4.7 22
by Karin Lowachee

View All Available Formats & Editions

When Jos' parents are killed in an attack on their trading ship, the boy is kidnapped by the attackers and then escapes - only to fall into the alien hands of humanity's greatest enemies. He is soon coerced into becoming a spy against the human race.


When Jos' parents are killed in an attack on their trading ship, the boy is kidnapped by the attackers and then escapes - only to fall into the alien hands of humanity's greatest enemies. He is soon coerced into becoming a spy against the human race.

Editorial Reviews

In the tradition of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, Karin Lowachee's debut novel is a riveting story of one young boy's coming-of-age amid interstellar war. Already earning high praise from esteemed authors like David Drake, Tim Powers, and Kevin J. Anderson, Karin Lowachee is clearly a voice of the future for science fiction.
Library Journal
Eight-year-old Jos Musey's childhood ends when his parents' merchant ship falls prey to pirates and slavers. Destined to be the personal slave of his captor, Jos escapes only to find himself a prisoner of the strits, an alien race at war with humanity. Trained as a spy by his captors, Jos is released to become a human weapon but the war he fights is a war to achieve his own destiny. Winner of the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest, Lowachee's sf debut provides a poignant tale of survival and courage reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. Polished storytelling and convincing worldbuilding make this a good selection for most sf collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
David Drake
A vivid, darkly powerful novel of a youth coming to terms with the universe and with his past.
Kevin J. Anderson
WARCHILD is a remarkable and powerful first novel. Well-written, with realistic characters, crystal-clear alien cultures, and compelling moral choices. An outstanding debut.
Tim Powers
Compelling... a harrowing tale of easy treacheries and difficult loyalties.... Lowachee brings her characters to vivid life.
David Feintuch
A magnificent first novel. Characters you'll never forget. An exciting tale of civilizations colliding, and a boy caught between loyalties.
Elizabeth Moon
WARCHILD is a riveting, edgy thriller that packs an emotional punch like a tactical nuke…brilliantly realized alien culture, complex politics both human and alien, and action that crackles with reality…solid in conception and execution. Lowachee conveys uncomfortably well the mental and emotional fragility and strength that come out of war zones.

Product Details

Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.04(d)
690L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

We'd memorized schematics of the Diamond-class merchant ships. Our goal was the bridge.

We spread through the ship like a virus.

"Where's our resistance?" Dorr muttered, once we'd reached the command deck. The ship sat curiously silent. Only our booted steps along the deckgrille made noise. Overhead the lights flickered red: warning, warning, warning. Dorr unhooked a singing grenade, poked the settings, then let it go in midair. It shot forward down the corridor and turned the corner, seeking man-sized heat signatures that weren't protected by our coded armor beacons. Dorr flipped the tracker open on his wrist and watched the grenade's route. None of the other teams reported any contact. That meant that none of the rooms or quarters were occupied between here and the bridge.

My gut started to coil. "They're lying in wait," I said, just as the ceiling panels slid aside and fire rained down...

Meet the Author

Karin Lowachee was born in Guyana, South America and moved to Toronto, Canada when she was two. Before her foray into fantasy, she wrote three highly-acclaimed science fiction novels - Warchild, Burndive, and Cagebird. Warchild won the Warner Aspect First Novel Award and Cagebird won the 2006 Gaylactic Spectrum Award and the Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Philip K. Dick Award. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Warchild 4.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know about you, but I get tired of getting my hopes up that a book will be great, only to be disappointed time and time again. This book finally broke that cycle of despair. It starts out with approx. 40 pages written in the second person perspective. And here's the shocker - it's not just a gimmick; it actually works. You are seeing the world through the eyes of an 8 year child whose ship (yes, a space ship) is attacked and destroyed by pirates. The adults are killed and the children are enslaved. The use of the second person is a powerful device that pulled me straight into the story - not an easy task with this jaded reader. But it's what happens next, and what continues happening that keeps you turning pages. Characters acting like real people. They don't always make the right decisions, and you don't always agree with them. Heck, you don't even always *like* all of them! But all of them, even the pirates, are understandable and seem real. The characters grow and develop. They get hurt and develop emotional scars. They hurt each other, and they heal. When I finished the book, I put it down, said 'wow' and immediately re-read it again. I haven't done that since I finished Lord of the Rings almost 20 years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love space opera and i had high hopes for this one. It started well and held my interest through half the story. Regetably, the joy faded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book of all time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rebekkah_N More than 1 year ago
I let a friend borrow this book and never got it back... 0.0 Lowachee creates a believable future, even down to a genuinely realistic alien species, something I've never before encountered in science fiction. Her characters step out of the book and into the mind; her story strikes the soul with both grief and hope, sorrow and love. Not recommended for young readers, as it deals with mature issues, but any mature sci-fi reader who misses this series is losing out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Miles_Depth More than 1 year ago
I am not sure what the deal is with electronic versions, but they do seem to be prone to more errors that paper back versions, as I noticed several while reading this book. That aside, this story was one of the more uniquely written I have read in a long time. The author took time to develop characters in depth and made it so you really knew them, their underlying motives and battles. It also often felt like the author made a point to describe senses of smell on every page and I do not think locations were given as much detail. All in all however, this book was a fantastic read and easily kept my attention with the fantastic character development and very acceptable plot. Highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys futuristic sci-fi types of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with this novel! Lowachee's debut novel was one of the most powerful novel of interstellar warfare I've ever read! She tells thetragic and heroic story of a young boy comes of age during terrible interstellar war and the divided loyalities he has in this conflict. Young Joslyn Musey sees his life torn from him as the merchant ship he calls home is attacked by space pirates and he is taken prisoner. Jos's capitivity is under the sadistic pirate called Falcone. Jos escapes only to be captured by earth's enemies the alien race called the Strits and their human allies. He is befriended by Human turncoat general called Warboy and he is taught to become a spy for the strits in their war against EarthHub.He is sent to space battleship, Macedon under the command of charismatic captain Azarcon.Lowarchee's novel is gripping tale of one young man who is torn between the loyalities of his shipmates on the battleship and his alien benefactors. Lowarchee's future is the most impressive I've seen since Cherryh's Union-Alliance novels and the atmosphere of on the ship is so realistic you could almost taste it! The battle scenes were brutally realistic in tone.Characters in Warchild were unforgettable such as our hero Jos who immediately gets our sympathy as he tries to remain loyal to crew of the Macedon and strits. Falcone-the ruthless pirate who uses manipulation and brutality. Dorrs-Jos's commanding officer who has a taste for battle and bloodshed but who will stand by his men if the need arises. Niko-human sympathize general who befriends Jos and who teaches him to become a spy.Lowarchee's chilling vision of warfare in space where children are used as soldiers and spies has eeries resemblance to the conflicts we have in our time. I look forward to the other next novel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I could not put it down. I hope for the sequel or anything else from Karin Lowachee. If you decide to read it, do not worry about the beginning (the implied child abuse made me almost put the book away, but I am very glad I did not).
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i first saw this book i was put off thinking it would be just a bang-bang, run around and fight, blood and glory story but i've been wrong before so i read a few pgs in the store and that was it i had to buy it and read it all that very night leaving only a few hrs for sleep. but no worries this book is going to be read again and again. I would say something about what actually happens except i would blather on and spill everything so i'll keep quiet about what happens to Jos and let you find out for yourself while i keep checking for another book and hopefully it'll be a sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ashamed to admit I only bought this book because I REALLY wanted to read something, anything. It is good. For a first novel it is unbelievable. Do not be put off because the main character is eight years old (like I was). It is the story of ¿that¿s life.¿ It is the story of ¿this is how easy misunderstandings and selfishness are¿ and what that means to one person out of billions. Science Fiction is a wonderful vehicle for modern commentary. We can remove ourselves from what is happening. But as with the best Science Fiction writers, Lowachee isn¿t necessarily saying this is what could happen, the results of war for persons, people and planets are being felt right now. Put that together with an author of superior writing ability and the result is a gripping novel and a child that you will not forget.