The Cruel Stars

Written by:
John Birmingham
Narrated by:
Morgan Hallett

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2019
13 hours 57 minutes
In this epic sci-fi adventure for fans of The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica, five intrepid heroes must unite to save civilization after a long-dormant enemy awakens and strikes a devastating blow

The galaxy was once terrorized by the Sturm, a group of “species purists” intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true “Human Republic,” the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong.

The enemy has returned and, with a brutal and decisive attack, knocks out almost all of humanity’s defenses. Now on the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial attack: Commander Lucinda Hardy, thrust into uncertain command of the Royal Armadalen Navy’s only surviving warship. Booker3, a soldier of Earth, sentenced to die for treason, whose time on death row is cut short when the Sturm attack his prison compound.

Princess Alessia, a young royal of the Montanblanc Corporation, forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed. Sephina L’trel, the leader of an outlaw band who must call on all of her criminal skills to resist the invasion. And, finally, Admiral Frazer McLennan, the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm hundreds of years ago, who hopes to rout his old foes once and forall—or die trying.

These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For if they fail, the future itself is doomed.

“This jarring, engrossing story of a species-wide fight for survival is recommended for all science fiction readers.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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absolutely amazing story.

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Ginger S.

A brand new universe, Michael Wallace has created diverse, dynamic and intense cultures with this story. He weaved all the character story lines together brilliantly. Climatic ending. Could do with a bit less swearing but didn’t deter from story. Narrator is amazing and truly made the story come alive.

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Lot of cussing in this book! The story could have been 20% shorter without it. Narrator did a great job.

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Great book great narrator can’t wait for the next one

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Greg B.

The story was disjointed and hard to follow

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Gary M.

The author does a great job of bringing the characters to life. It’s a good story with a rapid fire climax.

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Benjamin Mendez

Slow start, I was a little lost in the set up, but as the story gained momentum, I was sucked in. Really enjoyed this one.

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Todd W.

The story was a slow start. A lot to keep up with but once the characters evolved it ended up being one of the best audio books I’ve purchased. I hate I have to wait a year for the next installment.

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Charles B.

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book! I couldn't stop listening once it got going! the narrator was sensational!

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