Get a free audiobook

Cast Under an Alien Sun

Destiny's Crucible, Book 1
Written by: Olan Thorensen
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Series: Destiny's Crucible, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

What if you were thrown into a foreign society, never to see home again? What would you do, and could you survive?

Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again.

On planet Anyar, Joe is found unconscious on a beach of a large island inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awakes amid strangers speaking an unintelligible language and struggles to accept losing his previous life and finding a place in a society with different customs, needing a way to support himself and not knowing a single soul. His worry about finding a place is assuaged when he finds ways to apply his knowledge of chemistry - as long as he is circumspect in introducing new knowledge not too far in advance of the planet's technology and being labelled a demon.

As he adjusts, Joe finds that he has be dropped into a developing clash between the people who cared for him, and for whom he develops an affinity, and a military power from elsewhere on the planet - a power with designs on conquest. Unaware, Joseph Colsco has been poured into a crucible where time and trials will transform him in ways he could never have imagined.

Cast Under an Alien Sun is a story that's science fiction in premise, adventure in execution - a cross-genre adventure with elements of science fiction, history, hard science, epic fantasy, time travel, romance, alien contact, and space colonization.

©2016 Olan Thorensen (P)2017 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Cast Under an Alien Sun

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a treat!

I loved this performance I loved this book a good pandemic pastime science fiction historical fiction a glimpse into a simpler world. Lovely use of language. I plan to buy the whole series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It all begins here!

What an adventure... I got hooked on this series and I HIGHLY recommend it. Great story and excellent acting. Try it now, but beware, you'll need the REST as well! ;) #audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent story!

I'm happy to see it's part of a series. A perfect book for people like me who want all the little worldbuilding details.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • 2017-09-18

Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch...

I was searching for a new sci-fi series to explore after the Bobiverse trilogy when I read the premise for the Olan Thorensen book. Reading the reviews, I noticed that one of those reviews having a large number of most helpful votes, referenced this book as having too many details and hard to get through. I must say this reviewer was spot on, and I came very close to considering the purchase a waste, and then everything changed!

The author certainly took his time writing numerous chapters about the back story in infinite detail through the first 5 or 6 chapters, however, the book took on a new life and the characters developed well after the initial history lesson and gauntlet of useless details the reader is exposed to at the beginning.

The story follows the main character Joe Colsco who is plucked from modern day earth after a disaster befalls him through an alien encounter. After the aliens save his life, he is transported to an earth type planet to resume his life. The story transitions at this point into Joseph's introduction into an early earth like society, and becomes both interesting and addicting as he struggles to come to grips with the loss of his previous life, and how he becomes invested into this new life in a land that is much like earth of the 1700's.

Jonathan Davis narrates this audio and is brilliant in bringing the characters to life with various character voices.

I became a huge fan of this story line by the end of this book, and immediately purchased and began reading the next in the series. I still believe the amount of descriptive detail used to convey the story at the beginning was overkill, and a major distraction before the story developed into something special. It reminded me of an old Three Stooges episode where a line was often quoted... Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch... which is how I felt at the beginning of this book.

I do highly recommend this book, and the series, which continues to draw my interest in these characters fate.









116 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kurt Schwoppe
  • 2017-10-06

Subliminal Assimilation

The first book of Destiny's Crucible has a riveting start, immediately followed by more mundane ground-laying, but gradually finds a way weave itself into your psyche. By the end of the first third of the book, you do not want to put it down. Surprisingly, what holds your attention is not fast action or a suspenseful plot. You keep listening because of a genuine bonding with the main characters, love of location in time and space, and the tantalizing potential of what the main character is going to do. You simply become very interested in his new life. This may sound simple, but it's effectively good writing - character development at its finest!

Cast Under an Alien Sun is not quite a literary masterpiece, but it is extremely well written and subtly entertaining. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, everything in this book seems to be just right. It has just the right amount of science, sex, violence, and intrigue to keep things interesting and fresh. The narrative is mature, but not stuffy. And for Science Fiction, there is zero hokiness and believable context The performance by Jonathan Davis is superb and pleasant to listen to.

Because I have strict criteria about what I give 5 stars, I can't quite go there; but would easily give this book 4.5 stars if I could. What I look for in a 5 star book is that element that transforms a well written entertaining story into something deeper and more meaningful. Cast Under an Alien Sun is an entertaining and extremely well written book. Thoresen clearly has the potential to put the other books in the series over the top. I guess I'll have to read them and find out - something I am definitely looking forward to doing!

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Howard
  • 2018-08-27

Thank GOD for Audible Reviews

For without the many reviews telling me to "hang with the story" for the first 45 minutes I would have given up, demanded a refund and missed the glorious adventure awaiting me in this series.

Thoransen clearly needed an editor for the first 45 minutes- all of the background information on the Narthani could not only have been easily conveyed as the series unfolded- it actually IS conveyed as the story unfolds. This is why I give it a four star- although I would really like to give it 4.5!

Okay with the ONE complaint out of the way- what a series and what a great first book. It really does force one to imagine what would happen if we woke up in the early 18th century. The excitement of watching Joe share discoveries with the Kielanders, with the Narthani always in the background, plus the super character development and descriptions of Kieland culture make this a top choice for not only fantasy fans, but those, like me, who love the sweeping histories of nations and culture.

The only other nag (not complaint) I have is the chances of another planet, inhabited by transported humans, almost exactly (but not completely) replicating the culture of early 18th century northern Europe right down to a monotheistic religion similar to Judeo-Christianity. Of course since the peoples were apparently transplanted from Earth by a yet to be revealed alien culture, the timing of which has not yet been revealed, that may indeed be the explanation. Maybe the place was constructed twenty years in the past and everyone given a brain implant. Oh well- this does not detract from the superb series.

Jonathan Davis is a superb narratory and mimic. He is pitch perfect!

If you like sweeping sci-fi, military and/or fantasy series this is absolutely a must.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnus
  • 2017-06-03

Well worth the credit

What made the experience of listening to Cast Under an Alien Sun the most enjoyable?

Since I've always had a soft spot for Time Travel / Alternate reality books, this was a nice twist on both of those. Well created alternate world and settings as well as all those subtle differences between what we know (knew) and Joe's new reality. I read the Kindle version not that long ago and pre ordered this one as soon as it was available.

What did you like best about this story?

How our MC comes to term with his new reality. He goes through an emotional roller coaster, something that I find other similar books overlook more than not, and eventually carves out a place for himself in his new reality.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't, but I think he does a good job. 4+ stars.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Home is where the heart is

Any additional comments?

I think more than avid TT/AR reader will enjoy this book. It's well written, a lot of research has been done and a huge effort has been put into the world building. This book is actually one of my all time favorites, though surpassed by the third book in this series. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series on Audio.

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 2018-01-28

Highest Marks! Great Series!

My favorite book of all time is Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Cast Under an Alien Sun is the first book I've ever found to so completely modernize this story and yet keep completely to all the quarks, traits and storylines that also make the story great, all the while remaining a unique work on it's own.

I love the concept of bringing modern day knowledge to a new world of humans residing in a world that has developed to the equivalent of the 1600's on Earth. In this sense, the story emulates time travel without ever asking the listener to make this scientific leap of logic and all the paradoxes that can follow. I would argue this makes Cast Under an Alien Sun a purer story and allows the listener to focus on innovations and knowledge our protagonist struggles to release into his new world without worrying about consequence to our own modern day era.

I could not recommend this series more highly! 5+1 Stars.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Musser
  • 2019-08-16

Outstanding epic storytelling - a new favorite.

I truly love a good character-driven science fiction story and post-apocalyptic/survival story types of fiction. I went into this expecting this to be part science fiction and part survival story but I was honestly surprised at what I found. There is no nice way to say this but the beginning of the book was bad. While the initial set up did peak my interest, once Joseph wakes up on an alien land's beach, there's a long and exceptionally dull period of clan back-story that I just COULD NOT keep my mind focused on while I listened. I recalled a review in which someone suggested that it was unnecessary as the important information was covered in adequate detail through the rest of the story-telling to prevent confusion. So, I stuck with it half-listening as I did chores at home. Once I got through that and the story began to unfold, I felt like there was a very fast 180. This isn't really sci-fi other than the method that Joseph lands on this foreign planet. Once he's there, the science fiction ends and it's a story about Joseph's life in a new and strange world. The story is less about what happened to him than it is about his building a life in a strange society with different beliefs and customs. Most importantly is that the technological and learning advancements he experienced in his earth life don't translate to this more primitive society of 4-legged transportation and clan politics. He has to balance his desire to help them innovate against the dangers of such a primitive society viewing his ideas and introductions to technology as evil.

I'd liken this story to a flower bud unfolding. It starts out simply: a likable character navigating a new world where the formerly mundane aspects of daily life are completely foreign and new. We experience his immersion into this new primitive culture and the challenges of trying to find his place in it. As he grows and learns, he becomes an integral part of society and a catalyst for technological advances. Relationships develop and I grew to feel more and more connected to the characters. As he grows into his new role in society, he learns about clan history and politics and more importantly the challenges the clans face against enemies and his life becomes increasingly complex as his character morphs from survivor to contributing citizen. His relationships grow in complexity and the story begins to focus less on daily life and his initial survival in a new world into a rapidly unfolding drama of new and different challenges.

There is true beauty in the author's telling of this tale. Once I got past the initial background, I found myself looking for excuses to keep listening. I couldn't wait to return to it . This story came to life in vivid color and detail and captured me completely. I bought book 2 without any hesitation after finishing the first book. I have no doubt that I will finish the entire series and I fully anticipate a feeling of loss when the story is through as I am enjoying it far more than I can adequately express. At the time of this review, I'm about 3 hours shy of finishing book 2 and can confirm that the momentum continues to build through the second book to the point that I am officially and completely obsessed.

This isn't science fiction (as I'd thought) but more of a fantasy. But I wouldn't even classify it as just fantasy. It's a character-driven epic drama and it is completely enthralling.

If you liked Joshua Gayou's Commune series, I think you'd enjoy this series. It's extremely creative without being overly fantastic or unbelievable. The characters truly come alive and the author turns them into your treasured friends. The momentum builds slowly at first but it continues to grow until I personally found myself absolutely devouring it. I wanted to slow down and savor it longer but I couldn't resist the urge to plow forward to see what happens next. It's enticed me to stay up well past when I should go to sleep to continue listening. I just can't get enough.

Spend the credit and get ready to go on an epic adventure. You're in for a wonderful ride.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • 2018-03-09

I wish I hadn't waited so long!

Lately, I have been trying to either delete or actually buy and listen to, the books that have been lingering on my wish list for too long. This is one of those books that sounded interesting but I just wasn't sure about. I am kicking myself for not purchasing this sooner! This is exactly my kind of book. I can see where some would not be as interested in, or would be bored by, all the world-building involved in bringing the reader into a complete new world with all its social and political machinations. Personally, I love it! This is a smart, well thought out, perfectly plausible time travel sci-fi epic. I listened to all 4 books in less than a week and was still left wanting more. The narration by Johnathan Davis was excellent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 2017-06-12

Don't hesitate, get it.

if you enjoy the detail of the Bobiveres and David Webers' Safehold series, invest the credit.

Don't worry, it's not as slow as Webers books, but it'll keep you hooked with a serious narrative and light humor.

If the initial premise intrigues you, then get tis audiobook, you won't be disappointed.


*Note to staff at Audible.

Don't you dare not publish the sequel, after buying over 230 plus books from you, owe me this much.

thanks in advance.
Tom.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 2017-06-10

Loved it. Please Continue the Series

I have no particular insights. I love this genre -- society building and discovery or rediscovery of science and technology. A bit like David Weber's "Off Armageddon Reef". But I like Thorensen better than Weber. This book is particularly well done, with excellent characters. I just hope Audible gets the next two novels in the series soon. (And with the same narrator.)

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sailfish
  • 2017-08-04

A bit too slow-paced for my taste

The story proceeds with a lot of time spent on digressions of a war council where long discussions were held on past campaigns which were mostly eye flyover sections since little discussed there ever really had any influence to subsequent unfolding story.

Joe's introduction to the society was subdued in the beginning which made for mostly uninteresting observations of the society he was placed into. Eventually, he began to become familiar with the people, at first, learning the language and then to using his 21st century, highly specialized chemistry discipline to introduce advanced technologies to the locals. So much so that he was able to expand from basic chemistry to things like paper factories, medical surgical procedures, mercantilism and even oil refinery, even though he nor the society's tradesmen had no previous real-world knowledge on these technologies. For the length of the novel, I was disappointed that except for the phenomenal ability for Joe to advance technologies, the actual story itself had not progressed very far.

The novel was written well enough but the story itself was rather uninteresting and uninspiring. The narrator did a good job in performing the various characters, be it male of female.

I'll not be continuing with the series.

44 people found this helpful