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Starfire #3

Memory's Blade

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The Starfire space opera trilogy, a gritty, adult science-fiction adventure, concludes with Starfire: Memory's Blade

At the heart of the Dark Zone, a duel for the universe rages.

In an ancient Jorian temple, Jaqi faces John Starfire, the new ruler of the Empire. He has set all the worlds aflame in his quest to destroy humankind. Jaqi has sworn to stop him. Problem is, Jaqi isn't much of a fighter.

Meanwhile, the sun-eating cosmic spiders, the Shir, have moved out of the Dark Zone and are consuming the galaxy. Araskar knows that he must hold them back, but to do that, he has to give himself over to the Resistance, under the command of John Starfire's wife. And she wants him dead more than she wants the stars to live.

If Jaqi and Araskar can fight their way out, they can use a secret at the heart of the Dark Zone to free the galaxy, and end John Starfire's new tyranny. They lose, and every star in the sky will go dark.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

232 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 27, 2018

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About the author

Spencer Ellsworth

31 books77 followers
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

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5 stars
53 (33%)
4 stars
66 (42%)
3 stars
23 (14%)
2 stars
11 (7%)
1 star
4 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews
Profile Image for Justine.
1,132 reviews309 followers
February 15, 2019
3.5 stars

Overall, a pretty enjoyable series. This last book was short like the first one, and I found it to be a fairly quick read. The ending wrapped up almost too quickly, but given it was all prophecy fulfillment I guess that's ok.

Ellsworth's writing grows in confidence over the series, which bodes well for his future work. I think he has potential and would definitely pick up the next project he comes out with.
Profile Image for Lucille.
1,029 reviews205 followers
January 20, 2018
This was such a good trilogy!! I'm already looking forward to read it again someday, and to buy the physical copies!
I'll definitely be interested to read more from this author too.

Will try to write a better and longer review for the three books that I got thanks to the Publisher!
Profile Image for Robert Slater.
Author 12 books107 followers
May 7, 2018
Great wrap up to a great series. Amazing characters telling a gigantic story from close in personal points of view.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,156 reviews106 followers
April 9, 2018
I always hate giving bad reviews to books because this was created by an artist who put his creation out there to the world.

But

I think this was a poorly written book which needed a really good editor.
I stuck with this whole trilogy because it was such a great concept and it was just poorly executed.

I think this is a writer who will be great some day but doesn't quite have the experience yet to make a good book.

The plot was non-existent.
The characters were paper thin.
There was no character development or meaningful interaction.
I felt no connection to anyone in the story.
When people died I felt nothing.

Good concept with poor execution. Mr. Ellsworth needs at least to write another 1,000,000 words to gain experience and then I'm sure he will be publishing great things but this was a disappointment for me.
Profile Image for Jason Vanhee.
Author 13 books23 followers
February 25, 2018
While I still thought this was great, I don't know how I feel about it as an ending. I'm left thinking the solution to the big problem was maybe a little simple; it felt underwhelming to me, and the ancient chronology of the whole thing makes me wonder how it wasn't solved a very, very long time ago. The death of a minorly major character was unsatisfying for me, too, and added in a strand that didn't work for me much.
That aside, it's a satisfying, exciting book that moves along quickly and does wrap up the big problem while not at all thinking (thankfully) that the smaller-but-only-marginally problems will just go away because reasons. There's a lot of complexity and history that remains to be examined and written about, and I hope Ellsworth gets on that at some point. As an overall series, Starfire is a great read and well worth your time.
Profile Image for Melinda Mitchell.
374 reviews6 followers
February 27, 2018
This is my favorite of the series, and oh, what a series!

I enjoyed the first two, but I feel like both the writing, the story, and the stakes all went up a level. For fans of space operas, those who grew up on the original trilogy of Star Wars--this is a great new universe, with diverse characters, social questions that match our human struggle today, and what does it mean to try to find peace, to live in peace, when everything around you is hell-bent for war.

Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Mitch.
139 reviews2 followers
March 3, 2018
A heartbreaking end to one the most enjoyable reads I have had in years. You never know what you are getting into with a newer author that doesn't have much in the way of reviews. Enough of the first book grabbed me to take me one hell of a journey the ended with with a book that will lock this as currently one of my top 5 series of all time. Very very well done and curse you for that ending Mr. Ellsworth. Way to break my heart.
Profile Image for Liz (Quirky Cat).
4,156 reviews64 followers
February 4, 2018
I received a copy of Memory’s Blade from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Memory’s Blade it the third and final novel in the Starfire trilogy. I have to say, while I was thrilled to get my hands on the latest book, I’m sad to see it go. Starfire has been a whirlwind of events and it was a blast to read. It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten this invested in a sci-fi series like it (I’ll confess that I may have gotten a little obsessed with this one, but in a good way, I promise!).
The Starfire trilogy was a fantastic series, and probably one of my favorites in recent years. It was a fun and quick read, with unique characters and wonderful world building. While I’m very sad to see it end, I can’t wait to see what Spencer Ellsworth will come out with next.



For more reviews, check out Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
Profile Image for Doctor Science.
265 reviews16 followers
February 17, 2019
I read this having just zoomed through the first two books, and WOW. There were multiple times where I said, "Holy shit!" as my picture of the world re-arranged itself. Let's just say, a number of things in the world-building I had written off as because-I-feel-like-it Space! Opera! fantasy turn out to be science fiction. For instance,

I should have realized there was going to be an unexpected quantity of SF in my Space Fantasy when there's offhand reference to planets without magnetospheres being unsuited for terraforming, which is true but not something I expected space opera to give a shit about.

The ending is hopeful, but it's not an easy hope, it's complicated and has a quality I'd call "historical". Overall, this book pushes the whole series up a level in my evaluation, to one of the best things I've read from 2018.
462 reviews
June 5, 2018
Well, that was a little disappointing.

That the author was willing to pull the trigger and not give us one of those happy ever after endings was nice but the ending made little sense. So months after the end of the Shir menace (Jaqi having given birth and all), the war against John Starfire's loyalists is still going on? Even with the Firstblade on their side?

Why would releasing Aranella achieve peace? John had made sure his secret orders superseded hers.

And since Jaqi was able to leave with the former Firstblade, why in the original plan was it necessary for her to stay behind?

And the Jorians? No explanation for them? And that explanation for the Shir? Where did the hunger come from? Or the need to lay eggs?
Profile Image for Maureen.
198 reviews2 followers
January 21, 2020
Plot twists, double-crosses, double-backs, space-spanning, and node-jumping. What’s not to love?

An unlikely, illiterate young heroine, who manages most things by lucky guesses, somehow gets a guy and with the adoration of three galaxies ... then walks away from it all in search of a snack.

The stories are so much more than that ... the action never stops ... you meet so many people who could be the main protagonist.

I loved this book ... and the entire series. I’m very much looking forward to reading more from this author.
Profile Image for Dave.
3 reviews
March 17, 2018
I loved this third installment in the Starfire series. Spencer has delivered yet another tale that brings both strong emotions and fun, quirky characters to life. The best parts of his work is the development of relationships between tremendously flawed people who all desperately want to find their place in a very strange time. Also, giant bugs. There are giant bugs. Did I mention the giant bugs? Read all three, then read them again.
Profile Image for Sontaranpr.
242 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2018
Well, that escalated quickly. You're just standing there thinking of murder and suddenly multi-angled ones from beyond the pale are having planet babies all over the place. It makes sense in context. A fun read and now the series is done. Plenty of clone humour in there (five years old, that's ancient) and we're shown more of what really went on in the long forgotten past.

Profile Image for Sheila.
455 reviews13 followers
November 30, 2018
A bittersweet ending for the Starfire trilogy. I have to admit I appreciate the author's temerity for not giving Jaqi a happy ending, but the story felt like it ended at an odd place. I don't entirely agree with how Kalia's character was handled either. Overall though, this was action-packed & easy to blast through! SO much action, but not all the answers.
November 25, 2020
I really liked book one, didn't really like book two, and am putting this one somewhere in the middle. It's been a bit since reading book two... Maybe 3ish years... So that didn't help, but I remembered the big pictures. Good characters, good ideas and a decent, if not world changing conclusion. A good series overall with some peaks and valleys.
Profile Image for Collin.
9 reviews8 followers
January 11, 2022
Finally the conclusion! This book clears up many of the mysteries in books 1 and 2. Since they are basically novellas, I would absolutely recommend reading all of them for the full storyline of Ellsworth's Starfire.
I hope more stories are coming, because the end is no simple bow and string happy Disney wrap up.
Profile Image for Katarina  Honeycutt.
358 reviews1 follower
March 12, 2018
Of all the books in the series this is by far the best. It didn't leave me bored and the story was interesting. I had to give it four stars though due to the ending which was lack luster. I really felt like the character deserved better for her ending.
Profile Image for Andreea Pausan.
574 reviews5 followers
September 27, 2018
I must admit that, despite the great reviews received by this trilogy, I have mixed feeling about this series. Some inconsistencies and some hard to explain events almost put me down at certain points. However, the second part of the end...I did not see that coming so it gets a four star from me.
Profile Image for Jorgon.
372 reviews6 followers
March 7, 2018
Great fun, high-octane conclusion to the space opera trilogy. Only a little disappointed in the bit-too-simplistic resolution to the main problem.
Profile Image for Jesse Barben.
25 reviews
April 13, 2018
Great way to end the trilogy. The ending is BRUTAL.

Excited to see what Ellsorth does next!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Donna.
266 reviews
August 2, 2018
The last installment of this great space-opera trilogy and the ending, I don't know man, but I was not prepared.
Profile Image for Rebecca Ellsworth.
4 reviews1 follower
August 11, 2019
Giant planet-eating space bugs! Aliens! This is such a satisfying end to the story - definitely recommended!


Profile Image for Zozo.
218 reviews9 followers
September 22, 2020
I like this series a lot and I like the characters. This last part wasn't as good as the first two but still enjoyable.
59 reviews
January 13, 2021
Same qualities as book 1. If you did not like that don't read this.
My rating: 4.5
5: Excellent
4: Liked by would not necessarily recommend
3: Read to the end
2: Could not finish
1: Repellent
Profile Image for Jared Adams.
Author 12 books1 follower
April 15, 2018
“Memory’s Blade” delves deep into the mythos of the previous books, providing satisfyingly unexpected answers to the questions raised earlier, and transforming the characters in a way I usually associate with a Joss Whedon franchise. Side characters step into the limelight in awesome ways, the main characters are placed in new roles, and Ellsworth’s universe expands to take on a life of its own.

Of course, it is still delightfully Star-Wars-ish, but this volume also brings more of a military SF feel, and grapples with some serious questions about the necessity of war that Star Wars never quite broaches.

It is a fantastic capstone to the trilogy, perhaps even the best of the three. And yet, as any good ending, it is easy to imagine more adventures in this universe.

I can’t wait to see what Ellsworth brings us next!
Profile Image for Nat.
916 reviews9 followers
June 24, 2019
This is good trilogy for fans of the first star wars trilogy and firefly. Man the ending is hopeful but gosh it is truly bittersweet. I guess I admire the author for pulling the rug under the expected happy ending. I was upset but not suprised that the male protagonist was killed. It is to be expected for a born adult but chronically five year old. No implants can teach wisdom and street smarts.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 32 reviews

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