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Ragamuffin (Xenowealth #2)

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  699 Ratings  ·  67 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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(showing 1-30)
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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)
Gamma Mouse
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
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
Aug 03, 2008 Brownbetty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
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.

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 ...more
Clifton Hill
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Jan 20, 2015 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Humans are second-class citizens in the galaxy, technically free but realistically under the control of the aliens of the Satrapcy, who control the wormhole network and also have ways of controlling minds. But Nashara is an agent from a sealed-off human world who carries a weapon.... one that might be humanity's only shot, as the Satraps may be switching from a policy of repression of humanity to one of extermination.

Ragamuffin is part of Tobias Buckell's Xenowealth universe. It's technically t
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,
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
Jaymee Goh
I love a space opera, but the science bits were a bit hard to wrap my head around in this one, particularly the novum of the lamina, which is a kind of data interface--it's obviously a very complex thing but it made the first few chapters a hard read. It might be that it translates better as visuals, not text. Once the plot gets going, though, it was a swift read, with compelling characters--even the side characters who start off antagonistic are worth being sad for. (I feel an Etsudo/Cayenne sh ...more
Jesse Whitehead
Jan 02, 2013 Jesse Whitehead rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 05, 2008 Wealhtheow rated it liked it  ·  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:
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
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
Jun 24, 2010 Lila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jan 10, 2009 Roxane rated it really liked it  ·  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
Guy Gonzalez
Jul 17, 2010 Guy Gonzalez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim Mann
Feb 14, 2016 Jim Mann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the future, humans are a minority, some on reservations controlled by powerful aliens. Nashara is on the run. She is really a weapon that can be used against the aliens in the right circumstances, but she also got herself caught on a reservation then tricked by a human libration group into killing an alien. As the book starts, she is on the run, trying to make it back to the space controlled by the descendants of humans from the Caribbean, and in the process discovers that the alien satraps m ...more
Nov 21, 2013 Sheela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
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
May 19, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2016 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Fascinating world building; the vast universe and array of species and their inter-species squabbles kept me interested. The story feels very disjointed, and maybe not having read the first book didn't help, but I just can't dig on the space Aztecs. Getting dropped on a planet without the protagonist half-way through was disorientating but apparently this was the main setting of the first book. But it never really feels like it comes together; some level of chaos is only natural in this huge wor ...more
Sep 12, 2014 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2014
I enjoyed this book. It's a little odd for being the second book in the series, in that we don't return to the characters from the first book until a hefty chunk of the way through (and when we do, it is a bit disappointing because I was getting interested in the new characters). But it is a pretty good action adventure sci-fi sort of read.

Everyone dies, though. Well, not quite everyone, but there is a ridiculously high body count and quite a lot of characters die, which keeps it from being quit
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
Jul 31, 2010 Ryun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Joe Davoust
Nov 10, 2012 Joe Davoust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
T.K. Toppin
Oct 30, 2013 T.K. Toppin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sequel to Crystal Rain, this book just got ten times better in my opinion. Introducing a new character in the form of Nashara and also carrying on the story arc of John De Brun, Pepper, Jerome, and a few others. The world Mr. Buckell created is simply awe-inspiring, this time jumping from a closed off planet straight into the vast spectrum of space and all the incredible lifeforms it contains. Space opera to the max! How is this not a movie yet! I look forward to yet another sequel, Sly Mong ...more
Roger Eschbacher
Jan 11, 2012 Roger Eschbacher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 09, 2012 Moe rated it it was amazing
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.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Xenowealth (4 books)
  • Crystal Rain (Xenowealth, #1)
  • Sly Mongoose (Xenowealth, #3)
  • The Apocalypse Ocean (Xenowealth #4)

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