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The Bern Saga #1

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue

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Growing up an orphan in the Milky Way hasn't been easy, especially as a teenage girl in the Naval Academy. Unfortunately for Molly Fyde, things are about to get worse.

Just as she's finding her place amongst the boys, her unfair expulsion from the Academy takes away the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cole.

Sent off to a normal school, she feels destined for a dull, unspectacular future.

Then, a marvelous discovery changes everything: Her father's old starship, missing for a decade, turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others. What starts off as a simple quest to reconnect with her past, ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover is replaced by a new one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways...

The crew of the starship Parsona.

281 pages, Paperback

First published August 22, 2009

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About the author

Hugh Howey

131 books54.3k followers
I'm the author of WOOL, a top 5 science fiction book on Amazon. I also wrote the Molly Fyde saga, a tale of a teenager from the 25th century who is repeatedly told that girls can't do certain things -- and then does them anyway.

A theme in my books is the celebration of overcoming odds and of not allowing the cruelty of the universe to change who you are in the process. Most of them are classified as science fiction, since they often take place in the future, but if you love great stories and memorable characters, you'll dig what you find here. I promise.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 350 reviews
Profile Image for Kimberly .
549 reviews67 followers
September 10, 2022
Another fine story from Hugh Howey. Mr. Howey has constructed another world from his boundless imagination, where a young earth woman and man grow up, fight through numerous challenges and find their adulthood and each other. Along their journey, they pick up fascinating characters from other worlds. I have already ordered the next book in the series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
March 25, 2010
I can say with no reservations that this was a fantastic book. Let me be honest and admit that I'm not a big science fiction reader. I'm not sure I will ever be a wholesale science fiction fan in every form. But this book, well, it has convinced me that I can enjoy a good 'pure' science fiction book.

While Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue is a young adult book, it really doesn't feel like one. What I mean by that is, the writing is such that you never felt things are being dummed down in the false belief that a younger reader cannot handle an intelligent storyline. I would never assume that young adult fiction should be any different, and I'm glad that Mr. Howey did not make that assumption, either. As I read this story, I was impressed with his ability to tell this story in such a manner that words flow smoothly, your interest is engaged, but you are neither lost in streaming lines of technobabble, or pseudointelligent pomposity, or left feeling bored. In some ways, he compared favorably to Mr. Ray Bradbury, who wrote science fantasy back when hardly anything was common knowledge of space. Using his incredible imagination, his focus was always on telling a story, and the words used always contributed to this goal. That's how I felt about Mr. Howey's efforts.

Science fiction is a genre I often shy away from, because I am not very good with technical jargon. I find it hard to visualize highly technological concepts in my head when I read. So I tend to get bored with books that are written with heavy emphasis on these things. I am a very visual person, so that's an integral part of reading for me. When I read a book, it plays like a movie in my head. And the best books, they are like really good movies. Such was the case with this book. It was like a very good, intelligent, but fun science fiction movie with a hefty dose of adventure.

What I really liked about this novel, was that Mr. Howey infused this story with elements of philosophy and an awareness of ethical issues. And there are some very weighty ones in this book. Yet, he managed not to overload the story until it became dull and pretentious. He never resorted to shoveling an agenda down my throat as I read. There were moments that caused me genuine emotional pain, as I experienced the anguish that Molly felt, seeing what she did, and what she inadvertently took part in, and how she struggled with her conscience over decisions that she made, and those that were taken out of her hands by necessity, or through the actions of others. I'm by no means a science fiction connoisseur, but it's my understanding that science fiction is a genre that does probe into the questions of how technology can be for the advancement of humanity, but at the same time, it can cause destruction when used inappropriately. That issue arises in this book with a civilization of beings that are so intelligent, that they have come close to wiping themselves out, and would do the same to the rest of the galaxies they encountered. My brain was able to take this in, and I could really see both sides of the issue. But this was done without me feeling like I was being lectured to, or getting bored. That is the hallmark of good fiction to me, that I read a good story, but it gives me something to think about. I'm grateful that Mr. Howey did so with this story.

Molly is a genuinely likeable heroine. There were no moments in this story where she annoyed me or lost credibility with me. She was very human, and she seemed like a sixteen year old girl on the cusp on womanhood. But she dealt with some situations that were truly harrowing, ones that truly required intense strength of character from her. There were moments where I feared she was put in the role of looking to her male supporting character, Cole, a young man that she attended Naval Flight School with, as the stronger, more capable person, and I was prepared to be disappointed about that, not comfortable about what kind of message that might send to young girls reading this novel. However, further reading revealed that this was not an attempt to undermine the capability of Molly, or show that she could not be independent and in charge of her destiny, but to show that at times even the strong need to lean on, and to follow others. That's real life to this reader.

As for the adventure quotient of this novel, it was very satisfactorily high. Yet, the action was paced so well, that the moments of introspection and character development could be savored equally well. And, as I said earlier, I could easily visualize most of the action sequences. Any question marks about the equipment that I might have had were cleared away either through my imagination, or by further reading.

The worldbuilding in this novel was excellent. I had no problem picturing a future Earth that wasn't overly different, and seeing the other worlds through the narrative. The depiction of the different alien civilizations was distinct, and was done with a respect that didn't pander to bigotry or racial insensitivities. Although the various alien civilizations had their particularities, it was clear that stereotypes were not being established or relied upon. As a person who is sensitive to the depiction of people in a way that isn't stereotypical or racially insensitive, that was very important to me.

The cast of secondary characters managed to become very important to me. Cole became my shelter, a shoulder to lean on, and a boon companion, as I read this story and saw him take this harrowing journey along with Molly. Along the way, they meet friend and foe, and you feel their anguish and fears when the realization is made that not everyone can be trusted. Although this was Molly's story, and you never doubt her importance, Cole is also an intregral part of this novel, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

This book is perfectly suitable for mid-to-older teens, but I would advise readers that there is quite a bit of violence, and some disturbing events do occur. However, Mr. Howey does an excellent job of showing the consequences of violence, and how it affects the participants. And the violent scenes are not done in any way that is offensive or gratuitous.

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue took me on an incredible journey. It kept me in suspense, made me laugh, made me cry, and gave me a sense of wonder at the beauty of the universe. I was in awe that humans might be able to travel through galaxies and meet life on other planets. I felt a sense of excitement reading this story, that has yet to leave me. But it also gave me something to think about. Like Molly, we humans tend to dream big, and life will knock some of the idealism out of us. But that's not the end of the road. It's just another turn that we take.
I can't wait to read the next in this series.
Profile Image for Sandi.
510 reviews279 followers
November 7, 2009
It's such a shame that Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue wasn't picked up by one of the big publishing houses. It's really one of the best young adult science fiction novels I've read. I liked it so much more than Ender's Game. It's so well paced and the characters are so engaging. I can't believe how much action Hugh Howey packed into 283 pages. It never let up and there were surprising twists at every turn. Sadly, the big publications aren't printing much in the way of young adult space fiction. You have vampires, wizards and dystopias, but not many spaceships and alien cultures. You especially don't find much space fiction that have strong female protagonists who should appeal equally to girls and boys. I really loved that she spent absolutely no time worrying about her clothes or her makeup. Molly was a very realistic character. This is a great book if you have a teen you want to turn on to real science fiction, especially if that teen is a girl.
Profile Image for Heather.
375 reviews23 followers
May 23, 2016
I remember first picking up Wool and thinking...wow the writing is kinda painful but cool ideas. He got better once he was no longer self-published and had an editor, presumably. This book is incredibly boring. We start out in a simulator where they are learning to kill aliens (ala Ender's Game) but then we move to some space exploration that feels very (Star Wars) familiar. The main character is a girl written by a male author so you know how great that could be....like OMG he's so cute! Yep, she has a crush on her friend. She's an orphan...how original. She's great pilot but so misunderstood. ET CETERA

Some of the worst similes I have run across - "He heard her teeth chatter like distant thunder" is one charming example.

I got to 37% and was so bored I had to return it to Audible. There's nothing interesting or original. So if you're trying to get your middle school kid into sci-fi this might be good but certainly don't read it yourself. I recognize that the book may have gotten better but I just didn't care.
Profile Image for Mark.
38 reviews37 followers
September 24, 2009
Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue is the first book from author Hugh Howey and as far as first efforts go, this is good. Howey’s characters are well written and contain a depth that is rarely seen in popular fiction these days. His story is strong and moves along at a nice pace never getting ahead of itself or becoming taxing to read. He mixes in enough political, sociological and philosophical questions and observations to let you know that he understands and appreciates the history of science fiction. Perhaps Howey’s best trick is that even though he has written a science fiction novel that almost anyone can enjoy in no way did he dumb it down so that longtime readers of science fiction will be put off. In short, I’m impressed and I look forward to his next book.
Profile Image for  Tina (Fantastic Book Review).
402 reviews595 followers
December 18, 2009
The year is 2413. In a galaxy full of life outside of Earth, Molly Fyde is a 16 yr old living in a man’s world where all she wants to do is follow in her father’s footsteps. Graduating from the Academy is one step that could get her closer to that goal but when sabotage rears its ugly head, Molly has another thing coming. Finally things start to look up for Molly, her father’s ship, The Parsona is found on an alien planet called Palan where there seems to be no legal or social system intact. Molly along with the help of one charming Navy graduate is on a mission to rescue The Parsona from pirates. They soon find themselves on a journey traveling to new planets and meeting interesting people along the way. What starts out as a simple journey to retrieve her father’s missing ship quickly turns in to an adventure that Molly will never forget...

So I’m a big sci-fi fan, well at least with shows such as "Firefly", "Star Trek", "Stargate SG-1", "Stargate Atlantis" and "Battlestar Galactica." So I figured what the heck, I’m probably going to love Molly Fyde. And boy was I right! This book starts off with a bang and albeit a clever one too. I was engrossed with this book from the beginning by Hugh’s tactical missions which were created in a dog eat dog world where Molly has to constantly be on the top of her game and prove that she can hang with the “boys.” I couldn’t wait to finish this book, I wanted to know what adventure Molly and crew would embark upon next.

Hugh created a great cast of unforgettable characters. I love strong heroines in my books and Molly in no exception. She’s smart and brave and she’s one helluva pilot in my opinion and she’s trying to accomplish the impossible that could lead her to becoming the pilot of her own ship. Then there’s the notable Cole Mendonca, Molly’s crush who seems to love conspiracy theories and would do anything to protect Molly. He’s quite the heart-throb and I can see why Molly is smitten. Cole also provides a lot of humor on their adventure in the face of danger that makes me like him even more. The secondary characters are also some of my favorites especially Walter. That’s all I’m going to say!

Hugh crafted a great world where anything is possible. With the way this book ended, I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series. You know what else? This book kept reminding me of Sci-Fi’s “Firefly.”
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews566 followers
October 29, 2009
Unfortuntately, I don't think Molly Fyde is a book that I would have picked up on my own. When I was contacted about reviewing this book, I debated whether or not to say yes. After all, I hadn't heard of the title, the author, or the publisher. In the end, I decided to accept because I love YA and science fiction and this book did have a plot that sounded interesting. I am so ridiculously glad that I did: Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue is most definitely one of the best YA science fiction novels that I've read the entire year.

I am always wary when picking up a new science fiction novel. Some scifi books focus too much on the technical (science) side of the plot, which I sometimes find boring or too complex. I read the first chapter of the novel and was starting to see these tendencies, but that really only lasted throughout the first chapter and their was a good reason for it. Once I got through that beginning chapter, I was hooked!

I was thrilled to discover that there was a love story within Molly Fyde, which will appeal to many YA readers. Cole, Molly's romantic interest, was a great match for her and I loved their dialogue. This aspect of the plot was wonderful.

This novel takes place many years in the future, when space travel is common and there are many planets with life, both alien and human. It was so interesting to read about the different planets Howey has imagined and sent Molly and Cole to. Along the way, Cole and Molly are met not only with adventure and clues to unraveling the mystery of Molly's past, but with new ideas and cultures.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10
Total: 50/50 (A!)

I absolutely loved this book and cannot wait until the next installment, Molly Fyde and the Land of Light, is released. The story leaves readers with a cliffhanger that left me anxious for more! Don't let this novel pass you by! Whether you are a scifi fan or simply a fan of adventure and love stories, this novel shouldn't be missed!

Profile Image for Lisa Robinson.
5 reviews1 follower
September 13, 2009
I’ll start by saying, “Wow!” This book does everything a great book should do! The story piques your curiosity from the start and it takes you on a journey that causes you to loose track of time and the world around you. Instead, you become an invisible member of the crew of Parsona. I read the book in less than twenty-four hours because I just couldn’t put it down until I knew how it ended!

The characters in the story all have traits that every person can relate to on some level. They each grow as the story progresses and you find yourself wondering what you would do in the situations they find themselves in.

One of the things I enjoyed most was the fact that this book gives you just enough detail to allow your imagination to form an amazing mental image of the people and places that are encountered. You really find yourself right in the midst of all the adventure.

For those of you who are skeptical because it’s listed as science-fiction, don’t be. It has the things that sci-fi readers enjoy, but they are developed and described in ways that don’t make those of us who aren’t science fiction fans get lost in technical terms or other ‘space jargon’. Both types of readers will be pleased.

Bottom line: This book will be enjoyed by any reader, man or woman, adult or child, sci-fi lover or not.
Profile Image for Aubrey.
14 reviews26 followers
March 18, 2018
One of my goals for 2018 is to read more science fiction. It's not an area that I read very much of, mostly because I'm Very Tired of reading books with one woman (or no women at all).
This book had been on my to-read shelf for a long time so when I decided to start reading more science fiction, it was the first book that came to mind.

What I got was sexism under the guise of supposed female empowerment (it wasn't). You're telling Molly to act like a man, that being a woman is offensive/dirty/weak, as evidenced right on the first chapter with the simulation navigator's seat being called the "girlie" seat, implying that the captain's seat is "masculine." (God, please, just stab my eyes out.)

Apparently we're going to have the infinite possibilities of outer space at our fingertips but we won't be able to comprehend anything beyond childish kindergarten insults. Fantastic.

We're talking about outer space. Anything - literally ANYTHING - is possible in space. Unexplored frontiers. Thousands of galaxies. Alien races that will, supposedly, do things very differently from earth.
Then why was every alien race encountered distinctly patriarchal?

In 500 pages, four females made appearances. Total.
1. Molly. Alleged captain of her father's ship, Parsona. I'm more than ready for a female captain of a spaceship. Give me all of that. I will eat it up.
"Molly looked to Cole (love interest/co-pilot) for permission to move."
Back it up.
She was looking for what now?
If she looked to him for a SIGNAL, okay. Great. NOT permission.
No male captain would EVER be described as looking to his co-pilot (male or female) for permission. He would be portrayed as take charge, alpha male, etc.
(If this was a character flaw she had to work past, I would have accepted it. But it wasn't. This was normal behavior when it shouldn't have been.)

2. Whitney. Alien-race, bear-like creature. Even then, Molly wasn't *quite* sure if Whitney was female because "hey, maybe gender didn't matter to these creatures." But all future creatures encountered on the planet were definitely described and referred to as male.

Whitney was present for one chapter, maybe five pages tops. For the rest of the time spent on her planet (over 100 pages worth) Whitney was no where. All dealings were made with male creatures.
Everyone on this planet was named after inventors, scientists, etc.
Cool! So Marie Curie. Esther Lederberg. Hypatia.
(Thomas) Edison. Orville (Wright). (Eli) Whitney.

(But those are WELL KNOWN inventors! you might be saying. Yeah, thanks to a male society that screwed woman over for centuries. In order to make female scientists more well known, you talk about them. You make people look up their names. You don't leave them out.)

3. Albert's wife. Described as wearing an apron (not kidding). The only words out of her mouth were "Can I get you anything to eat?" Praised for her sewing skills and altering clothing. Very much had a '50s housewife feel when Albert - salesman, dressed in a suit, carrying a briefcase, complete with comb over - introduced his wife and she had no part other than providing a hearty homecooked meal.
(There is absolutely nothing wrong with providing people with food. It's not okay that she didn't have any part outside of this.)

Why am I encountering this in outer space???? Where are my matriarchal systems???? Where are the all-female tribes? Where are the Amazons? The Valkyries? The Dora Milaje? Where are the completely gender-less societies where the concept of "female-centric activities" and "a man's world" don't exist because it only held back the advancement of society?

4. Anlyn. Alien race. Held captive.

Do you see a pattern?
Molly looks to men for permission.

Whitney barely speaks two words together before she disappears and every other creature encountered on her planet was male.

Albert's wife is only there for service (I can't even remember her NAME and I just finished the book an hour ago. That's how much of an impact she did NOT have).

And Anlyn is trapped with no freedom. Her traits are described as: quiet, held prisoner by a man, terrified.
Conversely, in another prison setting earlier in the book, Walter provides Molly with a means of escape. He's free to go as he pleases. Maybe uncles/cousins/etc. hold some sway over him but mostly, Walter can make his own decisions.

In the first few chapters, Molly is in the Navy which is riddled with sexism. She's a GIRL, she has no PLACE being in the Navy.
(My blood is already boiling but I'll try my best to cope here. Give the book a chance. All I'm sayin' is this better get fixed. Soon.)
No. It does not.
I suppose in a way, Hughey tried to relieve the outrage of sexism by saying that originally, women were in the Navy alongside men. "But then people figured out women could be CEOs...etc., etc.,"
Okay fine. Great. Women in leadership roles. Awesome.
There were no women in leadership roles. None. Apart from Molly. And considering how often she left the decision making up to Cole, I was not impressed.

I was 1000% ready to like Molly. I want female captains of spaceships. I want it. I need it. But Molly, who is brilliant, smart, intelligent, strong, CAPABLE...she keeps making completely moronic gender-biased statements. Repeatedly.
For example:
Cole hit the control panel to get the instruments working. Just like a man to solve his problems by hitting things.
Walter was playing his video game, a little boy soldier killing things for points, something only "a boy-brain" would be interested in.
Why did men always have to make everything into a competition?

You're...actually serious right now? Why don't you come over and I'll introduce you to some highly aggressive and VERY competitive women I know who have zero patience and like to hit, yell, shove, etc. to get things working again? Would that help to get rid of those completely useless stereotypes?

I was extremely disappointed Molly said things like that. She's flying a space ship, for god's sake. She's dealt with the Navy who told her over and over that the Navy was "no place for a woman". Why on earth would she believe that "boy brains" only liked to shoot stuff up and play video games when her very existence proves that Navy-like viewpoint is merely small-minded?

Putting one female in a male-centric environment is not female empowerment. You're essentially teaching her that to be female is useless and that being an aggressive alpha male is the only acceptable way to behave.

For female empowerment to work, you do not make her male.

To be female is not disgusting or weak or something that should be cast off, beat out of you, discarded in order to fit a toxic patriarchal system that has, according to this book, spread to even the farthest reaches of outer space.

This type of female empowerment is still focused on the girl proving herself. It's like victim blaming. "Why didn't you try harder? Why didn't you do this? Why didn't you do it that other way?"

The men don't change. They still talk to Molly like she's stupid. "You have no concept of what you're dealing with." Molly is STILL reminded that nothing she has done will ever be good enough because she's female and the men around her will never see anything beyond that.

That's the point!
Ugh. Think about that for a minute. You accomplish so much. But the people around you still tell you that you are not enough simply because of your body chemistry.
You know what's also empowering? Being told you are enough already, encouraged to do more, reminded of how strong you already are.
That's empowering.

It's relatable though!
Trust me, I don't want to relate to that bullshit. I'm so tired of relating to that bullshit. And because of relating to that bullshit for my entire life of 27 years - and a future of more of that same bullshit if I don't speak up about things like this - that's why I picked up a book about outer space.
Because I don't want relatable. I want to escape to another world where "girl/female/woman" isn't said with a sneer.

You're telling me my suspension of disbelief can handle everything from alien races, space ship battles, near collisions with asteroid belts, a bear-like race that is so intelligent that it's leagues ahead of any other race in the universe...but my suspension of disbelief can't handle ONE situation where men actually recognize the effort of a HUMAN BEING, regardless of gender? Mmm, don't think so.

Instead, just let Molly be Molly. Stop reminding her that she's shameful for being a girl because there is nothing shameful about it.

I did finish the book. I was very thankful there was no sexual assault because that is my immediate cut off. Zero tolerance for that.

But my quest for non-male-centric science fiction continues.
Profile Image for Jen.
52 reviews5 followers
January 3, 2016
I just bloody love this book.

I finished it just now, and it is the first book I have truly enjoyed reading in a fair while. It’s perfectly paced; even though it’s a fairly long book (281 pages) no part of it dragged on nor did any part feel rushed. Each part of the plot lead seamlessly into the next, which meant I was able to lose myself in Molly’s world without any of the fantastic events jarring with my own reality. Howey’s attention to detail, and deceptively casual nods to it, also make it easy to get lost in the story universe. ‘Nebular’ is easily introduced as slang for ‘cool’, and even the techie stuff is included so effortlessly in the character dialogue that there is no need for intrusive narrative exposition: it feels like I, the reader, just know the same stuff Molly and Cole know.

Maybe this is partly because Howey does not go OTT with the space-ace technology. Most things can be related to other things we already have. For example, they all read on tablets instead of books, and the illustration of the Parsona is comparable to a shuttle. Hyperspace travel – particularly the detailing of the security checks involved – draws parallels with commercial air travel. The differences between human speech and ‘alien’ speech are particularly interesting. This meant that I could very easily relate to the more complex issues Howey forces his readers to question.

Probably another reason I got into the characters’ heads so easily is that they are so likeable. Sure, if you’re being a jerk about it you could point out several ‘Mary-Sue’ elements in Molly (a girl in a male-dominated industry, estranged from her parents, left-handed, beautiful…) but those elements are negated by the way she reacts to her world and it to her. She pulls off the act of being noble, emotional, brave… whilst at the same time being a 17-year-old girl who gets into funks like the rest of us and communicates in a way that feels entirely natural (this is not to mean that any of her dialogue is superfluous: almost every word is relevent to the plot or themes). I believe most readers could see something of themselves in her, and in the way she and Cole interact with each other. I know I certainly did, and it was refreshing to be able to see that and be a little exasperated with her, at times, whilst always liking her.

Maybe that is enough gushing about Molly. What about the science? Hands up, for years I’ve been snobby about science fiction and that’s only recently started to change. It is so refreshing to see a well-written, young adult science fiction book which includes and makes use of technology without going OTT on exposition or rendering technology the solution to every problem. I was caught up in the emotional journey as well as the cool science bits.

Finally, and I believe most importantly, Howey proves that young adult fiction does not have to equate to ‘bad fiction’. He does not shy away from the issues of war, climate change, sex, sexism, xenophobia – but neither does he glorify those issues or use them as wacky cruxes to make the book relevent.
Profile Image for Magpie.
12 reviews1 follower
September 25, 2015
This is one of my favorite series ever, now. It reminded me at times of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Ender's Game, three of the best things of all time.

Molly is a strong female lead character. She is an exceptionally gifted pilot and brave as hell, but is also balanced in that she has realistic flaws as well. Her judgement isn't always the best, and she sometimes doesn't put clues together until long after it seems like she should have. The other supporting characters are equally well written.

Hugh Howey does such a wonderful job of pacing the story. It has you on the edge of your seat all the time, but he doesn't feel like he's just throwing things at you. It stays exciting and interesting the whole time. There is a fascinating plot that ends with a cliffhanger.. which is fine, since the second book picks up right where this one leaves off.

I enjoyed this series so much because it holds together so cohesively. The four books are planned out to end the story (for the most part!) in the fourth book. Clues and foreshadowings for the mysteries get bigger and bigger as portions of the story are revealed. Important information to help solve the story is leaked gradually, and it all ties together really well. Many series (LOST, anyone?) just seem to throw "mysteries" at you to keep you interested without tying it all up at the end, and gradually deteriorate the longer they go on. Not so with Molly Fyde. Every book has its own plot, with the larger overarching storyline keeping you going as well.

As the series goes on, Hugh Howey branches off from only following Molly to following different characters for different sections (like Game of Thrones) and exploring their pasts. All five of the main characters have excellent reasons for being the way they are, and Howey gives insight into their personalities. Some of them are aliens, so that is really awesome to read about.

Profile Image for J. Hounshell.
1 review1 follower
October 12, 2009
A superb introduction to an exciting new series.

A back-story is no small thing. Too often, particularly in the science fiction genre, back-stories are left to the wiles of the reader's imagination. Which is fine if your novel relies heavily on current events and the need to complete the tale in one simple volume. Hugh Howey's Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue takes great exception to that unfortunate habit common among so many upstart sci-fi writers. Howey's tale of a young and ambitious student turned outcast galaxy runner is anything if habitual. The story is lushly developed balancing the necessary elements of character foundation with present-tense conflict and plenty of action and adventure to boot. The juxtaposition of reality and science-fiction is one that reins familiar concepts like space-flight, hyperdrive and alien-encounter back into an imaginable sphere that you get the sense actually may take place. The philosophies and moral question-and-answer gambit is masterfully presented in this introduction to what promises to be an magnetic series of novels.

I am excited and intrigued to follow the adventures of Molly Fyde and highly anticipate the publishing of Molly Fyde and the Land of Light.

J. Hounshell 10/2009
133 reviews1 follower
August 24, 2016
Hackneyed Teenage Adventure

Ho-hum. I struggled through 42% of the book and was wondering whether Supergirl - oops. I mean Molly - would meet her Lex Luthor or her personal kryptonite. Since this is but book one in a series, I guess she does not.

I'm drawing many conclusions from just half the book, but since I couldn't bear to read another soppy word I feel justified. Mr. Howey might think he wrote a book empowering women, but he missed the mark. Molly endlessly defines herself by the men in her life. Her best buddy. Her daddy. Her Admiral sugar-daddy. She's just a pawn in a tale dominated by male figures. All her skills are just transference of male behaviors. Her strength is in being a tomboy. And that is not a strength... it's an imitation! In the wonderfully wacky mind of Tom Wolfe, writing in The Bonfire of the Vanities... She's best described as "a boy with breasts," not as a young woman.

So this book may be OK as the start of a space-opera sort of Nancy Drew series, and it may appeal to pre-pubescent girls, but it is barely even that. It's a poorly-drawn character in a ridiculously weak SF setting solving contrived problems by getting besotted men to help her. Gak!
Profile Image for Rob.
486 reviews20 followers
July 24, 2012
I picked up Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue after powering through Wool. I've not almost completed the Molly Fyde series, but will stick my opinion to just this one book.

Hugh Howey is a very adept world builder. I love the universe that he's constructed for Molly Fyde, and the races within it.

The book reads like an old Star Trek novel. Crazy races that don't make any sense, with a pair of adventurers just trying to survive. It executes on this concept well, and is definitely a page-turner.

The place where this book (and the series) falls down is in character development. Everyone, including the protagonists, are relatively one-dimensional. Absolutely crazy things happen to them, and death comes knocking way more than once, and yet in the next scene they are unfazed. There is a token emotional line here or there, but the focus of these book is not the characters. It is the universe and the plot.

So if you're looking for a Dan Brown-style page turner in sci fi, this is a fun series.

Wool, however, is better. I would start with that in Hugh Howey's collection.
Profile Image for Michelle.
579 reviews36 followers
August 26, 2019
3.5 stars - a fun space opera in the school of "one wacky thing after another" serial-adventure. molly fyde is an orphan teen about to wash out of the naval academy (apparently, they REALLY don't like chicks flying their spaceships). when life kicks her in the pants, she finds out that her long-lost parents' ship has been found, as in hock across the galaxy. setting off with her best buddy (and huge crush) from the academy to pick it up begins a series of big adventures and close scrapes.

it's neither fluffy "everyone has a happy ending" stuff, nor plagued by one-dimensional characters (problems with a lot of y/a literature). characters are complex and conflicted, and there's some real danger here. a fun adventure read.
Profile Image for Elisa .
1,401 reviews25 followers
April 2, 2019
Quite entertaining! I can't wait to see where Molly and her crew end up next.
Many twists and turns, a lot of action and some awesome aliens being led by a heroine who tries her best.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
September 27, 2018
Description: When Molly gets kicked out of the Naval Academy, she loses more than just another home, she loses the only two things that truly matter: flying in space and her training partner, Cole. A dull future seems to await, until a marvelous discovery changes everything. Her father's old starship, missing for a decade, turns up halfway across the galaxy. Its retrieval launches Molly and Cole on the adventure of a lifetime, one that will have lasting consequences for themselves and billions of others. What starts off as a simple quest to reconnect with her past, ends up forging a new future. And the forgotten family she hoped to uncover becomes one she never foresaw: a band of alien misfits and runaways-the crew of the starship Parsona

As with all Howey's, the writing is somewhat pedestrian, yet the ideas are cool. Men writing women can often be painful.
Profile Image for Donna.
2,525 reviews32 followers
December 13, 2015
I loved Howey's Wool but did not like Half Way Home, so I was hesitant about this series. However, it came up as a Kindle Daily Deal so I gambled and bought all four books. Good decision. YA space opera with a kick ass female hero? Yes, please. How I would have loved finding a series like this when I was a teenager and getting into fantasy and science fiction.

I loved Molly and the crew of misfits that she accidentally gathers. The story is action-packed and moves very fast but delves into some interesting ethical issues. While I would definitely put it in the YA genre, I think adults looking for a quicker, fun read would enjoy it.
Profile Image for Laura.
57 reviews13 followers
March 11, 2012
Very interesting premise. I don't usually read Sci-fi but this is a very good book. It looks at YA issues and throws in a bunch of adult problems. It does seem as if Molly is older than 17 and thinks more like an adult than a 17 year old. But this book does grab you and you want to see what happens to the mishmash of characters. Will they get out of every crisis they find themselves in or will they find themselves in a no win situation? I would recommend it to any Sci-fi fans and anyone who enjoyed Hugh Howey's Wool. He writes this with the same detail and you are drawn into the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and can't wait to read the next book.
Profile Image for Chris Fellows.
191 reviews30 followers
May 21, 2012
Hmm, hrm. I came to this novel after reading 'Wool' and was disappointed. Not because it is a young adult novel, but because it has a very uneven, first-novelly feel.

For a YA novel, the heroine came across as too much of a sociopath for my tastes. For a philosophical picaresque novel in the Chesterton tradition, there wasn't enough philosophising and too much fluff. And, the initial space battle scene goes on for much too long.

But the plot twists and turns nicely, like the road down to the coast from our highland eyrie. So I may well get the rest of the series anyhow to see how it turns out...

Profile Image for L.M. Preston.
Author 33 books651 followers
November 7, 2009
I loved this book. My daughter and I read it together. She is only twelve, so I had to answer a lot of questions for her in the begining since she isn't a typical science fiction reader. However, when we got into it we both loved it. I liked the chemistry between Molly and Cole and so did she. The chases and her determination kept us wanting to learn more and more about her. We really enjoyed the faced paced movement of the novel and are looking forward to more from Molly.
Profile Image for James.
64 reviews1 follower
September 25, 2009
Well writen book. I loved it. A real good Frist book. Great character's, that you well love. Even better yet they are not perfect. Can't wait for the next book
192 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2023
Worth continuing the series, I guess

I like, don’t love, Molly Fyde. Without including plot spoilers, much of the book reminds me strongly of other series (the concluding chapter very much of Harry Potter). Imitation, they say, is the highest form of praise. Also, all except for one character introduced in the final quarter of the book, the main characters seem a bit stiff. Nonetheless, I believe I’ll read the next installment, especially if it is free.
Profile Image for Satin.
Author 4 books56 followers
June 24, 2016
There were a couple of reasons I decided to pick this series up. First off, I just recently finished Hugh Howey's Wool Omnibus #1-5 and was absolutely impressed with the level of detail and quality of writing that went into that piece of work. I wanted to see what else he had written.

Coincidentally, I've been on the lookout for a great series I could sink my teeth into. I've had the frustration of starting a number of trilogies lately that only have one or two books published. While I can appreciate the effort it takes to produce a good book, and the marketing reasons for delaying new releases, I have been left disappointed with the fact that I now have a number of incomplete storylines and their corresponding questions floating around in my head. I was tired of not getting the payoff in the end. What I needed was a series that was fully completed and published!

To top it off, I was also scouting for a new series that I could recommend to my sister. I had recently convinced her to read the Hunger Games trilogy and she absolutely loved it. She's going to be having about a week of free time on her hands soon, and asked me to find another series that would be just as satisfying. Her requests were for quality writing, a strong female character, adventure, and maybe a little romance. She didn't want anything too depressing or dark.

Luckily, Hugh Howey's Bern Series fulfilled all of these requirements and then some!

This book grabs you from the very beginning. The action sequences are well written and the dialogue is seamless. I found myself emotionally invested in the characters, what motivated them, and their struggles. I think the author did a very good job of portraying that stage in life as an older teen. Things are are fresh, and still awkward, and yet...you're able to ascertain their character and the type of people they will become.

Molly Fyde is a strong, intelligent, vulnerable protagonist who has an inner strength she has not fully discovered yet. She has the courage to stand up in a male dominated profession and excel at it. Although she's fighting against the inequality of a sexist system, I love the fact that Molly is a typical girl in so many ways. She's unsure of herself when it comes to the boy she likes and she worries about what to wear when meeting him for the first time after being away for awhile. Yet, when the chips are down, she's capable of handling herself and isn't afraid of making tough decisions.

Cole is intelligent, caring and protective. While he has a little bit more life experience than Molly, and isn't quite as naive, you can tell he's also on the cusp of full manhood. In this first book, it's fun to watch these two characters orbit each other as they grapple with themselves and their newfound emotions.

The amount of creativity that was in this book was breathtaking. I'm a fan of post-apocalyptic, dystopic and science fiction novels. Most of the time, when I'm reading these genres, half the fun is being able to immerse myself in a new, or different world. A lot of that enjoyment is contingent on how well the author can describe and illustrate that alternate reality through the pages. After reading (and being a fan of) Hugh Howey's Wool Omnibus, I was already going into this series with high expectations. Yet, despite my inflated confidence, I was still pleasantly surprised about how much he was able to impress and amaze me.

He was able to project a future Earth setting; including the myriad ways it would be altered with the event of space travel, discovery of new worlds and various political changes. He also produced the same level of creativity for multiple alien worlds, each one having their own unique flavor, look, cultures, lingo, etc.

This type of success really hinges on the details. Weather patterns, curse words, different philosophies, the various ways to imprison a person... it's all accounted for in this book. I also appreciated the amount of thought that was put into the technical side of things; such as some of the challenges of hyperspace, for instance. Or, what a lagrange point is (thanks Wikipedia!) The sum of all these elements became a world that was at once familiar and unknown. It provided just enough to be recognizable and relatable while still launching the reader across the galaxy.

As an aside, I especially loved the Glemots' way of speaking. Just to give you a taste, here's a quote from the book just as Molly is meeting them for the first time: "A unit of your companions is ambulating within five hundred meters of your location. Do you desire for this range of proximity to decrease?" How awesome is that? It's like Spock on steroids!

All I can say is that you absolutely can't go wrong by reading this book. Plus, the fact that the series is fully published guarantees you'll be hitting the kindle store for book two faster than hyperspace after reading the cliffhanger of a final sentence.
Profile Image for YA Reads Book Reviews.
673 reviews261 followers
September 11, 2010
Ever looked up into the sky at night and imagined yourself flying around the stars off on some other-worldly adventure? Well, this is Molly’s reality. Or will be. Molly is a navy cadet. And don’t be fooled into thinking the Navy is what we understand the Navy to be. Yes they drive ships, but not the standard H.M.A.S. vessels of today’s waters. Molly and her fellow classmates are learning to pilot starships. Sure they are still in training but running a full visual simulator is darn close to the real thing, right down to the G-force experienced.

But in a standard-procedure simulator test, something seems to go wrong. For Molly and her pilot Cole fail and fail miserably. And as much as they try to convince their superiors otherwise, no-one believes them. For Molly and Cole’s simulator was tampered with. Every procedure runs fine, except the ability to arm and fire weapons. Without weapons, they have almost a no-chance at survival. Cole suspects sabotage. With both of them for examination, it will be Molly that the blame is laid at. Particular since Cole was technically ‘killed’ early into the simulator run and it is so much easier to blame the girl.

For Molly, this means expulsion. No more training, and no more hope of becoming a Naval officer. Resigned to a life at a normal high school, everything suddenly seems less for Molly. If loss of her only home, her connection to her past and her best friend that she can’t stop thinking about wasn’t enough, Molly is an outcast in her new school, merely because she is different. That is, until she gets an opportunity of a lifetime. Her father’s ship has been found. And as the legal owner, Molly is the only one who can go and collect it.

And a seemingly straightforward mission is the start of a whole new adventure that even Molly couldn’t begin to fathom…

Molly Fyde and the Parson Rescue is debut novel from Hugh Howey and the first in the Molly Fyde series. The thing that grabbed me from the first page of this novel was the believability in writing and character. The plot just flowed effortlessly, from describing the complexities of hyperspace, simulation flying and other world social structure to the simple dialogue between two best friends struggling to find what they mean to each other. There aren’t many authors who can get you completely lost in a story, but Howey was one of them. For me, I just wanted to know what would happen next, what the next twist in the story would be. As a credit to the author, I never saw the ending that was coming. It makes you easily want to read the next book in the series as soon as you can.

The characters of Molly and Cole were another highlight to the novel. Reading from Molly’s point of view as she struggled through countless personal and emotional challenges left me caring about what happened to her. The history and connection between Molly and Cole as a pair was believable, and the tension that built up added to the story, instead of taking away from it as so many teen-romances can be known to do. That being said, Molly does have her fair share of moments where I just wanted to knock some sense into her and tell her to get over the small dramatics that really seemed unnecessary.

All in all though, a highly engaging read that I would recommend for anyone who is or was a fan of space adventure.
Profile Image for N.E. White.
Author 8 books27 followers
February 4, 2012
Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue is a story about a young woman aiming to make her mark in the Navy, but those ambitions are shattered when she’s kicked out of the Naval Academy for something she didn’t do.
Set in a future when space travel is the norm, trade between alien races is thriving, and a long-drawn out war between humanity’s sworn enemy, the Drenards, is well established, our heroine is thrown into a family mystery that will put her life on the line – several times. We soon find out that not every corner of the star-charts is safe when Molly, along with her boyfriend Cole Mendonco, begin a journey across the galaxy to recover her father’s space ship – the Parsona.

Along the way, Molly picks up a few strays that help to fill out her thin crew, and we encounter new races with starling perspectives than our own. The mystery of her father’s disappearance deepens as does the danger when she realizes she may be on the wrong side of the Navy’s arsenal. At each step she takes towards recovering the only thing left to her from her parents, she encounters betrayal and corruption, slowly stripping away her trust and naivety. She tackles each challenge with perseverance, compassion and her wits.

The first in a three part series, Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue is a fun, quick read. Filled with lots of action, and a little bit of romance, a young adult reader transitioning to more adult material will find a lot to like, and maybe love, about this book. Molly Fyde’s character feels real and immediate. Her dilemma is touching, and I found myself rooting for her the entire time as she struggles with what is the right thing to do.

With that said, there were a few times during the book where I had to turn up the suspension of disbelief by a factor or two. Our two main protagonists are in their late teens, and some of their antics would have swamped someone with far more training and experience behind them. There were also a few times in the book where the point of view was switched in a seemingly indiscriminate manner that had me re-reading a couple of passages.

Regardless of the few faults, I completely enjoyed this book and would recommended it to anyone who likes their science fiction packed with action and a bit of mystery.
Profile Image for Leann.
347 reviews370 followers
February 7, 2010
Wow. To be honest, I was hesitant with this one, but decided to give it a shot because the summary made me remember the days I used to re-read Ender's Game over and over...

At first, I was so nervous because the first chapter was filled with technical speak I didn't understand, but it was intriguing and adventurous, so I continued. I shouldn't of worried, because as the novel progressed, I grew to understand everything.

Molly is a very three-dimensional character, and I am still surprised at how well Howey depicts a seventeen-year-old girl. I felt myself connecting with Molly, and I truly loved how amazingly awesome she was. When it comes to female main characters, I really look for how strong and smart they are, and Molly was definitely both.

The adventure in this story will leave you turning the pages, breathless for more and more. I continually found myself surprised with each new chapter, wondering how everything would work out. Molly Fyde's story kept me on my toes, eager for more. Then with the revelation at the end, whoa. I'm going to try keeping plot points out of this review, so all I have to say is that this is a story I can see anyone enjoying.

Highlights: Description in the novel was spectacular. I found myself really seeing everything, clear as day. All of the different planets were amazing, and even all the species Howey introduces us to. This novel really has it all, action, adventure, love....it was truly an amazing story that I want more of.

Lowlights: The first chapter had me panicking, but it was all for nothing because as I stated earlier, the spaceship-talk was easy to follow afterwards.

Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue has definitely landed on my best books of '09 list, and I know I'm anxiously awaiting Molly Fyde and the Land of Light!
Profile Image for Ami.
56 reviews4 followers
August 7, 2014
What do you get when you take a space opera, mix it with another called Mass Effect, throw in a healthy dose of Ender's Game, add all your fantasies of attending space camp, a sprinkle of Star Wars, a dash of believable romance, all the techno-babble and space jargon you can muster and a sweet sweet ship?

This freaking book.

This is one of my favorite books hands down. From the beginning to the end, there was hardly a lull in the action. I have to reread it again before I can properly review it right now. This will be my fourth time around the horn until I get that next book!

Basically, Molly is the only gal at the academy. She's disciplined, but treated unfairly. Eventually, she gets the boot for one too many low scores, and it's off to normie school for her. But later, she is called upon to retrieve her father's lost ship! What happens next involves exciting action packed events and new friends and new worlds!

Characters named Molly are always awesome. And this Molly was no pushover. She's intelligent, gutsy, and just amazingly amazing. She's everything you want in a female character. I really really mean it. She was exceptionally human, trusting, trustworthy, she made mistakes, she fixed mistakes, she is a genius in my book. And therein lies the biggest reason why I love this book. The author is like my favorite author in the universe. And he doesn't tell you Molly is a genius. You decide for yourself! Whoa! *slow clap*

It is written well, and all the jargon really keeps you absorbed in the story from beginning to end.
Profile Image for Jenny.
294 reviews19 followers
January 20, 2010
I started reading this book late at night and I think I read maybe two chapters and went to bed. My first impression from those two chapters was that there was a lot of “technical speak” which I didn’t really understand and got me a little confused. I read some more the next day and suprisingly found that I was being drawn into Molly's story.

I was surprised by how well Molly was portrayed. She’s a strong heroine with a quick mind especially in tight situations. It’s nice to see that as the story progressed, she really got more confident as the captain of the Persona.

I also loved the world that the author has created. I could picture the Palans and the Glemots and it was interesting for me to learn about the different aliens and the back story behind each race. The ending really left me hanging. It threw me for a loop and was something that I didn’t see coming. When I first started reading this book, I didn’t know what I was expecting but now I’m really excited to find out where Molly’s next adventure will lead her.
Profile Image for Kevin.
691 reviews11 followers
February 26, 2017
Teen chick lit. "Basic bitch" stuff. Some have referred it to an Ender's Game kinda story. Maybe, but crappier. You get to follow around a few teenagers that get sent into a great big conspiracy plot. There's a lot of action. Lots of aliens. People die, so at least it isn't quite all glittering vampires and translucent skinned aliens. But like all stories that I've read in this genre, the main characters are far too much like adults, they are given much more responsibility by the adults in the stories than they ever would, and outlandish stuff happens all too readily to them. Makes for a decent story if you don't take the little effort to pick it completely apart.

I find it funny that this is the third major work by Hugh Howey I've read and they all have chicks as their main character. In Silo and Sand, it wasn't a teen, though. This could have been better if it weren't for kids. The writing isn't bad. The concept could be neat. Felt rushed. Plot is unnecessarily unbelievable.
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