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Ghost in the Machine

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Ghost In The Machine is a mature space opera romance with strong language, some violence, a good heaping of romance, some steamy bits, a few crazy aliens, one very confused android, an empathic girl with emotional issues who tends to trip herself up, and a crew of space agents who seem to enjoy making their Central Director yank out her hair.Love is like a wormhole. You st Ghost In The Machine is a mature space opera romance with strong language, some violence, a good heaping of romance, some steamy bits, a few crazy aliens, one very confused android, an empathic girl with emotional issues who tends to trip herself up, and a crew of space agents who seem to enjoy making their Central Director yank out her hair.Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely unexpected. You can't fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can't control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it's going to take you."Going against the rules of her Vesparian Sisterhood, which seeks to keep its entire existence a secret, Orynn is thrown into the open by a request for help that she could not refuse. Seeking to reconcile past mistakes and gain a forgiveness she feels she does not deserve, the fragile control over her empathic abilities is put to the test. The darkness that lives within her spirit has grown impatient and threatens to once again destroy any piece of happiness she allows herself to find.As a Mechatronic Automaton, Ethan navigates his world through a set of logically defined values and understandings. Encountering Orynn throws his system off balance as he tries to decide if he should trust the feelings he is developing, or if he should follow the logic telling him that she is trying to control him for some unknown purpose. As his understanding of her develops, he begins to question all of his preconceived notions about both himself and the universe around him.In his attempts to capture the Vesparian prey he has been hunting after for two decades, the First Commander of the Xen'dari fleet will stop at nothing and track Orynn to the ends of the universe. On a path of vengeance for a past he can't let go of, he will do everything in his power to burn her world down around her feet until nothing is left but ash and the bitter taste of regret.Ghosts of the past clash with hopes for the future in this first book of the series, set in a universe where nothing is as it seems at first glance and trust is a highly priced commodity. Alternate Cover Edition ASIN B009UFHA0O


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Ghost In The Machine is a mature space opera romance with strong language, some violence, a good heaping of romance, some steamy bits, a few crazy aliens, one very confused android, an empathic girl with emotional issues who tends to trip herself up, and a crew of space agents who seem to enjoy making their Central Director yank out her hair.Love is like a wormhole. You st Ghost In The Machine is a mature space opera romance with strong language, some violence, a good heaping of romance, some steamy bits, a few crazy aliens, one very confused android, an empathic girl with emotional issues who tends to trip herself up, and a crew of space agents who seem to enjoy making their Central Director yank out her hair.Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely unexpected. You can't fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can't control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it's going to take you."Going against the rules of her Vesparian Sisterhood, which seeks to keep its entire existence a secret, Orynn is thrown into the open by a request for help that she could not refuse. Seeking to reconcile past mistakes and gain a forgiveness she feels she does not deserve, the fragile control over her empathic abilities is put to the test. The darkness that lives within her spirit has grown impatient and threatens to once again destroy any piece of happiness she allows herself to find.As a Mechatronic Automaton, Ethan navigates his world through a set of logically defined values and understandings. Encountering Orynn throws his system off balance as he tries to decide if he should trust the feelings he is developing, or if he should follow the logic telling him that she is trying to control him for some unknown purpose. As his understanding of her develops, he begins to question all of his preconceived notions about both himself and the universe around him.In his attempts to capture the Vesparian prey he has been hunting after for two decades, the First Commander of the Xen'dari fleet will stop at nothing and track Orynn to the ends of the universe. On a path of vengeance for a past he can't let go of, he will do everything in his power to burn her world down around her feet until nothing is left but ash and the bitter taste of regret.Ghosts of the past clash with hopes for the future in this first book of the series, set in a universe where nothing is as it seems at first glance and trust is a highly priced commodity. Alternate Cover Edition ASIN B009UFHA0O

30 review for Ghost in the Machine

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jonathon Dyer

    Science fiction, in all its multifarious forms, is a genre of ideas, perhaps more so than any other genre. At its best, sci-fi can make the reader question the very nature of existence or what it means to be human. Romance, it could be argued, is a genre of emotions; the best told romantic stories elicit from the reader a maelstrom of mixed feelings as the protagonists muddle their separate ways through the minefield of hindrances to finally arrive at love. Rare is the beast that balances convinc Science fiction, in all its multifarious forms, is a genre of ideas, perhaps more so than any other genre. At its best, sci-fi can make the reader question the very nature of existence or what it means to be human. Romance, it could be argued, is a genre of emotions; the best told romantic stories elicit from the reader a maelstrom of mixed feelings as the protagonists muddle their separate ways through the minefield of hindrances to finally arrive at love. Rare is the beast that balances convincing sci-fi and satisfying romance. C.E. Kilgore’s Ghost in the Machine is just such a creature. Revolving around the crew of a small but capable starship, the Zera – part free-trader/part heavy fighter – and its newest member, the sci-fi element of Ghost is pure space opera (and I don’t mean that in any derogatory sense); there are shoot-outs and rapid-fire starship skirmishes, tavern brawls and lots of hidden secrets. While the technology is both believable and consistent, the narrative is never allowed to get bogged in minutiae. But what the story lacks in Weber-esque technical detail, it more than makes up for in adventure and in ideas. The crew is made up of three humanoids of various stripes, a mecha (a seven foot-tall android called Ethan), and the newest crew-member, a nearly three hundred year-old Vesparian – a race believed by most to live only in legend. Somebody once said that the spaces between the things that happen to you are where love grows. Kilgore has written not only an eminently enjoyable and thought-provoking sci-fi adventure; the author has laced the story with romantic threads running through the narrative like veins of gold through bedrock. It’s a tribute to Kilgore’s abilities as a storyteller that the space-operatic and romantic aspects of Ghost are each so intrinsic to the other, so resistant to separation. For a reader to treat Ghost in the Machine as just a sci-fi novel or merely a romantic distraction would be short-changing both the story and themselves. I’m not a big romance reader as a rule, but I found myself being drawn into the emotional dramas of Orryn and Ethan, Hank and Tara like they were good friends you just knew would be good together if they would just get over their stupid-headedness. I don’t want to give too much away, but this is only the first part of a longer story (I’m guessing at least a trilogy, but don’t quote me). The good news is the second part, Whispers from Exile, is already available for download from Amazon.com. Oscar Wilde suggested that a cigarette was the perfect form of pleasure, because the sensation was exquisite, and it left you unsatisfied. He could have been talking about this novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simply Sam ツ

    Deifinitely more romance than sci-fi and it was a bit heavy on the unnecessary angst. All this "secret keeping for your own good" melodramatic nonsense. I know this sounds like I didn't like the book. I did, for the most part, except when I didn't (which mostly comes down to the melodramatic overkill female protagonist) RTC. Deifinitely more romance than sci-fi and it was a bit heavy on the unnecessary angst. All this "secret keeping for your own good" melodramatic nonsense. I know this sounds like I didn't like the book. I did, for the most part, except when I didn't (which mostly comes down to the melodramatic overkill female protagonist) RTC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pippa Jay

    I'll admit it - I was originally going to give this a 4* rating at the beginning, but I'd probably say 4.5* by the end. Why not quite 5? Because of the head-hopping, my personal bug bear. With several key characters being introduced quite quickly at the start, I found it particularly jarring and confusing. However, farther into the story I stopped noticing it so much. I was so in love with the characters, the in-depth and intriguing world-building, the snarky humour, and the two storylines full I'll admit it - I was originally going to give this a 4* rating at the beginning, but I'd probably say 4.5* by the end. Why not quite 5? Because of the head-hopping, my personal bug bear. With several key characters being introduced quite quickly at the start, I found it particularly jarring and confusing. However, farther into the story I stopped noticing it so much. I was so in love with the characters, the in-depth and intriguing world-building, the snarky humour, and the two storylines full of romantic tension, I could almost forgive it. I think I adore Ethan most, despite his frequent moments of being an asshole (I have a definite thing for human mecha). In fact, both male MCs needed a good slapping. Although Orynn's regular slips into self pity might irritate some, I found them understandable and acceptable. Hank irritated me extremely, but I can blame that on his youth. And Merick - ah, Merick! Such a bad boy (and not what I'd normally go for) but I have a soft spot for the warped little masochist. The sex scenes are detailed but sweet and focus on the emotional and empathic connection as much as bodily descriptions. Some might find the use of expletives offensive, but they fit the settings and characters. The tension, both in the overall arc and the character relationships was good and generally the story zipped along (there were a couple of areas where it dragged a bit, mostly where back story was involved). Very, very few typos or grammatical errors that self published works are often notorious for. A recommended read for fans of Firefly/Farscape, and those who've enjoyed Jaine Fenn's Hidden Empire series, and Linnea Sinclair's Sass and Kel-Paton stories. And a full length novel for free? Bargain! (BTW, gorgeous cover).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Knight

    ENGAGING CHARACTERS AND BRILLIANT WORLD BUILDING I enjoyed the future worlds that Ms. Kilgore brings to life in her novel, The Ghost In The Machine. She structures multiple societies with depth and history revealed to the reader in layers of rich description woven into the storyline. I cared about the carefully crafted characters in the story, perhaps too much, for therein lies one of my chief complaints – competing points of view. Many characters are given a point of view and the rapid changes, ENGAGING CHARACTERS AND BRILLIANT WORLD BUILDING I enjoyed the future worlds that Ms. Kilgore brings to life in her novel, The Ghost In The Machine. She structures multiple societies with depth and history revealed to the reader in layers of rich description woven into the storyline. I cared about the carefully crafted characters in the story, perhaps too much, for therein lies one of my chief complaints – competing points of view. Many characters are given a point of view and the rapid changes, sometimes from sentence to sentence created confusion in this reader’s mind. Several times I had to stop to figure out whose “head” I was in. Putting that aside, this is an enjoyable read right until the very end and the cliff-hanger of an ending. Urgggh. I hate – with a passion – cliff-hangers. LOL. Putting aside my particular foibles, I recommend this story for its engaging characters and brilliant world-building.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    "Love wasn’t logical. Love wasn’t something you could concretely define. Love was different for every person. Love really was like a damn wormhole." This was a pleasant surprise! I didn't know to much about the story going in, but I had a lot of fun reading this sci-fi, space opera, romance with some deep secrets and sometimes heavy themes. Will read on to the next! "Love wasn’t logical. Love wasn’t something you could concretely define. Love was different for every person. Love really was like a damn wormhole." This was a pleasant surprise! I didn't know to much about the story going in, but I had a lot of fun reading this sci-fi, space opera, romance with some deep secrets and sometimes heavy themes. Will read on to the next!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Spuffed

    I really liked this book. The world building and characters were great- well thought out, complex enough to be interesting and in general were smartly done. I was on the fence about a 4 or 5 star rating but ended up with 5 because of it's richness which leads me to believe this will be a series I'll want to continue for more great reads and I became invested in the characters. The first 3 chapters were a big information dump and I actually had to make notes about characters and places because I I really liked this book. The world building and characters were great- well thought out, complex enough to be interesting and in general were smartly done. I was on the fence about a 4 or 5 star rating but ended up with 5 because of it's richness which leads me to believe this will be a series I'll want to continue for more great reads and I became invested in the characters. The first 3 chapters were a big information dump and I actually had to make notes about characters and places because I was having a hard time wrapping my head around it all-- I was thinking that maybe my brain wasn't working quite right or I was too tired when I started it but I see that other reviewers noticed the info dump as well. At end of this review is basic character/place definitions that will help any readers with the info dump at the beginning should they be interested. The majority of the book lacked action until the end but was filled with interesting world building and development of characters and their relationships so I didn't mind. For some reason, I expect the other books in this series to be more action packed now that the author has laid out the groundwork in characters and relationships in this first novel- I'll find out. The Big Bad was unexpected in it's origins and motives and I can usually smell the Big Bad from a mile away. And yes, clearly the Xen'dari are thecommunist-like bad guys but just wait till you read it to find out what I'm talking about. I won't spoil it for you as I rarely am surprised. Great novel and am getting ready to purchase the second one. If the second one doesn't up the action a bit, I might drop it but if the relationships remain compelling, I'll probably continue on throughout! First Three Chapters Guide to Characters and Places: What's Going on Here: Good guys are the planet Corwint which has a group of Central Agents that protect their part of the universe of "free" planets from the bad guys- the Xen'dari which are the other part of the universe whose mission is to overtake all planets into their "utopian" system (communism reference). This particular group of Agents are successful ones but they lack polish on delivery of their missions that are making them a liability and are ordered to take on another crew member to teach them the diplomacy and grace needed to run their missions more successfully. So, this is their first mission with a new crew member and their last chance at keeping their jobs. Characters: - Hankarron "Hank" Eros: Captain Eros of this crew on his uncle's legacy ship, the "Zera"- his family were also central agents. Happy go lucky kind of guy- very likable. -Brommrigor "Brom" Torregathos: an orange, scaly Orellian. Big buff guy filled with brothery love to his fellow crew members. He's the Weapon's Specialist of the crew. -Ethan: He's a "Mechtronic Automation" or "Mecha" for short- human formed robot/android who has developed the ability to have feelings which makes him more unique from other Mecha's. He's the "Technician" of the crew and handles the computer systems, intel and basically so much that he seems indispensable and the 2nd behind the Captain. -Tera Flint: The crew's Mechanic/Engineer that keeps the Zera ship running. Young and talented in her field and taught by her uncle (I believe) who was the engineer of the "Zera" when it was under Hank's Uncles command. -Orynn: She's the new crew member forced onto the crew as the "Tactical Relations Officer" which means she's there to teach the crew how to better achieve their missions without having to always blow their way out of situations and knows all about other cultures and the means to an end of anything. She's a Vesparian from the planet Berian 2 and as such, has the magic powers of her long thought extinct race. -Jehdra: She is the boss of this crew as the "Central's Director Command Council" and is the one who put's Orynn onto this crew to keep them from losing their jobs. The Council is Corwint's governing body. Places: -Corwint: main planet of the good guys that tries to keep the Xen'dari from overtaking all the free planets and universes. -Xen'dari Empire: Bad guys who are actively trying to absorb all other planets into their utopia but are basically commies. -Kilari System: 4 planets located between Corwint and the Xen'dari controlled planets that are currently claimed by Xen'dari but still accessible to Corwint. This is the area of the universe where the two groups are head to head against each other. -Beria 2: planet where Orynn grew up and free from Xen'dari Empire but not where her race- the Vesparians- come from. As the Xen'dari had taken control of the Vesparians to use their powers to help control other planets. Vesparians are somewhat of a legend and thought to be extinct. I think I got it all right. Been a few days since I finished this book so my notes aren't as clear to me now as they were then. let me know if I need to corrections! Hope this is helpful to someone!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Stevenson

    ‘Ghost in the Machine’ is the story of an empathic alien woman, Orynn, joining a new crew for an assignment and developing a bond with their mechatronic crew member, Ethan. This is primarily a romance, and it’s a very well written one at that so I would highly recommend it to fans of the romantic genre, even if they wouldn’t normally read something that could be considered sci-fi, as it’s very accessible, with the focus on the characters rather than anything technical. Kilgore’s world building is ‘Ghost in the Machine’ is the story of an empathic alien woman, Orynn, joining a new crew for an assignment and developing a bond with their mechatronic crew member, Ethan. This is primarily a romance, and it’s a very well written one at that so I would highly recommend it to fans of the romantic genre, even if they wouldn’t normally read something that could be considered sci-fi, as it’s very accessible, with the focus on the characters rather than anything technical. Kilgore’s world building is excellent and her characters believable and likeable. I enjoyed their interactions throughout. I would have liked for the android character to have some limitations, but to me he came across as a typical human male. He is programmed to evolve which was cool, but there was still one physical thing he was able to do that I didn’t totally understand when it happened. Overall this is a well-built world containing an interesting romance and a cast of very likeable characters. Highly recommended to fans of romance!

  8. 5 out of 5

    FridaMia

    First, the positive: pretty good world building, several interesting, if one dimensional characters. From the description, I had expected a space opera/adventure book. It's more of an emo romance. Unfortunately, any positive qualities was vastly overshadowed by the utterly pathetic female main character. She cried and felt bad for most of the story, in fact, her doing this was most of the story. Both in present time and in the large amount of flashback, she is nothing but a wet blanket. It's com First, the positive: pretty good world building, several interesting, if one dimensional characters. From the description, I had expected a space opera/adventure book. It's more of an emo romance. Unfortunately, any positive qualities was vastly overshadowed by the utterly pathetic female main character. She cried and felt bad for most of the story, in fact, her doing this was most of the story. Both in present time and in the large amount of flashback, she is nothing but a wet blanket. It's completely unbelievable that such a suicidal wreck (and please get on with that)is a top notch under cover operative. The book also need a good amount of editing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ash

    I picked up Ghost in the Machine because I was specifically looking for a sci-fi/romance novel, and the title and blurb caught my eye among the dozens of choices. Plus, it was surprisingly free that week to download on Amazon. The story started off with a lot of structure problems: general grammar issues, tense shifts, and info-dumps in dialogue that should've been very well known to the recipient of said speech (AKA "As You Well Know" conversations). Despite this, I decided to soldier on and re I picked up Ghost in the Machine because I was specifically looking for a sci-fi/romance novel, and the title and blurb caught my eye among the dozens of choices. Plus, it was surprisingly free that week to download on Amazon. The story started off with a lot of structure problems: general grammar issues, tense shifts, and info-dumps in dialogue that should've been very well known to the recipient of said speech (AKA "As You Well Know" conversations). Despite this, I decided to soldier on and read past chapter 2. I regretted it, too. Still not out of chapter 2, I cringed over weak, unbelievable dialogue—Jehdra, for instance, didn't read like a person of authority, and she also spouted so much "As You Well Know" history at Hank and Ethan that I had to wonder why Ethan, as the narrator, wasn't rolling "Mechatronic Automaton" eyes at her for illogically telling him things he already knew. As soon as Jehdra told Ethan that "this one, Orynn, [made Jehdra] look like a damn amateur", I lowered the bar even further on my expectations. By the time I finally made it to the end of chapter 2, I was wondering why Hank was captain and not Ethan by the way Ethan kept having to issue orders (both verbal and nonverbal). Chapter 3 wasn't much better, since we learned that even though Hank's ship has all the bells and whistles for stealth missions, Hank prefers to be the hotshot out in the open, blowing things up. Going back to what I said about wondering why Ethan wasn't the captain by how much control he has over Hank, I was ready to hang this book up as a "DNF". Alas, chapter 3 was too abrupt for me to make a "DNF" call, so I read into chapter 4, but not before cringing over more "As You Well Know" dialogue—look, I get that readers need to know things, but having characters who should be knowledgeable about their fictional world give the equivalent of a "We need to return to our home on ABC Street in the north of John Doe Town" speech is ridiculous. Narrative: sure! Dialogue, not so much. Barely into chapter 4, the grammatical errors put the last nail in this for me, and I officially hung it up. If the author runs this by an editor in the future and updates the ebook, I may give it another go, but until then: there's no way I can continue to read this when I'm not getting any enjoyment out of it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    LM

    2.5ish stars. The world/universe tha was created is exactly what I want with a sci-fi story. Everyone is an alien. And when you throw multiple races of ETs on a ship, and they jump from world to world, experiencing new cultures and how to navigate trading intel/goods... I loved that. Plus you can tell the writer is pretty smart. Like, her verbiage on certain aspects (including the technicalities of the robots, machinery, flight, etc) swings to a smart individual. Therefore, you feel smarter readi 2.5ish stars. The world/universe tha was created is exactly what I want with a sci-fi story. Everyone is an alien. And when you throw multiple races of ETs on a ship, and they jump from world to world, experiencing new cultures and how to navigate trading intel/goods... I loved that. Plus you can tell the writer is pretty smart. Like, her verbiage on certain aspects (including the technicalities of the robots, machinery, flight, etc) swings to a smart individual. Therefore, you feel smarter reading it.... LOL But, the romance is lacking. I wish that when the heroine was introduced that it wasn't obvious THAT VERY SECOND who the love match was. She was meeting a large ship's crew and bam, instalove with the robot feeling his wiring react to her. *rolls eyes* It was just too easy for them, and even their "fights" were kind of ridiculous. If this somehow became a non-romantic sci-fi adventure, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    I got this book as a freebee on Amazon and I wasn't sure how to feel about it at first, considering the aliens, machines and spaceships with a love story thrown in there somewhere, but I was pleasantly surprised. The author did a really good job of depicting this universe with all its diverse cultures each one unique and complex in its own right, each with its own history, yet each interlinked. the characters too were well developed and complex with an interesting storyline revolving around the I got this book as a freebee on Amazon and I wasn't sure how to feel about it at first, considering the aliens, machines and spaceships with a love story thrown in there somewhere, but I was pleasantly surprised. The author did a really good job of depicting this universe with all its diverse cultures each one unique and complex in its own right, each with its own history, yet each interlinked. the characters too were well developed and complex with an interesting storyline revolving around the two lead characters, Orynn, a genetically modified alien and Ethan, an Mechatronic Automaton (essentially a very human looking, acting and feeling robot... yes I had that confused and sceptical look on my face too before I read the book, but really, it was quite interesting...but no spoilers here, ill let you see for yourself. The only negatives I had were the persistent grammatical errors like "would of" and "could of" instead of "would have" and "could have". The other is really more of a lack of understanding, on my part, of how Orynn and Ethan's "union" worked. Although Ethan is designed to be as close to human (or organic) as possible, he is essentially a machine who does not eat or drink as far as I could tell, and while some of his features mimic human functions, they all have a purpose. For example while he appears to breath like an organic, this is really just his cooling system. so when Ethan "releases" into Orynn this is inconsistent, and really has me confused as to what exactly and why (what would the function be). But it is a good book overall and I look forward to book 2.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I wasn't sure how I'd enjoy a story that seemed to have love as it's central plot as it's not a genre I spend a lot of time with but it didn't take long to realize this wasn't just going to be some sappy love story. The universe is wonderfully fleshed out with complete with races, bits of languages, and customs allowing the reader to fully imagine the world they are reading about. The characters are well thought out and easy to develop a relationship with with a few moments, I must admit, tugging I wasn't sure how I'd enjoy a story that seemed to have love as it's central plot as it's not a genre I spend a lot of time with but it didn't take long to realize this wasn't just going to be some sappy love story. The universe is wonderfully fleshed out with complete with races, bits of languages, and customs allowing the reader to fully imagine the world they are reading about. The characters are well thought out and easy to develop a relationship with with a few moments, I must admit, tugging on my heart strings on several occasions and causing some anger for other characters which really kept me interested in seeing what was going to happen to them. In the end, I can't really think of anything negative to say. I thoroughly enjoying reading the book and the way the first book ended it has me really wanting that second book to come sooner rather than later. A wonderful surprise that I am glad I picked up and read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    megHan

    This ... was ... awesome ... even if it is sometimes more romance than it is sci-fi. It follows the adventures of Hankarron (Hank), Brommrigor (Brom), Tara and Ethan as they are forced by Central to take Orynn (a Vesparian, who aren't supposed to exist and who everyone has heard horror stories/legends about) on as a shipmate. She learns a lot from them and they learn a lot from her as they go through their mission to help save a planet from a disease that can kill them. This author is a great wr This ... was ... awesome ... even if it is sometimes more romance than it is sci-fi. It follows the adventures of Hankarron (Hank), Brommrigor (Brom), Tara and Ethan as they are forced by Central to take Orynn (a Vesparian, who aren't supposed to exist and who everyone has heard horror stories/legends about) on as a shipmate. She learns a lot from them and they learn a lot from her as they go through their mission to help save a planet from a disease that can kill them. This author is a great writer and the descriptions of everything (including the romance parts) were done really well. There's adventure - and every time you turn around, you're learning something new about the characters that you didn't expect as things happen that are out of their control. The end was done really well and I can't wait to see what happens next. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Allie Ritch

    Pros: This book had great aliens/characters, and I loved the history behind them. The plot was complex and interesting, and it packed an emotional punch. Cons: The happy moments of the love story were so brief that I couldn't enjoy much satisfaction from them before more conflict came along. This was especially true when the book ended with a cliffhanger, to be continued in the sequel. I would have liked it better if the author had at least ended with a happily-for-now conclusion. This is nitpick Pros: This book had great aliens/characters, and I loved the history behind them. The plot was complex and interesting, and it packed an emotional punch. Cons: The happy moments of the love story were so brief that I couldn't enjoy much satisfaction from them before more conflict came along. This was especially true when the book ended with a cliffhanger, to be continued in the sequel. I would have liked it better if the author had at least ended with a happily-for-now conclusion. This is nitpicking, but the repeated use of "should of" instead of "should have" and a few other editing issues were a tiny bit annoying. This wasn't one of those books you just can't put down, but it did keep drawing me back in so that I never once thought of abandoning it. I wound up reading it over several sessions, which I suspect is what most readers will do with such a multi-layered story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Coyora Dokusho

    When I read the description a couple of days ago I immediately wanted to read this. And. It. Was. Awesome!!! engaging characters I cried! interesting plot I laughed! ADORABLE childrens kick-assery! epic cool READING THE NEXT ONE NOW... (after I start my laundry... XD)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    FOund this one a an amazon feebie amd really liked it as a romantic and futuristic scifi.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Punkin

    Awww Man what?!!!!! Thank hell for merrik and that's something I never thought I'd say. World building and descriptions were great. Interesting characters and what a woven mess. Awww Man what?!!!!! Thank hell for merrik and that's something I never thought I'd say. World building and descriptions were great. Interesting characters and what a woven mess.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Silverman

    A little too much like Firefly for my taste.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    I picked this up knowing it would be more trashy romance than sci-fi, but honestly. If you don't even know the basic rules of space (low gravity is not no gravity - you don't float in low gravity, if the ship lurches you don't get thrown around like you would in atmosphere, it's really odd that no one would be manning the bridge - not even an automated system to warn when another ship is attacking you) THEN DON'T TRY TO WRITE SCI-FI. I'm plenty happy to read trashy romances set on the open sea o I picked this up knowing it would be more trashy romance than sci-fi, but honestly. If you don't even know the basic rules of space (low gravity is not no gravity - you don't float in low gravity, if the ship lurches you don't get thrown around like you would in atmosphere, it's really odd that no one would be manning the bridge - not even an automated system to warn when another ship is attacking you) THEN DON'T TRY TO WRITE SCI-FI. I'm plenty happy to read trashy romances set on the open sea or in airplanes or any place on Earth, really, you don't have to set your story in space if you don't have the faintest clue about the rules of space. Not asking for Einstein level science here, just basic knowledge anybody who's seen Star Trek would have. Sheesh!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michael Wood

    Very Good Adult Space Opera I am unsure exactly what the ghost is after reading this first volume. After all, the heroine is a former Wraith, and her loved one is mechanical as well as sentient. There are, as forewarned, very adult passages as the two find their fates. However these passaged are fairly well written and fit into the plot. Don't expect pornographic descriptions, but the descriptions are definitely for an adult audience. Aside from the romance, the story is a very good space opera. Very Good Adult Space Opera I am unsure exactly what the ghost is after reading this first volume. After all, the heroine is a former Wraith, and her loved one is mechanical as well as sentient. There are, as forewarned, very adult passages as the two find their fates. However these passaged are fairly well written and fit into the plot. Don't expect pornographic descriptions, but the descriptions are definitely for an adult audience. Aside from the romance, the story is a very good space opera. The protagonist couple are forced to face, and perhaps fight, a corrupt remnant of an evil empire. And there are family secrets, as well. Of course, as in real life, the secrets float to the surface of family relationships and demand attention. VERY GOOD *ADULT* SPACE OPERA!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caro

    This was a pretty good read. I enjoyed the creativity and imagination. As well as the characters and their varied personalities. This was interesting, has suspense, emotions, courage, strength and growth. This was a page turner (somewhat) and I enjoyed getting to know everyone. However, I did not like the ending. It's a cliffy and I didn't enjoy getting that surprise. I am going to get the next book (it's free) but only to finish this one as I don't really want to read what that one's about. Goo This was a pretty good read. I enjoyed the creativity and imagination. As well as the characters and their varied personalities. This was interesting, has suspense, emotions, courage, strength and growth. This was a page turner (somewhat) and I enjoyed getting to know everyone. However, I did not like the ending. It's a cliffy and I didn't enjoy getting that surprise. I am going to get the next book (it's free) but only to finish this one as I don't really want to read what that one's about. Good Luck

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diane Dannenfeldt

    3.5 stars. I few things kept me from rating this higher. Orynn’s self pity was annoying. After all these years you should have been able to come to grips and realize that the things that happened were not your fault. I really didn’t fully understand Jarren’s drive; if he didn’t want her hurt or in pain, why do what he did. And the last thing was that major cliffhanger. I loved the crew and can’t wait to read more about them. Even though I loved Ethan and Orynn, I can’t wait for Merick’s book, he 3.5 stars. I few things kept me from rating this higher. Orynn’s self pity was annoying. After all these years you should have been able to come to grips and realize that the things that happened were not your fault. I really didn’t fully understand Jarren’s drive; if he didn’t want her hurt or in pain, why do what he did. And the last thing was that major cliffhanger. I loved the crew and can’t wait to read more about them. Even though I loved Ethan and Orynn, I can’t wait for Merick’s book, he was my favorite.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    This one wasn't as amusing as I expected based on the description. It was an entertaing tale, and if there are more in the series (sute looks like it), then I'll read those too, but don't go into it expecting slapstick comedy, it's a semi-serious story, with plenty to irritate those who like to try to predict character actions, but it does take place in space after all, sot hat's got to count for something right? Scifi is one of my favorite genres, so I tend to enjoy scifi stories a bit more tha This one wasn't as amusing as I expected based on the description. It was an entertaing tale, and if there are more in the series (sute looks like it), then I'll read those too, but don't go into it expecting slapstick comedy, it's a semi-serious story, with plenty to irritate those who like to try to predict character actions, but it does take place in space after all, sot hat's got to count for something right? Scifi is one of my favorite genres, so I tend to enjoy scifi stories a bit more than other types, but I don't think many folks who aren't scifi fans will find this story very interesting, but if you like your scifi, there should be something here for every one of you.

  24. 5 out of 5

    DMA

    Complex story brilliantly told! This is an amazing read, difficult to put down. Amazingly detailed world building, with many races and planets lovingly described in rich detail! The characters and their interactions are developed perfectly as this wonderful tale unfolds! Warning: cliff hanger!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not a huge fan of how the author hops POV but otherwise a great story! Characters are interesting, world is really cool and well developed. Not too much boring backstory for the world but clearly well developed.

  26. 5 out of 5

    A.C. Flory

    Expectations can have a profound effect on how someone reacts to a story. When I volunteered to R4R [Read-for-Review] Ghost in the Machine by C.E.Kilgore, I vaguely knew it would be a science fiction romance, but I expected the science fiction to be the main focus of the story. When it became obvious the romantic element would dominate, I was disappointed. When I read the first erotic scene I felt uneasy because I don’t really like erotica. So from my personal point of view, there went one star. Expectations can have a profound effect on how someone reacts to a story. When I volunteered to R4R [Read-for-Review] Ghost in the Machine by C.E.Kilgore, I vaguely knew it would be a science fiction romance, but I expected the science fiction to be the main focus of the story. When it became obvious the romantic element would dominate, I was disappointed. When I read the first erotic scene I felt uneasy because I don’t really like erotica. So from my personal point of view, there went one star. I need to stress how very personal that was though. Someone more familiar with the sub-genre would probably be disappointed if the focus had been on the science fiction instead of the romance. And that brings me to the science fiction elements of the story. I was expecting deep world building and C.E.Kilgore did not disappoint. The political, social and historical elements were well thought out, and I enjoyed them. The actual science however was a little jarring. Even assuming a technology thousands of times more advanced than our own, why would you have a port hole in a space ship? Quite apart from the fact it would be the weakest point in the integrity of the hull – shields or no shields – what function would it serve when for most of the time, there would be absolutely nothing to see? Another small jarring moment was the fact that the crew did not stand 24 hour watches. I understand the ship AI was capable of running the ship on autopilot, but when pirates and other hostiles are ‘possible’, I would expect someone to be on watch at all times. Unfortunately, the most jarring science fiction element was one of the main characters – Ethan. Ethan is a tall, blue Mecha. A mechanical man. A self-aware automaton with an outer covering of ‘flesh’ that is anatomically correct, up to and including the genitals. Those genitals are not just for show, they are fully functioning. So far, I can accept Ethan without any problems. What I cannot accept is that Ethan, however advanced he may be, would be exactly the same as a human being. My point here is the word ‘same’. Ethan is portrayed as a special kind of Mecha who has some kind of psychic aura. I have to assume this aura is what makes it possible for him to feel all the things a human male would feel, including sexual arousal, tenderness, lust, jealousy and love. In essence, Ethan is a big blue man with arrested emotional development who learns to love thanks to his relationship with a good woman. I have no intention of exploring that Romantic trope, but I would like to point out that human males made of blood, bone and a full set of functioning DNA can lack empathy. Some of them turn into psychopaths. Now let’s look at Ethan. He is basically a machine run by an AI that is aware, and conscious of its own existence. But that does not make it human, and it certainly does not guarantee empathy. Psychopaths are human, but they do not have empathy. Yet this self-aware machine is supposed to be capable of all the better human emotions – such as love. In a human being, electrical signals travel from the nerves to synapses in the brain. Picture a whole heap of roads that all meet on the shores of a lake. To get that signal across the lake you need a boat[s]. If the signal is very strong, a big boat made of chemicals/hormones will ferry the signal across the lake to multiple roads on the other side. If the signal is weak, the boat will be small and may only take the signal across to one or two roads. [This is an analogy only. The exact process is rather different but explaining it would take volumes]. As the signal passes from synapse to synapse it either gets stronger or weaker. That interplay of electrical and chemical elements is a huge part of what makes us human, makes us feel. Electrical impulses alone do not get the job done. So right from the start I could not accept that Ethan was, to all intents and purposes, a man. Sadly that made the love story fall flat for me. As the romance between Ethan and Orynn [the female protagonist] is essentially the plot in book 1, Ghost in the Machine just didn’t have the wow factor for me. That said, the ending of the book hinted at a stronger, and for me, far more interesting plot evolving over the rest of the series. Finally a word about the writing itself. On the whole, the author writes well, and by the second half of the book the prose was strong and created vivid images. But. ‘May’ instead of ‘might’ consistently jarred me out of the story. ‘Might’ is the past tense of ‘may’, so if the story is written in the past tense, which it is, ‘might’ is the correct word to use. A small point, I know, but it kept jerking me out of the story. Overall, Ghost in the Machine was an enjoyable debut novel, with signs that later books in the series would be stronger in terms of plot. It did not, however, meet my expectations of a science fiction story with an element of romance. That said, someone with different expectations should find it very enjoyable. [I should point out that I am a 60 year old female who has been reading classic science fiction for 40 years].

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    book 1 of Corwint Central Agent Files; space opera; excellent read

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    So good! Enventive and easy to follow with great plot development and lively characters. I can't wait to find out what happens next! So good! Enventive and easy to follow with great plot development and lively characters. I can't wait to find out what happens next!

  29. 4 out of 5

    CJ

    A very interesting book. Not all sunshine and rainbows, but definitely good to read. I will be reading

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Wow So great. Couldn’t stop reading it. Powerful space story of unlikely love. Can’t wait until I read next one. Want more

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