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Forgotten Suns

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  278 ratings  ·  47 reviews
For five thousand Earthyears, the planet called Nevermore has been empty. Its cities are deserted, with every trace of their inhabitants erased. Only a handful of nomadic tribes remain, none of whom remember the ones who went before.

An expedition from Earth has been excavating one of the planet's many ruins, and attempting without success to find the cause of its people's
ebook, 439 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Book View Café (first published February 7th 2015)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  278 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Sherwood Smith
For five thousand Earthyears, the planet called Nevermore has been empty. Only a handful of nomadic tribes remain, none of whom remember the ones who went before. Archaeologists have been excavating one of the planet’s many ruins, but expedition's funding has been cut; the United Planets want to take over, strip the planet of its resources, and destroy its ancient and enigmatic treasures.

Aisha and Jamal, hyper-smart daughter and son of the chief archaeologists, are desperate to save their parent
I really liked this book! I honestly didn't know what to expect, but this story is doing a really subtle critique of power and how people choose to wield power (or not). There are cool ladies, and it's operating on a coming of age axis and a coming into power axis. Although the central character seems like a "I am all-powerful and have no flaws" type of dude, it's way more complicated than that and I loved all the ways he was surrounded by wildly different women who he didn't treat any different ...more
C.E. Murphy
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Strong, appealing space opera.

It’s space opera with YA sensibilities: only one of the main characters is actually a young adult, but all three of the main characters are on journeys of self-discovery. The character I felt was the lead (a hard call, as all 3 stories are insanely well balanced, but hers is the catalyst for all that follows), Aisha, is the 13 year old daughter of planetary archaeologists; this is a story of history’s haunts and the actions we take to protect the future, with an int
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience with Judith Tarr, and I'm not sure if I should have started elsewhere to get the feel for her writing, but this was a pretty great book anyway. My main problem (and this could be the fact that I'm struggling with The Dumb since getting pregnant) was that I had a really hard time figuring out some of what was happening politics-wise, and with the different factions that were in play, and even with Rama and his motivations. I'm not sure if they were meant to be murky o ...more
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of space opera, awesome females+ worldbuilding +plot + people of all races+orientations
Recommended to Estara by: It's Judith Tarr with horses in space and possibly a connection to the Avaryan series ^^
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lis Carey
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Aisha Nasir is the thirteen-year-old daughter of archaeologists who've been working on the almost-abandoned planet of Nevermore for most of her life.

When Aisha, in an excess of enthusiasm, tries to blast open a hidden chamber in the mountain near their settlement, things go predictably wrong and she finds nothing useful--but a strange man turns up, apparently from nowhere.

He looks and sounds like the natives--but not exactly. He seems not to remember his name, and Vikram, one of senior staff of
Almost quit after five pages. Glad I stuck with it. Well-told, imaginative science fiction with bursts into new frontiers. Nice capture of the thrill of archeology and anthropology.

First book I’ve read with post-Islamic characters. No graphic language, violence or sex issues, though Tarr diminished one of her primary cast by having her go into heat over someone in almost each new world encountered.

If I was to quibble it’s that Tarr was so busy being politically correct that it occasionally clash
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
On the deserted world of Nevermore, a family of archaeologists labours to uncover ancient mysteries despite the threat of funding cuts which will lead to the United Planets stripping the planet's resources in a legal invasion.

Nevermore presents a conundrum. If the people of this world had suffered a wipeout after some apocalyptic upheaval there would be evidence, but there isn't. The buildings have crumbled, but all the records, statuary, art and artefacts have all disappeared. There are no skel
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Forgotten Suns recalls the planetary romances of pulp era/golden age authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs and Leigh Brackett. I wish there were more novels of this kind being written, just better novels than this particular one.
I thought the world building was interesting and the central mysteries intriguing, but the story is a bit of a jumble, and sometimes moves at a snail's pace. There are two protagonists, and the novel's perspective shifts erratically between third person omniscient and a tigh
Allison Henle
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
A delightful blend of SF and fantasy, told by an experienced story-teller. I loved reading about a family of devout Muslims (plus an aunt who has rejected the religion). The story is blessedly free of rape, torture, and anything overly graphic. The author assumes a high level of intelligence from the reader - I say this as a compliment - and the story does demand thought and some level of attention being paid to the clues. But the narrative itself unfolds at a nice clip and the major plot points ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I liked this one in particular because it's a science-fiction story with elements of one of my other favorite interests, archaeology, as well as a mystery tied in with that that delves into the ancient history and missing peoples of the planet called Nevermore where a family of archaelogists has set up their dig. It's also very multicultural as far as the characters go, with Aisha, the young girl protagonist, and her archaeologist/scholar family originally being of Egyptian extraction from when ...more
Nov 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
On a distant planet, a young girl in a family of archaeologists accidentally releases a man who looks human, but is an alien king with psionic powers, left behind in stasis by his people because he was too much of a threat... but now, he may be the only one who can save them.

I did not care for this book at all. It was a slog to get through.

Before I go into why, I should perhaps explain something about my life and reading history that might help you understand where I'm coming from.

I used to love
Jared Millet
We may have to reformulate Clarke's Law for this novel so it reads: "Any sufficiently advanced psionic abilities are indistinguishable from magic." OK, psi powers are magical anyway since they don't really exist, but neither does FTL and we allow that in the SF clubhouse, so telepathy gets in too. Forgotten Suns, however, is a space opera that really plays with that gray area between science and fantasy. The book generally lands on the "really alien higher-dimensional science that we just don't ...more
Morgan Dhu
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I must admit at the outset that I may not be capable of writing objectively about Judith Tarr's science fiction space opera Forgotten Suns. You see, Tarr is one of a large handful of authors I whose work I adore without reservation, and this book is the unexpected and completely amazing sequel to my very favourite of her many works, the double trilogy Avaryan Rising and Avaryan Ascendant.

If you are familiar Tarr's books, you may be going "whoa, what was that?" just now, because the Avaryan seri
Micah Sisk
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that Forgotten Suns relies heavily on cliché tropes such as psi-powers, a Psycorps almost directly pulled out of Babylon 5, and an overpowered principle character, I found it to be an excellent read. Tarr simply writes characters very well, and wisely focuses most of her attention on character dynamics and personal interplay rather than on the magical mystical powers of psionics (although at pivotal points of conflict these do tend to rear up and grab center stage). The various ...more
Chris Meads
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book on LibraryThing and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is a science fiction/fantasy space adventure with a hero and a young girl.

Some of the people on Nevermore are psi, and the Military Intelligence comes to take those children who have psi. Aisha is one, and one day she tries to help her parents who are part of an archeological team, and blows open a hill. Out of that hill comes a man--she has awakened someone that has been sleeping for over 6000 years. She calls him Rama. With her he
May 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really thought I would like this based on the "Big Idea" piece on Whatever which pushed it to the top of the to read list.

As billed, it is exuberant space space opera full of daring adventures, aliens and psi with plenty of nods of Norton, Heinlein and company, even down to the 13-year old protagonist.

My personal issue with it (I think) is similar to that I had with Kraken - when one of the characters can, and does, pull out a new world altering power for every situation there just isn't any j
Nicole Lisa
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
You can tell the author was really having fun while she wrote it because it's fun to read. One of the things I love best about self-published books is the genre smashing they do. This book plays with magic and science and has a young narrator and an older narrator and goes kind of wild with the story, in a really good and satisfying way. Strangely, it reminded me of CJ Cherryh's Faded Suns trilogy, which I haven't read in 2 decades at least, but without the cloud of tragedy I remember about them ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
My friend Estara recommended this book to me and I started reading it while on vacation. I figured we can talk about it when we met up but I had to put it on hold because I was too distracted to concentrate on the worldbuilding. This is my first Judith Tarr and it's a good book, I enjoyed parts of it although other parts also confused me. I don't know if the book would have made more sense if I had read her earlier Avaryan series? I did like how smart and strong the female characters in this boo ...more
Todd Gutschow
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
I got 1/2 way through but can't go anymore. You know that feeling when the author is just making things up as they go along? Well, that's this, I guess. Nothing much is happening, little makes sense, and I really don't care about the characters at all. Slow, plodding, and uneventful. The only reason I gave "two" stars is that it's not, at least, offensive in anyway. I guess that's worth something.
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
What's not to like? Just look at the characters. First Tarr gives us a teenage ninja polymath and a magic psi wielding stranger from far in the past. Then she tosses in a living starship and a host of other quirky characters. Then she gives them a do or die quest involving an ancient mystery and a danger to the multiverse. Add in a sinister government agency bent on domination and you have all the elements needed for a rip-snorting space opera. Good fun.
Teresa Carrigan
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Excellent space opera, with so much psi in it that it probably can be called fantasy too. Three main points of view: two adults and one girl who is 12 to 13 yo. Ending is satisfying but definitely leaves room for a sequel.
This book was a little long-winded and dragged in the middle third or so, but is overall an excellent book that manages to combine cyberpunk dystopia with high fantasy in the best way possible.
Tim Hicks
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
There's a good book hidden here, I think, but it's buried under Rama.
I didn't finish the book. It got slow, and I peeked at some reviews.
Some confirmed my suspicion that if things got really tough Rama would just snap his fingers and do whatever was necessary to make it OK. Change the minds of a billion people remotely? No problem. Move a few planets? Piece of cake. Alter the gravitational constant? What, again?
When you have one of those, there is still room to examine how Rama uses such powe
Stephen Graham
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well written though a bit on the space opera side than might be preferable. Interesting problem and solutions.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-plus
Good, deep story with many separate "acts", i can't pinpoint what exactly it lacked to be 5*.
Jill Carroll
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars. YA fantasy influenced SF.
Jeffrey Grant
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's nice to know there are more than a few good authors who are writing science fiction which is more on the fantastical side.

The book primarily follows two characters - Aisha, the daughter of archaeologists who accidentally wakes an ancient native of a dead world who has psionic powers beyond anything humanity has seen. She is also trying to hide her own latent psionic talent from the government agency that regulates and controls it. Then there's Khalida, a psionic Military Intelligence opera
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I read this in about ten sittings, yeah ten sittings in two days. I literally picked it up every spare minute I had. This book is AMAZING if you like timey wimey (Doctor Who saying) things.....
I really love fantasy and science fiction and this just hit all the right spots, all of them! It has magic, I mean sun god kind of magic. A sleeper who has slept for thousands of years, THOUSANDS!! There is even a ship that is alive god damn really alive...
A girl (Aisha) who is downright crazy... A guy (Ra
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
A page-turning novel that encompassed all kinds of sci-fi / fantasy elements and sources, from time travel to psi powers, from mythological ancient godlike creatures weilding the power and magic of the sun to a living, singing, startdust eating ship, from oppressive mind-controlling paramilitary corps to traditional native tribes ruled by a wise old woman, from reincarnating, death-defying love between kindred souls to world-destroying universe-eating blind rage creatures, from net-hacking meets ...more
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AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
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