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K.B. Wagers ë 4 Read

A Pale Light in the Black

The rollicking first entry in a uniue science fiction series that introduces the Near Earth Orbital Guard NeoG a military force patrolling and protecting space inspired by the real life mission of the US Coast GuardFor the past year their close loss in the annual Boarding Games has haunted Interceptor Team Zuma’s Ghost With this year’s competition looming they’re looking forward to some payback until an unexpected personnel change leaves them reeling Their best swordsm. This was a solid and enjoyable sci fi read I m a big sci fi fan but have not read as much lately as I would like too This had the sci fi space opera feel that I was looking for and I was happy to read this This reminded me a bit of Firefly mixed with Starship Troopers with a pinch of Ender s Game thrown in but without all the bugs and aliens This is a pure humans in space story that is very character drivenThere are three main characters A lesbian a bisexual woman and an asexual woman This book is very LGBT friendly taking place in a time where sexuality and gender is just completely accepted The romances are all light with no explicit sex scenes at all There is not much than a few hugs and kisses I do have to say I was disappointed that Max and Jenks did not get together They had the most chemistry of anyone and with how they kept growing closer they would have been perfect for a romance Instead they were both paired up with male partners that were a little boring and lackluster I m guessing maybe Wagers didn t want to have two wlw storylines going on the other main is a married lesbian but I think it was a real missed opportunity While this really is a book about characters and their relationship with family and friends it also has a mystery that brings some action to the book and a big competition There are games that every military branch competes in and our main characters are trying to win the games for the first time Everything from sword fighting to piloting the games are like the World Cup or the Olympics a really big deal When our characters are not rescuing people in space they are training for the games It was a really fun part of the book between the competition and the military rivalries My one complaint about this part is I think it was too rushed The games are so important that fact is hammered home that the finale big game day is fast forwarded too much for my tastes While I really enjoyed this read it did have some pacing issues It takes a little while to really get into the story Things were a little slow in the beginning and I was getting a little worried luckily I soon got hooked into the story However the pacing issues did continue some The story would slow down and the book at times seemed a little long I noticed parts I would have personally cut out but then like I mentioned about the games all of a sudden the pace went too fast and I wished it would slow back down This was not a huge issue at the end of the day but it was one of the major reasons why this was not than a 4 star read for me If you are looking for an entertaining and lighter sci fi story this is a good choice This is a story that is much character driven but still had some good action that kept me entertained I enjoyed the characters enough that I would absolutely read the next book in the series The major storylines in this book are complete and this did NOT end in a cliffhanger which is always nice An ARC was given to me for a honest review

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St learn to work together uickly A routine mission to retrieve a missing ship has suddenly turned dangerous and now their lives are on the line Someone is targeting members of Zuma’s Ghost a mysterious opponent willing to kill to safeguard a secret that could shake society to its core a secret that could lead to their deaths and kill thousands unless Max and her new team stop themRescue those in danger find the bad guys win the Games It’s all in a day’s work at the Neo. Overall this was a really fun read I enjoyed reading about the crew of Zuma s Ghost and the found family aspect of it was great There was a fantastic amount of diversity too including lesbian asexual and non binary characters and I really liked each POVI had some issues with the writing and the overall plot though First the writing I don t know if it s just because I ve been so used to reading first person POV recently but there were times when it took me a second to figure out who she or his etc was referring to Also I sometimes disagreed with the punctuation being used such as commas instead of en rules which is admittedly not a hugely important thing but sometimes I can t turn the editor part of my brain off There were also comma splices in a few cases and although Wagers was maybe using them in dialogue on purpose eg We re ready to go it should be a good competition it was still distracting for meSecond the plot Although the Boarding Games takes up a big part of the story and is good fun to read there was cage fighting and sword fighting after all the build up the event ends abruptly and then a kidnapping plot is thrown in with 10% of the story to go which I thought was strange Also in general I found it uite weird that such a focus was on these Games rather than the mysterious goings on in the background Still I d love to read about these characters in the seuel when it s released

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An has been transferred and a new lieutenant has been assigned in his placeMaxine Carmichael is trying to carve a place in the world on her own away from the pressure and influence of her powerful family The last thing she wants is to cause trouble at her command on Jupiter Station With her new team in turmoil Max must overcome her self doubt and win their trust if she’s going to succeed Failing is not an option and would only prove her parents rightBut Max and the team mu. I received this advance galley via NetGalleyI m a huge fan of Wagers s other sci fi series The Indranan War and The Farian War and I was very excited to see what they could do with space opera set closer to Earth While this book didn t have the instant magnetism of the previous books in part because I had a hard time keeping the large cast straight in my head once it s gets going it s goodThe NEO G are essentially the space coast guard Under funded and under appreciated they monitor the shipping lanes and keep travelers safe from threats foreign and domestic There are no aliens Humans travel space alone and go long distances thanks to advances in extending the human life span technology patented by Max Carmichael s family However she chose not to enter the company or the Navy as dictated by tradition and her dictator parents but to enter the NEO G and really save people s lives Shunned by her birth family she finds a new family among her comrades in space as they do their day jobs and prepare for the big military rivalry reality type show that happens once a year However when mischief in space points back toward Max s family and their hidden tech she and her new friends start to dig for answers and soon find themselves the targets of some dangerous peopleTiming is weird in publishing Another book with a similar basic concept Coast Guard in space with a reality show component is also out in March 2020 Sixteenth Watch by Myke Cole being by an author with military experience is also much deeper into the military aspect and the Coast Guard and Navy rivalry has much much higher stakes In comparison A Pale Light in the Black is a breezier lighter book in the mode of Firefly Both books use the same concepts well and have entirely different vibes and plot linesWhat really shines in A Pale Light in the Black is the concept of found family These are people who grow close who have each other s backs and get to zoom around in space and help others I mean what can a person want

About the Author: K.B. Wagers

KB Wagers is the author of the Indranan & Farian War trilogies with Orbit Books and the new NeoG novels from Harper Voyager They hold a bachelor's degree in Russian Studies and a second degree black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu A native of Colorado KB lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with their partner and a crew of recalcitrant cats In between books they can be found attempting to lea

10 thoughts on “A Pale Light in the Black

  1. says:

    This was a solid and enjoyable sci fi read I’m a big sci fi fan but have not read as much lately as I would like too This had the

  2. says:

    Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review A Pale Light in the Black fol

  3. says:

    Ohhhh I loved this book It's such a warm and cozy low angst space opera about a diverse team of caring competent people working the euivalent of the Coast Guard in space saving lives prepping for a big inter division sports event and creating a found family along the way There's a bit of plot but honestly the

  4. says:

    I received this advance galley via NetGalleyI'm a huge fan of Wagers's other sci fi series The Indranan War and The Farian War and I was very excited to see what they could do with space opera set closer to Earth While this book did

  5. says:

    Absolute romp of a book Great fun engaging characters I had a blast with this one

  6. says:

    Shelves say enougha few chapters in it was a tossup between falling asleep and vomitingthat was a little harsh maybe a tossup between falling asleep and tossing the book out the window You know because of the headache

  7. says:


  8. says:

    This is another great read from author KB Wagers This romp combines a lot of the things I love to see in my space operas Romance Cool

  9. says:

    Overall this was a really fun read I enjoyed reading about the crew of Zuma’s Ghost and the ‘found family’ aspect of it was great 🥺

  10. says:

    So this book was uite a mixture for me I'll start with what I liked and these were elements that I'm always a big fan of The diversity was spot on with lesbian bi and ace protagonists I particularly enjoyed the relationship dynamic

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