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DarkShip Thieves (Darkship #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  1,441 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Athena Hera Sinistra never wanted to go to space. Never wanted see the eerie glow of the Powerpods. Never wanted to visit Circum Terra. Never had any interest in finding out the truth about the DarkShips. You always get what you don't ask for. Which must have been why she woke up in the dark of shipnight, within the greater night of space in her father's space cruiser, kno ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Baen (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jan 28, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heinleinian women, space highwaymen, cat-people
You have to love a heroine named Athena Hera Sinistra. By the end of the first chapter, we've learned that our 19-year-old protagonist is the terror of everyone she's ever crossed paths with, capable of beating up professional mercenaries singlehandedly, and has a rack that makes men stop to stare in the middle of a crisis. A little Mary Sue-ish? Well, some of her preternatural abilities are explained later in the book, but yes, we've got some serious Heinleinian wish fulfillment going on here.

Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: stray cat strutters
Recommended to Mariel by: David Bowie

Yes, please! (Morrissey, not the cats.)

How did this escape my bestiality bookshelf?
The naked chick on the cover is taken hostage by a race of quasi cat people who were mutated eons ago for nefarious governmental purposes. They started their own planet. They also hate humans. The naked chick pretty much has to put up with her cat 'napper and his family if she doesn't want to get murdered. He has a dark past because his previous wife killed herself. Should she trust him with her own love? And get
Michael Hirsch
Dec 22, 2011 Michael Hirsch rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Hot damn! This is the best Heinlein book I've read in ages. It's certainly better than anything he's written since the 60's. It's "Podkayne of Mars" only she's all grown up. It's "Friday" only it's much better that that. It's a thrill a minute on every page. Our hero is paranoid and almost always correct. Great fun.

This is pure space opera. The science is minimal, but the characters are fun. The protagonist is a spoiled rich kid who is runs away when her Dad's minions try to kill her. She ends u
May 24, 2011 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, audiobook
This is another book that I picked up for the Women of SciFi online book club. Despite reading a lot of science fiction I had not heard of this book and it’s doubtful I would have chosen it if it wasn’t on the reading list. The cover has beautiful artwork, but it doesn’t lead me to think the book is science fiction but instead screams fantasy. It’s not fantasy, it’s a space opera; there are no monsters, no one floating in space and for the most part everyone is wearing clothes. The book does spa ...more
Snarktastic Sonja
Apr 16, 2013 Snarktastic Sonja rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, reviewed
Who wants to be blessed with the name Athena Hera Sinistra? Quite the mouthful. And so much heritage to live up to. I mean seriously . . . Athena? Hera? AND Sinistra?

At any rate . . . This is an intriguing story with some fascinating ideas. The story begins with Thena sleeping as she travels with her father aboard his spaceship. She is awakened by a stealthy intruder and manages to knock him out. She recognizes him as one of her father’s ‘thugs’. As she quietly investigates the remainder of the
That book was phenomenal. I've not read something that bad for quite a while, I guess since I was 14, working my way through the sff shelf of our library, reading simply everything that came under my hands. The worldbuilding is sloppy, the plot that of a dime novel, the characters resemble cardboard figures, the style is between terrible and non-existent and everything is full of badly used tropes. I'm at loss where to start with examples of what went wrong with the book. Or how an editor might ...more
Marina Fontaine
Nov 01, 2013 Marina Fontaine rated it really liked it
I have to admit, I did not have huge expectations for this book based on the synopsis, mainly because plucky female action heroes just don't appeal to me. However, I have been a great admirer of Sarah Hoyt's blog for quite a while now, so I decided to give it a try, and in the end I'm very happy I did. The story, in spite of starting with a bang, takes quite a while to get fully going. However, the world building is interesting, the romance part is much sweeter than the punchy tone of the narrat ...more
Jana Brown
Jun 25, 2012 Jana Brown rated it really liked it
DarkShip Thieves is a fun space opera adventure. I've tried reading it once before and I think I just wasn't in the right mood for it then because I devoured it this time and it was an easy quick read.

Then Sinestra is the daughter of one of the Good Men, the ruling class on a far future earth long after current systems have collapsed. On what should be a routine trip she's attacked in her Father's ship and ends up fleeing into the power pod rings and finding a darkship...something she's heard o
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 27, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed the heck out of this book. It's old-school sci-fi evocative of Heinlein's juveniles, but with more grit and less social engineering. Hoyt gives us a plot that moves quickly and is full of unexpected detours without ever derailing the sense of purpose and discovery. But don't let me get away with implying that it's all about the plot. I really liked the characters, as well, and enjoyed seeing the two main characters learn to respect each other and forge the bond that they needed to weat ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Chris rated it did not like it
Shelves: sffantasy
I was enjoying this right up until she started with the weird gender essentialist libertarian politics. I *hope* the politics were just part of her Heinlein homage, but I am none too sure. Also, the heroine is *deeply* unlikeable, and while I don't demand perfect characters, I do need them to have a certain basic ability not to drive me screaming out of the room within 50 pages.
I give the first half a 4, the second half a 2. I wanted more Kit and Athena in space or Eden. The Lair, rescue, and return fell completely flat for me.
Mar 07, 2011 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 8, sf, 2011
This book ended up being a bit up and down, but overall I really liked it.

It stared off well, then seemed to slow a bit (although not in a bad way) when Athena got to Eden. At that point, I could see it turning into SF Romance, and while I don't mind that at all, it wasn't exactly what I had been expecting.

But I was wrong. While the romance is there, it's nicely done and not dwelled upon on its own account too much. Instead, the SF plot begins to build up, tying in a lot of threads that I had th
Dec 30, 2012 Andrea marked it as flipped-to-the-end
Reading a lot of Bujold lately put me in the mood for something in the same vein, and unfortunately everything's falling way too short for my Bujold-refined standards.

The start of this book is full of adrenaline, highly pacey, with Athena's dramatic escape from her father's ship. I didn't particularly warm to Athena - spoiled, rebellious and privileged, she was full of chutzpah and bravado, telling us over and over how people were afraid of her, how she was deadly and battle-hardened from her ch
Sep 30, 2012 Argus rated it liked it
This book is... erratic. It jumps around from place to place, but not all the time. Just, sometimes, out of nowhere, with almost no transition, suddenly the setting changes. That's odd, but not horrible.

What is horrible is that the author doesn't seem to know the character they're writing. Is she a somewhat spoiled princess-y brat? Is she a legendary space-biker chick? Does she have any opinions that aren't handed to her by other people? Who knows?!

Honestly, I feel like there's a lot of potentia
Ria Lize
Jan 08, 2010 Ria Lize rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: urban fantasy lovers and like books like the Kate Daniels Series and Study series by Maria V. Snyder
Recommended to Ria Lize by: a blog
That's it. I am officially in love with this book. Which is great, because I haven't felt this way for a long time.

Athena is a package of snark, kickass and superspeed-fast heroine you can't help but like. There are so much twists and turns in the story and pages of heart-stopping action and suspense. I didn't feel like it was an information dump, although sometimes I had to read slowly to absorb the details, but it was such a great read and page-turner.

I felt that the romantic development was j
Jan 17, 2010 Stacey rated it liked it
Shelves: books-by-women, imo
I wish I could give this book half-stars, because I'd give it 3-1/2. The mostly nekkid woman on the cover should have been a give-away that it was a space romance, and not just sci-fi. Heh. Overall, I did enjoy the story, and much of the writing was tight and interesting. I felt that the ending could have been fleshed out a little bit though. For all the detail she gives on planning and fighting, to have an entire part of the wrap-up just be skipped, then resolved... it felt a little bit like wh ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Celia rated it did not like it
I read this for the Women in Science Fiction book club, and was pretty put off by the cover (which looks very trashy), but I thought it couldn't be that bad. But yes, it was pretty bad. Athena, our irritating heroine who has amazing abilities with machines, gets kidnapped by genetically altered humans, has to stay on their world for a while, heads back home, has a showdown with her evil father... that sounds kind of exciting, right? But the plotting either drags or races way too fast, the showdo ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Pauline rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this science fiction romance/space opera adventure novel. You start out thinking you shouldn't like Athena, the female protagonist, but you just do. The woman won't quit. And Kit, her love interest, very fun! Their quirky romance is fun (no sex scenes and very light sexual tension). A bit on the dark side, but good storytelling.
May 11, 2012 Li rated it really liked it
Yay for the library because I probably would have never read this otherwise. You know it's a good book when you immediately go looking for possible sequels. I was in the mood for SF romance and this fitted the bill perfectly. Strong romance (Kit was fantastic!), and I loved the world-building and plot. I was engrossed from the first page to the last.
Jul 13, 2015 Jo rated it really liked it
This was a fun read. Was a little nervous a first about another space-cat, but I liked the back story, it ended up being original (or at least new to me). The broomer stuff was a little off for me. but overall I enjoyed it and will prov read the next one sometime in the future.

This is the March book for the Women of SF Book Club, and I was really quite excited about reading it. Check out that cover! It's a 2010 book, but it looks delightfully pulpy, doesn't it? I was rather hoping that, being written by a woman and with a woman like that on the cover, this was going to be a good, maybe feminist, take on the old pulps: a good adventure with a strong, doughty female character as the lead. After the first two book club books - Dust and The Dispossessed - I was hoping tha
Apr 01, 2015 Min rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, romance, sci-fi
Several hundred years ago the human race was experimenting with genetic engineering. History says that they designed smarter people to rule over them, but instead of helping humanity they were to cold and calculating and natural humans revolted and slaughtered most of them. Some supposedly escaped into space in their darkships never to be heard from again. Darkships are now almost more myth than history, but humans still fear anyone who may have been altered. Athena is the rebellious daughter of ...more
Dec 16, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
A fiesty nineteen year old, Thena has left a string of burning institutions and baffled professionals in her wake. From boarding schools to pyschiatric institutes, Thena seems determined not to fit into Daddy Dearest's plans for her future - which probably entail an arranged marriage and succession to his seat of government.

One night she awakens to the slightest of sounds and discovers a shadow looming over her bed. With her heightened physical skills she is able to escape, disabling an impress
I liked parts of this book.

This book is not well-written. It very badly needed a good editor.

I did not like the beginning of this book. The poor writing was very much getting to me and I did not like the main character, Athena Hera Sinistra. And that name, I mean, come on. At least her nickname, Thena, was better. And that cover? *shudder*

I read this book for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club. So when I decided to give up on it at about p. 70 or so, I went on the Goodreads forum for the group to see
Trase Passantino
Apr 09, 2013 Trase Passantino rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sylvia Sybil
Jan 17, 2011 Sylvia Sybil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Athena "Thena" Sinistra is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the 24th century, one of the ruling oligarchs. Notorious for rebelling against her fate as a smiling, demure broodmare, she's been kicked out of every military school and insane asylum her father could find. So when one of her father's bodyguards breaks into her cabin in the middle of the night, it isn't hard for her to get away and steal an escape pod. It's just her luck she crashes into a darkship stealing from Earth's ...more
Erica Anderson
Darkship Thieves is narrated by the 19-year-old heroine, who has the fighting skills of a professional soldier and the tech know-how of an engineer. And, oh yes, her breasts can short-circuit the male brain. (I am not making this up.) She tends to run around with very little clothing on, making it easy to outwit the bad guys by flashing them.

As a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, David Weber, and other SF authors who write strong, capable female characters, I wanted to smack the heroine and send her
Apr 06, 2015 Adrienne rated it liked it
It took a little while for me to get into this book, but since it started with so much action, it was fairly easy to stick with it & stay interested.

Even though Thena is the main character, I liked Kit more. I think the stench of pointless-privileged-kid-rebellion that wafted off Thena, combined with her insane fighting skills that seemingly come out of nowhere, made it hard to truly like her, especially at the beginning. Once she was stranded w/the darkship thieves, though, I have to admit
Sean Sandulak
Mar 09, 2015 Sean Sandulak rated it really liked it
DarkShip Thieves is written in the style of a classic YA space opera where the plucky outsider challenges the establishment. Set around a future Earth where bio-engineered supermen were driven off and replaced by a ruling aristocracy, one young woman finds herself caught between a struggle for power and a hidden society of enhanced humans who must steal to survive.
Like most space operas, the plot tends towards melodrama, but the story is well-paced and exciting enough to pull you along to the en
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Other Books in the Series

Darkship (7 books)
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“Forget diamonds or dogs—a girl or boy's best friend is always a high-powered weapon.” 20 likes
“Thena . . . I fell in love with you as you are. Fractured, maybe. Lost, perhaps. But I'm no prize either.” 8 likes
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