Queen & Commander (UK edition)by Janine A. Southard
Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s cleverer than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with
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On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably-obtained spaceship will take them.
Rhiannon doesn’t technically cheat the Test. She’s cleverer than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career possible: Hive Queen.
Gwyn & Victor are madly in love, but their Test results will tear them apart. Good thing Rhiannon is Gwyn’s best friend. Rhiannon can fix this. Queens can do anything.
Gavin is the wild card. Raised off-planet, he can’t wait to leave again… and he’s heard of an empty ship in orbit. The Ceridwen’s Cauldron.
Both Luciano and Alan fit in the system. They don’t need to leave. Only their devotion to Rhiannon spurs them to join the Cauldron’s crew.
Spaceships. Blackmail. Anywhere but here.
Meet the Author
Janine A. Southard writes speculative fiction and videogame dialogue from her home in Seattle, WA. She sings with a Celtic band and is working on the next book in the
Hive Queen universe. She’s also been known to read aloud to her cat.
The cat appreciates all of these things. Maybe.
Visit her on the Web:
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Queen & Commander is a novel that has everything I love about science fiction - action, drama, great characters, and romance. Each character is fully his or her own person with individual characteristics, both positive and negative just like people possess in real life. And just like in real life, sometimes their personalities didn't mesh well, lending great drama and conflict to the story. I was so nervous for this group setting out on this adventure! They're so young and such a loosely formed Hive with secrets to keep and much could go wrong. Here's a breakdown of how I felt about the characters: Rhiannon - She was my favorite character, and her best friend, Gwyn, was a close second. I admired the sacrifice she made for her friend and couldn't imagine anyone else as Queen. She was young when her mother died and ended up clinging tightly to Gwyn. It made perfect sense to me why she sacrificed her own plans to help Gwyn. She yearned for what she had lost when her mother died. She made a wonderful Queen. I adore her. Gwyn & Victor - Ah, I love stories with forbidden lovers! Don't you? These two make a fabulous pair, and I rooted for them all the way. They have a lot to face - the stress of keeping their relationship a secret, doubts they have of staying in love, and normal couple issues that crop up. Gavin - My third favorite character, Gavin is deliciously eccentric and provides comic relief during those times when the situation gets too intense. He couldn't be more different than the other characters - he's had different life experiences. Luciano - I felt bad for him because he was so in love with Rhiannon, but those feelings weren't reciprocated. I feared a bit for his sanity when he found out the true situation after meeting everyone on the ship. It had to have been a shock to find out he wasn't going to live the way he previously thought. Alan - I found him annoying yet admired his intelligence and sharp wit. He's confident to the point of arrogance, and I enjoyed the banter between him and Rhiannon. The dynamics of the group were fabulously written. This Hive is brand-new and young, and since two members were brought on without a clue as to the plan that had been hatched, things realistically became complicated. Their personalities clashed at times, especially, in my opinion, Alan's because he's just such a know-it-all. I'm excited to find out what happens next because these were characters that I didn't want to leave behind when I reached the last page. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoy science fiction, having read from authors such as Jack McDevitt, Beth Revis, etc. This book ranks right up there with those authors. I have to say that this book is in a neck to neck competition with Across the Universe by Ms. Revis. Spaceships, confusion, betrayal, hierarchy and kidnapping all wrapped up in this book and delivered to the reader in a way that I just couldn't put it down. I read from beginning to end, breaking myself away only when I had to. The crew are all smarter than they appear at times and given that, sometimes they are also too smart for their own good. Rhiannon, who outsmarted the tests, is destined to be a Queen Commander. Her best friend and her friends boyfriend tested in a way that would take them from one another. Rhiannon, in a way was coerced into putting together a Hive that would keep them together, but would take the groups destined schooling away, and put them all in jeopardy. Being the first book in a series and a scifi one at that, there is always the fear that too much of the book is going to be backstories and very little present time. Thankfully, that is not the story with this book. As the story progresses, you get the info you need at the moment, and it keeps on moving. When a situation arises, that requires further information from the past, the author provides just what you need, and lets it go at that. Not only does this allow the story to progress with a normal flow, it also doesn't distract you from the current storyline. There is some unrealistic aspects to the story though. Basically going in blind and being able to maneuver and fly a spacecraft with no past experience and not taking half the side of a docking station off with it, or flying into other spacecraft was a bit unbelievable. I can understand getting the feel of it after all that, but not before. And the fact that being such a young Queen, with such a young crew, that more people didn't take notice was curious. Once you get past the peculiarities, the story itself takes you for a ride. The conflicts between the crew. The Queen learning how to be just that and learning how to have her Hive confident in her. The engineering issues, the Devotes relationship with the Queen, the passenger that stirs up troubles and more just keep the reader focused and the page flipping commences. A strong science fiction novel that will hold the interest of all scifi readers, young and old, and is guaranteed to make some non genre readers converts. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Hive & Heist, and I look forward to reading other books from this author.
A solid start to an intriguing series. This book features some great characters, who inhabit a fascinating, well thought out future universe. They’re teenagers, but not the dumb, one-dimensional twits that seem to populate most YA novels. They make poor decisions sometimes, but they’re also driven, planning their futures but not sure of the results, trying to find their place in the world. It just happens to be a very big world, where growing up needs to be done very fast, and failure often carries lethal consequences. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys good sci-fi. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
I found Queen & Commander to be a really interesting read. The society Southard posits is totally unlike anything I have read about before, yet it is complete and consistant throughout. Within that context the characters are believable and fully 3-dimensional. I think this would be a a good read for any young adult including those of us who are not so young but who appreciate good science fiction.