on Sep. 11, 2018 :
Sliding void could be an adventure novel of the colonial age, with the captain of a cargo sailing ship, dealing with local kings who fight among them, with a cargo cult (read in wikipedia about it) taking the european traders and adventurers for magicians, and an exciting story weaved around them.
For us science fans, stephen hunt transferred the plot to outer space and eloquently describes the power of sailing the monsoon, eh, the artificial wormholes leading through hyperspace, the black powder cannons, er, the multiple nukes which are shot at said trading vessel, making a very inspiring story of the inhabitant of an pre-technological planet, which has been forced by circumstances to become a crew member of a 40th century space ship.
This is enticing to read, and the quality of the book is good - no or almost no typos and errors, and there even is a TOC with real chapter titles.
Characters are a little bit on the cardboard side, the female captain being, of course, an attractive woman, the mail hero a real one, witty and battle tested, the slaves, sorry, androids are loyal and more intelligent than they want their owners to know, and said owners discussing if it is wise to teach the slaves to read, eh, sorry again, to enable real awareness in their androids.
So why the lowest possible rating from me? I normally do not award a rating at SF at all (reason see my profile). I write the reviews to help readers find good SF and authors find readers. Very seldom I do rate a SF book to warn readers, and that is the case here. I thougth Smashwords had a rule that the E-Books at their portal have to be a complete story and this one is'nt. From the 86 pages (measly enough, if you want to know my opinion), the last one, titled with "Chapter six", is advertising, "join the free ... group", and the plot does not begin before page 8, the previous pages filled with "for links to all these books, visit...", "Also by Stephen Hunt", "Praise for Stephen Hunt's Fiction" (three screens for scrolling with my Ebook-Reader" etc., making 77 real pages for reading. The story is not finished, it ends with the spaceship fleeing, being under deadly attack by a dangerous pursuer, and his previous ally on the planet overpowered, arrested and tortured, end of book, go clink out 2,99 Dollar for the sequel or register on the author's homepage with your precious e-mail-address for more promotion, pardon, "newsletters".
Want at least to have a look into the sequel before buying? The predominant .epub format from the first, free "book" (I would rather call it appetiser...) is not offered for the 20% sample of the sequel, only the amazon proprietary .mobi format. Go buy a kindle, Stephen Hunt has dozends of books on sale at amazon.com, not only the seven visible on Smashwords.
It is a pity. The "appetizer" was fun to read and the website of Stephen Hunt is interesting and entertaining, too.
(review of free book)
Larry B. Gray
on Dec. 7, 2015 :
Sliding Void by Stephen Hunt has it all, adventure, intrigue, space opera and fantasy all wrapped up in one book. The fast past novella will keep you glued to its pages from start to finish.
I really like the tale that Stephen Hunt developed. The storyline was well thought out and easy to get into. The nonstop action and plot twist made the story almost impossible to put down. I love this kind of action packed read.
The author did an excellent job of developing a cast of characters that were both real and very believable. I was soon caught up in their individual stories as the tale developed. The characters were great.
I really enjoyed Sliding Void by Stephen Hunt and I highly recommend this book to all readers.
[Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]
(review of free book)