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The Ruins of Karzelek

(The Mandrake Company #4)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  799 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Kalish has been a successful treasure hunter for years, relying on only herself to deal with deadly predators, impenetrable jungles, and diabolical booby traps. But with her father kidnapped, and a notorious pirate demanding an ancient alien artifact that may or may not exist, Kalish needs help.

She hires a mercenary company because she needs their combat experience and th
Kindle Edition, 282 pages
Published December 22nd 2014
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  799 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Have I said that I love this series? No?
Well, let me say it now: I love this series!!!!

The thing I love most is the humor that is in every scene, even the most dangerous, or the most hot! It is so very well done!

Another thing I love is the quirkiness of the characters! Each one has something: Victor’s real name is Willow and he grunts a lot; Thatcher is almost Vulcan-like; here Sedgwick Thomlin has allergies of various types! LOL

The heroine, Kalish is a a female version of Indiana Jones, but wi
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
It was entertaining. This one had a really nice atmosphere and a good backstory. I liked the Alien archeology topic a lot.
The love story was ok - not my favourite here, as the pacing and the rhythm felt exactly like in the other books.
I didn't find Thomlin very interesting, he felt like a pale copy of Thatcher.
The girl felt like a pale copy of Arkani.
It was nonetheless an entertaining book and I enjoyed it a lot.
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A successful treasure hunter, Kalish, needs the assistance of the Mandrake Company because this hunt has just gotten her way over her head and the cost might just be her father's life.

Kalish's father has been kidnapped. Leaving her, her mother and her younger sister up against insurmountable odds.

Unsure who she can trust, Kalish keeps their mission close to her chest. But the Sedgwick, the Mandrakes intelligence officer is on case. Nothing gets by him, but his interests are definitely distracte
Nan Loyd
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The problem with reading this series is that it is always in the back of your mind that THIS is the last book (as of this reading in Jan 2015). I understand another one will be out in February - thank goodness - but I sure wish there were MORE. I want to see Striker get his comeuppance by meeting the perfect woman for him and his comic books - and Tick - write more and write faster, Miss Ruby!

I so enjoyed this book. After reading Book 4 (Thatcher and Val, who were in this book, as well), I wasn'
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-sci-fi
Let me start by saying that Sedgewick is my kind of hero. I loved the depth of his awkwardness and allergies and mannerisms and... Loved it all. Kalish is my kind of heroine, too - strong, smart and not throwing herself at the guy. So, from the start it was a recipe for a good read for me. Add to that a fun space adventure with alien ruins, a bunch of great side characters and an interesting plot... I very much enjoyed this book.

A drawback for me was the amount of introspection and repeated inne
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016, own
Successful treasure hunter Kalish Blackwell is about to embark on the most challenging and also most important hunt of her career. Her father has been kidnapped, and to get him back she needs to find an ancient alien artifact which may not even exist outside the realm of speculation. To aid in her quest, she hires a group of mercenaries: Mandrake Company are to provide firepower, two shuttles and the pilots to fly them, and a distraction while Kalish sneaks into a mountain being mined for ore an ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This one was fun. We have an erudite treasure hunter who has hired a troop of mercenaries in order to save her father. We have a geeky (yet super fit) intelligence officer for the mercenaries. And there are assorted other characters, including one hard-headed crude Chief of Boom who has a hard time looking women in the eyes since he's so busy looking elsewhere.

The search for alien treasure and the difficulties faced was fun. The bantering and teasing of the mercenaries was also a lot of fun. Ka
Stephen Garinger
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great continuation of the Mandrake Company series

Once again Ms Lionsdrake weaves an exciting space adventure with a satisfying romance that both sexes will enjoy. New characters join those we have all come to love. If you liked her previous novels you will not be disappointed!
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Adventure abounds in The Ruins of Karzelek!

Action-packed with a sprinkling of romance. Ms Lionsdrake creates unique characters and puts them in nail-biting situations. I will definitely be reading the next installments in the Mandrake Company series.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well done! Great story full of action, aliens and romance, oh my! We meet up again with Val and Thatcher, who's story was in the previous book, along with Tick, Striker and Thomlin; who are hired to assist a young treasure hunter as she searches for alien technology to save her father.
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sedgwick seems really unsure at points and seems to question everything between them despite evidence to the contrary. In previous books he seemed really stodgy and sure so this was an interesting change and a bit more layering added to his character.
The relationship between Kalish and Sedgwick developed really quickly. I didn’t really like that aspect of the story much. Especially with how her mother and her were all anti-mercenary like and were extra wary around him and the people helping them
This was another fantastic installment in this wonderful series.

This had action right from the start. As per usual, well written and really gripping. I was completely drawn into the story and could not put it down. This was really fast paced, with lots of explosions and plenty of humour that carried you through the book.

This installment brought back some of the other mercenary characters, such as Tick, Striker, Val and Thatcher, but it really focused on Sedgwick Thomlin, Mandrake Company's Int
Frank Becker
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I got this book as part of a "StoryBudle"-SciFi-Bundle; so I didn't really know what I was getting. Not my best idea I have to admit...
The Book is SciFi - but a kind of romatic-SciFi so I guess it generally appeals to women more than to men. As one of the latter I did not really get into it.
The story is actually not so bad, but feels wrong in a lot of places - time and space (speed) do not really add up and most problems kind of solve themselves - like finding a "lid" with a detailed 3D-on-2D-ma
Another awesome book in the series. What struck me this time was that each couple has come together in a unique way, and at a pace suited to them. Even as a fan, I can admit that sometimes romance is a bit predictable in terms of the pacing - sexy times around 50%, Big Mis at 80%, etc. Not true for this series! Each H/h pair has followed their own path, and expressed their sexuality in a way that fits them.

Kalish was a fun, adventurous heroine, and pairing her with the seemingly weak and mild-m
Sep 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
1.5 stars

Sedge is not as cute as a character as Gregor, but at least we got to see a bit more of Gregor and Val - clearly still my favourite couple (and standalone characters) in this series. Kalish was not as interesting as I would expect from a treasure hunter and a little slow. (view spoiler)
Aurrora James
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good overall

Sedge and Kalish's story was fast paced and entertaining. I really enjoyed seeing more of Tick and Striker. Sedge was very protective and quite shy, which is unusual in a romance hero. Not a bad read for the series.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the setting. I loved the Indian Jones type story line.....It just took me a hell of a long time to work my way through this book.
I found it hard to really get into liking Kalish, and while I think Sedge was sweet I honestly didn't get any heat from them together.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
More science fiction than romance
Mark And Lorenda
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another Good Read

Enjoyed another adventure in the Mandrake Company series! Treasure hunting, humor, and romance all rolled together for an enjoyable read.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it

Liked the conflicts and. The developing romance.the mother's suspicions made it more interesting. Could have done without the constant bragging, leering by captain boom.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This one was difficult for me. I really like the plots in these books, the female characters are relatable and interesting. But the men are... confusing. They have a lot of promise. Mercenaries (so you would assume, dangerous) lots of beta-type characters so you would think, interesting. But somehow a beta mercenary just comes across as confusing rather than intriguing. I liked Sedge a lot at the beginning. A hero that was plagued by being allergic to basically everything. But I think it's the a ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: y2015
It was okay. An interesting storyline and characters that kept me interested, until near the end when TV/Movie physics shattered my immersion.

One critical thing in any Sci Fi story is getting the real world physics right. And when one character throws themselves in front of a laser to protect another, I just shake my head. When ships hide in a nebula "near" a planet, I shake it even harder.

But when an ship explodes, producing a "boom that reverberated through the icy vacuum of space", I stopped
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
24th December: wanting something light-weight to read while cooking/tidying/organising/etc, I started the first book in this series. I went for it because there was a comparison to Linnea Sinclair and it was free (I did realise it was the author herself making this comparison, but I figured with 'free' you have nothing to lose).
Having finished the first book, I thought the comparison to Sinclair was perhaps a little optimistic (but only a little; not lots!) And given that this was a first book,
Audrey Hall
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A great scifi adventure full of action and suspense.

Summary: 5 stars. Action, adventure, and most of all great characters.

The Ruins of Karzelek is the fourth Mandrake Company book, but it follows a different couple so you can read it without having read the first three. Though I think reading them in order enriches the experience.

One thing I really like about this series is what a great job the author does in creating interesting and complex characters. I usually don’t like it when the main char
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Treasure hunting, mercenaries, AND purloined alien technology? YESSSSS! Sure, the mercs have a few issues (allergies can be a killer, you know) and getting to the alien tech means evading booby traps and killer robots, but SO IT GOES sometimes.

Flat out, I've enjoyed all the books in this series. The heroes are courageous and the heroines are willing and able to stand up for them. And to them. And NONE of them are perfect. This time around, Sedge has a few issues with pollen. Not just pollen, rea
1.5 stars rounded to 2.

It seems like I'm enjoying this series less and less. I enjoyed the first book and gave it a solid 2.5 star rating, but the stories are grabbing my attention less and less. Maybe it's the fact that this is the fourth book (almost consecutively) by this author, but I was bored when reading this. The MCs weren't compelling and I had a hard time getting into their story. I did like the alternating dual third person povs, the funny banter and inner monologue, and seeing some
The fourth book in the series, The Mandrake Company by Ruby Lionsdrake. Kalish Blackwell is a successful treasure hunter. When her father is kidnapped she must locate an alien relic to get him back. So Kalish hires The Mandrake Company to help her. Sounds simple enough, except for the miners, the giant creatures, deadly robots, and booby traps. Sedgwick Thomlin, Val, Gregor, Tick, and Striker, along with Kalish's sister, Tia and her mom join Kalish in her treasure hunting quest.

Sedgwick Thomlin
Ruby Tuesday
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mandrake Company does it again. This story is book 4 in the series but is most definitely a standalone. While you see some of your old favorites the story focuses on Kalish the treasure hunter and Sedgwick the intelligence officer for the Mandrake Company. Their adventure thru the mine and the ancient alien ruins is fun and captivating. The romance and sex side of the story is more a secondary plot line instead of the main focus making this more of a science fiction novel then a romance that tak ...more
Literati Literature Lovers
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fic
Good entry into series but not a great romance.

This foray into space with The Mandrake Company crew was just not for me. I loved the camaraderie of the existing crew, but the romance between Sedge and Kalish the treasurer hunter fell flat. There was no sizzle or spark that normally accompanies her science fiction adventures. There was too many people for the lovers to really connect on a one on one bases. I think if it would have been a two person treasurer hunt it would have been a better roman
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, romance, sci-fi
Another great installment in this series! I was so hoping that Sedge would be the romantic interest and the character written for his romantic involvement was perfect.
Even though this story is mainly a romance, the sci-fi genre isn't ignored or just given lip service, it still is in a complex sci-fi universe.
I was so pleased to see the inclusion of the previous book's couple, Val and Thatcher. So many series that focus on a different romantic couple each book forget the previous characters, the
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The Mandrake Company (7 books)
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