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Queen & Commander (Hive Queen Saga #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  87 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
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 smarter than the computers that administer it, and she uses that to her advantage. She emerges from Test Day with the most prestigious future career poss
ebook, 250 pages
Published March 10th 2013 by Janine A. Southard (first published March 1st 2013)
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Best YA Sci-Fi / Space Opera
35th out of 94 books — 92 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,213)
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Rachel Lynn Solomon
Mar 07, 2013 Rachel Lynn Solomon rated it it was amazing
QUEEN & COMMANDER is a YA space opera that's kind of like "Firefly" with teen characters. If you're a fan of "Firefly" or spaceships or sci-fi with cool feminist undertones, I highly recommend picking this up.

The characters all have distinct voices, which made it easy to follow the POV changes. The author does a great job balancing the world-building with character depth. For example, Gwyn and Victor's relationship has a healthy dose of teen angst. And the world...oh, the world is so clever
May 08, 2014 Lucinda rated it it was amazing
A supremely innovative YA space-Opera that transcends boundaries with extraordinary vision

J A Southard’s idiosyncratic sci-fi story encapsulates the eccentricity of the genre, with a contemporary milieu that targets the 21st Century readership. The remarkable concept of HIVE QUEEN was truly inspired and well conceived, due to the depth and detail (regarding background history, rules/ traditions etc.) that the author delves into. Capturing perfectly on the page all the elements within a typical Y
Jul 26, 2014 Madison rated it it was amazing
I was a little iffy on whether or not I would enjoy this book purely based on the synopsis. Books with multiple character perspectives are rarely done well; I tend to get jolted whenever the point-of-view switches. However, Janine Southard does a great job differentiating all of the characters and making clear what is going on in the story. The plot was engaging and the story left me wanting more. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am searching the internet for where I can buy the next book ...more
Jennifer R  Ricketts
I received a copy of this book to review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.

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 n
Apr 29, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Después de leerme el libro:
Realmente me agradó la protagonista, su actitud, y que era decidida. Creo que el primer capítulo comenzó un poco flojo, pero el resto realmente mejoró muchísismo.

Lo único es que siento que el final fue un poco apresurado y simplemente te deja con ganas de más, muchísimo más!

Sin duda, leeré la continuación de este libro :D


Antes de leerme el libro:

Aún no he comenzado a leer el libro, pero me llama muchísimo la atención la portada, y la sin
Aaron Giddings
Apr 05, 2013 Aaron Giddings rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys science fiction
Shelves: sci-fi
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 carri
Emily Bradley-dorman
4.5 out of 5

**I received this book as an ARC from Xpresso Book Tours to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.**

This is probably one of my favourite space themed books ever. It's up there with Beth Revis' Across The Universe. I think the most accurate way to describe this book is it's like Joss Whedon's Firefly but for teenagers. The whole idea behind the book, of having this hive like community is really interesting and well written. It's a fun, easy read that will have you dreaming o
Jesikah Sundin
Mar 16, 2015 Jesikah Sundin rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, ya
The Welsh culture on a spaceport captured my imagination. As a fantasy reader, I enjoyed the sprinkling of Welsh language (Cymraeg) as well as the druid holidays. The concept of a Hive Queen was fascinating. The Hive tries to function as it should and as it has been modeled even though they have broken many of the rules/traditions from the start. Fun book for young adult readers and those who like YA. Look forward to book 2!
May 26, 2013 Tiffany rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
This was an enjoyable first book in a series I look forward to continuing. However, as an occasional reader of the YA genre, I also found some basic elements of the story quite different from what I am accustomed to. Instead of a cast of teenaged characters who are inexplicably skilled for their age or unbelievably lucky, Southard's characters are more like REAL teenagers who are often unprepared, impulsive, and naive, but also determined and doing their best to make things work. They are flawed ...more
May 05, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
In a world where Queens rule and their Devoted men follow their orders – Rhiannon manages to beat the system. She gets the results from the test that she wants and is now Queen and Commander. So when her best friend comes to her in need help there’s nothing Rhiannon wouldn’t do to assist. Even if it means forming a mismatched group (a Hive) to run a spaceship. Sounds a little kooky? It may be but somehow it just works.

I loved the antics of Rhiannon and her Hive. There’s the forbidden lovers, Vic
Louise Mitchell
Sep 05, 2015 Louise Mitchell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Excellent. Just alien enough so you know the characters aren't exactly human. Just human enough to know they are descendants of human beings. There is a subtle humor throughout, e.g., the American space station is named after John Wayne (love it), helped by a somewhat exagerated sense of naivety. Great attention to detail really puts the reader in the scene. Sending young adults into space by themselves with no training ... zero ... on how to run a spaceship seems implausible, but the author mak ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Kristyn rated it really liked it
I really like the premise of this book. This book is full of an interesting cast of characters. There are a lot of main characters but they are different enough and distinct enough that they have their own voices.

The hive idea was a little hard to follow. It is confusing to me that everyone wants them to be in love with the Queen but not have a relationship with her. There were a lot of questions about how their world works. But I acknowledge that this is a series and as the story unfolds more
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Queen & Commander is book one in a new Science Fiction series and like many new series it requires a lot of world and character building.

Janine Southard did a good job of putting up the framework for the series but there is a lot left to do. For me this is like what you see when the outside walls of a building are in place. You understand the outside but have no idea about what fits in the interior.

The characters were trying to find their places in the group but still had not jelled into a
Kayla West
Jul 08, 2014 Kayla West rated it really liked it
Rhiannon is a Perceiver who is set on choosing her own future. She knows what she wants to be in society, and that is a Queen. Queens are revered, they are highly regarded, and they have opportunities that she would probably not have otherwise. So when she gets the amazing news that she indeed has succeeded in choosing her future, Rhiannon is ecstatic. Her life is officially set. Or is it?

Rhiannon will be confronted by her best friend Gwyn and Gwyn's boyfriend Victor with a plan to keep the two
Christina  Torretta
Jun 18, 2014 Christina Torretta rated it really liked it
This was good but strange. There's no real background given about why this society has "queens" or what is really going on. All the plot line gives you is that everyone in the plot is a little desperate, all for their own reasons.

In a way I understand the character's choices but at the same time I just don't get any of them. Rhiannon half the time is inside her own head. She wants so badly to be a good queen that she doesn't even speak up or give her crew members a direction. I was really sadden
 Lianne Mei
Jul 12, 2014 Lianne Mei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received ARC in exchange for an honest review via the publisher via Netgalley.

I read the synopsis of this book and I just fell right in love with it and the cover too, that is probably not always a good idea but
I am liking it so far. I have always been a fan of science fiction/ types of books and I love how this world kind of reminds me of Star Trek and also the Testing series books but I am definitely lost in some of the events that have so far happened. I do not understand what Queens do and
Jun 22, 2014 Marni rated it really liked it
I would like to thank the author for providing me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Receiving such does not sway my thoughts in any way.

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 a
Sep 16, 2014 Graham rated it really liked it
I received this book as part of a goodreads Giveaway.

The Queen and Commander is the first of the Hive Queen series of books. It is well written and tells the story of Rhiannon and her following Devoted, from creation of the Hive to the end of the first mission.

The characters aren't like most YA characters, no superpowers or born/fall into an extremely lucky situation with experience way above what you would expect. The Character all have multiple flows and have managed to gain their positions th
Aug 23, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
*I received this book as an e-arc from in exchange for a honest review.*

I really enjoyed the first book in what should turn out to be a fun young adult sci-fi series. While I can't comment on the Welsh culture aspect of the book specifically, I did enjoy reading about a matriarchal society. It is a different was of looking at things that was at times odd to comprehend. However, that is why I think books with different cultures and societies are so important. They offer a way to see
Mar 09, 2015 Allie rated it liked it
Queen & Commander is clearly intended as an introduction for a series, and I felt like the main purpose of the story was to set up Rhiannon and her friends for future adventures. However, the plot moved quickly, there was plenty of excitement in their spaceship’s maiden voyage. The latter part of the book began to set up part of what I expect will eventually be the main conflict of the series, and the story ended on a cliffhanger. I enjoyed getting to know the crew of Ceridwen’s Cauldron, an ...more
Meagan Catherine
Jun 20, 2014 Meagan Catherine rated it really liked it
Full Review will be posted as part of the Hive & Heist book tour on June 24th! Here is a little sneak peak of our review...

I'm sure this will annoy some people but I really REALLY don't like Gwyn or Victor. Victor starts to grow on me, especially at the end. But I just can't make myself like Gwyn. I just don't like the fact that she doesn't seem to care about what her supposed "best friend" Rhiannon wants/needs. Rhiannon always puts her friend first, to a point that annoyed me, but Gwyn does
Kim Kuhne
Jul 19, 2015 Kim Kuhne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I met the author in June and asked for a recommendation for the first book of hers to read. I was NOT disappointed! This has a taste of the Honor Harrington books, with LESS of the science and military aspects. The characters are about 16, which puts this as another teen dystopia series. Like the start of any series, you are like the main character: you think your on track for one story, but the powers that be have other plans. :) Book 2 is out and book 3 is coming.

Janine is great to talk with.
Jun 26, 2014 Lindsay rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

What a fascinating story! Coming from someone who has spent twenty years reading sci-fi novels, it should really mean something when I say that it was a unique twist on a classic story. The story is pretty standard space travel, but the very nature of the societal roles takes the story to a whole new level.

The whole story pivots around Rhiannon. She is the group’s queen, although she isn’t exactly your standard monarch. She’s more like the queen of a bee hive, and the other members of h
Jun 22, 2014 Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: space-opera
Queen & Commander was an alright read. When I first saw the blurb for the book, I just knew I had to read it. The first time I saw it, I forgot the name, which killed me because I spent ages trying to find the book but to no avail. However, one day I saw an email saying blog tour signups for this and Hive & Heist, the second book, was open. I may have freaked out a little heh. Still, after reading the book, while it was very good, I fear it may have been slightly short of the high standa ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Earicka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series must be read in order. This edition contains the first book and a bonus short story.


Rhiannon longs to be Commander but must fool the test all 16 year olds must take to assign them to their rightful place in this rigid society. She knows she can be a good Queen she just has to make the test ignore her natural Perceiver inclinations. after all being able to almost see the future has to make for a good Hive Queen right?

The world is pervasive and immersive. This book
Read full review at: ReadingToTheStarsAndBack

To be honest, I thought that Queen and Commander was extremely random and quirky. But it worked! This is a dystopian read that includes romance and space travel! Let’s get on with the review!

So, Rhiannon has just been tested and her results are Queen and Commander. [Kinda like in Divergent.] Queens are very precious. There are many queens at one point, not just one. Queens need a crew. They need support from people to build a Hive. This is where Rhian
May 03, 2013 Squire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A group of teenagers, having tested and discovered the career paths society has chosen for them, decide to form their own Hive (around the one of their group who tested as "Hive Queen & Commander") and forgo a formal education (which would split them up) and opt for the education of experience. They manage to get command of a courier spaceship and set off on adventure.

Appealing characters and brisk pacing are the highlights of this YA sci-fi yarn. While they are basically archetypal teens (t
Mar 16, 2013 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeremy by: Janine Southard
The characters in this book put me in mind of young Miles Vorkosigan with their "I have no idea what I'm doing, but I can't admit that, so I'll just make stuff up" attitudes, though with less of a penchant for blowing things up.

I rather like books which do POV changeoffs, and this book did it, and did it well. It made me feel like I had a deeper understanding of the crew and how they see each other. The changeoffs themselves occurred at chapter breaks, so they felt rather natural.

The "Hive" stru
Stevie Carroll
I supported this book through Kickstarter, and I've known the author a long time. I don't know about the US version, as I bought the UK edition (and kudos for producing two editions with US and UK English spellings respectively throughout), but I did spot a couple of copy-editing glitches early on. YA SF is always a bit hit and miss for me: I tend to be a worldbuilding obsessive and want to know 'why?' far more than I suspect many of the intended audience. That said, the characters are hugely be ...more
Ellen Campbell
Apr 20, 2013 Ellen Campbell rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book although it is not the usual type of book that I read. It was a quick read and very fast paced. I loved the character development, especially of the main character Rhiannon. She was strong, smart and powerful. I also liked the love story between Gwyn and Victor. The book kind of slowed in the middle but I persevered to the end, which I may not have done if the book had not been kindly sent to me and autographed by the author as part of the Goodreads Giveaways. I have a cousin ...more
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Janine A. Southard writes and edits speculative fiction in between working on videogame projects. She's attended more than the average number of universities, which she claims is a FEATURE not a bug. ("Oxford educated, but Californian at heart;" she's also lived and traveled in Europe, the United States, and Japan.)

Currently, she lives in Seattle with a husband and a cat. The cat pretends to care
More about Janine A. Southard...

Other Books in the Series

Hive Queen Saga (3 books)
  • Hive & Heist (Hive Queen Saga #2)
  • Reign & Revolution (Hive Queen Saga, #3)

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