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Salvage Trouble

(Black Ocean #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  835 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Science to build a starship. Wizardry to take it past light speed. A crew to give it a soul.

In the year 2254 gravity was officially declared to be magic; the scientists gave up trying to figure it out and handed it over to the wizards. Without the inherent respect for the laws of physics, the wizards poked and prodded at gravity, poring over all that science knew about th
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published October 26th 2014 by Magical Scrivener Press
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  835 ratings  ·  107 reviews

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Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a fan fiction homage to Jos Whedon's Firefly. Similar attempt at charm and some original elements, but not different enough to feel other than derivative.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard about the Black Ocean series on the Shacknews Chatty. Someone mentioned an Audible deal, a package that contained all 16.5 books. That was the first thing that drew me to the series: That there were 16 and a half books. What an odd number, literally and figuratively.

The second attraction was the premise. Black Ocean follows Karl, captain of the Mobius, and his ragtag band. It’s a space opera with light science elements, just enough to lend verisimilitude to situations like surviving on f
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book. Carl and his crew are off enough to be interesting, without being full anti-heroes. I'm hoping that future books will get more into the breakdown of science vs magic, but the these are quick fun actioners, so they may not support much on screen world building.
The good:
Love the setting of Science fiction and magic.
The Characters are enjoyable; with vibes of Firefly or a Han Solo adventure.

The bad:
The big reveal at the end was somewhat underwhelming.
Juha Niittynen
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great combination of scifi and magic-fantasy. Han Solo meets Gandalf.

First short-ish book is more or less character introduction, interested in following the crew of Mobius to the next adventures.
There are two major impressions I have if this book: one, the writer is a big fan of Firefly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, so am I, but it never really seemed like enough of its own thing. Two, it was really short. Jarringly short. "What, that's it?" short. I'm okay with short books but this one felt like it didn't even really get going before it was over. It teased at world building and characters but never really developed them. It needed subplot! Even the overall conflict seemed flimsy ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, sf
I wanted to like this book because the blurb read like a Firefly-style adventure.
I was very disappointed.

It is ultra-light, not tightly written, with predictable, mundane dialogue throughout. It takes a while to get to the point of the story, then (80% through the book) it does get to an attention-worthy bit of business. Can't say I'm a fan of having magic in a hard SF universe just to have it used as an ass-saving device. World building is poor. There were many places where it would have been
John Willson
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A likable rogue and motley crew, just trying to make a living and fly under the radar in a galaxy where the mega-corps hold all the big cards. Fun characters, sharp dialogue, cool twists, and situations that turn from comedic to deadly (and back) faster than a Typhoon fighter with the AI pilot-assists turned off.

First title of a long series. It's short, more like a TV episode than a movie, but the price reflects that, at only a few bucks. This first installment is available free from the author
Dennis Fahey
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Bland characters, improbable plot

Starts with an ok concept, space trading ship, but story is predictable, characters flat. I skimmed thru. It is a Prime freebie and a few more volumes of the series exist , but i'm passing...
Dale Russell
Carl Ramsey, Captain of the ship Mobius is a man of opportunity. His crew will take any job, anywhere, that will bring them the money they need to survive and keep the ship running in the area of space called The Black Ocean. So, when he witnesses a pirate ship attacking a passenger freighter he jumps at that opportunity. Driving the raiders off, he and his crew board the ruined ship only to find their efforts were late and all the crew apparently dead. Not letting a gift horse escape him, his c ...more
Dylan Evans
I have never read anything by J. S. Morin before this one. It started off as a pretty solid science fiction piece, at least until Mort showed up. At the point I realized it was a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, I was hooked. The setting was enjoyable and fun with the bulk of the story with a pulp science fiction and the frequent forays into magic.

One of my favorite parts of the setting is how magic disrupts technology. It is a nice touch that balances the science with the fantasy while a
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
J. S. Morin's 2014 novel "Salvage Trouble: Mission 1 (Black Ocean)" is pretty much your quintessential light bit of action/science fiction/fantasy reading. Well, light in the sense of non-heavy. There's certainly plenty of non-pleasant things that happen in it to weigh things down. In general, though, it's fine: the universe is interesting, the writing decent, and the characters fairly well done. It would have been nice if Morin had done some explaining of how magic and science co-exist at fairl ...more
Firefly with space wizards (it actually works)

A nice, light, and entertaining sci-fi tale of a nearly derelict salvage/ trading ship with a misfit crew and a sardonic ex- military captain that picks up space hitchhikers who are more than they seem.

...burn the land and boil the sea....

The formula for Firefly works so well that it's hard to screw up and this first "Mission" of the Mobius hits some entertaining notes (even if it never quite feels like a fully told story). But the writing is solid,
No spoilers so you are safe!
Firefly with wizards my friend said- Hmmmmm .. really? I'll give it a go. I was prepared to hate this book, but it was really good. So good in fact that I'm on book 7 of the series now & they keep getting better.
So ok in my head I have this cast as a TV series already & the more I read the more I'm refining who I want in my dream cast - but these books are FUN. Kick back, take your brain out of gear & just relax with the book & a brew. They aren't lo
Katie Brock
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
For a short sci fi novel, it was packed with space travel, futuristic settings and some surprises! I actually enjoyed this novel, or novella more like considering it's just short of 200 pages!

Each of the characters have different personalities, from the Captain, Carl and his ex wife and co-pilot Tanny, to the old wizard Mort.

There's alien crew members too which just made it feel completely futuristic and helped me to get fully immersed into the world.

As an opener to the series it was also just
Richard Eyres
The first in a long series. A firefly(esc) crew and ship, flying the big Black Ocean looking for work and living. A little weird, as they have a Wizard who will take them 'deep'. A couple of Aliens (a mech wonder and a TALL ferocious fighter), and some humans.
They rescue a couple while scavenging a derelict ship, and the story follows this.
The story is fine, and i think will be the perfect listen while commuting. I believe it will find depth in the future books, but this is setting up a little w
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Interesting characters, I'm really not to sure about the premise - its just not a workable reality. OK plot but it did seem to drift a bit rather than any clever forethought. Very readable. 4 stars a bit flattering but overall I enjoyed reading this book

Plotline: Plot is OK, the twist at the end is well thought through but otherwise drifted

Premise: Magic in space. Hmmmm. Not really for me at least

Writing: Interesting characters and simple highly readable style

Ending: All good ready for
Ross Argabrite
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Caught me.

This book was part of a collection of books seeking to expose me to authors I may not have read yet.
J. S. Morin is just such an author. A fine storyteller and an excellent scene and world builder as well. He carefully crafts the relationships of the crew and the use of their unique talents to survive on the edge of legal enterprises.
Now, having experienced J. S. Morin's ability to snare me, more of this author's magic will make its way to my Kindle.
A very good read and highly recommend
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good, solid sci-fi that reminded me of Firefly, but far more entertaining. Listening to the audiobook, this has been a background companion during my commute - I bought the 80-hour omnibus - for the past few weeks. I'm genuinely interested in the fates of Carl, Mort, Tanny, and Kubu. And despite repetitive storylines (same thing, different day) a la Expeditionary Force, Magic Kingdom of Landover, or Dresden Files, I'm still entertained by every subsequent story. Worth the read for any f ...more
Robyn Blaber
This pulpy and outrageously forced blend of sci-fi and fantasy is... fun. The heroes are overtly influenced by the heroes of other books, the plots are directive and probably stolen from other books, but the writing is certainly passable and as I said... fun. This is an excellent piece of escapism and highly recommended for these strange times.

Despite my mediocre rating, I highly recommend to any sci-fi and fantasy geeks out there. I'm certain to read the whole series.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good read, interesting characters and a decent story line. Because it is the first of a series the author did a pretty good job with the world building. It felt comfortable enough to put yourself in and they developed the characters well enough to make you curious about them and intrigued to read more about them. Started reading this one during Hurricane Irma and with power issues and clean-ups it took me a week to read it.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent, if short, start to a series. It definitely feels Firefly-inspired, but it's unique enough to stand on its own. If this first book is anything to go by, then each one seems like it will be episodic, with character progression occurring across the series, versus within each one. I'm interesting to see what the next one has in store.
Dylan Shrawder
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really liked it

This book was a great find. It was light hearted yet action packed, with the nonchalant dialogue of Han Solo and the adventure of Star Trek. A band of misfits just looking to get by, avoiding the past and surviving the future.
It's a quick read but I enjoyed every second of it and am glad to see there are plenty more missions to follow!
"Firefly" being one of my favourite TV shows, I enjoyed "Salvage Trouble" a lot. It's a story around a bunch of people - 2 of them being aliens - who fly the Mobius and trade/scavenge/smuggle/steal to earn a living while each is trying to avoid some people from their past. Can't wait to dig into book 2!
Phil Matthews
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty darn good

Captain Carl is a pretty close clone of Captain Mal. Crew is similar in many ways albeit with aliens. Well written, good plot. Didn't see any resemblance to Han Solo even though he was a fighter pilot. He didn't give me that "fighter pilot vibe". Firefly fans should love this.
Violet H Harmon
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite enjoyable

Since I’ve been reading a series where humans are slaves, owned by cruel, brutal aliens, this change of pace where human and aliens live and work together is delightful. I like the plot, I like the characters, it’s well written, includes some humor, mixes science and magic. I will definitely follow this author and read more of his books.
Leanna M Cole
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A new Firefly

I don't particularly like having magic on a Starship, but it a good read, logical plot, true twists I didn't see coming, and clearly setting up for a long series. (I am Steve Cole, Leanna's husband. Don't blame her if you don't like my review.)
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good light read

It's a good light read book. You really start getting the firefly feel in some parts. Really only grazed the surface of any character. Just enough to get you interested.
John Weiss
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice written space adventure. Well drawn characters. I think that the story is channeling 'Firefly', but what the heck's wrong with that?

Nothing profound, but a tale of high adventure. Nice light reading. I recommend that you try it.
Benjamin Bloom
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Parallels to Firefly

Entertaining fast read. Not great literature but a fun story that kept me engaged. Felt a bit like a prologue, mostly because of it's length. Guess it would make a good pilot TV episode.
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I am a creator of worlds and a destroyer of words. As a fantasy writer, my works range from traditional epics to futuristic fantasy with starships. I have worked as an unpaid Little League pitcher, a cashier, a student library aide, a factory grunt, a cubicle drone, and an engineer--there is some overlap in the last two.

Through it all, though, I was always a storyteller. Eventually I started writi

Other books in the series

Black Ocean (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • A Smuggler's Conscience (Black Ocean #2)
  • Poets and Piracy (Black Ocean #3)
  • To Err is Azrin (Black Ocean #4)
  • Alien Racer (Black Ocean #5)
  • Retro Version (Black Ocean #6)
  • Siege of Mortania (Black Ocean #7)
  • Moon of Odysseus (Black Ocean #8)
  • Adventure Capital (Black Ocean #9)
  • Collusion Course (Black Ocean #10)
  • You, Robot (Black Ocean, #11)
“Praesertim virtute,” 0 likes
“You’re incorrigible.” “Why would I want to be corriged?” Mort asked with a wink.” 0 likes
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