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Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate) by Megan…
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Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate) (original 2019; edition 2019)

by Megan E. O'Keefe (Author)

Series: The Protectorate (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
271875,425 (3.69)56
Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera by award-winning author Megan O'Keefe. Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction. However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe. Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right. "Meticulously plotted, edge-of-your-seat space opera with a soul." --Kirkus The Protectorate Velocity Weapon… (more)
Member:p5ntangle
Title:Velocity Weapon (The Protectorate)
Authors:Megan E. O'Keefe (Author)
Info:Orbit (2019), 544 pages
Collections:Your library
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Velocity Weapon by Megan E. O'Keefe (2019)

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One civilization has developed an important technology that lets them build gates that allow instant space travel from one gate to another. They jealously guard the secret which forms a great portion of their wealth. The elite of the civilization are trained in special schools and, if worthy, when they graduate, have a chip integrated into their brain’s neural network and are known as Keepers. They hold the secrets to the gates and are the de facto rulers of their world.

A second civilization wants the secret of the gates. They have developed a weapon that travels at a fraction of light speed. If it hits a planet the impact will destroy it.

This story has a dual line – the first is that of Sanda Greeve, commanding a mission when war breaks out between the two civilizations. She is badly wounded and is ejected in a space pod designed to put her in stasis to save her life.

The second line is that of her younger brother, Biran, newly minted as a Keeper the very night the war breaks out. He refuses to give up on his sister.

Eventually Sanda’s escape pod is picked up my a mysteriously empty intelligent ship which calls itself Bero. Bero tells Sanda that the war ended hundreds of years ago and Sanda is now one of the few humans left alive in this part of the galaxy.

Bero, however is emotionally wounded. It’s an artificial intelligence with no way to handle negative human emotions. As it and Sanda draw closer, there are more and more questions in Sanda’s mind. And eventually, Bero picks up another escape pod, whose owner’s truth does not match Bero’s.

I loved the relationships, including those with the ship Bero. It fit into other reading I’ve been doing, exploring what it is to be human, and what happens to the human-like artificial intelligence that humans create.

Downsides: this is a 500 page book, and, while it came to a bit of a conclusion, it’s actually the first of a trilogy. So there I am. Will I continue to read? Possibly, but not as high on my tbr list as other books. ( )
  streamsong | Jun 29, 2021 |
O’Keefe is a fan of a good old-fashioned plot twist, and she executes them relentlessly and perfectly in VELOCITY WEAPON. This book is an utterly unpredictable thrill ride that at one point had me shouting “WHAT?!” while riding the bus home, and gaping at the guy nearest me with my “Can you beLIEVE?” face on.

He couldn’t.

Sentient spaceships are one of my favourite sci-fi tropes along with generation ships. The connection between captain and craft is the space equivalent of dragon and dragon-rider, relationships are often written to be either profoundly intimate or fraught with a power struggle and need for autonomy. VELOCITY WEAPON provides a more sophisticated take on this, with the spaceship Bero being a complex character who has a complicated relationship with the main protagonist from the start. O’Keefe’s characterisation is strong in this book, and while all the characters are likeable I found Bero the most interesting. I also loved Sanda, whose humour reminded me of a more disciplined, less morally opaque Gideon Nav having recently finished Gideon the Ninth.

VELOCITY WEAPON is incredibly fun and similar in tone to Alex White’s Salvagers trilogy, which also features LGBT+ representation. Like A Memory Called Empire it shares some similarities with Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radtch trilogy being a modern take on military sci-fi, though contains more action than either of those.

I don’t want to provide any further details as I honestly think the less you know about this book the more it will blow your mind, but do buy yourself a copy! ( )
  jakeisreading | May 23, 2021 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---
WHAT'S VELOCITY WEAPON ABOUT?
There are two primary storylines—either one of them would have been a decent basis for a novel on their own. Combine them and you've got something special.

Sergeant Sanda Greeve is flying a fairly routine patrol when she's attacked—a rare burst of heat in a long Cold War. She wakes up in a ship from the fleet that attacked her. Alone. Except for the AI that runs the ship (is the ship?). Bero, the AI, shows Sanda footage and evidence that the Icarions that build him wiped out all life in the system except Sanda 230 years ago.

The second primary storyline features her brother, Biran. Biran's speaking at his graduation ceremony when his sister (and others) are attacked. The news disrupts the ceremony, and Biran uses finds himself in the position of having to calm those who are watching (live or on the news). In the days and weeks following, he rises to a prominent position—becoming the government's spokesman, reassuring and leading the populace through this time.

We bounce back and forth as Biran tries to stave off a war, and to Sanda dealing with its results. It's a great concept and you just don't know what to expect even though Bero has told Sanda what's happening.

And then another escape pod shows up and all bets are off.

THE STUFF I SHOULD'VE PAID MORE ATTENTION TO
There were some flashbacks to the invention of the Gate technology that makes interstellar travel possible, which was pretty interesting, but there was something about it that I just couldn't focus on for very long.

Similarly, there was a tertiary story to the main two. This one focused on a street gang involved in some pretty petty crimes, but they stumbled onto something pretty big. This was interesting, but I couldn't keep most of the characters straight and had a hard time following it. This was solely due to my focus, and as many times as I told myself to pay attention, I didn't. I predict that this is going to come back pretty significantly in the sequel—I'm just hoping I can play catch up. If you read and/or listen to this book—learn from my mistake and pay attention.

HOW WAS THE NARRATION?
I liked it. Bero in particular is hard to get right—and vital to get right. Jameson does it. Everything else came out good, too, don't get me wrong, but for this, the AI is essential. He captured the tones, flavors, and diverse set of characters in an engaging and convincing way.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT VELOCITY WEAPON?
When this came out, it looked intriguing. When I started seeing it show up on my Goodreads feed and book blogs I follow, I really became interested. But I didn't follow up on it. I spent pretty much e the entire time listening to Velocity Weapon berating myself for that.

This is the kind of thing I like in SF. A clever story, compelling characters, and great tech in space. I liked the humans, I really enjoyed the AI (I sort of figured this would be a variation on the AI in Rockwell's Serengeti books, and wow, I was wrong). It was a SF adventure, but it was also a straightforward thriller (with SF frills). I had a blast with this and am looking forward to the sequel. ( )
  hcnewton | Sep 16, 2020 |
DNF @ 44%

I tried with this book. I really tried. I wanted to like it, I wanted to at least finish it. But I just don't care about the characters enough to keep reading.

I enjoyed the concept and the worldbuilding, which is why I read as much as I did and why I'm giving this a 2 star rating regardless of the fact that I'm not finishing it. I think this story has merit, but I also think it's not for me. My favorite books are those where I connect with the characters in some way, and so their stories matter to me. This one, even with the great setting and concept, didn't have characters I can relate to and so I don't care what happens to them.

If the blurb sounds interesting to you, and you are the type who doesn't need to connect to the characters — or if you do connect to these characters where I did not — then I think you would probably enjoy this book. I didn't have any problem with the actual writing (though keeping the timelines straight was a bit confusing at first since the years in the chapter headings meant nothing to me yet).

I do hope Bero — the smartship — has a happy ending, though. He's the one character I even started to connect with. Sadly that just wasn't enough for me.

(I received an advance copy from a Goodreads giveaway. All opinions are my own.) ( )
1 vote ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
To read more reviews, check out keikii eats books!

96 points, 5 STARS!

Velocity Weapon was amazing. I could feel everything the characters were feeling throughout the book. I loved the characters, and I loved the story as much as I loved the characters. I have been looking for this book for two years now, and it turns out the reason I wasn't able to find it was because it hadn't been released yet!

O'Keefe made me feel lost and feel hope with the story in Velocity Weapon. I felt lost when Sanda realised she was all alone, when Biran learned that Sanda was lost, presumed dead. I felt hope when they both found their respective paths to productivity. And then...and then I felt more. So much more. The midway point in this book has so many twists and so many emotions. I can't wait to watch others start to read this so I can see their reactions!

Velocity Weapon is also very dreary. Which is one of my favourite tones to read. Sanda is alone now that she has been asleep for 230 years. So alone. Alone enough that she is doing everything she can to not think about it, to just work on survival. She doesn't want to give up hope that easy. Biran refuses to give up hope as well, and is willing to do absolutely anything he can to find his sister again. Even if it means taking on a political role he doesn't really want and that sounds like it will bite him.

This also features an amazing ship AI, Bero. Bero is like a cross between my two favourite ships. The first ship is Paragon, from Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb, who is a cross between a child and a man, who is improperly used and is left alone for years. Bero, too, never seems to have "grown up" properly, and suffers from moods due to isolation and ill use. The second ship is Owl from A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, who's only goal is to save a young woman who is left alone in a hostile environment with very limited supplies. Which is almost exactly what Bero is, too. He is awesome and I love him. I need others to love him, too.

This was just absolutely spectacular to read. There were just so many twists and turns in Velocity Weapon. It is a masterfully woven tale that made me, on more than one occasion, yell out in shock. I'm already looking forward to book two!

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Megan E. O'Keefe, Orbit, and Netgalley for providing the opportunity to review this copy! ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Megan E. O'Keefeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jameson, JoeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panepinto, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SparthCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Karen Rochnik, who saw the science fiction in me.
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The first thing Sanda did after being resuscitated was to vomit all over herself.
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Dazzling space battles, intergalactic politics, and rogue AI collide in Velocity Weapon, the first book in this epic space opera by award-winning author Megan O'Keefe. Sanda and Biran Greeve were siblings destined for greatness. A high-flying sergeant, Sanda has the skills to take down any enemy combatant. Biran is a savvy politician who aims to use his new political position to prevent conflict from escalating to total destruction. However, on a routine maneuver, Sanda loses consciousness when her gunship is blown out of the sky. Instead of finding herself in friendly hands, she awakens 230 years later on a deserted enemy warship controlled by an AI who calls himself Bero. The war is lost. The star system is dead. Ada Prime and its rival Icarion have wiped each other from the universe. Now, separated by time and space, Sanda and Biran must fight to put things right. "Meticulously plotted, edge-of-your-seat space opera with a soul." --Kirkus The Protectorate Velocity Weapon

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