Title & Author: Fallen Empire series books 2-8: Honor’s Flight, Starseers, Relic of Sorrows, Cleon Moon, Arkadian Skies, Perilous Hunt, End Game, Lindsay Buroker
Genre & Publication Date: Science-Fiction, May – November 2016
Book Description: (From Book Two: Honor’s Flight) “After spending four years fighting for the Alliance, fighter pilot Alisa Marchenko only wants one thing: to reunite with her young daughter. But this involves a journey to her former home world, which has become the last imperial stronghold. Since the imperials have a lot of reasons to loathe members of the Alliance right now, just getting down to the planet will be a challenge, and it doesn’t help that her passengers are stirring up trouble of their own…
Even if Alisa is able to land, she may find that more questions await her than answers, and that her late husband kept a startling secret from her, one that could change her life forever.”
First Line: (From Honor’s Flight) Alisa Marchenko, Captain of the Star Nomad, the only Nebula Rambler 880 in the galaxy that hadn’t been scrapped decades earlier, fiddled with the flight stick as the planet Perun grew larger on the view screen.
My Take: These books were provided to me by the author for review.
A while back I reviewed the first book of this series, Star Nomad, which became part of an 8 book series with a spin-off novella on the side and another spin-off series called “Sky Full of Stars”. First, let us pause for a moment and recognize the word count powerhouse that is Lindsay Buroker. Between May and November of 2016 she published eight FULL novels. *blinks* Now that is just impressive. I assume she has to replace her keyboard often because of scorch marks. Wow.
Now, if you’ve read my review of the first book, you’ll know I was kind of lukewarm about it. I love Buroker’s writing style, her humor, her quirky characters, and in this case, her “universe building” but book one just didn’t grab my Sci-Fi heart as much as I’d hoped. Still, I thought I’d give it more time to do so and I continued the series. My attention definitely held throughout each book and I was interested to know how things would end but…I have to admit that I remained rather meh feeling about the main thrust of the story. Okay, okay, this sounds really contradictory–to feel ‘so-so’ about a series while at the same time reading the whole thing. I agree, it is. How to put this into words…Let’s try this: As I tapped the final page on the last book I didn’t lean back in post-book languor thinking, “That.Was.Awesome.” It didn’t hang around in my thoughts. I didn’t flip through previous books to reread favorite passages just to experience it again. I didn’t bemoan the fact that it was over.
The author says this is like her tremendously popular “The Emperor’s Edge” series but set in space (by the way, if you haven’t, GO READ THAT SERIES. Book One is FREE). I could see hints at the ways she tried to replicate that feeling but it felt like a lesser version of it. The main character, Alisa, is trying to reunite with her daughter after waking up in a medical ward to find out the war was over and her home, systems away from where her craft went down, had been destroyed. Her daughter survived. Her husband didn’t. One would think she’d let nothing come between her and getting to her daughter. Yet, it felt like this was just the setup for the adventures rather than the incredible emotional upheaval it would actually be. She was continually distracted from her mission to find her daughter by other things going on. Sort of, “Well, okay, I’ll take care of this issue with these people and then be back on my way.” She didn’t have the soul searing neeeeed that a mother ought to have to get to her child. I think this is where it went awry for me. How could she let her focus slide to anything else? Impossible. It affected my enjoyment of things because I constantly thought, “How is xyz more important to you right now???”
The Magical: This is a complex universe and the series visits plenty of different systems and planets. The history is really well thought out and the characters all have unique voices.
The Mundane: I really, really admire the author for her dedication to the craft and her utterly amazing ability to get an entire series out within seven months. However, I also think there was some plot stretching going on and I’m not entirely convinced it actually needed to be eight books.
Summary of Thoughts: Now, there are hoards of people who disagree with my opinion on this so please check out the Amazon link below to see reviews for more input–Honestly, people loved this so much I’m a little afraid they’ll be picketing my house if they read this review. It’s possible I’m the odd duck (and not for the first time in my life). So I’m giving this series a three star rating with the added note that Sci-Fi fans should give it a try for themselves. In fact, book one is only $0.99 (also on Kindle Unlimited) so why not, right?
Interestingly, I began the spin off series “A Sky Full of Stars” and am really liking that one. A coming-of-age in space? Yes, please! But that’s for another review;)
Many thanks to author Lindsay Buroker for providing copies of the books to review!
Curious what others thought? Check out Amazon’s reviews here
Want to know more about the author and her work? Explore her website here