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Warchild (Warchild #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  960 ratings  ·  101 reviews
When Jos' parents are killed in an attack on their trading ship, the boy is kidnapped by his attackers and then escapes -- only to fall into the alien hands of humanity's greatest enemies. As he grows into a young man, Jos is brain-washed into becoming a spy against the human race. At every step, his choices are made for him -- until the climactic moment when he takes his...more
Published by Turtleback Books (first published April 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,493)
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Wow, so I was determined to read a few Sci-Fi books after NYCC because a bunch of guys came to the signing and said how much they love following my suggestions here, but I've been "getting girly" lately. (True fact, last 5 books or so have had oily chests on them. Oops).

Anyway, I had heard about this book as a more Young Adult oriented book, which I supposed it COULD be, but given the depth of exploration of an abused child, it is much more than that, even MORE adult in my opinion, just as a hea...more
The book starts with the hero, eight year old Jos, huddled in a hiding place on the space ship he and his parents call home, listening to a battle rage outside. It proceeds through his capture by the pirate captain, his escape, his rescue by a man sympathetic to the alien race that Earth Hub is trying to eradicate, and his eventual growth into manhood. This is a character driven story that takes place in a future universe that is well developed and real -- my favorite kind of read.

It starts in t...more
John Carter McKnight
Somewhere around here are all the little pieces of my shattered icy heart. _Warchild_ has completely broken me, but somehow strangely in a good way, without being depressing or distasteful: I'm contrasting it wtih Donaldson's _Chronicles of Thomas Covenant_, which was as heartbreaking, but left a stain on my soul I can still find after 30 years. _Warchild_ is - not uplifting, but *good* - there's a fundamental goodness in the writing and in Lowachee's world that triumphs over the darkness.

Although this book shares similarites with Orson Scott Card's Enders Game, I found it a world apart.

The day I picked it up I was so wrapped within the character Jos that I could not set the book down. That, I would dare to say, is the main difference between these two books. The main character is realistically emotional in every way imaginable.

Although the first segment is in second person, do not allow that to deter you. At first I was put off by that style hoping, even though I enjoyed that se...more
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I thought it was going to be one of those easy, cliche filled books. Normally, I would be upset about being so wrong. I sat down with this book and didn't get up again until I had finished. Very good.
After reading this trilogy it’s difficult for me to review the books as separate novels since they are so greatly interconnected. So I’ll just review them all in one.

The three main characters of each book: Jos, Ryan and Yuri, form a unique trio of individuals with contrasting backgrounds who’s stories are at times both riveting and heartbreaking. In Warchild, the first book, we come to know Jos, a young boy who is orphaned by war, abducted by pirates and then taken by a sympathizer of an alien...more
Bill Hayes
One of my top 10 favorites. A nitty gritty emotionally charged sci fi story. The story emphasizes and is driven by the characters, not the story, which separates it from most science fiction. It's even better because it's part of a trilogy (Cagebird and Burndive are the others) where we see some of the exact same scenes from a different character's viewpoint. I've read the trilogy twice and look forward to reading again in the future. The mental imagery she creates is so strong that on re-readin...more
I want to say, first and foremost, that this is the best book I've read in a very long time. I've read lots of books I loved this year, but this one beats them all. If you write SF, especially SF involving outer space and other planets of any kind, you must read this book.[return][return]For a full review, which may or may not include spoilers, please click here:
R. Michael Litchfield
Very 'eh. It feels like mediocre fanfic, lots of turgid homosexual hints and situations (but no sex), lots of melodrama, men being stoic and all but emotionless or just being manipulatively emotional. Fighting but not very interesting, more smoke and loud noises than than combat.

The worst part was the aliens, apparently they are japanese.

Seriously pass on this unless you are WAY bored.
Sherwood Smith
A very strong first novel, making use of second person present tense in an unnervingly successful way. The prose might seem less polished then her later books, but this story has enormous drive, and tremendous ambition within the slashy hurt/comfort realm that seems dominated, interestingly enough, by extremely intelligent female writers.
Space opera melodrama about a traumatized child who grows up to become a conflicted spy. I enjoyed this for the characterization and human drama more than for the science fiction elements. It's slashy and full of angst, but it's well-written and I have a weakness for this kind of thing.
Oct 10, 2012 Jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: space opera fans, military sci-fi fans, slashy people
Recommended to Jo by: slashy people
Shelves: recommended
Being notoriously picky about what I read, I figured I wouldn't really like this book since the whole space opera genre has gotten a bit old for me. "Science" in science fiction is something of a... sore point.. for me.

That being said, Warchild is a powerful psychological story, compellingly told and emotionally engaging. It is intensely character driven, and the politics and dynamics of these characters was well enough written that I was able to overlook the softness of the books "science" (*co...more
Althea Ann
Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird

Interesting series. I got these because I'd seen them highly reviewed somewhere; of course, now I don't remember where.
In many ways, they're basic military SF - I'd recommend them, with some reservations, to fans of Lois McMaster Bujold, maybe CJ Cherryh.
Each one has a different young man as the protagonist, but they follow one timeline, and link to each other, with many shared characters.All of them are very homosensual. All the young men are super-cute, and there is...more
So this book gets described as similar to Ender's Game a lot, in that "If you liked one you should like the other," and I do see why they're listed as similar because hey, smart kid in space in the middle of a war being instrumental to the ending of that war by being used as a tool by adults, basically, but they feel so different to me, I'm not sure that's what I'd compare it to if I was going to compare it to anything. And I really wouldn't recommend one just because you liked the other, unless...more
Awesome science fiction novel about a future human-alien conflict viewed from both sides of the war, with a bunch of space pirates further muddying the political and martial waters: sort of Firefly meets Avatar (minus the skanky race issues). The protagonist, a young boy who grows to adulthood over the course of the book, is a likable character and is eminently believable despite the precociousness that he shares with so many child protagonists. Add to that several other fascinating characters--...more
Janice (Janicu)
One of the best space opera's I've read in a long time. It does remind me a little of Ender's Game because there is a very intellegent young male protagonist, and much of the story is about him being trained for a war; but while Ender's Game has a lot of similations and military type training exercises, Jos's training is more piecemeal and he must often rely on his own wits in order to survive. His story is an individual rather than a team one, and he undergoes some heartbreaking trials at a ver...more
Mark T
A beautifully written work that will stay with you long afterwards. I read this more than six months and dozen books ago, and Warchild still haunts. The narrative pulled me in diuring the first scene, and I could not put it down. Halfway through the book, I began realizing and enjoying how the choice of words and details could so quickly transport the reader to a universe with sounds, smells, even sensation of vibrations from the moving of the spaceships. The characters are richly developed, wit...more
Andrea LeClair
I started this last night, and the beginning is second person, which I often find distancing despite its intention, and there is simply way too much world-building slang. Why use "evac" when you can just say "evacuation"? I don't object to the world-building at all, but more than half of the slang is something you've heard before if you've read a single other space-travel book and it just jars you out of the world you've only just recently entered.

Still going to keep reading, since I'm only five...more
This was so incredibly excellent.

I have a thing for stories featuring damaged heroes/heroines. It's about watching them deal with their massive emotional baggage and finding a way around it and hopefully seeing them attain that happy ending, despite being their own worst enemies. And Jos' story is so well told, so perfectly put together.

This is not easy to read. Lowachee faces child sexual abuse delicately but squarely - she does not shy away from it, and Jos' past is the ever-present mute elep...more
Jul 30, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of h/c
After pirates kill his family and kidnap him, young Jos is completely alone. He escapes to an alien planet, but even there he can’t escape war. He is trained to be an assassin and a spy, and then set loose upon his own people. Jos was clearly abused, and he finds it hard to trust or be physically close to people; after a few hundred pages of hearing how traumatized he still is, however, I found myself more frustrated than sympathetic.
Feb 24, 2013 sylas rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sylas by: Colin
Shelves: ya, queer
This book is fantastic. So thoughtful, complicated and unexpected. Jos, the main character, is deeply compelling. This book has elements of a coming of age story and is quite character driven -- but the story world is also well developed and complex. Basically, this book has something for everyone. Recommended.
I got Warchild before boarding my plane, with the intention of reading it once I had arrived in LA. That failed.

Why you should read this book?
Consider this : I was very very hungover on that plane, as well as dead tired considering I had slept 3 hours the night prior, and even then I stayed up the ENTIRE flight (12 hours) reading Warchild

Not enough to convince you?
Consider this : Everything that is great in a book is here. And if you like an edge of darkness - as I do - then look no...more
I read Warchild after reading book two in the series, Burndive. So to some extent, I was being introduced to the main character in reverse, knowing what happens after, before what happened first.

That being said, these are possibly two of my favorite books ever.

I love the world Lowachee has developed, and the characters within.

One of my biggest frustrations is stories that simply tell what happened with characters who may as well be interchangeable. Who have little development as people.

These ch...more
I completely despise militant fantasy books. When I read Warchild it changed my view. This book actually made me cry. I finished reading it over two weeks ago and I'm still thinking about it. This book will stay with you for a long time after reading. The drama, the messy situations, the dark tone kept it interesting and had zero sex despite the sexual tension which made it a refresher. It proved that sex doesn't have to be in an adult book to make it good. I wish the somewhat sequel Burndive wa...more
Excellent, military Sci-Fi, psychodrama. Full review at the end of the trilogy.

This book is AMAZING.
i love every page.
I loved this book and it hits me right in the feels. I enjoyed following Jos; from how he is absolutely destroyed by pirates, to gradually learning to trust other people. The trust issues aren't helped by him playing spy and having limited information on what's happening and where peoples allegiances lay.

The book starts off somewhat shakey in second person but after the first few chapters switches to first person which I found much more engaging. You follow Jos from eight years old and losing hi...more
Dec 14, 2011 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Felicia
This was a tough one to rate. It didn't change the way I see the world, and it didn't change the way I look at writing as a craft, although maybe it should have. The writing was concise and adept, and the new striivic-na language actually felt very natural and interesting (which is saying something, since usually I find attempts to create new languages and teach them to the reader to be clumsy and hindering to the story). The characters were all very distinct and interesting, and I definitely ca...more
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Karin was born in South America, grew up in Canada, and worked in the Arctic. Her first novel WARCHILD won the 2001 Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. Both WARCHILD (2002) and her third novel CAGEBIRD (2005) were finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award. CAGEBIRD won the Prix Aurora Award in 2006 for Best Long-Form Work in English and the Spectrum Award also in 2006. Her second novel BURNDIVE debute...more
More about Karin Lowachee...
Burndive (Warchild #2) Cagebird (Warchild #3) The Gaslight Dogs (Middle Light, #1) Armored So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Science Fiction and Fantasy

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“Daddy would call you his brave soldier boy, and you would believe it. When they lifted you out of that hiding place and smiled at you so proud, you didn't feel like an eight-year-old at all.” 0 likes
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