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A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, #1)
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A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,159 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Sira is on the run. The mysterious Captain Morgan has a starship. But if she goes with him, who will be at risk? Meet the Clan, shadowy figures of unfathomable power. Meet Huido, the lobster-like restauranteur. Meet the Trade Pact Enforcers, who have their own intentions. For events are beginning to unfold that will affect them all.

Originally the first of the Trade Pact Un
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by DAW (first published 1997)
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Phil This book was published in 1997, with sequels in 1999 and 2002. The prequel trilogy, the "Stratification Cycle", was published in 2007–2009. Myself, I…moreThis book was published in 1997, with sequels in 1999 and 2002. The prequel trilogy, the "Stratification Cycle", was published in 2007–2009. Myself, I would read them in publication order, and once I'd been through them consider whether that or internal chronology would better serve for a re-read ;-)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 06, 2011 Carol. rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, female-lead
Three and a half stars, rounding up for a positive after-taste. Reminded me somewhat of Andre Norton's Witch World, only with more technologically advanced societies.

I love reading about the bird-person at the beginning, his thoughts on the mission and analyzing the trouble people had reading him due to lack of facial expression. Truly interesting, and it was sad to lose him to the main characters.

The progression of Sira and Morgan's relationship from an infatuated fixation on Sira's part and r
Jul 21, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy a blend of science fiction and romance
I believe this is Julie Czerneda's first published book, so I'm putting my review here. There are a few authors who (so far) have never published a book I didn't love. Julie Czerneda is one of them. What makes me love all of an author's books? When they consistently deliver a good story, with vivid characters, sparkling prose, and pacing that suits me to a "t".

Of course, not everyone will love the same authors I love. Everybody has different tastes in plotting, characterization, pacing, level o
Jun 21, 2011 Michèle rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This first novel opens with a classic situation, the main character's, a young nameless woman, amnesic. Fortunately, her POV is compensated by other characters that we follow.

I had a lot of difficulties to suspend my disbelief at characters who are not only telepaths, but who can also teleport themselves, or project their mind light-years away for a little chat...

The "of course" section:

1- Of course, there had to be limitations to those awesome powers: the main character is amnesiac, wears a d
Apr 29, 2009 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 8, 2009, sf, reread
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2009 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandi by: Beyond Reality February SF BOM
Shelves: sci-fi, 2009
Julie E. Czernada is an author whose books I see on the science fiction/fantasy shelves all the time, yet I've never read any of them. "A Thousand Words for Stranger" was her first novel. While I liked it, I strongly suspect that I'm not going to remember much about it a month or two from now. It took about 100-150 pages for the story to start congealing into anything that made much sense. I really disliked how it jumped from the main chapters narrated by Sira to "interludes" told by an omniscie ...more
Jamie Collins
Jan 21, 2016 Jamie Collins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Abandoned after a few chapters. The prose is just not working for me... particularly it's not good enough to support a plot with both amnesia and teleportation.

Nice title, though.
Oct 09, 2007 Kelsey rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I honestly never really could figure out quite what was going on in this book. It was difficult to read and difficult to follow.
I'm not entirely sure where to go with this book. I picked this up a long time ago (back when I was into Bookcrossing), traded it away and then re-picked it up at my local Indie. Admittedly its the cover that made me interested and I'm a sucker for amnesia trope stories in science fiction.

Largely I liked the cast and I liked Sira and Morgan, but it was not an enthralling read for me. Plus the "Interludes" tended to break things up, distracting me from Sira's current plight (most of the time, occ
Dave Brown
Jul 26, 2013 Dave Brown rated it liked it
The first time that I read A Thousand Words for Stranger, I was about middle school age. I was pulled in by the title, as I recall, and I loved the book! This was space opera before I knew what space opera was called, and all that I knew was that I loved it. The world of competing cultures and fantastical alien races gripped me thoroughly. I don't think that I finished the book, which is extremely rare for me (I can count on one hand the number of books that I've began but not finished in my lif ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
This was kind of a random pick up. Read the synopsis on a website somewhere and thought it sounded interesting. The setting took me a little to get used to, but the author handled the introduction of the world with a lack of explanation that I felt might mean additional titles in a series? But, seeing the world, primarily, through the eyes of someone without a memory makes the transition much easier than if all of the characters were accustomed to the world paired with a minimal exploration into ...more
Nov 20, 2010 Elsi rated it it was amazing
Sira is running—but she doesn't know why. She can't remember anything about her past; her memory has been wiped. Drawn strongly to Jason Morgan, a human telepath, Sira takes passage on his spaceship on the run from the Enforcers of the interstellar Trade Pact. As her memories return in short flashes, Sira learns that she's a member of the Clan, a race of extremely talented telepaths who disdain the Trade Pact and all other races, particularly humans whom they so closely resemble. As one of the s ...more
Aug 03, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
The moment I finished Reap the Wild Wind, I had to immediately jump back to A Thousand Words for Stranger just to remind myself of what had been previously established about the Om'ray--and of course to re-read the story of Sira and Morgan, which was an excellent little love story in general.

Re-reading this, I'm amused to find that the book actually has a fairly small cast of main characters, despite being set in a starfaring society. The spacer Jason Morgan in particular is a hub of connections
Rachael L Moore
Jan 10, 2016 Rachael L Moore rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, sci
I wasn't expecting a romance, even with the introduction about reproduction. But this book felt more like a romance in a science fiction setting than not. That took a little of the gloss off for me, but it's a pretty good book for all that. If I'd looked into it more before reading... (I don't dislike romance, but if something is a romance, rather than just having a romance, I prefer to have deliberately chosen it because that's what I was in the mood for.)

On the plus side, I liked the character
Samuel Lubell
Dec 21, 2015 Samuel Lubell rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This is a first novel about a semihuman/alien race with special powers. Sira, a member of the mysterious Clan, has had her memory wiped for some unknown reason and does not know that she is not human and has mental powers. She is compelled to contact Captain Jason Morgan and becomes crew on his spaceship. He turns out to have powers of his own. Meanwhile she is being chased by a pirate, a renegade member of the Clan, and even her own family. The book has some great ideas but does not really give ...more
Sep 16, 2015 Alice rated it it was ok
This was a random top-of-the-science-fiction-shelf used bookstore find. The dreary spine lured me in, the cover interesting, the tagline promising. How am I almost always wrong?

We’re promised some sort of science fiction political thrills–what delivered is a trainwreck of stream-of-conscious writing. Sira is missing vital memories and her only hope is to follow the compulsion in her mind to find Jason Morgan, who may have a key to unlocking what was hidden. Unfortunately, Sira has a knack for ge
Nov 15, 2007 Katie rated it liked it
This book would be greatly improved by less references to the captain's piercing blue eyes and more plot revelations. Isntead everything gets obliquely hinted at until the last twenty or so pages when everything is explained.
Sydnie Macelroy
Jul 08, 2015 Sydnie Macelroy rated it liked it
I found this title on a list of "Feminist Sci-Fi", so that may have tainted my expectations. This is very much a Regency romance in space. Oh, the female lead is clever and tough, sure, but that alone does not a feminist icon make. Most of the characters in positions of power are males, and the one female in such a position is distinguished from her male counterparts only in the use of a pronoun. Still, it passes the literary version of the Bechdel test. Sad if that's all it takes to get tagged ...more
Nov 23, 2015 Adam rated it it was ok
Another "amnesia" plot..instantly gets a book chucked across the apartment into the far wall...First few pages showed some some skill, but..
Mila B
Mar 13, 2014 Mila B rated it it was ok
This book was a random pick up. Honestly I thought it had a lot of potential. A mysterious woman on the run, a conveniently cunning and intriguing male lead, a shadowy and omnipotent powers that wish said woman back in their clutches? Moreover, there is space travel and different alien races (or at least different worlds)? Doesn't sound too bad?
Oh, boy, how wrong was I.
A hundred pages into the book and I was ready to claw my eyes out. I could stomach the bland female protagonist that lacked any
Tony Hisgett
Jan 26, 2016 Tony Hisgett rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
The main storyline of this book is that the heroine is suffering from some sort of induced amnesia while trying to escape from virtually everybody without knowing why. I don’t normally like plots based on memory loss and unfortunately this is no exception, especially as most of what happens doesn’t really make any sense. For most of the book incidents seem to happen randomly and the actions of the main characters are often completely illogical.
To make matters worse there is a strange romance bet
This was not really what I expected. I expected a space opera in an SF world, I expected a little bit of cheesiness, and I expected a focus on characters over story - and I got all of that. I didn't expect, however, the fantasy elements, the incredible amount of cheesiness, and the excessive explanation of every character's motivations that contribute to one of the most convoluted plotlines I've ever read. I expected to love it, and I just didn't. I did get sucked in, I was invested in the story ...more
Sylvia McIvers
Open with a man fighting, with an illegal weapon, in the rain, against bad odds, while a cop tries to figure out if he's got jurisdiction. Cut to a woman who doesn't remember why she's running away in an alley, or even who she is. All she has is a compulsion to get off the planet. And there goes handsome but scruffy Captain Morgan of the Silver Fox. She tries to convince him to take him.

The first few pages let us know that we're in a universe with multiple intelligent species from many words, a
Jun 24, 2012 Josh rated it liked it

I try to be lenient if its an authors first book. This story has a Star Wars feel to it, and does have some entertaining moments despite its flaws. The books has some obvious "first book" snags - writing quality being one, of course. Dialogue sounds unnatural at times, and I found it hard to follow conversations (and thus the storyline) at times since characters weren't saying things to each other in a naturally-progressing kind of way. The plot could have used some work; the development of the
unfortunately, this book most definitely reads like a first-time effort. fortunately, the plot is interesting enough to smooth over some of the rough edges.

we meet Sira stranded on a planet not her own, with no idea who she is or how she got there. she has a compulsion to make her way to the spaceport, evade the authorities, stay hidden, and get off planet. the rest of the book is spent rushing from peril to peril with Sira on her quest to find out who she is and why her memory is gone. the old
Amy Keeley
This is a sci-fi romance that tries very hard to be more than just a sci-fi romance. And it mostly succeeds.

I liked it. There's a lot of things to like. Plenty of interesting aliens, a nice starship, detailed descriptions of that scenery that somehow manage to add to the experience instead of bogging it down, and a nice, fun touch that makes this a good ride. Good concepts, too.

The plot gets very twisty toward the end. Some of those twists were very good, but some were so confusing that I'm stil
Helge Moulding
Sep 10, 2015 Helge Moulding rated it liked it
Nice story. The bit that bothered me is how the relationship between Jason Morgan and Sira di Sarc is this immature dramedy. Maybe if Sira's loss of personality had been more complete... but in that case no romance would have been possible, since that would have made it too much like pedophilia.

I'd read the prequels first, which was my main reason for continuing on with this book. The fact that I found the prequels handled relationships much more skillfully makes me look forward to the rest.
Feb 07, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I have never read a book by Czerneda before, but now that I have finished this one, I am looking forward to the next.

I picked this book up on a whim one trip to B&N when my wife offered to buy me a book. I am glad I did. It was a really enthralling read, full of interesting characters and imaginative alien worlds and people.

I rated this book a 4, but it's actually a bit more complicated than that, so I think I will break it down.

Characterization: 4 - The main characters are well fleshed out,
Kelly Flanagan
Nov 23, 2009 Kelly Flanagan rated it liked it
My original interest in this book, I must admit was because of the title. It reminded me of the Inuit, and their hundreds of words for snow. Unfortunatly, about 5 chapters from the end I felt like I could map out the rest and almost re-shelved it. Something I almost never do! Of course I would have missed most of the plot by doing that, lol, but You get the picture that it felt very 'by the book'. Pun not really meant
the dedication made me smile.. in that it showed an answer more children shoul
Carolyn Charron
Jul 02, 2014 Carolyn Charron rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd book I read of Ms. Czerneda and wow! Her reputation of a great scifi author is well-deserved! I devoured this book in only a few days, I couldn't put it down.

It starts off slow: world-building takes time. By the time the story started to pick up the pace, I was riveted to the page. There are a few unexpected twists and turns along the way that kept me guessing right to the very satisfying end.
Kari Chapman
This book just didn't do it for me. I enjoyed the scenes where we get the POV of side characters, but the sections with the main character just didn't interest me. I think the problem for me was that Sire had total amnesia - except for things that came back as she did them (like getting dressed and talking to people). Her actions as far as I read were first dictated entirely by a compulsion and later by a crush. It's hard to be interested in what a person is doing when they don't know why they'r ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: A Thousand Words For Stranger by Julie E. Czerneda 1 12 Aug 08, 2015 02:55PM  
Erroneous description 4 18 Apr 05, 2012 10:46AM  
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