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The Last Praetorian (The Redemption Trilogy #1)

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,661 ratings  ·  119 reviews
Commander Jonathan Radec is a man desperately trying to escape from the mistakes of his past.

Now the owner of Vanguard Shipping, his primary concerns are trying to keep his ships flying and his crew alive. However, the shadowy Syndicate organisation has set their sights on the Commander and his business, having sent a beautiful assassin to kill him. To make matters worse,
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 326 pages
Published November 1st 2012
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,794)
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Jon Lim
If you're here for science-fiction, stay the hell away from The Last Praetorian.

I started reading this book expecting a story about a man's struggle to survive after events turn his entire world upside down, and instead I received a poorly written Harlequin romance novel.

Seriously, the writing is the poorest quality I have ever run into. It's not often that I run into writing that makes me roll my eyes, but I am pretty sure my eyes would have become disconnected had I not decided to abandon this
Smith is young and it shows in his writing. Though he has a tremendous amount of favorable reviews on Amazon, this book doesn't deserve such unless the reviews happen to be even younger than the author. When I was a teenage boy this would appeal to me, but as an older more seasoned author there are too many loopholes that you can drive a starship in this story to make it seem as good as the followers have proclaimed.

One of the failings of the author is switching points of view in the middle of a
Gregg Eshelman
Been reading it but had to come to a full stop on the bit about guns not working in space because the propellant needs air. NO! Pretty much all explosives other than black powder and ANFO are monopropellants. That means the fuel and oxidizer are contained in the same molecules. Black powder, ANFO and other mixed explosives have fuel and oxidizer as separate components. In either case no outside oxygen is required. This is a basic error that many many science fiction writers in all media have mad ...more
Ian Hissey
I read this book in two nights and I am looking forward to the next installment some people have commented on the two time lines however I thought it was great that we learnt about two characters in more depth it allows you to engage and care for them especially as one is distant and a muse and the other is present and an enigma. The story is well handled and really enjoyable and has a cast of endearing goodies and the odd malevolent and dis likable baddie.

Some have commented on the lack of edit
Great book. I read for the enjoyment of it. Not to nit pick the writer, denounce their methodologies, impart science, or complain about minutiae. if you want a fun read that gets your heart rate up, moves at a great pace, and tells a story. Read this book. Just let go and have fun with it. The world has enough wannabe Siskel and Eberts.
Once again I grew way too attached to the characters in a book..*sniff* Was up all night reading & even though I'm rather teary & cranky- this was an amazing find!)freebie on amazon) I will most def be keeping my eye out for this authors future books.
So bad, it didn't make the 100 page test.

Amateur story and storytelling.
The Last Praetorian by Mike Smith This book actually has 2 story lines going on 1 at present time and the other 5 years in the past. Both story lines follow Jon Radec.The first story is of Jon Radec the commander of the elite praetorian guard who's sole job is to protect the Emperor and his beautiful daughter. While he is escorting the Princess to a different sol system so that she can have some semblance of a normal life, there is a coup aboard the Emperor's ship and the Emperor is killed along ...more
Larry B Gray
One of my favorite genres is science fiction/space opera and The Last Praetorian by Mike Smith is the epitome of this genre. I really liked this book.

The storyline was full of non-stop action and adventure. It was hard to catch my breath between the twist and turns. Mike Smith did a great job developing the story making it easy to follow and get into. This was one of those stories that I did just that and got absorbed by it. The action and space battles were written in such a way as to be very r
Ryan Rauber
Part Star Wars, part Firefly, part Gladiator. Jon Radec is the captain of the Praetorian Guard, in charge of defending the life of the Emperor of the Galaxy. When the Emperor is murdered, Jon is entrusted with escaping with the his daughter while half of the galaxy is searching for them. This book has plenty of action and adventure to satisfy sci-fi fans, and of course the romance between Jon and the Princess. First in a series, and currently free on the kindle store. Recommend.
I am genuinely surprised at the number of good reviews this book gets. I found the writing style irritating, inconsistent, and the motivation of the characters likewise. I skimmed through the bulk of this book. Someone else mentioned that the book could do with a professional editing, but I personally think it needs a lot more than that. I was prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt but i just could not get into it. Certainly won't be revisiting a Mike Smith book.
K.S. Marsden
A timeless story of honour, betrayal, love and life. Set nearly a thousand years in the future, the human race has spread across the galaxy, setting up colonies on any habitable planets. Most of which have joined The Imperium (a.k.a. The Empire) for peace and security.
The Praetorians are elite soldiers that protect the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Out of these, one is a young commander that can make enemies turn and flee at the mere mention of his name - Commander Jonathan Radec.
This story follows
Lenny Greenberg
The book was an enjoyable read. The story going back and forth between time lines is fine because the story keeps the interest level up. What doesn't help, as another reviewer mentioned, are the grammatical errors, as well as the typos. There are times when you have to stop and replace words. There seemed to be quite a few mis-spells, but I am attributing that to be a European thing, and lack of a proof reader. The story line does carry you past these inconveniences and I was still pleased durin ...more
Smith has mastered the star war mix and gone one better, by giving his characters real depth. Nice treatment of action scenes from the interpersonal to the intergalactic and in between. However, his cover of male/female interactions is way too stereotypic and downright jarring at times. Use of an editor or an editing program would have helped weed out the glitches which broke the flow.
Mark Heptonstall
Struggled to put this one down, great characters and plot, thoroughly enjoyed and looking forward to the sequel next year.
Jason Richards
I can say in all honesty that Mike Smith has written a page-turner with his debut novel. While reading The Last Praetorian you are not only reading about what is happening to Jon at the present time, but piece by piece you also find out what happened to him previously, his relationship to the Emperor and his daughter.

This makes your understanding of his present day moods more and more as the story progresses and you find more about his history. So much happens in this wonderful book, too much t
Honestly this book was hilarious. I was expecting sci-fi, but I got a surprise. (That would be putting mildly) I think it was the most funniest book I have ever read. It just really cracks me up. The story was boring as hell, didn't make sense at all and the whole book made my eyes bleed! But what was really funny was that when the author couldn't think of anything to write, he would add a sex-scene. So, the story would be telling on how handsome, cool, and how the protagonist won a vicious figh ...more
Sacha Valero
I wanted to like this book. I have tried for two days to get into it but...I can't. The author should have employed an editor or at the very least turned on the spell checker and paid a modicum of attention to the grammar. This might be petty but the author also used the first name of the main character over and over and over which is irritating. E-page after e-page of "Jon grimaced", "Jon stood stoically", "Jon did this" or "Jon did that" made it difficult to read.

Maybe at some point I'll pick
Al Philipson
Jun 22, 2015 Al Philipson rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
Okay, we've got a 5-star story here, so why did I rate it only 3?

Well, I started out with 5 stars because I liked the story (a lot) and I'm a sucker for a well-written hero who's a bit better than the ordinary folks around him/her. I like people who are good at what they do and Jon fits the bill. The story itself is engaging, the characters are "real" (and I cared what happens to them). Plenty of action and conflict.

Now, to the negatives:

-The story started with an unnecessary "info-dump" instead
Commander Jonathan Radec is a man desperately trying to escape from the mistakes of his past.

Now the owner of Vanguard Shipping, his primary concerns are trying to keep his ships flying and his crew alive. Let alone his undying love and concern for Princess Sofia Aurelius, daughter of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the jewel of the Galaxy.
However, the shadowy Syndicate organisation has set their sights on the Commander and his business, having sent an amazing pilot and beautiful assassin to kill h
I like me some space opera. But I don't like me some grammar problems. I don't know how an author and an editor let a book get out with apparent confusion about the difference in:

precedents / precedence
incite / insight

At first I thought it was flaky speech recognition, but then I noticed sentences without subjects or verbs.

That's my michegas, I can't overlook stuff like that. But besides that, I felt like I could always finish his sentences. That's a level of predictability that I wouldn't want
I'd say this is more of a 3.5 stars than a full 4 largely because the author is not shy about wrapping up story elements quickly which sometimes start to leave you feeling unfulfilled. While this gives you the satisfaction of knowing that all points of the plot are more or less tied off, you at times end up feeling a little dissatisfied that there could have been a bit more narrative to support your feelings for the characters. As a prime example, the villain's character is rather poorly develop ...more
Jim Kratzok
Oct 21, 2014 Jim Kratzok rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Good story. I'm a sucker for a good space opera so this book worked pretty well for me.

That said, it really could use some editing. Common spelling and grammar issues abound, such as "your" when the writer meant "you're" and mistakenly using "Sofia and I" when "Sofia and me" would have been the correct usage. Example (not an actual quote from the story) "Paul gave the box to Sofia and I" when the right way to say this would have been "Paul gave the box to Sofia and me." I noticed a few sentence
I would have given this book a 3 star, however, because of all the "however's" used both in the author's pov and the characters' conversations, I now have that word in my head 24-7.

I really wanted to love this book. At first I wasn't so into it because it felt like Star Wars...with the princess and all but then it got a little interesting and kept me reading. However, as the story picked up, it pretty much went all over the place. I didn't get a good feel for the main character, Jon. He seemed l
An underwhelming attempt at sci-fi, the science wasn't done very well and neither was the fiction. The author lazily invoked the Roman Empire and basic Latin to instil some grandeur into his tired tropes. While some elements of the novel were promising: poor execution, unrealistic characters, illogical story developments and a romance with about as much maturity as a pair of star crossed high schoolers meant the story floundered.
Bill Polhemus
Rather a disappointing surprise

I've read a few of Weber's works and while I certainly wouldn't class him with Hemingway or even Heinlein I've never read a book of his that looked less like something that any serious publisher would print.

I can only assume "The Last Pretorian" was the first book he ever wrote. Aside from not being a particularly plausible story - it's a Swiss cheese of plot holes, incoherent character introduction and Deus ex machinae - it's poorly written, poorly edited and ho
I would have given this book a 5* but the very poor editing let it down badly. However I put up with it because the storyline was excellent. I was fully engaged with all the Characters and I fully intend to get the next books in this trilogy. I just hope they are better edited (would recommend using a freelance editor such as A J O’Donovan).
Lisa Marie
I don't really get into the space stories that much, and the going back and forth in time took me a little bit to get used to, but I really liked the book (although the writer attempted a steamy sex scene, I really could have just that to the imagination), the book didn't need it. I'm reading the second one Sunfire, and the plot keeps thickening!
Jesse Mathewson
Genius, pure sci fi genius

Genius, pure sci fi genius

This is easily the best science fiction beginning to what will arguably be the most intense trilogy I have had the pleasure to read.
Five stars was easy to assign, for a few simple reasons
1. ease of reading
2. quickly grabbed and held my attention through the few short hours I remained glued to it.
3. inventive, slightly formulaic (but seriously what isn't in this genre),
4. one of few stories I have read recently that created an entire univer
Julie sterling
To much back story

When starting this book I noticed right away there was so much unnecessary details about the characters and their roles, and it continues throughout the entire book, making it difficult to keep my interest. the basic story line is a great idea for a book but the constant and unrelenting details about the lives of the main characters takes up half of the entire book. you can skip page after page and not miss any of the core storyline. I read a lot of books in this genre and this
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Mike Smith is 34 year old Project Manager. He has been writing stories for as long as he can remember having started with fan-fiction, before progressing to writing SciFi novels.

His debut novel The Last Praetorian, the first book of The Redemption Trilogy is now available on all good eBook stores.

He spends much
More about Mike Smith...

Other Books in the Series

The Redemption Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Sunfire (The Redemption Trilogy, #2)
  • Pax Imperia (The Redemption Trilogy, #3)

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“The Imperium, more commonly referred to as “The Empire”, was founded circa 542 (New Confederation calendar)/2312AD (Old Earth calendar). ” 0 likes
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