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Forerunner

AI Fleet, Book 1
Written by: Isaac Hooke
Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
Series: AI Fleet Series, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A fleet of warships operated by the digitized minds of former humans. An unknown enemy lurking in the dark of space. The one man who hopes to conquer them both.

Jain was the lieutenant commander of an elite SEAL team. He was accustomed to order and discipline, which he used to give the men under his command that particular brand of killer instinct his unit was known for.

But one day that semi-comfortable, ordered life ended when he opened his eyes to find his body replaced by a starship. His mind had become its AI core.

He is somewhere in deep space. Most of his systems are badly damaged. He has no memory of how he got here, or what his mission is. Evidence points to an attack by an unknown entity.

He finds other damaged vessels in the vicinity and reactivates them. They, too, have no memory of the events leading up to their current situation.

Jain, thrust into a leadership role, soon learns that commanding a fleet of starships isn't all that different from leading a platoon of SEALs. It helps that his database is chock-full of tactics and military strategies gleaned from every space battle humanity has ever fought.

As he and his fleet explore their surroundings and slowly piece together what happened to them, they realize their attacker is not from any human system.

And that any misstep means not only the loss of his fleet, but potentially the destruction of humanity itself.

©2018 Isaac Hooke (P)2019 Podium Publishing

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  • Julie Pickerill
  • 2019-08-10

All in all, an excellent read.

While the book falters from time to time with not quite enough science-science and a bit too much science-magic for my tastes, overall it's a refreshing variation on military sci-fi novels, and does a good job dealing with sentient AI overall.

Probably my one big gripe is the author pinning some of the philosophical discussions of death and the soul on a combination of a particular bit of pseudo-science woo already discredited in our time, and the presumption that such a thing as a soul might exist in the first place.

However the same theme in future books is a bit more balanced and not a huge part of the book so I'll give it a pass.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mac Briggs Johnston
  • 2019-06-29

Forerunner: Breath taking

A fantastic Audible rendition of the book Forerunner, written by Isaac Hooke, performed by Paul Heitsch. Paul Heitsch is another great Podium actor, in the vein of Eric Martin or Luke Daniels, who does great justice to this military Sci Fi epic. Once the action gets going, it doesn’t stop, and just keeps going. Each of the Void Warriors has their own personality and ship capabilities, and together they work well and complement each other in different tactical situations throughout the book. There are some great discussions, everything from philosophical discourses between Aristotle and Plato to quotes from the battle of Thermopylae.

Forerunner was breath taking!


4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Davis
  • 2019-12-08

Not just space battles

What to listen to this review instead of reading? Hit the play button below.
(Play button Removed for Audible.)

Narration
Paul Heitsch does an excellent job with this book. His character voices are unique and identifiable. His pacing is great. I have no complaints.

Basic Summary
Jain wakes up to find himself floating in the void of space with little to no memories, oh and he’s also spaceship. There are other ships out there, all dormant and in free fall in some unknown system. Jain and the others make repairs, search the system they are in, and try to put together who they are and what they were supposed to be doing, but they aren't alone. After surviving a few encounters with an alien vessel the group manages to return to human controlled space only to find they are too late.

The Good
Writing is good. The world in interesting and unique. The characters interact in a mostly realistic way. I love the concept of starships being fully A.I. or in this case, run by scanned in humans, it makes sense as the engineering of vessels would be drastically easier without the vulnerable organic bits. Unlike other science fiction I've read, the space battles have a lot more tactics involved.

The Bad
The author doesn’t understand geostationary orbit. The characters sit in geostationary orbit over a tidally locked moon, a moon sits in geostationary orbit over a tidally locked planet, there is a place specified as “High” geostationary orbit. The author seems to do a great job with a lot of science stuff, but this is one major flaw. I’m also not sure I like the “Alien Tech” side of the story. It gets into a science-magic type thing. One of the characters can teleport, another has invisibility, another has a portable shield thingy, and probably the worst is the black whole gun. The whole thing seems kind of video game like.

The Interesting
Not just space battles. The use of drones to do urban combat and repel boarders in the narrow corridors of the ships is awesome. This should be a video game, or at least in more novels.

Final Thoughts
It’s a great science fiction space based book. It manages to cram space battles, mystery, alien encounters, and some unique takes on the future of space colonization into a well written story.

Review by rcdaviswrites, 12/07/2019

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  • Pavel Antokolsky
  • 2019-06-15

A trashy sci-fi garbage

I might be soiled by mostly reading good sci-fi by acclaimed authors, so when I bought this book by unknown authors lured in by what seemed like an interesting premise, I didn't have high expectations, but didn't expect complete and utter trash like it is. The wiring is on a level you would expect from highschooler it fanfic writer, the characters are bland and stupid, the plot is ridiculously idiotic, the technobabble is cringworthy - author uses even real-world terms incorrectly, and obviously has no idea what they mean (e.g. his characters call personal ship on-board knowledge database "cloud storage" *faceplant*). Also the author opts for pseudo-realistic ship physics (e.g. he talks a lot about expanding propellant, delta-v, gravity assists and so on) yet has no idea how actual physics and gravity works, which result in such hilarious mistakes, like ships "assuming geostationary orbit" around tidally-locked (non-rotating) satellite and otherwise hovering over arbitrary points on planets.

10 people found this helpful