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The Dark Between the Stars (Saga of Shadows #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,401 Ratings  ·  224 Reviews
Twenty years after the elemental conflict that nearly tore apart the cosmos in The Saga of Seven Suns, a new threat emerges from the darkness. The human race must set aside its own inner conflicts to rebuild their alliance with the Ildiran Empire for the survival of the galaxy.

Galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and factions of human
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Tor Books (first published February 13th 2014)
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Marco I read this book without reading the Saga of the Seven Suns first, and I did enjoy the book anyway. I regret having done it though. I have the strong…moreI read this book without reading the Saga of the Seven Suns first, and I did enjoy the book anyway. I regret having done it though. I have the strong feeling I would have enjoyed the book more if I was familiar with some of the characters.(less)

Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was ok

Why did you have to make this six hundred and seventy something EFFING pages???? And so damn dull I don’t want to finish???

It could be a weird but fun retro gem.

But, OK, to be fair, I should take some of the blame for why this did not work out. I know it is a very rare plus size novel that I like, and I had seen many of the luke warm reviews, but what the hell man, this had promise?!!?

Author Kevin J. Anderson has given us what could be a fun space opera written in the style of P
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was long but I enjoyed it so much! I had no idea when I started it that it was a continuation of The Saga of the Seven Suns. It is set twenty years later and most of the characters of the previous books are featured plus their now grown up children and a few new ones like Tom Rom and Zoe who are amazing! It was such a pleasure to return to this wonderful universe with the Verdani, the fantastic World Trees and the Green Priests. I loved every minute of it. Short, choppy chapters keep the mome ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Warrior princesses with crystal-tipped katanas, Dan Simmons wannabes
This is the definition of mediocre space opera. It had its moments, and will entertain anyone who wants space battles with robots and random alien powers and everything cast on a grand scale, but from beginning to end it smacked of unoriginality and uninspired writing - Babylon 5, Star Wars, Dune - Keven J. Anderson is trying to write something on the scale of Frank Herbert or Dan Simmons's epics, but his characters are flat archetypes and his ideas are flat derivations.

The Dark Between the Star
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera
I've finally got around to reading the last official entry to the 2015 Hugo Nominees and I'm caught in a conundrum.

I wanted to give this novel a thorough dissection, but only because it didn't leave me feeling like I'd just passed through something wonderful and grand. No beautiful metamorphosis of my soul or imagination, nor even a romp through a digestive track.

Instead, I find myself wanting to say that this tale was paid in homage to the old space-opera tales, notably Lensman. The other homag
Jun 07, 2014 rated it did not like it
There seems to be another powerful elemental abroad in the saga universe. The great elemental stupidity. Read and listen as the elemental infects everyone. Not a single damn person in this book acts or reacts like common sense is any thing but a new thing on the block. I regret that I bought the audio book and not the hardback at least with the hardback I could beat my self about the head untill the memory fled. The one star is because the narrator was pretty good.
Timothy Ward
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just what I was hoping for in a space opera after having discovered this genre through his Dune prequels. Great pacing and scope in a unique war through the stars. My favorite character interaction was the father rescuing his son from his wife and her desire to raise her child while working at the most dangerous place in the galaxy. I also liked the coldness of the scientists researching genetic advancement. The plant priests (my term, not the authors) were a cool kind of warrior/magic system, a ...more
Катя Czaja
I would like to thank this book -- my kitchen is clean and the laundry is folded because every time I picked up this book, I found something more interesting to do.

The writing is stilted and wooden. The dialog is flat. It's all telling and no showing.

I knew I was in trouble when I read:

Pannebaker had silvery hair and intense eyes, as well as a mustache that framed his mouth all the way down to his chin. Every day in the Sheol lava mines excited him like an adrenaline rush, and his extreme comp

May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This year is a contentious year for the Hugo award nominees because some of the books (including The Dark Between the Stars) were recommended by a controversial pair of groups known as Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies. But, for the purposes of this review, that is totally irrelevant. My reluctant 2-star rating is based purely on my reading of the book.

Back story: I was not a fun of Kevin J. Anderon's work in the Star Wars universe many years ago. I loved Timothy Zahn's contributions, but I didn't f
Maggie K
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
OK-so this is a book I normally would never have read, and I have to say I did enjoy it better than I thought I would, but it still had a lot of issues.
What did work was the actual story, although Im not sure how original it was, but it was a good story of various aliens coming together over a common foe.
I think the problem was that there were SO MANY characters. I really didn't connect to ANY of them, and they seemed to ALL have viewpoint chapters. Now, I know that CAN work, here it just seemed
Jul 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh
Oh dear...

I enjoyed the original Saga of the Seven Suns for what it was. I enjoyed it in the same way that I enjoy a cheesy, big budget action movie. Don't look too closely, disengage brain, sit back and enjoy the fast paced plot and explosions. Sometimes you just want to be entertained.

I approached this first part of the follow up series with that firmly in mind & was looking forward to more of the same but its so bad that even with a disengaged brain I couldn't overlook the gaping plot ho
Carole P. Roman
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Richly diverse, this is science fiction at its best. The Dark Between the Stars is an intergalactic epic involving a wide range of creatures with rich and varied history. There is trouble brewing at Iswanda Industries. It begins with the revelation that big business won't listen to a report about the instability of their investment planet. Garrison, a worker there, escapes with his young son leaving his power hungry wife. His action of kidnapping his son reveals the gaping differences between hi ...more
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Saga of the Seven Suns is the very definition of space opera, so I'm thrilled Kevin J. Anderson has returned to this universe. My enjoyment of this first book in a new trilogy is due in no small part to the narration of Mark Boyett, however. He did an amazing job.

It’s been a few years since I read the last book of the previous saga, yet when I dove into this book, the complete story came rushing back to me—and not just because Anderson does a fantastic job of layering in previous events. His
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, scifi
May I never read another book by this guy. It just left me cold and I only finished it out of sheer determination. Can't decide whether it's fantasy or science fiction.
It's a space opera. Mostly fun space opera with really cheesy, obvious, heavy-handed story telling, kind of the equivalent of one of the pretty good shows on SyFy (not anywhere near as good as their great shows like Haven or too many to mention that have been canceled too soon). I remember really liking the Saga of the Seven Suns. I loved the scope of it and how he wove all of the stories together. I don't remember if it was this cheesy. I suspect that Anderson has gotten a bit lazier (sorry fan ...more
Kevin Whitaker
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Full disclosure: I haven't read The Saga of Seven Suns, the first series in this universe.

The Dark Between the Stars is a fun romp of a space opera that never quite hits the heights it reaches for. While it has a few interesting characters and concepts, most of what Kevin J. Anderson delivers is the same tired tropes and cliches we're all used to from light sci-fi these days, albeit with more character development. That last concession isn't necessarily a good thing, either.

I enjoy a fun, easy s
Stuart Kenny
I bought the first book 'hidden empire' with a waterstones voucher I got give for Christmas '08. As I was a quarter of the way into another book (gateway) and with not much else to read on the horizon I finally got round to starting it about the 10th jan. I have to admit I loved it from the start. Overblown space opera is me. However, on the 16th (you will realise why I'm so certain of the dates shortly. Hell! I could even give you times of the day!) I went for what I thought was a routine inter ...more
Jul 03, 2015 marked it as dnf
The Dark Between the Stars is listed as the first book in The Saga of Shadows, which is the sequel series to The Saga of the Seven Suns, a 7 book long series. I have not read The Saga of the Seven Suns, and while the publisher claims readers can jump into Kevin J Anderson's universe and start with The Dark Between the Stars, I have to disagree. I read the first 4 chapters and was extremely confused. It was obvious right from the get go that I was missing a massive amount of context and backstory ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of the Saga of the Seven suns, so much so I was reading them as they were published with each book pre-ordered the moment it was listed, generally about 6-8 months out from release.
So when I heard that KJA was writing more in the Saga universe, I did the happy nerd dance around the living room.

Dark between the Stars is the first in the Saga of Shadows, a new series that takes place 20 years after the Saga of the Seven Suns. The inhabitants of the Spiral Arm are getting back to no
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
As someone who was completely new to this series, I can't say that this book drew me in very much.

My main problem with this book was that it had a lot, a LOT, of different perspectives, which made it hard for me to keep track of things and to keep all the names apart. Another problem is that, because of all those perspectives, it's hard for the writer too to focus on one of them, and therefore really make me empathize. The characters feel a bit flat, because of the same reason.
On top of that, at
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Forced myself to finish this as it was the only one of this years Hugo Best Novel nominees I hadn't read.
Cardboard characters. I couldn't tell the difference between humans and aliens apart from some names containing apostrophes, the robots though could be spotted as the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation seemed to have had a large hand in their design. The author also appears to lack any clue about basic physics, hint: If the Moon gets blown up you'll still be getting Solar tides, and what
Ted Cross
Jun 18, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My goodness, I've rarely had to give up so quickly on any book before! The writing is so amateurish and even flat out terrible that I simply can't go on. I can't believe this got anywhere close to any list of decent books, let alone a nomination for a Best Novel Hugo. There is exposition everywhere, even clear dialogue tells that make no sense, such as a conversation between two early characters where one uses dialogue to explain Green Priests when it is plainly obvious that both of them already ...more
Ian Mond
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
What’s It About

I only read a third of the novel, but apparently it’s set twenty years after the 7-novels that form The Saga of the Seven Suns. So it’s both a Book One and a Book Eight.

Representative Paragraph

Because I don’t want to be criticised for cherry-picking the worst example of Anderson’s leaden prose, here’s a choice of three…

As the two closely orbiting halves of the binary planet adjusted their dance of celestial mechanics, Garrison had analyzed the orbital pirouette, uncovering fourth-
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I saw this published I knew straight away that I'd need to read it having immensely enjoyed Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns series a few years ago. This book is effectively a continuation of that series after a number of years have elapsed, and the first of a planned trilogy of space opera novels called the The Saga of Shadows. Kevin J Anderson has a writing style that I love, his stories flow beautifully and this is no different - unsurprisingly.

It's nice to be immersed again in this univers
Lis Carey
So, this is book one of a series--a good place to start, right?

Except that this series is a successor to a previous series, The Saga of the Seven Suns. Of the many characters in this long book, most seem to have an extensive history from the prior series. This is probably a fine thing for those who read the previous series. For those of us who didn't, we don't get the benefit of that character development.

And there are a great many characters, nor do we spend much time with any of them. We're c
Matt aka
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kevin J. Anderson's epic SciFi world is back and it is 20 years after the great storyline from his previous Saga of Seven Suns series. The main characters from that previous series are older now and it is their children that are coming into relevance now.

I am always impressed with how many characters and various worlds Mr. Anderson can weave into his books and The Dark Between the Stars is no exception. In this book you are introduced to two people that have as their life mission to gather scien
Jun 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Sandi by: Hugos
Shelves: sff, lib
This is the worst written book I have read in a very long time. Either Anderson has short-term memory deficit disorder or he has no respect for his readers. Every one of his 139 chapters contains multiple redundant statements, many of which occur in consecutive paragraphs. This book could easily been 100 pages shorter simply by changing the formatting of the chapter headers and removing just one repetitive statement. That's fifty pieces of paper! The characterizations were ridiculous. The info-d ...more
I'm not rating this because I failed to finish it. After reading the fantastic Hugo nominees The Goblin Emperor and The Three-Body Problem, I was looking forward to reading more of the nominees. But this one...I don't understand how it was nominated. The characters are stereotypes, the plot cliched, the writing repetitive. I only read to 10% before I gave up. On to Ancillary Sword, which I'm expecting to be better since I enjoyed the first in the series, Ancillary Justice.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’ve tried to figure out how I want to rate this book, and I think it sits somewhere comfortably between three and four stars. It has a sort of done-before feel to it, but it was an absolute joy to revisit this universe and see what has happened to all the characters that made such an impact on me years ago. The plot moves fast, but it’s the people that make this one worth reading. This is an incredibly solid start to a new series that leave me anxious for more.

Read my full review here:

Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have not read the Saga of the Seven Suns. Perhaps doing so would positively influence my review. As it were, I have heard of that saga, and saw in the jacket that this book is a 'stand-alone.'

In my own reading, I find that I cannot grasp and do not get as attached to books and characters when so many are introduced. In the first 15 chapters of the book, 13 characters are introduced with 13 different view points. I just found it a bit overwhelming and then just didn't end up caring what happene
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Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in coll
More about Kevin J. Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Saga of Shadows (3 books)
  • Blood of the Cosmos
  • Eternity's Mind