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(Lightship Chronicles #1)

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Lieutenant Peter Cochrane of the Quantar Royal Navy believes he has his future clearly mapped out. It begins with his new assignment as an officer on Her Majesty’s Spaceship Starbound, a Lightship bound for deep space voyages of exploration.

But everything changes when Peter is summoned to the office of his father, Grand Admiral Nathan Cochrane, and given devastating news:
Hardcover, 357 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by DAW (first published May 1st 2014)
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Aug 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This looked interesting, but it's old school space opera without the fizz & that just doesn't cut it for me any more. Space opera can be fun, but only if it doesn't take itself too seriously or I'm reading some old paperback with a lurid cover. Trying to pull it off now requires a finesse that just wasn't there.

This edition is incorrect, but I don't see an audio version listed. The narrator did a good job.
I picked up Impulse because I have a weakness for space opera — probably because I was raised on a steady diet of Star Trek and Star Wars, Blake’s 7 and Babylon 5. Impulse is fun enough, with chases and traitors and first contact with (sort of) aliens, and dealing with romance on board ship, and conflicts between differing kinds of orders.

It’s fun, but kind of bland; others have done it better, and there wasn’t much contact with aliens. Both romances were straight out of Kirk’s playbook, really,
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Military space opera, flawed not only by a disregard for physical laws ("Full stop, Mr. Marker." "Turn us around, Mr. Marker."), but by deep seated sexism---ranging from the fact that women are usually referred to by first name and men by their last, to truly hamfisted efforts to seem "balanced" by making the female characters all either whores or aggressive types ("Her grip on my hand was as firm as any man's"). Also, nearly every order from a superior officer is questioned or disputed by its r ...more
Sarah (is only writing short reviews for now)
30/11 - I didn't enjoy the first chapter. I was highly irritated by the way so many off-Earth locations are named after a current Earth city or state - New Queensland, New Brisbane AKA New Briz, New Wurzburg. I find it hard to believe that future people would be quite so unimaginative that they can't come up with names for interstellar locations that aren't copies of places that already exist. But then I got confused by this sentence from page 14

'"I was just thinking that before the Earthmen cam
Impulse is Dave Bara’s debut novel, published earlier this month by DAW. The cover copy starts off like this:

Following in the tradition of such top science fiction writers as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Gordon Dickson, Frank Herbert and Joe Haldeman, Impulse, the first novel of The Lightship Chronicles, launches readers on a star-spanning journey of discovery, diplomacy and danger.

Based on the names mentioned in that paragraph, you can probably make some pretty decent assumptions about this
May 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Impulse by Dave Bara is very much an old-school space opera. The novel’s hero Lieutenant Cochrane is also a member of a landed gentry class and in line for the throne; competent and capable Cochrane is thrust into the unexpected when an attack on a lightship kills his girlfriend along with many of his friends. Taken from his expected duty and assigned to the titular Impulse, the very same ship that was attacked, Cochrane sets off to investigate who that mysterious attacker might have been. Bara ...more
Don Priest
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The story starts out strong, but gets muddled in the middle with too much going on, awkward romances, and frankly stupid decisions on the part of numerous characters. The world building falls apart as well, a true shame given its initial promise. The main character, Peter Cochrane becomes kind of annoying after the thirteenth crisis or so. In every situation, it seems like he's the solution, either because everyone else is suddenly incapable, or because he is, for some reason, the only option. O ...more
prose did not work out for me; from what I browsed including the last several pages, the novel is a generic mil sf/space opera book so if you like the subgenre it's worth taking a look

-tried again the novel as I was in the mood for some space opera stuff and this time I read it end to end as it moved fast; still not quite at the top of the subgenre but better than on my first try and with enough goodies to keep me interested and even possibly pick up the sequel

- I would say that a little better
originally posted at:

Impulse came as a total suprise to me, I hadn't heard of Dave Bara before and his writing and didn't saw any annoncements of this book whatsoever. When Del Rey asked me if I would like to review this book I counldn't say no, I am a big fan of space opera science fiction and from the blurb I could make out that it would be choke full of action and spaceships. What more can you wish for? Well this is far from everything that you get in
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
*Copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Impulse is the debut sci-fi novel from Dave Bara. It’s protagonist is Peter Cochrane, a ships Lieutenant in a space navy composed of two uneasily allied powers, and a third balancing force, the ‘Librarians’ of Earth. In a nutshell, it’s got a lot of high adventure, the odd firefight, some tense space battles, and some really clever ideas.

The background to all the conflict is rather interesting; after a disastrous interstellar civil war, two
Feb 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Good:
Well written. It was actually quite refreshing not to have an adjective before every verb that means “said” but isn’t. When I came across that first conversation in the novel, I had to sit back and take it in. His writing style is refreshing.
The Bad.
The main characters and supporting characters are completely one dimensional. You have the main character, let’s refer to him as Wesley (for ease of explanation really) who is absolutely the best at everything. He can best the
Guy McElwaine
Mar 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The description of this book as "Dave Bara's debut book" is false. This author gave us Speedwing in 2012 -- an embodiment of every American adolescent male's fantasies. Possibly Bara prefers to forget that one, since the reviews were not so good.

The present title likewise has a hero who will appeal to adolescents. There are elements of the classic Joseph Campbell "Hero's Journey" here. The young man thrust too early into a position of responsibility; how his saga threatens him and changes him --
May 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is terrible. The main character is the most Marty Stu sexist nonsense I've seen in a while. I'm just waiting for him to "M'lady" someone. It's not even good hard SciFi. There's nothing technical about this book. Just your typical predictable storyline, meh world building and 2D characters. Don't waste your time. This is the SciFi book containing all the tropes everyone makes fun of, but it's no parody. ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I understand this is a first book, but it is bad. The military in the book's universe makes no sense, subordinates routinely question orders, the main character has apperently never served on an actual space vessel but is nonetheless promoted to Lt. Commander and posted to a starship as 3rd officer with secret orders from the head of the navy to mutiny if necessary. ...more
Christian Nadeau
Apr 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, crap-pile
Wow. Just… wow.

And NOT in a good way.

I now stare at a wall, having finished the chore that was reading this 376 page book. Wondering just how many times I put it down rolling my eyes or disgusted at the depiction of the military, the cheesy aristocracy scenes or the oh-so predictable last resort plans that always succeed.

Science fiction is a splendid vehicle to push modern concepts to their limits and explore where they might lead us. The only overarching concept I could find in this book is rel
Vfields Don't touch my happy!
I didn’t enjoy this one. I kept wait for it to get better…it never did.
Jordan Brantley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joshua Palmatier
This is a debut novel and I always try to read new authors. I know how difficult it is to break onto the shelves. Also, it fits right in with my resolution to read authors I've never read before this year. This is a military sci-fi novel, so a little outside of my usual reading preferences. (I'm mostly into fantasy, although I do delve into sci-fi and mystery occasionally.)

The premise: Peter Cochrane has just graduated and expects to take on his role as an officer in the military on the spaceshi
Samuel Tyler
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
In space, no one can hear you squirm and this is no bad thing if you happen to be Lt. Peter Cochrane, newly out of the Navy Academy he is put straight on the front line and is prone to as many mistakes as he is heroics. Cochrane has no choice, the son of an Admiral; he is deemed the best choice to seek out an ancient enemy that has destroyed a starship full of Navy Officers. When you are only one of a few Officers left standing, you do what you can; even if this does involve blowing stuff up and ...more
Lance Nichols
Feb 08, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I almost wish I could give this book a "no stars" rating, but it gets one star as that's as low as I can go. I looked forward to reading this book, as the blurbs on it made the book sound really interesting. You can see where the author got a number of his influences. Some of the terminology could come direct from a classic Asimov, Clarke, or even Heinlein's Future History stories. That's where it ends though. It goes downhill rapidly from there. It's almost like the author looked at Orson Scott ...more
John Purvis
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Impulse” was published in 2015 (February) and was written by Dave Bara ( This is Mr. Bara’s second novel.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through I would categorize this novel as ‘PG’ as there are instances of mild Violence. This Science Fiction novel is set in a far future. Earth has spread out over the stars, then humanity has fallen into dark times with little contact between colonized worlds after a 80 year civil war that over thr
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 1st book in the Lightship Chronicles by Dave Bara. I this one Lieutenant Peter Cochrane is just graduated from the space academy and is slated to join the crew of the Lightship Starbound. Peter is expectantly summoned to his Father's office just before he is due to assume his position on the Starbound. He is given the bad news that another Lightship, the Impulse, has been attacked and several crew were killed, including his girlfriend. He is reassigned to the Impulse which is being r ...more
Kristene Perron
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like your action with a side of more action, this is the book for you. Bara's debut novel is a fast paced blend of military SF and space opera, with a likeable hero and enough mystery to keep readers guessing from start to finish.

The author wastes no time throwing his protagonist, Lieutenant Peter Cochrane, into the fire. Just as the young man is preparing to begin his naval career aboard the lightship Starbound, he's given the news of a deep space disaster and re-assigned to a Unified N
Nick Brett
Space Navy action with a few other things chuckd in. Our hero here is Royalty also serving in the Space Navy who gets pointed to another critical mission when a ship is atttacked.
The scenario we are presented with is a loose alliance of worlds using technology that has been provided by Earth mentors ("Historians") but without full disclosure of their full workings and capability. There is talk of historic conflict between races, of a view between church and science and so on. And the workings of
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
If you are a fan of military science fiction you might give this one a try. It was easy reading. There was a lot of world building and back story scattered throughout the book. For me the weakness in the book were the characters and their action. The action drove the characters instead of the characters driving the action. As a result some things just did not ring true. As a result it is not one of my favorites. It just rates an OK.

It will be interesting to see where Bara goes with the series. I
Wilco Roos
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
In essence a nice story, or the start of one, but for me i can not get over the 'Religion + Science = Moral <-> Pure Science without Religion is Scary and has no morals and boundaries' flag that is waving every time, it feels like the Theist calling the Atheist in principle Amoral, as if you can not be a decent person without Religion.
That may be the common thinking across the bible belt, but as such in the normal world this is empty and hollow, especially as a lot of atrocities are bound to rel
The Lightship Chronicles - Centuries after civil war shattered an interstellar civilization, planetary enclaves are beginning to reconnect, with the aid of tech-wizard Historians from Earth. Studly young Lt. Peter Cochrane of the Quantar Royal Navy is suddenly given huge responsibilities when he's assigned to help investigate a mysterious assault on a lightship that was exploring close to the ruins of the old empire. Peter has plenty of concerns to keep him busy aboard the lightship Impulse, but ...more
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, sf
In the future:
* The preferred government will be absolute monarchy.
* Noble twits will be placed in commands with no experience.
* Female bridge crew will exist for seduction purposes.
* Captains will go haring off on suicidal missions, followed by successive replacements until an evil civilian can be left in charge.
* Germany, England and other European nations will be reproduced on other planets.
* Strange humans will hang around to turn on random ???secret??? weapons and ships sensors and supply v
Keith Beasley-Topliffe
This was ...disappointing. After “Rave reviews” about reinvigorating space opera, it seemed much more like rehashing. A hero with elements of Kirk, Skywalker, and even Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. Drives, shields, and communication devices that allowed battles in the vastness of space to feel more like Horblower’s sea battles. Human colonized planets which despite millennia of isolation are still monocultural (Aussie, German, Eastern Mediterranean). It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t very good, either.
Ralph Blackburn
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Military Space Opera that is easy light reading with engaging characters who seem to react more than take action. I enjoyed the pretense or world-building of this series and found it had enough interaction between characters to make it interesting, but felt I could see conflict coming before it happened and new where the story was going at all times. Very familiar plotting. Still, I will look forward to the next in the series just to see if things don't get a little more unpredictable. ...more
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Dave Bara was born at the dawn of the space age and grew up watching the Gemini and Apollo space programs on television. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut one day. This soon led him to an interest in science fiction, especially on television. His early years were filled with dozens of episodes of the original Star Trek, Lost in Space, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone.

He began to read sci

Other books in the series

Lightship Chronicles (3 books)
  • Starbound (Lightship Chronicles #2)
  • Defiant (Lightship Chronicles, #3)

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