Sentinels of Tzurac: Terra Major Under Threat by James Raven

RavenSentinelsOfTzuracWhy I Read It: Looked like a fun space opera.

Where I Got It: A review copy via the author via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!).

Who I Recommend This To: Those who enjoy a simple space opera with lots of action might enjoy this.

Narrator: Peter Baker

Publisher: Media Arts Institute, LLC (2012)

Length: 8 hours 13 minutes

Series: This appears to be Book 1 in a series, but I can’t find any news about the sequel.

Author’s Page

While this story starts off on an alien planet in another solar system, if not another galaxy, with a set and betrayal it eventually moves to future Earth with the next generation. Our main hero is Kyron, and engineer working for the mining company MERIC. Samuel Jensen runs the business, and the his wayward son Jackson Jensen can’t wait to run it. Kyron is in charge of some sort of lab and his fiance, Torri, is part of the team. They recently came up with some cool mining equipment, which is great since Terra Iota was recently discovered by the mining company and it looks promising for valuable minerals. However, an explosion at Terra Iota throws things into a spin. Plus Kyron discovers some things about his recently deceased father that will rock his world and effect the rest of his life.

This space opera is very fast-paced, definitely action driven. With the ease of plot and readily identifiable bad guys, this story felt like an old friend. While predictable, it was easy to fall into and simply enjoy the tale. Kyron is an honorable man, a hard worker, a considerate fellow so of course I wanted things to turn out well for him.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that there wasn’t really anything that wowed me. You can spot all the good guys because they are polite, well spoken, physically fit, and usually blonde or redheads. You can spot all the bad guys because they are rude, uncouth, smell funny, look funny, and are usually bearded and dark haired. Additionally, with the exception of a very minor character that has a tiny part, all the women are mothers or lovers. They have no real role in the story. While Torri, the main love interest, is a ‘brilliant engineer’ we are never shown her brilliance in her chosen field; however, she does look smashing in her lab coat. Yep, the women’s main job in the book is to look great and provide a bit of compassion on cue.

I found this book great for multi-tasking as I didn’t have to give it too much of my mind to follow the storyline. So if you are looking for an audiobook to play while taking on some heavy house chore or cleaning out the garage, this is a good one as it is easy to slip back into the story line after a minor interruption.

The Narration: Peter Baker did a decent job. He had a feminine voice that was used for the few ladies and a handful of male voices and accents used for the guys. I did occasionally have trouble distinguishing the voice for Kyron from some of the other men when there was back-to-back conversation going on. Baker did give a steady pacing and included excitement or worry as the story needed.

2014SFExperienceWhat I Liked: The pacing; easy to get into; the cover art.

What I Disliked: Very predictable; the women have minor roles and mostly get to look nice or provide compassion.

I’m taking part in the reading event Science Fiction Experience 2014 hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings. Make sure to swing by Carl’s place to catch other SF reviews and posts.



6 thoughts on “Sentinels of Tzurac: Terra Major Under Threat by James Raven”

  1. I like books that feel like old friends, and often for me those books are space-opera style novels because that is what I grew up reading. I don’t mind so much the lack of dimension in characterization if the story is fun, though I do prefer it when an author can capture the fun and fast pace of a book like the one you are describing here but can actually create characters with some dimension as well.

  2. Thank you all who took the time to read my first book in the Sentinels of Tzurac Trilogy. I have taken your comments on board and have introduced more dynamics into my second book- ‘Zarkwin’s Revenge’. And the third book has certainly developed into a full blown space opera and will soon be published, hopefully well before the end of the year.
    Thank you again for your constructive critique,

  3. My first book was adapted to a screenplay for a major feature film and last year the screenplay received four International awards for its outstanding achievements including a Silver Winner award from the International Independent Film Awards and a Gold Award from the California Film Awards. Hopefully a film maker will see the potential in making this space opera into a box office success.
    James Raven,

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