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Cassandra's Challenge

The Imperial Series, Book 1
Written by: M.K. Eidem
Length: 22 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cassandra Chamberlain has always stood out. It's hard not to at 6'1" and 165 pounds, with jet black hair and sapphire blue eyes. And if that isn't enough, she is also brilliant, graduating from Harvard at 15, teaching at MIT at 19, and up for the prestigious Magellan Award at 25. She's never really fit in. Not with her peers, not with her contemporaries, only with her family.

But everything changes when the Earth is attacked, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only survivors. Suddenly the smartest woman on the planet has to relearn everything. Everything she's believed to be true is challenged, and she has to learn to survive, not only for herself but for Victoria, because someone wants them dead.

Admiral William Zafar is the youngest Admiral ever in the Coalition fleet, the hero of the Battle of Fayal. At 7'1", he's 325 pounds of Carinian male in his prime who is feared and respected throughout the fleet. He is a royal from the House of Protection, carrying its birthmark, and considers its king one of his oldest friends.

But when the Regulians destroy a previously unknown planet, leaving only two survivors, he finds he's willing to risk it all to protect the woman he loves from the Regulians and the Carinian traitor that wants her dead.

©2013 M.K. Eidem (P)2016 M.K. Eidem

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cheri
  • 2016-06-24

Outstanding Story And Performance!


Another outstanding story by M.K. Eidem, with excellent characters and world building! This was more than just a Sci-Fi Romance, with the alien race know as the Regulians who are out to destroy the "light." In their quest, they destroyed earth, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only two survivors who were rescued by the Admiral and the Coalition fleet. Cassandra is not only a strong female character, but is very smart, and begins to not only fit in, but is able contribute by using her knowledge and skills. It was awesome hearing these two characters interacted with everyone, and how they became important to both the admiral and his son.

As this story unfolds, we see how Cassandra and Victoria both adapt to their new world, and how their fates are actually entwined with the alien race. However, while they are welcomed as the "two loan survivors," there are some who are not happy with having these two "stowaways" around, and attempts are made to remove them. During these times, we really get to see what these girls are made of, and how far the Admiral will go to protect both Cassandra and Victoria.

Due to the length of the story, Cassandra's and William's relationship evolve naturally, and is not forced. There's a lot of attraction between the two of them, and you get a sense of knowing the characters. Overall, an awesome romance with both action and suspense.

The performance was SPECTAULAR! I loved the multi-narrators, and sound effects! The audio performance really enhanced the story, making it more of a audio drama. Kudos! Job well done!

This is a great story for any Sci-Fi romance fan, and I'm looking forward to the next story being released in audio! Credit or Sale ~ it's excellent deal either way!

32 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DLee
  • 2016-07-20

Good Book, Interesting performance concept

Great story! And, I really enjoyed the sound effects as well as the multiple people performing specific characters. I would definitely purchase an audiobook that is performed like this again. The only thing worth mentioning is that the narration of Cassandra is pretty flat and monotone throughout the whole book. I realize she's supposed to be methodical, logical, and intelligent but I felt that if I had been reading the book to myself I would have imagined her with a little more passion. Minor irritation but it doesn't distract from the audiobook too much! I may just be being picky :-)

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • aemsab
  • 2016-06-21

Cassy's challenge is to be heard over the noisy background

I read CC a year ago and liked it so much I suggested that Audible record it. The performance on the whole was very good but the sound effects left much to be desired. I found the clomping, chomping,and retching to be a distraction rather than an enhancement, and the ten second pause after announcing each chapter was just plain irritating. The story was a good romantic suspense that developed in a logical manor with enough twists to keep me interested. I got a little tired of the main characters making out like rabbits, but that is where the 30 second skip ahead came into good effect. All in all I greatly anticipate Victoria's Challenge.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kelli
  • 2016-06-15

Nice story not very imaginative settings

This was a pretty good book. The storyline and characters were well rounded. I don't know that I understand the need of this author to make everyone one of her Heroines extremely young yet with the characteristics of a 60 yr woman I don't know. It's somewhat insulting and this time we have a 9yr old female with the characteristics of a 20 yr old, that's unsettling.

I do overall like her story telling. I wish she could a be slightly more imaginative with her descriptions and differences between Earth and was is supposed to be an Alien culture.

Most of the slang, food and weapons were similar if not the exactly the same. This same book could have been written as a futuristic or fantasy world rather than trying to compare the two races of people.

I like the dramatic narration as it kept me engrossed. The female narrator needs to be changed for a better actress as she presented bad inflection , accents and pronouncement of words.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonella A. Moore
  • 2016-06-16

This was an awesome story!

I really loved this audiobook! The heroine Cassandra is living on Earth with her Father. While her Special Forces brother, wife and Cassandra’s niece Victoria are visiting there is a violent battle in the sky above their home. When they see someone eject from a fighter, they go in search of the pilot, Lucas Zafar, and find him wounded. After bringing him back to the house and caring for his injury they find out he’s from Space and was fighting an evil species who were attacking Earth. When he communicates to be picked up, Cassandra helps him to a meadow nearby. While he’s bing helped by his father Admiral William Zafar into the transport ship more of the evil aliens show up. They yank her into the transport and prepare to take off, but Cassandra sees her niece running through fire in the meadow. They rescue Victoria, but the pilot sees a radiological signature and they have to leave the atmosphere with the two aboard. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story, but it’s full of action, intrigue, sexy romance and twists. The narration made the audiobook extra special because it was done with 4 narrators and some mild sound effects. I highly recommend this audiobook to those who love an exciting story with a happy ending.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs. The Kimmes
  • 2017-11-09

Total Lack of Imagination

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this failed at everything.

First, the sex. I'm not sure who thinks this is sexy, but it's incredibly boring, abrupt, sex scenes tossed in with no real regard to adding anything to the story. I'm sorry, I know it's a romance novel, but seriously, inside of 48 hours these people both know they are meant to be together. Even if the sex is good as they seem to think, it's awfully repetitive. My own real sex life has more variety. She looks at him. His shaft thickens. She gasps, "William!" They climax simultaneously. Every. Single. Time. It got so bad I was SKIPPING OVER THE BORING ASS SEX SCENES. And I like sex scenes! Almost as much as I like an actual plot. (More on that next.) I'm just saying, if it's gonna be a sex book, maybe switch up the positions? Make an afternoon of it.

The story kinda sorta had potential, but it was so ridiculous. My attention was piqued by a heroine with an unusual body type, what an interesting idea for a romance novel! But you take a 6'1" chick, and put her in an alien world where she's a petite little thing in a world full of super tall muscular men... like every other cardboard cut out female lead. She handles every situation just perfectly, and all of her conflicts are totally contrived, because it turns out that she and her 'lifemate' just want exactly the same thing all the time! I get the idea of a genius as a protagonist, but seriously... she speaks 22 languages? Really? It took me the better part of a decade to learn German, French and Italian. I just can't get past the cognitive dissonance. She reads some books and memorizes the legal code of an alien civilization in 48 hours. Really? She's citing page numbers, and educating native experts in obscure texts that just happen to prove her point? It's a shame that the author relied on this crutch, because there were actually moments when I kept listening just to see what would happen, but after a while it became obvious. This is just convenience genius, as in the author gets stuck, so she just makes the character a genius who knows everything. Plot problems solved!
And if you're going to have aliens, make them ALIEN. They eat the same food, apparently they have human biology but the are just bigger, they have the same standards of beauty, the same gender dynamics... It's the SAME. You can dress it up in a space ship and call them aliens, but I missed the part where they are not humans from another planet.
Also, some of the dialogue. It was so tiresome. As though she was trying to get to a word count. "Cassandra looked at the shiny object with interest. 'That looks interesting,' she said." I didn't catch that, was it... interesting?

The sound effects were at times cheesy, distracting, and add nothing to the plot. I know some people love them. I don't. Same with the Narrator + Male & Female actors. I'd never listened to a performance with multiple actors, so I was interested, but it was jarring. I often go back and forth from Audible to Kindle, and this took on more of a radio theater vibe than a reading experience. Not my cup of tea.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tiff
  • 2016-09-04

I loved every minute of this book!!

This book had everything I love. It had hot sex scenes, action, aliens, love, a strong hero, a strong woman lead and a you got what you deserve ending. LOVE IT!!! The writing is great, the narratiom is wonderful and the sounf effects are just a bonus. I love this author and truly am a fan!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 1safelady
  • 2016-07-14

Great but different

This is the first book with what seems like surround sound that I have listened to and it took a bit of getting used to. It was unexpected to hear various noises such as jet, bombs, walking etc. made this very distracting at first. Cassandra and Williams story was very good with excellent writing. The voice of Cassandra I never really got used to but the male voices were pretty good. Overall good and I look forward to seeing where this series will go. Happy listening.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • 2016-06-19

A Great Begining!!

What would you do if the earth was destroyed? In Cassandra's case she is saved by the admiral of an alien fleet and his son. So begins their story and what a story it is! As Cassandra and her niece are trying to adjust to a new life after the earth was destroyed, they find they have an enemy on board the battle cruiser. In the mean time the admiral discovers a traitor from his own planet. Are they connected?? You will have to listen to find out, because if you have read any of my review, you know I don't like to give the book away. I will tell you this, if you like a good love story (there are 2 in this story), mystery, adventure, and getting the bad guys, then you will like this book.

M. K. Eidem has done another great job of building the storyline, people, and a new alien race and planet. There are many twists and turns in this story and yes sound effects are included. The use of 4 narrators is also a smart idea as the number of people in the story would be to many for any 1 narrator to be able to do justice to. I look forward to the next book in this series and I am also waiting for the next book in the Tornian series.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • cjw
  • 2016-06-11

This is how every book should be read

This was a wonderful listen. I enjoy the sound effects and the actual dual narration. Every book should be read in this fashion. Audible books are for entertainment not just listening. The story was enjoyable after the first couple of chapters. I listen to this type of book for the narration more so than the story line. If the narration is good then so will the book, A must listen. You will probably enjoy it.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful