Ragamuffin
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Ragamuffin (Xenowealth #2)

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  454 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of forty-eight worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically “free,” mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Tor Books
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Stephen
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Superb sequel to the excellent Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell. Absolutely loved it. Terrific characters (Pepper is just great), outstanding world-building and alien cultures and, best of all, a well written, really good story. Highly recommended!!

Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2008)
Nominee: Prometheus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (2008)
Paul Stotts
Do you enjoy space opera with a little Caribbean flavor? Do wormholes and rum sound like the perfect mixture for a good time? If you are like me (and let’s hope you are not, that could be messy), you likely have no standard in which to answer these questions. I could count on one hand how many Caribbean-flavored space operas I’ve read, and still be sporting a closed fist at the end. Yes that’s right, zero Caribbean space operas for me. I suddenly feel so sheltered.

Luckily, Tobias Buckell decided...more
Sandi
When I read Crystal Rain in 2008, I thought it was one of the freshest science fiction novels I had read in a long time. It was an exciting adventure story taking place in a well-developed culture. It explored the idea of what would happen if a human colony got cut off from all the other human colonies. I liked it so much, that I did put Ragamuffin on my mental to-look-for list. I finally checked a copy out of the library and sat down to read it. Sadly, I was quite disappointed.

You know how a b...more
Brownbetty
I found myself wishing someone would make Ragamuffin into a movie. Or rather, a mini-series, because making it a movie would require remove about three quarters of the plot, but I think most of it could fit into a mini-series. It's got a very cinematic quality. Nashara, the protagonist, does not indulge in a lot of introspection. When faced with problems, she generally responds with the extremely precise application of violence, or perhaps more accurately, forcefully applied kinetic energy.

It co...more
Joy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nancy
Just as fast paced and exciting as book 1. However, if you're expecting the story to pick up anywhere near where Crystal Rain left off, you're in for a shock. The story starts in a completely different place (literally) and introduces us to the (much) larger universe. Then about one-third of the way through it takes a sharp left turn and brings us back to familiar characters and locations. And it all works better than I thought it would! The cover art is fantastic, as is the scene it depicts.

The...more
Guy Gonzalez
I typically like my sci-fi and fantasy on the lighter side, and wasn't expecting Ragamuffin to be way more hardcore than Crystal Rain, but it is. By far. And yet, as with its predecessor, Buckell's characters, setting and pacing make it work.

The first half of the book pulls the curtains way back to reveal a sprawling universe that was only hinted at previously, and adds a number of engaging new characters to the mix, while the second half returns to Nanagada and immediately disrupts the relative...more
Althea Ann
Aw, darn. I didn't realize till looking here on goodreads that this is #2 in a series. I even own #1, sitting somewhere in the TBR boxes. So - I have to admit that perhaps some of my issues with the book might be cleared up by having read the first book first.

It's space opera.
It is an action book. It goes at a mile-a-minute, and something totally new is happening every 3 pages. There is no pausing for explanation, introspection, or anything else.

It's in 3 parts.
The first part deals solely with...more
Geoffrey Allan Plauché
As I mentioned in my review of Crystal Rain , I enjoyed reading Tobias Buckell's debut novel, but I enjoyed reading the sequel, Ragamuffin (Tor, 2008), even more. This may be because Buckell has grown as a writer or it may be because Ragamuffin is more a traditional galaxy-spanning space opera, one of my favorite subgenres. But another reason is that there are more prominent libertarian themes in Ragamuffin than there were in Crystal Rain, enough that it was a finalist for the 2008 Prometheus A...more
Harry Rutherford
Ragamuffin is my book from Grenada for the Read The World challenge. It’s a science fiction novel about a universe where humans share space with various other species and can travel from world to world via wormholes. Some of them come from a world which was settled by people from the Caribbean, hence the title and a certain amount of West Indian-inflected dialogue.

It was quite entertaining, I guess; I’m not really much of an SF fan. I read a lot at one stage because my brother used to read them,...more
Jesse Whitehead
Tobias Buckell is one of the hidden secrets of the universe. He writes science fiction space opera that is so packed with action and technology that it crackles like a bowl of rice crispies. The adventure and tension never let up from the first page through to the last. What hides behind the veneer of wild action and fascinating aliens is the fact that it’s also really good science fiction.

Buckell doesn’t spend much time on the morality of his characters, he lets us make up our own minds on that...more
Lila
Ragamuffin captured my attention from the first page, and unlike Crystal Rain, which took a while to get into, never let go.

Buckell's aliens are great. They're very nonhuman, a threat even to the physically and cybernetically enhanced humans. There are species mentioned but not seen, as well, so I'm looking forward even more to future books in this universe.

The book starts out on a different world than Crystal Rain, with a different character, Nashara. She's interesting to follow and the story s...more
Roxane
Dec 27, 2009 Roxane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: space opera fans, readers looking for something fresh and original
There are not many authors out there who can write entertaining fast-paced space opera stories, tightly built political intrigues and introduce diversity in their cast of characters. Tobias Buckell is one such authors and does it all effortlessly it seems. Ragamuffin is smart, fast, serious science fiction but no info dumps. It's refreshing and highly recommended.

Book one, Crystal Rain, hit home because it took place in a Caribbean setting that reminded of my childhood. Book two, Ragamuffin, re...more
Clifton Hill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wealhtheow
Jan 23, 2014 Wealhtheow rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of Ronon Dex
Caribbean pirates IN SPACE! Battling hordes of aliens! With internet viruses in place of wombs! Woah!
And yet, not. The first half is rip-roaringly excellent, and can be found in pdf form here: http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/sampler/...
It begins with Nashara, a mysterious and lethal woman, trying to get out of the human ghetto before anyone discovers the dead body she's leaving behind. It's gritty, it's believable, and it's chilling. Through a mixture of ruthlessness, self-control and superhuman a...more
Margaret
Nashara is on the run. She wants to get back to New Anegada, if she can, and she needs to escape from the Hongguo who are on her trail. She carries inside her a powerful weapon which could save her, but perhaps at a huge cost, both to her and to the balance of order of the galaxy. Complicating her escape and her decision about the use of her weapon is her discovery that the ruling aliens of the Benevolent Satrapy are planning to wipe out all humans.

Although I really appreciated the kick-ass fema...more
Deborah Replogle
I was a little confused at first, as it was listed as a sequel, but then I caught on after a while. I like Mr. Buckell's writing style, and of course, the Caribbean flavor he infuses into his stories. I like his ideas and scenarios, and I'm looking forward to reading his other works. I also follow him on Twitter, and he seems to be a very interesting person.
Sheela Kamath
I stuck with this book for nearly 200 pages before giving up, and was largely confused the whole time. Like other reviewers on Amazon, I agree that the book had an interesting premise and some wonderful world-building. I thought the character of Nashara was intriguing, along with many of the other characters, but nothing ever felt fully fleshed out. Perhaps it would have made more sense if I had read "Crystal Rain" first, but I really didn't understand what the point of it all was, other than th...more
Joy
I don't usually read books that are this hard SF, but I really enjoyed Crystal Rain, so, of course, I had to read (listen to actually) the next book in the series. It has a really great opening, builds and then really grabs at the halfway mark. Nashara was my favorite character, but I was also glad to see John, Pepper and Jerome from the last book. My only concern is that we didn't hear at all from a major female character from Crystal Rain and I'm not sure what her fate was. The ending also lef...more
Ryun
Tobias S. Buckell knows what he’s doing. His first novel, CRYSTAL RAIN, was one of the best science fiction books of 2006, and its follow-up, RAGAMUFFIN, is now on the short list for 2007.

The descendants of Caribbean islanders are the heroes of Buckell’s novels, and yes, Buckell grew up in the Caribbean, but that isn’t what makes RAGAMUFFIN good. What does is his razor-sharp focus on the story he wants to tell, and his dogged determination to tell that story despite the glimmerings of a million...more
CV Rick
We found out who John deBrun is, and why he is. He has his memories back and a tentative alliance with his former shipmate, Pepper. These are supposed to be two of the most dangerous men in the system.

Oh, and there's an alien invasion coming. I thought that would be important to mention.

But it just doesn't have the fresh feel that Crystal Rain had. It's not polished and the ideas are stretched. I think it suffers from a Sophomore slump.
James Cox
The first one seemed to grip me more intensely but this was still a good read.
Joe Davoust
Great book despite having to work through a sometimes disjointed story line. I was confused about where it was going until we finally met characters from the prequel, Crystal Rain, in Chapter 23. And it wasn't until Chapter 44 that new characters from this book actually began mingling with characters from the first book.
The story is a wonderful mix of worm holes, space ships, aliens, Aztec warriors, and Caribbean freedom fighters. All of them used to portray a battle for the survival of humanit...more
Colin
I liked this, but not as much as his other two. I had a hard time following the battle scenes, I just couldn't visualize it for some reason. In general, I'm not into such "hard" sci-fi as Buckell writes, but he has a good character-driven side to balance out the "battles in space" aspect that makes his books appealing to me. In that vein, I did really like the main character, she was kick ass. And I liked that the character of Pepper is a constant throughout all three books but that they all sta...more
Clarissa
I didn't lik this one as much as the first one; I started to wonder if anyone was worth sympathizing with. I grew up on a steady diet of Asian classics, anime, and cyberpunk, so it's not like I require unambiguously good heroes and mustache-twirling villains, but I felt uncomfortable with the violence of all sides here. It's well written overall, and the world is well constructed. At some point I'll probably pick up the third one to see if I'll keep going ot not.
Moe
I loved this book Buckell really amps it up in this sequel to Crystal Rain high adventure from beginning to end! I have to say that the cover art by Todd Lockwood is truly kick ass and even though I'm reading this in ebook format I'm reminded of the days when I'd spend hours in the bookstore browsing the sci-fi/fantasy shelves sometimes choosing a book just because the cover art was captivating enough to make me wonder what the story was behind it.
Roger Eschbacher
Buckell's sophomore novel and the second book in a trilogy (Crystal Rain/Ragamuffin/Sly Mongoose), "Ragamuffin" is an action-packed read, perfect for those who love detailed world-building, deft storytelling, and interesting characters (Me!). In this book, the human race continues its struggles to survive, battling old foes, the fierce Teotl, and new ones, the secretive Satraps -- an enemy so omnipotent, they have the Teotl on the run.
Erica
I was thinking about Nashara today. I wondered if she, as a clone of Pepper, had any choice in who/what she became. She mentions multiple times that her womb was taken out and replaced with the complex machinery that made her a super-human badass. What if Nashara or another Pepper-clone decided that they just wanted to be a normal human being? Would that have been allowed?

Daniel
This is really more of a 3.5 stars book for me, but I'll give it the extra half star for the fun factor. I enjoyed this novel, and it's widened scope compared to Crystal Rain gives the book an expansive feel that the previous one lacked.

I blasted through this one pretty quickly, and dug it a lot, but the ending left me feeling a little flat.
Craig
This is a sequel to CRYSTAL RAIN but stands pretty well on its own. While the first book was set almost entirely in a relatively small area, this one expands Buckell's universe onto a vast interstellar stage with many fascinating new characters. It's a very fast-paced book and I found it much easier to read than the first one. It's a very well done story.
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Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.
More about Tobias S. Buckell...
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