Shadow Sun Seven continues Spencer Ellsworth's Starfire trilogy, an action-packed space opera in which the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity.
Jaqi, Araskar and Z are on the run from everyone - the Resistance, the remnants of the Empire, the cyborg Suits, and right now from the Matakas - and the Matakas are the most pressing concern because the insectoid aliens have the drop on them. The Resistance has a big reward out for Araskar and the human children he and Jaqi are protecting. But Araskar has something to offer the mercenary aliens. He knows how to get to a huge supply of pure oxygen cells, something in short supply in the formerly human Empire, and that might be enough to buy their freedom. Araskar knows where it is, and Jaqi can take them there. With the Matakas as troops, they break into Shadow Sun Seven, on the edge of the Dark Zone.
Spencer Ellsworth lives in Bellingham, WA, teaches at a tribal college, plays in too many bands, and writes his little brain out. He is the author of The Great Faerie Strike from Broken Eye Books, about a plucky union leader gnome and young investigative report vampire, who join forces to take on the alchemists and sorcerers industrializing the Otherworld.
He is also the author of the space opera Starfire Trilogy from Tor, and his short work has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Tor.com, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Michael Moorcock's New Worlds Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and a whole bunch of anthologies and little markets, and been recommended by Locus and other venues. You can find more about him at spencerellsworth.com
A really enjoyable middle book. I feel like Ellsworth has found his feet a bit more in the story and that really showed. It was a longer book than A Red Peace, but a bit more focused. I'm looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up in Memory's Blade.
I had the same problems with this book as I did with the first one - for large portions of the book there seems to be absolutely no point to any of it, it's like you're just turning pages and reading words. Nothing seems to move the story forward because there doesn't seem to really be a story.
The last book I rounded up because the last 20% of the book was amazing. This book I'm rounding down because there just isn't enough story to warrant anything else (and this is a SHORT book).
We still have our Empire and Resistance and Reckoning (you take your pick), we have our heroes and villains, we have fights and battles. But what we really have is a great story outline that didn't really get written all that well.
Good enough for a three star rating but just barely.
We'll see if Ellsworth can bring it together in Book 3.
Ok, even setting aside the AWESOME title which just has the nicest ring to it, the second book in the Starfire trilogy was fantastic in every way. There was no sophomore slump to be had here, and it left me wanting more.
Likes: uh, like, it all. It's extremely action-packed; the entire novel runs at a breakneck pace, altering viewpoints from our intrepid heroes. I just love them. Each character is trying to make the universe a better place while struggling against their own limitations and inclinations towards selfishness. I was fascinated by the exploration of faith and belief; as always, Ellsworth has an interesting spin on what it means to believe. I highly recommend his short story When Stars are Scattered, only $0.99 on Amazon at the moment and it should give you a good idea of how quickly you will love his characters and how fast you will be invested in their stories. Jaqi is so funny and sweet and awesome. Araskar reminds me of Finn from Star Wars, if Finn had pulled the trigger before he left the rebellion, and if he had a fling with Leia, if Leia had turned to the dark side. I mean, it's so great.
Dislikes: bug guts. LOTS OF BUG GUTS. But I wouldn't let this discourage you from reading it. This novel is described as "gritty" but it's cover blurb, but I have to beg to differ?? It's squishy? Perhaps... chunky?? There are gelatinous sentient aliens who get some kind of cold, so. A fair amount of barfing, and unexplored trope in space travel.
Overall this book is fun, exciting, excruciatingly sad, (Ellsworth better leave Araskar alone, for heaven's sake! Let him rest!), funny, and interesting. If you are a fan of sci-fi I highly recommend it.
Imagine a heist story where the majority of the action happens on the Celestial station Knowhere from Guardians of the Galaxy. Now instead of a severed head it's an entire giant bug that's being mined for its oxygen reserves while also previously being a prison and now a pit fighting gambling arena. Add in some fluid based lifeforms staffing the place and a huge Necro-guard ("Death") protecting the boss.
Near the end there's a hilarious shout out to "Do you feel lucky punk?" which was worth reading the book all on its own. Book 2 of 3 so you know the drill regarding plot hanging.
La saga ha cogido un camino que no me ha convencido, pero al final deja las puertas abiertas hacia el tercer volumen de una forma que me ha interesado. Creo que le daré otra oportunidad, pero este he estado a punto de abandonarlo en la parte central. https://dreamsofelvex.blogspot.com/20...
"Starfire: Shadow Sun Seven" eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Spencer Ellsworth (http://spencerellsworth.com). Mr. Ellsworth has published seven novels. This is the second book in his "Starfire Trilogy".
I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the far future.
Genetic half-breeds between Humans and Jorians have been created, and now they have risen up as rebels. Their forces have just won their revolution. The primary character of this story is Jaqi, a navigator who is trying to just stay off everyone's radar and survive. Araskar is a soldier who was with the Rebels, but is now with Jaqi. Both are half-breeds.
Jaqi, Araskar and a small group are on the run from everyone. They hear about a secret being held in the Shadow Sun Seven penal colony and concoct a wild plan to breach the colony, find the secret and spirit it away. Araaskar died during the story told in the prior book, but Jaqi was apparently able to revive him. Now there are several who consider her a savior foretold of in the bible.
The plan is good and holds together for a while, then everything falls apart. Jaqi and those that followed her to Shadow Sun Seven must fight for their lives.
I enjoyed the 6.5 hours I spent reading this 336 page science fiction tale. This sort of reads OK as a standalone book, but it was a big help that I had read the first volume of the trilogy Starfire: A Red Peace. The action with the various characters gets a little chaotic, though overall I like the characters and the plot. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.
Another great installment in this series. This one continues to play with the "chosen one" trope, using Jaqui, a very unlikely, and not quite reluctant chosen one. Are the prophecies real? Is she some kind of "special oogie" as she calls it? The book keeps you guessing, and leaving room for multiple options. After an exciting rescue mission to a giant space bug turned space mining station, we see the the potential beginnings of their counter-resistance., and a tease of what promises to be an epic mission into the darkness.
I like how this series turns the cliche of the "good" resistance and the "bad" empire on its head. I also like Jaqui as a protagonist, the way she values life, whether it be human, alien, highborn, or low, and protects the kids, who have a price on their heads because they are highborn "bluebloods"
I received a copy of Shadow Sun Seven from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Shadow Sun Seven is Spencer Ellsworth’s second book in the Starfire trilogy. This series is perfect for anyone looking for a science fiction read with just a little bit of fantasy thrown into the mix; the cover description calls it a space opera, and while that term didn’t immediately come to mind I certainly can’t argue with it either. Like the last novel, I absolutely loved the cover (Thank goodness for those bright covers – it caught my attention right away!). Fans that enjoyed A Red Peace will appreciate the follow up, meanwhile those that haven’t read it will probably be at least a little bit lost, so please don’t jump right to this one.
Middle books are often problematic, meant to get you from point A to point B and suffering because they are intended for nothing beyond bridging the start and the end. Not so here. There's so much going on, and so much is seeded for side plots and subnarratives, that it doesn't feel like there's any slack or like it's perfunctory. I am not certain all the side plots will get taken care of, and that's good--a world, a universe, should feel as if bits of it are going on without your main characters being involved. Next and final book in the trilogy comes out in a couple of months, and I am much looking forward to it.
“Shadow Sun Seven” is an episode of “Leverage” set in a galaxy far far away. It’s fun, breezy, and full of whiz-bang reversals.
That said, it didn’t resonate with me as much as the first book in the series. It had all the elements of the first book, but the two main characters somehow didn’t feel as deep, and their arcs didn’t seem as dynamic. I think I wanted to see more tension between them, he a soldier used to rigid order and self-sacrifice, her used to taking any advantage or pleasure she can.
There were still some great character moments, like Jaqi struggling with guilt over killing a guard and Araskar grieving his dead lover, but I wanted more of it, which the breakneck pace didn’t allow.
Still excited to read Book 3, but hoping for the added richness that set Book 1 apart from most space operas.
More fun, fun, fun, at breakneck speed; perhaps a little less revelatory than the first volume (a common enough phenomenon), but Ellsworth still manages to surprise and delight. Ridiculous and entirely larger than life--which is the way good space opera should be--with a solid touch of humanity in the midst of all the action.
I liked this book better than Red Peace. The characters get a bit more depth, especially Jaqi and Araskar. As a USMC combat veteran, I found their struggles with war and killing very relatable--although, thankfully, I don't retain the memories of slain enemies. I'm looking forward to digging in to the next book.
You know how a middle book in a trilogy can often be dense and long since more of the story is played out and you worry that it might be boring and you won't get to the third one because you will give up? Well, this second book in this set is not like that, at all. It was a fast-moving, adventure packed ride. This author knows how to tell a good story. Highly recommended!!
A continuation of Ellsworth's fast-paced not to mention hilarious space opera. Following Jaqi and Araskar on their next parallel adventures didn't disappoint. There are serious moments of self-reflection and examples of how far a fascist regime can go...and a gunslinger!