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The Gift

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,070 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
When high-level governmental programmer Sam Steele is called into his office on his day off, he quickly finds himself at the center of a battle for humanity itself. An alien entity is heading straight for Earth, and an elite team of specialists has been assembled to attempt to make first contact. But despite Steele’s expertise, Colonel Eric Web, his superior and longtime t ...more
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by 47North (first published January 26th 2013)
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(showing 1-30)
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Nov 28, 2013 Mark rated it liked it
Picked this up for free in the Kindle Lending Library. I'm a sucker for "aliens-come-to-Earth-with-presents" kind of story.

This one was...OK. The aliens bond with you to make you superhuman -- smart, fast, etc. And they let you control a bunch of nanites that let you build cook stuff. Of course, they say, we're giving you all this stuff because there are bad guys coming and you really need to pay it forward by finding someone else to help. Let's build a ship...

The drama comes with over-the-top b
Admiral Akbar
Oct 29, 2014 Admiral Akbar rated it it was amazing
Great read ready for a sequel

love the characters. this was a very different kind of first contact story. well written and hard to put down. I recommend this to any fans of unique sci fi books.
Jun 28, 2013 Mitzi rated it liked it
Sort of silly but I did enjoy it.
Michael Long
Sep 19, 2015 Michael Long rated it really liked it
In the Gift, government programmer Sam helps decode an alien program sent by an approaching alien spacecraft. This race send the ship in the hopes it would help the human race survive an attack by an approaching enemy. Contained in the ship are gifts which are intelligences that pair with humans to assist them in this task. However, the government will stop at nothing to get its hands on all of the technology and power it can.

So at first I was a bit confused by Sam...we don't really get his back
Sep 28, 2013 Wren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
You have to be a bit of a propeller-head to get through about the first 20% of this book, but after The Gift goes to the main character I couldn't put the book down. The only other time he gets a little OCD was somewhere toward the end where he was talking about factors, cubes and squares and it was getting on the tiniest verge of being tedious. The progression of the story-line, for some reason, reminded me of Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" which is kind of an obtuse comparison, but ma ...more
James Waldeck
Oct 24, 2014 James Waldeck rated it really liked it
Honestly, in my opinion don't listen to these other negative "reviewers". I feel that the negative reviews were senselessly pedantic and picky. I found this book to have a very unique premise and to have a good use of numerical concepts that was integral to the story. A very compelling adventure, and I wold read another book in this series at any given time should it be written. For the low price of free on Amazon, this book is definitely worth your time. My only thing that holds me back from gi ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Connie added it
I really enjoyed this book! I got the Kindle version, and I'm seriously considering the paper version, too. Very well-written story, and a book I just could not put down all the way through it. I read it at night, because I like to read before sleeping, and this was one book that really made me not want to go to sleep because I just had to see what was coming next! I also really feel the ending was left just enough open to possibly invite a second novel. It seems there is just so much more to th ...more
May 02, 2014 Eduardo rated it did not like it
Aliens here come in the form of metallic, talking/talkative, sentimental, emotionally unbalanced, manipulative and melodramatic black little spheres whose only purpose "in life" --after travelling half the universe toward us-- is to bond with special human beings in order to guide them to learn the way to save other human not so special beings from the really bad aliens, who are about to arrive and destroy us all, no chance for redemption or explanations to be given. Silly to the nth potency.
Sandie Acquistapace
Jul 26, 2014 Sandie Acquistapace rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down

Couldn't put it down

Thoroughly entertaining. Well developed characters and intelligently written such thrill_ride. the future of humanity depends on Sam and his selected team's ability to solve the mystery of "the gift" Highly recommended. :
Sep 25, 2013 Rick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Gift by Dave Donovan groans along at times as though it were a Scientific American article. All of the characters have the same personality, with the exception of their underlying motivations. I choked it down in spite of this and was even disappointed in the ending, which appears to set up another book in the series. Bottom line - don't bother.
jeffery tripp
Apr 06, 2014 jeffery tripp rated it really liked it
Cool A.I. and first contact novel.

I love a story that gets my mind considering... considering next steps for humanity, motivations and illustration of events, both good and bad.

Chrisann Lamb
Jul 07, 2014 Chrisann Lamb rated it it was amazing
Great story!!!!

this story kept me wondering right until the end. The alien entities are unique and how they help humans was something I never imagined. I hope this is a series!
Stephanie Fonseca
Awesome book!

This is the second time I read this book , and it was just as good as the first, the only difference is this time I was reading it to an audience of children who love it as well . Keep writing please, you are quite gifted . No pun intended .
Jenny Esquibel
Jan 30, 2017 Jenny Esquibel rated it really liked it
I love different takes on alien stories. For once, we actually make it to an alien planet and an author takes on the creativity to describe the planet and the aliens. Usually, we always crash on the way to the planet. I enjoyed this book.
Online Eccentric Librarian
Roughly around the half way point, I stopped the Audible version in disgust. There was just so much cliche and flat characterizations trying desperately to support a simplistic first contact sci fi. Everyone talked liked computers simulating a person; ironically, the aliens sounded too much like a person. But it was the over-the-top "military are eeeeeevil" messages that really had me rolling my eyes. I'm not a martial person and am hardly jingoistic - but the repeated bludgeoning of the "milita ...more
Bojan Tunguz
Jul 21, 2013 Bojan Tunguz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group of scientists discovers a weird object that has entered the Solar System from a deep space, and which is moving at an astonishing speed towards the Earth. The regularity of its trajectory, as well as some other hints about its behavior, suggest that it must be of an alien origin. A top US military team that has been created for just such eventualities is quickly summoned, and they have to come up with a strategy for dealing with the eventual contact. The visitors, however, are of a quite ...more
It's hard to rate this. I liked the story, and I think the idea is good - but I had the audio version and the narration was not great.
The narrator does the worst voices ever. They are literally all terrible. The elderly people sound like they rolled out of the backwoods of 1950, the Asian characters are such stereotypes it's ridiculous. I get it's hard for a male narrator to do female voices without sounding a little ridiculous, but these were awful. I've listened to other narrators do female v
Feb 06, 2017 Silas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this a bit by-the-numbers. Aliens send some sort of nanotechnology probe to Earth, and the person who finds it is a maverick widower who thinks outside the box and is one step ahead of the military industrial complex. I read Swarm by B.V. Larson years ago, and this is very much like that book, but with a slightly different background for the character, and going in a slightly different direction with the thought experiment. Apart from being something I have encountered a number of times ...more
Marina Fontaine
Apr 18, 2013 Marina Fontaine rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I enjoyed this book very much. The premise of individual vs. group intelligence has been done before, of course, in Star Trek and elsewhere, but this particular take is interesting. Instead of "war of the worlds" we get a conflict on a human scale taking center stage. The characters are all smart and act in believable ways, and that makes for a good page turner. And oh yes, there are aliens too, but this book is about humanity: the choices we make, the individual vs. group decision making, what ...more
Lisa Blondin
Feb 13, 2016 Lisa Blondin rated it it was ok

I love the premise. I love the complexity of the characters. My issue with The Gift is in the execution.

Clearly there is more to the characters than meets the eye, especially Sam. I liked the way his story was told in pieces. However, by the end, parts still seemed to be missing. The issue was worse with several other characters, including Sam's team and his leader; their characterizations were rushed and the story ended with missing pieces. Additionally, some of the characters in t
T.J. Silverio
May 31, 2014 T.J. Silverio rated it really liked it
The Gift written by Dave Donavan is an engaging story dealing with one of Sci-Fi reader’s most alluring topics, first contact. Well setup in a plausible current world environment, we are quickly taken into a clever thoughtful world of alien encounter. The concept of individual-minded civilizations pitted against collective-minded ones provides an intriguing back story, used previously by Colin Wilson in his novels. Donovan delivers a main character in the classical hero motif is Sam, who relucta ...more
Sean Randall
Feb 17, 2015 Sean Randall rated it liked it
Though interesting and worth sticking with, this nonetheless had an adolescent, American dreamboy feel to it. Character depth was a little limited (we had Dans and Sams and Jacks and a raft of monosyllabic characters).

There were a few asides where the present tense intruded, and very minimal explanation of things like "the device" and "The Rigby's" both, which just seemed to appear. Cammo might be the way it's pronounced but in written form the milspeak for camouflage has only ever had the one
Jan 27, 2013 NovemberRainDrop rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Sam Steele, the main character, has all of the psychological components to make him a compelling character. He's a little bit bad boy, intelligent, and does not abide by the sheeple mentality of the masses. Steele's personal history with the antagonist, Eric Web creates an urgency in the events that take place through the development of the story. This is one "Gift" that needs to be unwrapped to truly appreciate what treasures are within.

Available on Kindle at Amazon: The Gift
Dec 16, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2015 Teon rated it really liked it
An interesting first contact book

Really a 3.5 but I'll round up. The discovery of an inbound space ship that will arrive in less than 2 days is an exciting start. The ship is sending a message prior to its arrival. The person who breaks the code isn't really a team player. It turns out maybe you don't have to part of the first contact team in order to participate in the first contact. After aliens that are able to send a ship to Earth are smart enough to know who they should be communicating w/.
Judith Kristof
Feb 14, 2014 Judith Kristof rated it it was amazing
Thought invoking

Thought invoking

I don't know about how others read a book. Some stories are hard to put down. I found I felt compelled to take time to think about the choices the characters in the book were asked to make. It might sound a bit corny to write in a book review, but heck, I love "corny" at times, this made me ask myself some Very interesting questions. I found out some things about myself that I could never get my head around. I hated to see the story end.!
Jim Fromm
Jul 10, 2014 Jim Fromm rated it liked it
A fascinating concept

The unique storyline immediately captivated me. I loved the concept of selfless interstellar cooperation and the worldwide scale until the story turned on itself and became a poorly camouflaged allegory and a petty power struggle. This book did not fulfill its considerable promise. I would like to have seen the development of the academy resulting in cooperation, wisdom, and radically different philosophical underpinnings, which would have more than justified the investment
Mike Surmeyer
Mar 24, 2016 Mike Surmeyer rated it liked it
Four stars-waiting for the sequels.

I enjoyed this book. It has a slightly new twist on the sci-fi genre and the characters are interesting. It was written in 2012 so there's some disappointment with no forthcoming sequels and I'll be really disappointed if the author lets it go without a lot of questions answered.
I would probably have waited to purchase if I knew it didn't have an ending. 4 years... is a long time between books with a good storyline but with characters who aren't well develope
Theresa M Desautels
Oct 22, 2014 Theresa M Desautels rated it liked it
I liked the premise of the book

and that is what kept me through to the end. is the science possible? Don't know, not a scientist, but I enjoyed that part of the book. the characters, one and all, left me pretty apathetic. I cared about the team as a whole, (more on that, read the book) but, not the individuals. I read e.e. "doc" smith, whose dialogue was awful, but somehow, I cared about all the characters. I wish I had some suggestions about making the characters come alive. I would be interest
Jun 09, 2013 Andy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This book is well worth reading. I felt it was a fresh approach to "First" contact and told the story in a very compelling way. The author creates believable characters and got me "hooked" from the beginning. I also enjoyed the notion of problem-solving as a means of selection, that seemed to make sense to me as I read through the chapters. I ended up reading straight through and finished too soon. I should have taken my time because now I would like a little more of the gift.
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“Sometimes the greatest difference between being a boy and being a man is restraint.” 3 likes
“A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies, becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest form of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal in satisfying his vices.” 1 likes
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