It Ain't Over...

Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
Cole & Srexx, Book 1.

Buy a planet and disappear... that's all Cole wanted. More
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About Robert M. Kerns

Robert M. Kerns (or Rob if you ever meet him in person) is a geek, and he claims that label proudly. Most of his geekiness revolves around Information Technology (IT), having over fifteen years in the industry; within IT, he especially prefers Servers and Networks, and he often makes the claim that his residence has a better data infrastructure than some businesses.

Beyond IT, Rob enjoys Science Fiction and Fantasy of (almost) all stripes. He is a voracious reader, with his favorite books too numerous to list.

Rob has been writing for over 20 years, and "Awakening" is his debut novel.

Learn more about Robert M. Kerns
About the Series: Cole & Srexx
From "It Ain't Over...," Book 1 of Cole & Srexx:

Buy a planet and disappear...

That's all Cole wanted.

He spent thirteen years hiding on the fringes of society, piloting freighters for criminals and building a stash to do just that.

But life happens when you're busy making plans.

When Cole chooses to save an ejected castaway and stumbles into a crew of his own, he starts down a path that will force him to choose.

Will Cole protect those who have become his people? Or will he slip away quietly in the night?

Read Now to find out!

Also in Series: Cole & Srexx

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Reviews of It Ain't Over... by Robert M. Kerns

Christopher Duro reviewed on July 15, 2022

Take a formulaic space-opera plot and fill it with tired SF tropes from the 1970s, add significant plotting and editing mistakes, and you come up with... a pretty good read!?

I’m not sure why this book rates 4 stars, but I think it does. Despite a number of glaring flaws, it kept me reading way past a sensible bedtime and left me wanting more.

Spoilers ahead, but only for the early chapters. You can pretty much guess from the beginning how the rest of the story plays out, though, so in a sense you can’t describe the book without spoiling it. But the book’s appeal doesn’t rest upon plot twists (there aren’t any), so there’s that.

The protagonist (Cole) is the scion and sole survivor of a fabulously rich family who made their money inventing and maintaining the system of jump gates before being massacred by an unknown attacker. The jump gates enable practical travel between the inhabited worlds of a loose-knit and rather barbaric civilization. Humans are just one of an unspecified number of sapient species, of which we meet a few: cat-people (sigh), dog-people (sigh), and insect-people living in virtual nests as a telepathically-linked hive mind (sigh).

Cole has lived as a criminal for 13 years, hiding among the low-lifes from his unseen enemies while quietly amassing precious metals to finance his final disappearance. That plan gets derailed by a series of implausible coincidences: as Cole arrives in a frontier system, a young woman is ejected into nearby space by a warship. Meanwhile, the asteroid mining colony Cole seeks to enter is destroyed by an accidental explosion, killing everyone there except for a pair of cat-girls (sigh) who attack him on sight but turn friendly and loyal after a few minutes’ conversation. Cole discovers a super-powerful alien ship run by a super-powerful AI, makes a deal with the AI to be its captain and owner, and rescues the spaced woman and the cat-girls, bringing them aboard his new ship.

Almost immediately Cole discovers a debris cloud which is the remains the ship that spaced the woman. A brief investigation turns up evidence that the ship was destroyed by sabotage. But without stopping to wonder what happened to the saboteur (who might have valuable information and/or be a threat but in any case is likely to be nearby), he sets off to collect a motley crew of other rescuees, many of them survivors of ships he himself destroys, and almost all of whom are so grateful for their rescue that they instantly abandon any old loyalties to sign on with him.

Along the way we meet repeated blocks of exposition (editing oops), more implausible events, and sub-minimal descriptions of characters (they’re just described as “persons” or “crewpersons”) and planets.

So what, if anything, can rescue this mass of sloppy, unimaginative storytelling? How about an implicit moral in Cole’s finding success through ready generosity, steadfastness in friendship, and refusal to let himself be swayed by fear, doubt, or prejudice? He’s even chivalrous toward the women he meets, apparently not even tempted to exploit his new prestige and position. He’s a kind and considerate father-figure to a young female who lost her real dad. Add to this the author’s apparent familiarity with aircraft carrier operations (Cole’s ship is a “Battle-Carrier”), pretty good pacing, and plenty of violence, and my inner child is looking forward to the sequel.

• Christopher Duro, author of Hero of Terra
(review of free book)
David Donaghe reviewed on March 29, 2022

This was an excellent read.
(review of free book)
Aurora Wolf Press reviewed on Dec. 18, 2021

I found that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and as intend to purchase the sequel momentarily. Well written, well edited and certainly recommended.
(review of free book)
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