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Star Nomad by Lindsay Buroker
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First book of a brand new series and brand new milieu by Lindsay Buroker, proving she's potentially just as good with science fiction as she is with fantasy.

Could use some work fleshing out some of her secondary characters however. ( )
  Eternal.Optimist | Aug 22, 2018 |
good world building - good syfy - good drama - likable characters - (nothing takes it to great but nothing drags down to less than 3.5 stars)
overall would read more by author ( )
  jason9292 | Nov 17, 2017 |
Good... and bad So I'm a bit conflicted with this book as I really enjoyed it. It was well written in a style that focused on the the characters more than the tech and it really did feel like I was reading an episode of some SciFi TV show. So good job there. There was a paragraph at the start however the was throwing me off, but it seems she just ditched that style right then and just went into good writing.
 
Let's start with the characters. I liked the characters and I didn't hate any of them other than the bad guys, but they were meant to be hated.
 
Alisa, I assume, is white and I forget if she gets any more characterization than "is female". So I kind of had the image of her as Alisa from Phantasy Star 4 in my mind. She's tough and can get herself out of situations and because she really isn't described I can't judge one way or another how the author sees her. She hates to be helpless but more on this later.
 
Mica has short "tousled hair" and past that I don't think she gets any more of a description. I chose to view her as black because why not? The only other Mica/h I know was black and the book didn't give me descriptors so going with that.
 
I outline this because the next characters get into some maybe racist stereotyping.
 
Leonidas the cyborg. He's outright stated to be black haired and blue eyed, jaw that needs shaving. It's implied that he's white? He's the silent stoic type Imperial soldier that's loyal and won't rape anyone. He's a good guy.
 
Alejandro Dominguez "He was a handsome man with bronze skin, his hair more gray than black, and she judged him in his early fifties." He's an Imperial doctor turned into some kind of religious person. Hates killing people and all that, but the book implies he might want to bring back the Empire.
 
Yumi Moon, yes that's her name, "She looked to be a few years younger than Alisa, in her late twenties perhaps, though her smooth, bronze skin made it hard to pin down." She's obviously Asian with both her name, the fact that she has black hair aaaand the fact that Alisa can't tell how old she is. Her hair is into two long braids and she comes off as a hippy or... as a drug pedaling mystical Asian trope. No she literally has drugs in her trunk and many times is sitting in positions doing breathing exercises. She also has chickens. So she has the Japanese and Korean name with the Chinese stereotyping going on. Asians. All the same. Amirite?
 
Tommy Beck, just goes by Beck. "The other applicant was a stocky, brown-skinned man with a wild tuft of blond hair that she assumed was dyed or otherwise modded."
Obviously black, he's the security, slash somewhat mechanic that he can fix stuff, slash cook. Not chef... cook. They also have a whole scene with him fighting Draper to prove he's not a rapist versus Draper who is the total MRA rapist. There is also a scene where they plan showing his "tits" to a character against his will. It never happens, but it's talked about. Not sure if this fits really into stereotyping past the fact he's military, he's the big buff black guy that can beat people up, and that he's the cook for the whole ship.
 
Now that that's taken care of let's get into what I don't like about the book.
 
Let me start by saying she says she draws inspiration from Firefly. That should set off a flag. I hear Joss Whedon is good at this kind of the follow misogyny too. Leonidas on many occasions, orders Alisa around and she comments on this however she doesn't tell him to stop nor show any sign of defiance against it. The author says that Alisa gets "lippy". Not defiant. "Lippy". This really feels that women once again, shouldn't be taken seriously and that their acts of sarcasm in defiance and stuff is just them making noise. Let's add in the scene where the author sets it up that Alisa HATES to be helpless but "Oh hey guess what :D!" So yeah when Malik shows up (who also has black hair), she's rendered into a vulnerable crying pile of helplessness that needs Leonidas to come and get her out of it. It's like the author was going "I'm not sexist BUT.." and plop. Whole misogynistic scene. Also here there are a lot of times she gets into trouble, and she does get herself out by herself, but there is something that always happens that she needs a man to finish up with. There not really anything she does fully by herself. So on some points it feels cool that she doesn't fully need to rely on a man, but at another time I wish she'd do the whole thing herself. And the big one that's a trigger warning. The way we tell good guys from bad guys is the fact the bad guys want to rape all the women and the good guys don't so much as glance at her boobs. I am serious. It's stated that Leonidas doesn't look at her boobs, but at her uniform. Malik has doesn't even conceive of rape but he's evil because he leaves Bruiser to rape Alisa. Also Malik is a sadist.   The good points of this are that I was really invested in the characters and I do want to read more of the universe to see what happens next, but I am so hoping she gets better at this. The "woman in sexual peril" however I hope isn't an ongoing thing in the next book because that's cheap, overused and really fucking gross. ( )
  Maverynthia | Jul 29, 2017 |
This was a fun read that I discovered through Kindle Unlimited. I actually had a few other titles by this author on my list, a few as kindle freebies, but not in the Sci-Fi genre, they were her fantasy novels. So this one was marketed for fans of Firefly and Star Wars, and while normally I don't like it when books try to ride the coat tails of bigger hugely successful things because I feel like they can't possibly live up, I could see the influence of both in this story. There is much wit and banter between characters, each having their own quirks, a la Firefly. And there is the grand setting of the aftermath of a big war which has the feel of the Empire and the Rebels, a la Star Wars. But our characters here are not the top brass or the last Jedi, they are people caught in the crossfire, and believing they were fighting for the right side, but then coming to know each other and find out they are still all humans, with feelings, and honor, regardless of the side they started out on. They are the ones who somehow got left behind now that the whole thing is over and have to figure out what to do next, how to get home, how to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives.


I enjoyed the characterization, and found myself imagining The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, as the Cyborg Soldier, every time the eyebrow quirk was mentioned, though he is much more outspoken and animated in his roles than the reserved Cyborg we here. By author admission the science part of the sci-fi is pretty general, but still sets the scene well. I look forward to more in this series, and also sampling others by this author. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.


Title: Star Nomad
Series: Fallen Empire
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 253
Format: Kindle Digital edition


Synopsis:

Captain Alisa Marchenko has been left behind on a pohdunk world, recovering from her injuries. Inexplicably, there are NO armed force bases on the world or anyone she can turn to to return home. So she is forced to link up with some strange mechanic lady, find an old abandoned spacefreighter, take on passengers AND figure out how to work with an Imperial cyborg who is camping out in her chosen spaceship.

All Alisa wants is to get to her home planet and see her daughter again. But she can’t do that while she has beefcake all over the place and pecs galore to ogle. Poor Alisa. She is so insecure and unable to take care of herself.


My Thoughts:

I went into this thinking it was going to be a cool SF adventure. It was billed as “for fans of Star Wars or Firefly”. That should have been more than enough warning.

What I got was a story about a woman who is insecure, incapable of taking care of herself and obsessed with her imaginary relationship with a former enemy soldier. And I mean, totally imaginary. Oh, and don’t forget his pecs.

If you like a romance book, without sex, and wrapped in a Science Fiction wrapper, this is the series for you. Considering there are at least 8 books, I guess “somebody” is buying these. Maybe people who like pecs. ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Jan 26, 2017 |
Showing 5 of 5
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A dark shape scurried through the shadows ahead, disappearing under the belly of a rusted spaceship.
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The Alliance has toppled the tyrannical empire. It should be a time for celebration, but not for fighter pilot Captain Alisa Marchenko. After barely surviving a crash in the final battle for freedom, she's stranded on a dustball of a planet, billions of miles from her young daughter. She has no money or resources, and there are no transports heading to Perun, her former home and the last imperial stronghold.

But she has a plan.

Steal a dilapidated and malfunctioning freighter from a junkyard full of lawless savages. Slightly suicidal, but she believes she can do it. Her plan, however, does not account for the elite cyborg soldier squatting in the freighter, intending to use it for his own purposes. As an imperial soldier, he has no love for Alliance pilots. In fact, he's quite fond of killing them.

Alisa has more problems than she can count, but she can't let cyborgs, savages, or ancient malfunctioning ships stand in her way. If she does, she’ll never see her daughter again.
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