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The Battle at the Moons of Hell (Helfort's War #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  744 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The HammerWorlds-the most brutal and oppressive interstellar government in the universe-have hijacked the Federated Worlds cruise ship Mumtaz, seizing its valuable terraforming cargo and damning its passengers tomining the moons of the prison planet known as Hell.
For Junior Lieutenant Michael Helfort and the crew aboard deep space scout vessel 387, the mission is clear: i
ebook, 372 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Random House Publishing Group (first published September 2007)
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Oct 26, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slow pacing, no character arc and very dry.

While this book shows promise for a new author, it still needs work. The pacing is very, very slow. Nothing happens until the final 40 pages of the book. If the author was trying to make a point that soldering is 99% boredom and 1% of sheer terror, then he makes his point very well. It just doesn't make a very good read. I'm not against slowly paced books, if there are other interesting aspects to focus on, such as character development. But there is no
I picked this book up because I was in the mood for dudely SF, and there's really very little more dudely SF to me than a book that starts with a cadet in the academy and takes then through their first command. As such, it was quite decent, and better than some; it managed not to embarrass itself as far as gender and ethnic representation or physics go, although it wasn't really interested in the first two. (I do like a book that worries about its spacesuits giving people the bends. \o/) Women a ...more
Feb 25, 2017 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow and charters not developed to the point where you care about them or their interrelationships. Some interesting and exciting space adventure but unfortunately not enough to make me say that I'm glad I read the book.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Simple, plain vanilla plot. Characters are basic, the usual folks in the usual familiar roles. Comfortable military scifi that fulfills the genre standards. Young graduating cadet Michael Helfort from a military family is eager to prove himself, and his sister and mother are captured by The Hammer, a political group in control of a sector of planets where the government sounds similar to North Korea/the Soviet Union type of government with some crazy religious fundamentalism thrown in as an afte ...more
Steven Allen
Nov 08, 2015 Steven Allen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book started a little slow and at first I was fairly sure that I would not keep it or reread it. By the end I found this book to be very good and will definitely add it to my personal library for reread later. This book did take a while to get started but once it got rolling, I could not put it down.

This is good space opera with some politics, but not so much that the action bogs down. Despite large space battles, the author does a good job of keeping the reader engaged without bogging down
Aug 14, 2008 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans, military SF fans
Recommended to Roberta by: David broussard
Shelves: sciencefiction
A good solid military science fiction story with political intrigue added. The main character Helfort has something to prove. He lost his seniority at the space academy and to top it off, his mom and sister are on a ship that is hijacked by pirates hired by a hostile government to the federation. He must do his job to the best of his ability and face death multiple times on a scout ship to help rescue his parents while learning how to be a junior officer in the space navy.

A typical coming of age
Richard Clayton
Mar 22, 2013 Richard Clayton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graham Sharp Paul is a relatively new author and one I believe is worth looking at. He writes well in the David Weber, David Drake style of military science fiction. His first novel in the Helfort's War series describes the beginning of the military career of Michael Helfort and his involvement in a war against a totalitarian religious dictatorship that has secretly hijacked a civilian passenger liner along with its crew and passengers, two of which happens to be Michael's mother and sister.

Jan 14, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent military science fiction reading. Has good character building although I wasn't sure at first if the main character, Michael Helfort, was going to do anything special. You follow him through a short time a the space academy as a cadet and then to his first assignment.

The story develops the situation within the galaxy where two dominant civilizations are either just finishing a war or getting ready for the next. The Federation, which is Helfort's side, just won a hard fought war with t
Jan 05, 2012 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ebook, military
On a re-read, I was struck by how cold and un-motherly Mrs Helfort was during the whole book (I'd enjoy the holiday more if only my daughter would shut up yapping! Oh, she'll be OK with that creepy dude that is paying special attention to her, and if not it's time she learnt that life isn't all sunshine and roses). Brrr! :(

Other than that, pretty average military SF. It captures the "hurry up and wait" aspect of war pretty well, but it feels like a giant set up for book 2... onto which we go!
Nov 03, 2008 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Space Combat fans
Shelves: reviewed-2008, sci-fi
A pretty decent space opera, but there's not a whole lot that really stands out to differentiate it or make it better than another.

Old Earth still has power, but is an offscreen player.

The Fed is the "good guys" and The Hammer of Kraa are the "bad guys". The good guys are pretty decent folks, without any sign of corruption and the bad guys are hard core Stalinist purger types.

I'm not disappointed that I bought this book, but it's not one I'm going to recommend unless you like hard core sci-fi sp
Aug 30, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It could have done without some of the detailed battle description (can't he just describe the technical details once, and then say something like "the heavy destroyers continued to bombard the small scouts with their misiles and rail guns"?), and the hero is awfully goody two-shoes, but otherwise a fun read. There's a high body count, but mostly you don't get to know the characters well enough to care that much.
Apr 11, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Helfort's War series. Entertaining space opera.

Helfort's War series - The Hammer Worlds have hijacked the Federated Worlds cruise ship Mumtaz, damning its passengers to mining the moons of the prison planet Hell. For Junior Lieutenant Michael Helfort and the crew aboard deep space scout vessel 387 are assigned to the rescue mission. The odds are appalling but victory is nonnegotiable – especially for Helfort.
Dec 05, 2015 Kayleigh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I have sort of a love/hate relationship with military sci-fi. When done well, it can be thought-provoking, exciting, gritty, and poignant. not one of those times. An utter lack of context, plodding story, and dull, one-dimensional characters suck the potential and energy out of an interesting (though admittedly somewhat cliche) premise.
Nov 26, 2011 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ended better than it started. Couldn't put it down toward the end. A little technical at times, but the gbattles were good. I also liked the political side of the conflict, since it showed oth sides. I look forward to reading the second book.
A fun little sci fi romp, a bit contrived perhaps and not as focused in it's story as the Lost Fleet series, but still a lot of fun to read. I think it lacks a greater protagonist than the Hammer, who are too obvious a villain for a space opera.
Nov 14, 2010 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little short on the physics of space combat -- see The Lost Fleet series (by Jack Campbell) for that -- but an enjoyable series. The author's naval experience clearly shows through in his writing, which is a huge plus.
TheIron Paw
A decent space-opera, but nothing more (not much "science" nor ideas - just a decent adventure story)
Mar 17, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Hopefully the others are just as good. It is has echos of the Honor Harrington series which were my favourite books ever.
Marty Ponnech
May 26, 2010 Marty Ponnech rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
That of all the far ranging subjects covered in the Science Fiction genre, the greatest advances come in the weaponry of the military. "Sigh"
I.F. Adams
Neat ideas for combat, vibrant but somewhat cliche universe. Liked it enough to continue on with the series.
Ron Krebs
Apr 10, 2014 Ron Krebs rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I dropped this book after about 40%. It went nowhere with no real substance to the plot for at least the first 30% of the book.

Don't waste your time.
May 23, 2011 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Formulaic ... but a good read. Mind-candy, ya know?
Enrico Coppo
Enrico Coppo rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2013
Michael rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2011
Don Zimmerman
Don Zimmerman rated it really liked it
May 06, 2015
Scott rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2013
Timothy rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2015
Pete S
Pete S rated it really liked it
Apr 23, 2013
Ken rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2013
Kip Heinke
Kip Heinke rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2015
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Graham Sharp Paul, born in Sri Lanka, received an honors degree in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University and an MBA from Macquarie University. He joined the Royal Navy in 1972, qualifying as a mine warfare and clearance diving officer before reaching the rank of lieutenant commander with the Navy's mine warfare flotilla. In 1983 he transferred to the Royal Australian Navy, serving ...more
More about Graham Sharp Paul...

Other Books in the Series

Helfort's War (5 books)
  • The Battle of the Hammer Worlds (Helfort's War, #2)
  • The Battle of Devastation Reef (Helfort's War, #3)
  • The Battle for Commitment Planet (Helfort's War, #4)
  • The Final Battle (Helfort's War, #5)

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