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Publisher's Summary

In a galaxy tied together by the magic of the elite Jump Magi, Damien Montgomery is a newly graduated member of their number. With no family or connections to find a ship, he is forced into service on an interstellar freighter known to be hunted by pirates. When he takes drastic action to save the Blue Jay from their pursuers, he sets in motion a sequence of events beyond his control and attracts enemies on both sides of the law.

©2014 Glynn Stewart (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about Starship's Mage Omnibus

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

Great book.

Story was interesting, with good twists and turns. The performance was also very good and really helped sell things.

And most importantly, this is probably the first magic sci-fi story I've found on audible that I actually enjoyed. I found the world and its setting to be well thought out and consistent. And despite the reader's slow pace of gaining knowledge of the universe, you never feel starved for information and learn the info in a reasonable way through interactions/briefings with the crew. It really made things feel natural.

Very much recommended.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Clever SciFi/Fantasy Blend

Glynn Stewart crafts an intriguing space setting where magic is combined with futuristic technology. His vision for a Space Opera has the standard mix of political maneuvering, military schemes, rivalries between galactic alliances, and unique stellar cultures.. but he builds it around a truly original mechanistic framework. People with Magical talent are extremely rare in Stewart's reality, but have the ability to manipulate matter, empower the military, and are the only way to conduct FTL hyperspace travel - they are identified as children, drafted into training early, used to power interstellar commerce, and revered on some planets/hated on others. It's an intuitive magic-tech combination that also yields fascinating potential societal matrix plotlines.
In this book, the author introduces a story arc - through an 'Omnibus' of relatively short standalone encounters - that reminded me of 'Firefly' - introducing a gritty freighter crew combating Space Pirates, Syndicate Bounty Hunters, and Protectorate Authorities while exploring various galactic civilizations and operating on the fringe of legality.
The writing is unspectacular (lacking in plot and characterization), but the dialogue is believable, action is fast-paced, descriptions are decent, and character motivations are sensible.

Jeffrey Kafer has a pleasant resonant reading voice and reasonable emotiveness. He wisely avoids accents and over-the-top characterizations.. but delivers in a frustrating monotone, has difficulty with female voices, and has a plodding pace (I sped the recording to 1.25X to good effect - losing no nuance and making up for Kafer's deficiencies nicely). The performance is distinctly average.

In toto, this is an entertaining 7.5/10 first effort that is analagous to the Star Wars universe (with Magic replacing The Force in intent). Your Credit is well-spent if you're looking for something in SciFi that's well-conceived and a little different. On to Book 2..

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 2016-11-29

A Fun Spacey Adventure

Any additional comments?

This book was a surprise for me, as I was expecting just a mediocre, slightly entertaining book. Instead I got a gripping series of tales. Don't get me wrong though, in my categorization system, this is still an entertaining book as opposed to a good book.

The characters are paper-thin here, but Stewart more than makes up for that with his world building and sometimes legit surprising story. The world building is done best when he writes in these nice little touches that are so easy to miss. One such example is a mention that real-estate on a space ship is cheap, but mass is not. The story is equal parts light thriller and adventure. If that floats your boat, go for it. It's a hop and a skip between planets, starbases, and the vast emptiness of space in this omnibus.

The elephant in the room is the characters. There isn't much depth there beyond the titular character Damien, and even with him, it's pushing it to say he is deep. Nah, this is how an adventure book should be, none of that lovey dovey stuff or angst stuff, just the trip.

So I recommend this book to anyone wanting an adventurous sci-fi jaunt through a future galaxy powered by a few mages. Just FYI, this is definitely more sci-fi than fantasy though.

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua Garvin Kaldon
  • 2016-01-14

Fantastic combination of science, fantasy and war.

I could not manage to put this down. I'm sure my coworkers think I'm being antisocial by keeping my headphones on all day every day.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave K
  • 2015-12-30

Great concept, decent execution, weak performance

What did you love best about Starship’s Mage Omnibus?

This is a great concept for blending scifi and fantasy elements and has a lot of potential for interesting conflicts. The universe the author has built is pretty interesting as well, very interesting.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I found it difficult to care very much about the characters. The point-of-view is never from inside any one characters perspective, so you never get a really deep look at what's driving them or how they feel.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Jeffrey Kafer?

Not if I can avoid it. Kafer's delivery is flat, and characters lines are mostly delivered very similarly. The tone and accents are sufficient to differentiate most characters, but the performance is sometimes lackluster in comparison to other narrators. This may be appealing to some listeners though, some of the more exuberant narrators can sound a little silly at times.The most distracting element is his 'downspeak' of about half the lines, with a falling tone at the end of each sentence resulting in a performance with all the enthusiasm one would expect of Eeyore. It's tolerable, but it gives everything a boring, 'oh well' tone.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but mostly because I was curious what the author would do with the magic system, not so much that I cared what happened to the characters.

Any additional comments?

This was originally written as a serial, which can be mildly annoying because various established elements are re-explained multiple times. This Omnibus edition would benefit from some minor revisions to tighten up those bits.The story feels somewhat rushed, as if the author spent more effort building the world than developing the plot and characters. The progression of the story feels like it is set up mostly for the author to reveal the various interesting aspects of the magic system and social order. It's a good story, it just that in the rush to get from one reveal to the next the characters get kinda dragged along.The negatives are balanced by the knowledge that this is an early effort by this author. It's definitely worth reading even if it's got a few 'could be better' spots.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • A LeNoir
  • 2015-12-21

An unexpected surprised but very good,an engaging

An unexpected surprised but very good,an engaging story and a nice blend of scifi and magic

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark E. Smith
  • 2016-04-18

It's always the bad guys - Not!

The book kept me interested. It was nice to read about a couple of good guys (Capt. David Rice and his mage Damien Montgomery) who actually win. The story kept me asking "how are they getting out of this one" and needing to continue to listen to find out. It kept me interested such that I kept stealing more listening time than I should have.

The narrator was a little flat, but the story allowed me to ignore that. It would have been more engaging with multiple voices.

Now I need to get the next in series to see what more is going to happen to both.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PattonFam
  • 2016-01-05

Simply amazing

A very hard book to stop once you start. It is very much for adults with the cursing. I would love to see a teen to young reader version that my kids could enjoy.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 2015-12-12

Blending Genres

What did you love best about Starship’s Mage Omnibus?

Its an interesting blend of two generally distinct genres, namely scifi and fantasy, its really quite a good, sure there are a couple of awkward or forced story moments but the universe follows its own rules consistently and is interesting enough that i want to hear/read more, and having read the sequel, a much richer title to be sure, i found the series as whole to be really promising, interested to see where it goes.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

soothing vocals

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yea sure, and if you make a day of it its just about doable too, i could wish the story was longer but thats what sequels are for

Any additional comments?

would make a great gift for anyone interested in scifi and/or fantasy, its short enough that its not going to be a great burden to read and interesting enough to keep you reading and wanting more.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joki
  • 2016-03-23

Enjoyable Read

The Starship Mage Omnibus was an enjoyable mix of magic and science fiction (with the emphasis on the latter). Author Stewart did an excellent job of setting up the premise of how the two mixed and at no time did I need to suspend logic for the system to work. Main character Damien Montgomery was interesting to follow despite being our typical unique snowflake. The serial nature of the novel is evident, however, as arcs are very small and tend to finish conclusively at intervals throughout the book. It's a bit jarring for those used to a 3-part novel but this is the nature of modern writing, I guess.

Story: Damien Montgomery has just graduated as a Starship Mage - the individuals who weave magic into a star drive engine in order to make hyperspace jumps. Unfortunately for him, lack of contacts means he is desperate to find a ship in which to serve. When a trader needs a mage suddenly, he jumps at the chance - only to find himself embroiled in a conspiracy that will upset the balance of power in the system. But Damien is a very gifted mage with a unique ability - one that will bring him to the attention of the all-powerful Mage King of Mars himself.

The book has quite a bit of action and the story moves smoothly. The characters are interesting and ones we want to follow. The author does a great job of creating surprises that will constantly strain our leads and force them into important discoveries about their own abilities. As such, this is a 'forged in fire' type of revelatory journey that we typically find in fantasy but here in science fiction.

The audio narration was decent - not enough to put me off the series but yes, a bit flat. Starship Mage is a book that is very different from many sci fi today and it does remain a character driven piece throughout. As such, I do recommend it for those interested in lighter sci fi without all the pseudo-science trappings.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry Mixon
  • 2017-01-24

A stellar book and a stellar voice tallent.

What did you love best about Starship's Mage Omnibus?

I loved the world. Magic and spaceships. The characters were awesome as well.

What did you like best about this story?

The growth of the protagonist and the obstacles he had to overcome. The story was amazing.

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

This was is right up there with his other work. Great narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clarke Scherff
  • 2016-02-12

Captivating

This story was a great and captivating read. Someday it may be true. Enjoy the travel through space/time.

1 person found this helpful