Narrator: Cassandra Richardson
Series: Rimrider Adventures #1
Published by L. A. Kelley on 22 August 2017
Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Orphan, pirate, spy.
Awakened by her father, teenager Jane Benedict is ordered to memorize a mysterious code. Hours later, Mathias Benedict is dead and Jane and her brother, Will, are wards of United Earth Corporation. To evade the company's murderous clutches and uncover the meaning of her father's last message, Jane leads Will on a desperate escape across the galaxy aboard the Freetrader smuggler ship, Solar Vortex. Tangled in the crew's fight for freedom, Jane saves the life of young smuggler, Mac Sawyer, and learns her father's code identifies a secret cargo shipment. The trail leads to the planet Rimrock and the massive prison complex of Golgotha. Undercover as a spy, Jane stumbles into a conspiracy that can spell doom for the entire Freetrader cause and the extinction of an alien race. Can she escape the prison confines and deliver a warning before it's too late?
Piracy, intrigue, romance, space battles, and a daring rebellion from Earth wait on the galactic rim. Will Jane answer the call to adventure and find new purpose, or is death for high treason her fate?
What will you hear in this audiobook? No whiny, crybaby characters, only action, adventure, sweet romance, and a bit of sassy humor. It is suitable for kids through adult.
©2016 Linda Kelley (P)2017 Linda Kelley
This was a fun bit of space adventure! Jane and her brother Will are a great team, getting into and out of trouble by twists and turns. While Jane is the older by several years, she’s never bossy. Will is never petulant. They really compliment each other in this story. Then toss in Mac and the crew of the Solar Vortex, we get a spice of danger as they take on Souless and his corporate empire (the UEC).
The core of the tale is pretty familiar – a small group (the Free Traders) take on a big evil corporation (UEC). So in some ways it felt a little like Star Wars, Firefly, or even The Expanse by James SA Corey. That made it easy to dive right into. It also made it a little predictable. The bad guys are one dimensional. Souless is obviously a villain and any UEC employee is suspect and the UEC enforcers, referred to as Zebras for their uniforms, are all evil mindless muscle. While I had great fun with all the good guys, I would have liked a bit more to the villains.
There’s a sweet romance which was cute but took me a little while to get into. I think Jane is 15 or 16 but Mac comes off as mid 20s. Even without the age difference, Mac has a lot more life experience under his belt, even as Jane is catching up fast in this book (losing her parents, taking up with rebellious Free Traders, spying, etc.). So perhaps their romance won’t feel so awkward in Book 2.
With those two criticisms aside, the book was a great mix of humor and action. Jane and Will often tease each other and share jokes. There’s also the Solar Vortex crew. Then we get the native alien Gem (a Leewits) who lives on Rimrock where UEC is doing heavy mining. She started off with few lines but her part grows as she learns to trust the Free Traders and by the end she’s stealing the show with her humor. She became my favorite character.
I liked the whole bit with the brainframes and Jane’s search for Olivia, the daughter of a man deeply affected by the evil brainframes. This personal quest of Jane’s leads her into spying for the Free Traders. She takes on a bike messenger job which lets her travel all over Golgotha, the main UEC city on Rimrock. There were a few times where I was biting my nails hoping Jane wouldn’t get caught.
All told, the story kept me entertained throughout. I definitely enjoyed Jane, Will, and Gem. 4/5 stars.
I received a free copy of this book.
The Narration: Cassandra Richardson was a great fit for Jane. She sounds like a girl who’s having to grow up fast. She also did a great performance for young Will and the alien Gem. Her male voices were believable and mostly the characters were distinct. I did find that the villain voices were a little overdone. They were so obviously evil from the story but then to accentuate that aspect heavily in the narration was overkill. But over all, it was a good performance. 4/5 stars.
This review first appeared on DabOfDarkness.com
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