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The Key (Project Enterprise #1)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
When Sara Donovan joins Project Enterprise she finds out that what doesn't kill her makes her stronger. An Air Force pilot - the best of the best to be assigned to this mission - Sara isn't afraid to travel far beyond the Milky Way on an assignment that takes her into a galaxy torn apart by a long and bitter warfare between the Dusan and the Gadi. After she's shot down and ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 25, 2012 Natalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Sara, the protagonist, was very disappointing. She spoke and thought like an immature teenager. I found it extremely unbelievable that she was of age to join the Air Force, let alone be a pilot (and in a world with FTL capabilities to travel other galaxies). The universe the author created was beyond what I was able to believe and the male chauvinism (supported by the protagonist many times) was also frustrating. Many times I was also taken out of the futuristic setting with current day referenc ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Marlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

The difficult thing about reviewing for the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly isn’t the book I’m assigned--it’s the commitment to review one “classic” work of SFR. The definition of “classic” is thankfully loose--the book just has to be older than the current quarter.

Since I chose Core Punch: A Baker & Ban!drn Adventure: An Uneasy Future by Pauline Baird Jones for my current book (review to come), my decision was made for me, sorta/kinda. Core Punch is
4.5* This was fun, fun, fun! I loved the characters. None of them, even the "bad guys" were stereotypical or 2-dimensional. The story was fast-moving and well-plotted. The reader is given glimpses and hints about past secrets and future revelations, but the story unfolds naturally as the book progresses. And the action was like a roller-coaster ride with slow, tension producing climbs followed by non-stop, heart-pounding descents. I felt like I was there on the ship, on the outposts and in the d ...more
Jan 30, 2014 Lyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was a good one. First, let me say that this is unnecessarily long. The author really goes into detail about a few things that just don't matter and aren't even interesting. These moments are rare, but they do pop up every now and then, making you think "Just get on with it already!" It takes a while to get going and then it just keeps going. And going. I thought the climax would be just around the corner a dozen times, but then there is another episode and you just have to strap in an ...more
Lorijo Metz
May 30, 2012 Lorijo Metz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, The Key has all the sci-fi elements I love. It's got tech and adventure; but most of all, it's got great characters. There's also humor and romance and, of course, most it takes place between humans and aliens with special abilities.

The main character in The Key is Captain Sara Donovan. We meet her after she's crash-landed on a planet and been rescued by a good-looking, though not-much-one-for-words, alien named Fyn. Sara and Fyn quickly became two of my favorite fictional characters. Sa
Ann Wilkes
Nov 25, 2008 Ann Wilkes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down! Haven't read a book this good in a while. Excellent character development and unexpected plot twists. There's a certain amount of belief suspension necessary. This isn't hard SF, but rather space opera. But it was worth every minute. Look for full review at MostlyFiction:
T.K. Toppin
Oct 04, 2010 T.K. Toppin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had to read this to appreciate Girl Gone's like a prequel, depending on which order you read the two books. Enjoyed it I want to read more with all four characters! Kept me glued throughout the book!
Jan 19, 2011 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me as a gift, so I didn’t quite know what to expect when I opened it up, but what I found wasn't too bad. It took a little while to fully grasp the setting, because the author delves right into the story she’s telling, introducing the characters that we will follow through the rest of the book quickly, and for the most part efficiently, without spending much time at all with exposition.

It’s a sci-fi novel, set in a distant galaxy that humanity has only just begun explorin
Tracy Zullo
Oct 24, 2016 Tracy Zullo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part 1: 3.5 stars -- a little too unrealistic in parts
Part 2: 4 stars -- totally drawn in now!
Part 3: 4 stars -- good build
Part 4: 3.5 stars -- great fight, epilogue was a bit of a let down
2.5 stars for this sci-fi romance (half-star lost due to typos in Kindle version). It's set in space, with the POV in third person, switching coherently from the hero to the heroine. The romance itself was sweet, but the starship battles relied too much on nearly magical levels of techno-control. I prefer more believable plots, where we win the day the old-fashioned way, by sheer cussedness and clever strategy. The Key did include the cussedness factor (especially seen in the heroine) but noth ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Riley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Sci-Fi Adventure & Romance. The Key is the first book in the Project Enterprise series.

I often find that the first book of a series is it's weakest. Makes sense. The author is still developing her world(s), her characters, her political and social settings. There is absolutely nothing weak about The Key. It takes place in a fully developed galaxy with amazing characters - both good and evil.

First and foremost is Sara Donovan. She is a top gun US Air Force pilot who's assignment is
Nov 05, 2011 Sobia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I'm pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed the's definitely a lot better then other SFR attempts I've come across....the overall story kept surprising me, and it kept my attention/ interest pretty well, in spite of a few melodramatic and/ or confusing bits and the lack of alien world building (they're mentioned but only a few details are given). And I loved, loved the ending!

The romance aspect could have used some work, though I'm not sure how to explain what was missing
I haven't read anything by this author before and found this to be an enjoyable read. Adventure, space travel, romance, military strategy, a kick ass heroine and a sexy alien love interest :)

I found the story pretty interesting and different to most of the things I have read lately so it was a nice change. There was quite a lot of humour to the story too which was amusing.

I liked the strength of the heroine although it was portrayed a bit comically (and not necessarily in a good way) sometimes -
I had read an extract from this book and looked forward to finding out more. I wasn't disappointed.

In The Key, we meet Sara Donovan, a US Air Force pilot on a special intergalactic mission with the crew of her mothership the Doolittle, and Fyn, a humanoid (human) alien from the galaxy in which the Doolittle and her crew find themselves. Sara's presence escalates an already violent intra-galactic war between the Gadi and the Dusan as both groups seek to ensnare her, claiming that she is a key-kee
Teresa Carrigan
Space opera and romance. I cared about the characters enough to keep reading despite the inability to suspend disbelief on quite a few matters. Time appears to be pretty much present day (or possibly ten or twenty years ago), as indicated by the United States Air Force, Mounds candy bar, MREs, and a multitude of songs and movies that would be familiar to many Americans.

Somehow technology is found for intergalactic travel and the USA secretly sends multiple starships, each to a different galaxy.
Jun 12, 2014 Ita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, romance, audio, dnf
I started this book and it had a lot of promise.

But I just cannot get over humans travelling to another GALAXY and they encounter human-like aliens. And these aliens IN ANOTHER GALAXY speak near-ENGLISH!! And those beings look, act, and have emotions **exactly** like humans.

OK, maybe human-like creatures were spread over a bazillion galaxies from some proto human star travelers. But to have the almost the same LANGUAGE?? Admittedly I'm not very far in, but there is no explanation. No one says "H
Wow. What a nice change from all pnr smex fests. Just what I was looking for and needed right about now.
I was a little worried with the 1st chapter as it was reading like a bad ya novel (choppy disconnected ) but it smoothed out a bit and by then I was hooked wanting to know where this story went. I love strong characters -definitely do not like Mary-Sue's- and Sara held strong, not falling apart like other reads. Even though Sara and Fyn's relationship was pretty much love at first sight, they
Laurie Green
Jan 02, 2016 Laurie Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sfr-brigade, sfr
I really enjoyed this story, especially a major confrontation scene between the heroine and villain when she refuses, via her own means, to become a victim to his plotting and displays remarkable wit and courage.

Much of the military speak felt authentic and believable. The hero was likable and conflicted. There were several interesting twists in the plot, and the battle scenes were suspenseful and vividly drawn.

After reading the excerpt to Girl Gone Nova at the end, I was thoroughly hooked into
Jun 25, 2016 Glen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with most of the review comments - both good and bad. From my point of view, this book requires a lot of suspension of suspension of disbelief, but if you're willing to grant that (which I was), it's a fun read. Haven't yet decided whether I'll read the next one or not, but I probably will. This book did get rather dark a few times, and the reasons were rather repetitive, so it depends on whether next one will be just more of that, or have new ideas.
Apr 29, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Sarah - especially smart ass Sarah forced into a dress. I loved it when she lost her temper and when she kicked ass. While she had some pretty handy and conveient powers she was not annoyingly perfect so that is ok. Loved the relationship between Sarah & Fyn too. Can't wait to read more by this author.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
This book grabbed me and kidnapped me the same way Gabriel's Ghost (Linnea Sinclair) did. It was a great space adventure with wars, magical technology, a bit of a love interest and an excellent story.
Mar 31, 2009 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. The main reason I read it is because she's family. When I read the back I found out it was a scifi and was thinking I probably wasn't going to love it. It surprised me I really did enjoy this book and the romance between alien and human!
I really enjoyed reading this book. It had a good mix of action and romance. I even cared about the bad guys and wonder what will become of them, at least the ones that survived. The one thing I didn't find convincing is that everybody speaks english.
Sep 10, 2015 Endurer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs, sci-fi
Great book new refreshing and fast paced, really liked it. Even though for some reason I read book 2 first, which gave some of this book away.
Loved the strong women theme and kick ass, Also loved the peeps

Cathy Rodgers
I really enjoyed this book. Good, fun read. The plot slowed a little in a few sections - otherwise, it was really good.
Oct 31, 2011 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, romance
Good book. Fun to read. I could wish for a little more adult romance (the romance is very YA) but still a very fun and satisfying read. If you like the tv show Stargate, you'll like this book.
Mar 08, 2012 AnnaM rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-sfrs, sfr
Excellent story. The love story was really sweet. The action was fast. I already bought book 2, Girl Gone Nova.
Kate rated it it was ok
Jul 03, 2015
Colleen rated it liked it
Sep 26, 2015
Latéa rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2016
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Pauline Jones had a tough time with reality from the get-go. After “schooling” from four, yes FOUR brothers, she knew that some people needed love and others needed shooting. Pauline figured she could do both. Romantic suspense was the logical starting point, but there were more worlds to explore, more rules to break and minds to bend. She grabbed her pocket watch and time travel device and dove t ...more
More about Pauline Baird Jones...

Other Books in the Series

Project Enterprise (5 books)
  • Girl Gone Nova (Project Enterprise, #2)
  • Tangled in Time (Project Enterprise, #3)
  • Steamrolled (Project Enterprise, #4)
  • Kicking Ashe (Project Enterprise, #5)

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