Ruins of the Galaxy: Ruins of the Galaxy, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The mission is simple. Escort an emissary to an intergalactic peace summit. Try not to get in the way.
Lt. Magnus and his 79th Recon Team have certainly handled worse, after all.
But when an explosion rocks the tower and sends everyone into a panic, Magnus and his asset find themselves cut off from the rest of the team.
Worse still, a dying alien chieftain gives them a priceless drive of intel, marking them for death.
The mission has officially changed.
With enemies on all sides, Magnus must do everything in his power to protect the emissary and escape the tower. There is no backup. There is no chance for failure.
The fate of the entire galaxy now lies in the hands of a Republic Marine and a diplomat.
All they have to do is survive.
Experience the beginning of this sprawling galactic tale in this first entry to the Ruins of the Galaxy series. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge, or Battlestar Galactica, you'll love this military sci-fi epic.
Includes bonus Ruins of the Galaxy stories "The Night of Fire" and "Demons at War".
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|Listening Length||14 hours and 3 minutes|
|Author||Christopher Hopper, J. N. Chaney|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||April 28, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #3,346 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#53 in Military Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#108 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#148 in Adventure Science Fiction
Top reviews from the United States
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This was one of those books that you find yourself saying ‘Just one more chapter…’, until it is 3am in the morning and you realise you have to be up in just a few hours for work, but you don’t care, you keep reading.
The story starts out introducing us to one of the main characters, Magnus, a Republic Recon Marine. He and his unit are on a mission to guard an Emissary of the Republic in talks with a brutal enemy that the Republic has been trying to bring to the table for peace talks for years, a Canine Warrior species called the Jujari. These are like 6-7ft tall bipedal like dogs, that are incredibly strong, and live under a violent, and vicious regime.
The Emissary, Awen, is the other main character, a humanoid from an order known as the ‘Luma’, she is stunningly beautiful, and is not only an incredibly accomplished diplomat, but having studied as a Luma, she can perform some amazing feats with her mind.
Both Magnus and Awen are incredibly well written, with so much depth and personality, to each of them, as you move through the story, you feel like you know them. Whilst it comes as no surprise that Awen is an intellectual and intelligent character, with some very interesting motives towards the mission as well as those around her, the real surprise is Magnus. He is far from the standard Marine, as most assume (including Awen at the start), with a very keen intellect, and a strong tactical and strategic mind.
This is where the real strength of the story comes from, the research, and depth of the character writing that both the Authors have put into every one of their characters. It is not just the major characters either, each of the minor characters is incredibly well written, each providing an amazing aspect to the story.
Without giving too much away about the story (No Spoilers Here), Magnus and Awen are at this summit to try and bring peace to the Republic and the Jujari. However as with all of these types of stories (otherwise, why would we read them??), things never go to plan, but this time around, the situation is far worse than normal, as the talks are decimated by explosions that leave everyone either dead or near it. Magnus is one of the only ones left standing, and, through things that are explained, so is Awen. But they are now deep in hostile territory, on a hostile Planet, with the leader of the enemy dead in front of them, being one of very few survivors of a deadly explosion.
With enemies on all sides, injured, and not sure where to go, all they can do is run, and try and work out what to do.
The amazing this about this book, is that this is just the opening phase of the story.
Yeh, you read that right, this is the START of the book.
The opening sequence makes a lot of other things you read or watch look like child’s play.
And it only gets better from there.
This is a full on, intense, nail-biting story, with gritty, believable and realistic characters (and no, there are not aliens to judge by, but you can judge how people react to things, and the reactions in this book by the main characters are just brilliant).
Again, without giving too much away, there are some other exceptional characters in this story. I am not going into detail as I don’t want to give spoilers. But certain characters are just outstanding if you have any liking of Star Wars. Although there are parts of this story that are super intense and emotionally powerful, there are some parts that you will be laughing yourself stupid they are so funny.
As with all JN Chaney books, there seems to be a certain proclivity to Easter Eggs of well-known Sci-Fi movies, which always makes these types of books enjoyable, and fun to read.
I have read a lot of books being that I was born a LONG TIME ago, in a, well not a Galaxy, but for those in the US, it is certainly a Country Far Far Away, and, given that I LOVE my Sci-Fi, most of them are from that genre. I am happy to say that this is one of the best Mil Sci-Fi books I have read this year, and anyone who loves Mil Sci-Fi, or just Sci-Fi in general, MUST read this, it is just BRILLIANT, and you can’t miss it. I am already reading the sequel “Ruins of the Galaxy – Gateway to War”, and Part 3 has just been released.
The character development is good and it's hard not to get attached to some of them and have favorites right away.
You can read the synopsis, and I won't ruin the story itself as there were a few parts that took me by surprise..but... Do yourself a favor and get the audiobook as well...not only is R C Bray amazing as always, but the note from the author at then end was touching and on point and is something I believe everyone should hear....
Keep them coming, Hopper!!!
In the last few months, I've tried many new (for me) authors and series. The best I can say for an unfortunate number of them is that I managed to get through an entire series because I loved how the narrator brought the characters to vivid life despite the writing or the plot being only so-so. The worst was giving a book back (which I so rarely do) because I simply couldn't take the overt bigotry and/or misogyny. And yes, I know soldiers aren't saints, and I'm definitely not the PC police, but some things just go too far IMHO.
In this case, R.C. Bray (whom I've enjoyed immensely before) is absolutely fantastic. Part of that is because he's been given something good to read, with well-developed characters and funny (and sometimes snarky) dialog. The characters are well-developed and the author(s) manages to write women as fully formed humans. Even if they're drop-dead gorgeous, they also have a brain and a backbone. There is also a nine-year-old girl involved in the story who, for once, isn't on my 'please get eaten soon' list.
Other reviews cover the plot points more than adequately, so I'm not going to repeat their work here except to say that I agree that the author(s) don't quite explain enough of the 'bigger picture', either physical or political, to really understand the relationships between all of the various interests. Some things are still a bit murky, even by the end of the book.
That would not have been enough to knock off a whole star (meaning 4 instead of 5) if a couple of other things hadn't been going on. As some have pointed out, introducing the mock-swear word 'splick', and using it so much, was distracting. Yes, it may be a safe choice for those who can't abide the occasional 'shit' or 'crap', but...
One reviewer seemed to enjoy the supposed 'Easter eggs' in the story, but I found them even more distracting than the fake swearing. For example, every time somebody addressed the female lead, 'Awen' (pronounced with a long 'A' by the narrator), all I could think of was Eowyn from LOTR. There is also a place called something that sounds like 'Ithiliana'. Not having the physical book, I don't know how it's spelled, but it sure reminded me of Ithilien; again from LOTR. The secondary male lead's character is a little too much like Han Solo; the droid is a little too much like the droid from Rogue One; and a scene going into a space gangster's lair might as well have been Jabba's palace, except for a twist that I won't reveal here. And then there was the star system that (regardless of how it's actually spelled) sounded like Cylon from Battlestar Galactica. I'm sure there were others that I either missed or forgot. I don't want to sound nit-picky, but when I'm reading (or listening to) a story, I want to be immersed in that world, and believe in it as a fully-formed and unique place, and not be pulled away by too many cutsey in-jokes.
Okay, with all of that said, it was only worth taking off one star for it compared with everything else the book has to offer. And it was way better than many things I've read/heard this year. This is a fun story that was made even better by a fantastic narrator. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes in book two, for sure. I definitely recommend that anyone interested in the genre give it a shot, especially the audiobook.
So I studied them all closely, reading the blurbs, and this one seemed like a good place to start.
And it was. Stories either better grab me right away, or soon thereafter, or I am gone on to the next book on my ever growing - To Read Pile.
Like other reviewers already stated, this very Star Warsey type atmosphere, along with a little HALO, actually grabbed my interest right away, and kept the pedal to the metal until the cliff hanger end.
Ruins has solid characters of all types, with blazing space opera action and even some mystery and romance thrown in. And it's all done quite well.
My only regret: now I have even more books to read, in top of my ever-growing collection. Which will grab my attention now...?
Top reviews from other countries
I would have given it 2*, but the couple of short stories bat the end were good and show that the authors can write this sort of thing well
Will give book 2 a go, but it needs to improve