entire story. Pretty much all of Simon's characters are guilty of this brand of shallowness but I've chosen to single out Deathstalker because for a guy with such an obviously macho name he's a pretty spectacular pansy.

    The series should have been named after someone else, because half of this book has absolutely nothing to do with the title character and the half that does features him surrounding himself with people that are tougher, smarter and more interesting than he is. Deathstalker's special power was being born into a really cool family. Shallowness combined with pointlessness makes an especially poor blend for a hero.

    I actually like some of Green's other work quite a bit. He always has some really interesting ideas but doesn't always develop them in the ways that they require. Deathstalker feels like uninspired sci-fi pastiche to me. If you are considering trying some of Simon's books, go with some of his more fantasy or horror inspired stuff. Sep 09, Mark rated it it was ok Recommends it for: People who really love star wars but want to read something non-star wars.

    There's this evil empire of humanity and it's led by the dark evil emporer Anyway there's this hopeful young farm boy named Luke Skywalk He's a young aristocrat named Owen Deathstalker. So the Empress puts a bounty on the head of Owen for seemingly no reason, causing him to make a run for it. Luckily, he is rescued by the spunky-yet-beautiful princess Leia They make their way to the lawless outlaw world known as Hoth I mean it's called Mistworld.

    This weapon is so awesome, it can turn off suns like flicking a light switch. That sure beats a death star any day! They fight with swords too! Why don't they use ray guns, you ask? Well, that's EASY, it's because the blasters take two minutes to recharge, stupid! Of course you're not going to wait around for that when you can be slicing up a guy with your sword!

    It was an ok book. If you are craving a space opera then read it and try not to think about it too much. I may try to read the second book to see if it goes anywhere, but I won't do that any time soon. View all 8 comments. Apr 12, Lauren Smith rated it really liked it Shelves: It's absolute overkill from beginning to end, but it's quite good fun. Reading Deathstalker is the literary equivalent of going to see a blockbuster for the sheer thrill of awesome special effects, superhuman warriors and amazing fight scenes.

    In other words, watch out for the one-liners, expect no subtlety, sit back and have a great time as a few bold rebels face insurmountable odds going up against a cruel galactic Empire. Dec 05, Eric Allen rated it really liked it. We've looked at Science Fiction series in retrospective, and we've looked at Fantasy series in retrospective. Now, let's take a look at something called Science Fantasy.

    Science Fantasy has elements of both Science Fiction and Fantasy in it that prevents it from being readily assigned to either genre. A Science Fantasy story will typically make use of both futuristic and archaic weaponry, such as swords alongside laser guns, and will usually have some sort of mystical power, be it magic, "the Force" or some other sort of inexplicable power.

    A good example in the mainstream world of Science Fantasy would be the Star Wars series. Green is best well known for his Urban Fantasy Nightside series, but his less well known Deathstalker is the far more entertaining of his works in my opinion. Owen Deathstalker is the latest in a long line of warriors. The problem is, that he just wants to be left alone with his work as a historian.

    When she outlaws him, Owen must flee his quiet life of studying the history of the Empire on a quest left by his father after his murder, seeking out a motley crew of expatriots, bounty hunters, and mercenaries. Together they set out in search of the legendary Darkvoid device, secreted away long ago by Owen's distant ancestor, the first Deathstalker.

    With its power, a thousand suns were extinguished, and billions killed. His aim is to use it as leverage against the empire, and keep it out of the Iron Bitch's hands at all costs. The characters and dialog between them are by far the best part of this book. Each character has a unique and likeable personality, and they say the most entertainingly hilarious things to each other through out the book.

    The sarcastic humor that the author employs in pretty much every single scene, along with the completely ridiculous insults that the characters continually hurl at each other make this book a whole lot of fun. The world in which this book takes place is pretty interesting.

    Green has created a great corrupt empire ripe for the overthrowing, with numerous factions of rebels, nobility that is constantly at each others' throats, and a bunch of really sadistic people out for themselves. Though the history of this universe is very fluid, changing to fit whatever is happening in whichever book in this series, a lot of it is pretty awesome as well. There's a lot of mystery surrounding the past, and what things were originally made for, and if the backstory does tend to change to fit the situation every now and again, it's not too big of a distraction.

    Green has created a pretty realistic scenario for why people use swords and such when they've also got laser guns. Projectile weaponry has been outlawed, and the lasers have a recharge time of several minutes, after which time people must still be able to fight and defend themselves. The fact that there is an explanation behind it at all shows that Green put some thought and effort into it.

    Most authors don't ever bother to explain why their characters, in possession of futuristic weaponry, would bother picking up a sword to fight with. As I mentioned before, Green is very big on the fluid backstory. I mean, even here, in the first book, the history and reasons behind things change visibly once or twice, contradicting one another. And on top of that, the book is not very well written. Green has a habit of taking a handful of phrases that he thinks sound really cool, and using the hell out of them, repeating them over, and over, and over again to describe things.

    They were cool sounding the first once or twice, but after the seventeeth time someone's grin is described as a "death's head grin" or two people fight "both masters of their art, neither asking for quarter or giving any" it gets a little old. The descriptive elements are a little lacking as well, but the personality and humor more than makes up for these shortfalls. This book is called Deathstalker. This series is called Deathstalker. The main character of the series, the one that both the series and the book are named for, is actually a minor character in this book.

    The vast majority of this first volume in the series is setup for infighting amongst the nobility, and introducing other conflicts and aspects of the empire that Owen will eventually go on to overthrow. He basically takes the back seat to his own story while the author builds up the world and situations that will impact him in future additions to the series. Normally, an author would find a better way of introducing all of this stuff than completely ignoring their main plot and characters. I know several people who never read past the first book in this series because of it.

    In conclusion, this book is not very well written, and does have its share of problems. The backstory is very fluid, frequently changing in contradictory manners throughout, and the author has a bunch of phrases that he uses with highly annoying repetition. It's a rare thing, but it does happen.

    Take Harry Potter for example. It's the same with Deathstalker. I find that the characters and the dialog are so much fun, that I don't even care that the writing is crap, or the continuity is all over the place. If you don't care how well written a book is, or can look past bad writing to the story and characters, and don't mind that the main plot of the series doesn't really get going until book two, you'll probably have a blast with this one.

    I highly recommend picking it up. Next month we'll take a look at the second book in the Deathstalker series: As always, thanks for reading. Check out my other reviews. A long fan of Green's, I first thought about reading the Deathstalker series while working my way through one of his Secret Histories entries Eddie Drood enlists the help of a Deathstalker, though for the life of me I can't remember which one. Well, why not, I thought? If it's good, great. If it's horrible, not a huge investment, and I could always donate it to the library.

    This is a much di A long fan of Green's, I first thought about reading the Deathstalker series while working my way through one of his Secret Histories entries Eddie Drood enlists the help of a Deathstalker, though for the life of me I can't remember which one. This is a much different sort of work than what I'm used to with Green. Instantly I noticed that this is in third-person narrative, meaning I might get the chance to see a lot more than usual. Both the Nightside and Secret Histories series are told from a first-person perspective.

    This book has everything - heroes, villains, beautiful women, space travel, an "Imperial Force" which brings up all sorts of thoughts of huge armies and certain space opera movies, cyborgs, regeneration machines, stasis fields, etc. There's even an arena called appropriately enough, The Arena where gladiators of sorts fight against each other to the death, just as in Roman times. At over pages in mass market paperback, this thing is truly epic.

    And of course, now that I'm finished with it, I find myself wanting to continue with the next book in the series - and keep reading until I'm done with the Deathstalker Saga. Hopefully that will happen before the next millennium. Anyway, back to Owen and his tale of woe. As the story opens, Owen is about to make love yet again to his girlfriend, only to be attacked by her as she tells him he's been outlawed - wanted dead or alive. Owen kills her and begins his life on the run, something he's not very good at, as he's forsaken the usual Empire intrigues for a life as a historian.

    Rescued by smuggler Hazel D'ark, he continues running for his life, picking up Hazel's friend and bounty hunter Ruby, tracking down the legendary rebel Jack Random, and bringing his ancestor, the original Deathstalker, out of stasis. There's Oz, Owen's lifelong AI friend and protector, who saves his galactic rear end more than once. And there's Tobias Moon, an augmented man aka Hadenman, who leads them to the Darkvoid, hoping to awaken his fellow Hadenmen from their arctic slumber. While reading of Owen's adventures, the reader is also introduced to several of the clans or Families of the Empire: The Empress herself and her high court are also introduced, and yes, the similarities between this court and those of Europe back in the day will not be lost on anyone.

    There are court intrigues galore, as well as costumes that sound like they wouldn't have been out of place in those same European courts. And while I appreciated being able to see all the characters and get all the background, it's a lot to take in, and sometimes a bit distracting.

    At first, that is. Green's masterpiece with such a huge cast and what appears to be a sprawling plot is this: Then those connections become threads, and those become wires, and suddenly - it all makes sense. It takes talent to bring these seemingly separate stories together in a way that doesn't feel like they've just been mashed together. And while I love Green's first-person, snarky narratives, this book is just as good if not better. It's definitely on the more serious side, as befits a tale as epic as this one.

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