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Pelquin's Comet

(The Dark Angels #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  34 reviews
In an age of exploration and expansion, the crew of the freetrader Pelquin’s Comet – a rag-tag group of misfits, ex-soldiers and ex-thieves – set out to find a cache of alien technology, intent on making their fortunes; but they are not the only interested party and find themselves in a deadly race against corporate agents and hunted by the authorities. Forced to combat en ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 30th 2015 by NewCon Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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re-read may 2017 on publication of 2nd volume The Ion Raider

actually started The Ion Raider first and then realized that while I remembered the striking ending and a few details, I had forgotten a lot of the Pelquin Comet, especially the part about Leesa with whom The Ion raider sort of starts (not directly but with an assassination attempt on Jen/Shadow, another former Dark Angel, and while she escapes that, she is almost killed on the run when Leesa/Hel N intervenes in the nick of time), so d
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015, e-books
5 Stars

Pelquin's Comet by Ian Whates is a fabulous summer read. It is filled with action, adventure, mystery, and a whole lot of space romping fun. This is a book and series that will appeal to fans of Firefly or The Tales of the Ketty Jay. In fact, this book has a great deal of resemblance to Wooding's amazing series. What does this mean...It means that this is a fun space opera meant to take you on a wild ride. The real difference between Pelquin's Comet and the aforementioned is the writing
Andi Fitzherbert
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed Pelquin's Comet. It's kind of like Firefly with some more obvious magic/scifi/unusual elements. It reads really smoothly - someone who obviously knows his craft here. The characters reveal nicely and a couple are drawing me to reading the next book as I want to know how things pan out for them.

Nice concise 'complete' story although it's obviously going to be a trilogy.
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This full-length space opera is so close to a five-star read that it's not worth quibbling about fractions. The characters are well fleshed and the important ones have complete arcs. The book stands alone (no cliffhanger ending) although not all questions are answered (the start of a series).

And you know how you can tell in the first few pages that you'll enjoy the book, that the author can be trusted to deliver a good story? Yeah, I got that feeling in the first paragraphs, although the early
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ok, so I knew this was advertised as the first in a series, but I did not expect that even as I was reading I would be so aware of plot points which I knew were not going to be answered within the book. There is an awful lot of setting things up for later books which is something I dislike immensely and against which I react by refusing to buy anymore in the series.

It was decently written, if not exactly groundbreaking.

The universe created seemed somewhat strange - for instance, faster than lig
Sep 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, 2016
There is nothing wrong with recycling genre clichés; just ask Becky Chambers. One could even argue that the only thing separating James S.A. Corey and Iain Banks, for example, is how they deal with genre baggage … Ian Whates’ response is to be as insipid and as bland as possible, to dish up a gruel-like version of the inimitable Firefly that leaves one hungering for The Real Thing (another cliché, alas). There is nothing original here; the characters are tired and undifferentiated; plus there ar ...more
May 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads, my-books
Really entertaining space opera with well fleshed characters.
I look forward to the new adventures of the Comet crew.
It is remarkable that the author did not shy away from killing of one of the more important characters.

Andrew Wallace
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The cloaking device used by the titular spaceship to sneak into alien territory feels like a metaphor for the characters in Ian Whates’s bracing space opera. Most of these people have ulterior motives, with the motives of one so ulterior she doesn’t even know them herself. Such duality seems to be a survival mechanism in the world of the novel, because the single honest character dies horribly at the wraithy hands of… Well, read it and see.
Even the cute, furry Mudball needs close watching as he
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
English author Ian Whates has been around for a while now as a publisher, editor and author and I've been meaning to give one of his offerings a crack for some time, especially since he has been responsible for publishing stories from a few of my firm favourite sci-fi writers like Peter F. Hamilton & Eric Brown. Based on this, I naturally assumed that maybe Mr Whates has the same good taste as me (IMHO) and finally sought out some of his own work. What caught my eye first was Pelquin's Comet, a ...more
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot of alien tech cache hunting stories around, which is ok because I love the trope. But I wasn't expecting anything special. This surprised me, not just because of a cast of interesting characters but also because it's so beautifully written. Why haven't I read more Ian Whates?! We have the usual characters we want like the lovable rogue space captain or damaged augmented soldier, but a banker as a main character? It works really well though as it's all about the mysterious pasts tha ...more
Tom Loock
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, ebook
I very rarely give five stars to any novel, but this one ticks all the boxes for me:

A great cast of characters with enough intrigue left for sequels, yet fleshed out sufficiently to make them interesting from the start.

A background/universe that is not too complex to memorize, beautifully described ("Vast bridges spanned the Kusbah’s expanse at irregular intervals – seeming from this vantage to be crude stitches across an open wound, holding the two halves of the city together." at ca. 25%) wi
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A difficult one to rate. On the one hand, this is a space opera in the classic Free Trader/Firefly tradition, and great fun for the most part. On the other hand, there is little or nothing original here: it is a collection of space opera tropes, assembled very well, but ultimately one wonders about the point of it all. I suppose looking at this as a meta-space opera, an homage to the genre and its ingredients, presented with some chutzpah and great energy. I am going to the next book of the tril ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book of what must be at least a trilogy. I have now read books 1&2 of The Dark Angels series--the second is The Ion Raider. I am reviewing them together. Nice action and character development. Ian Whates gets better with every book--not just in this series, I think. Classic space opera, leavened with humor. Both books can stand alone, but the character development works better if they are read together. My only quibble is that there is not yet any word on the third book. ...more
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
An excelent read, with well created characters, in the best traditions of science fiction.
Jean Hontz
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Indiana Jones in space fun artifact hunt.
John Hodgkinson
This is a promising start and made for very good space opera reading. I'm looking forward to reding the Ion Raider now.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't quite sure what I was in for with this book but I ended up enjoying it. It doesn't go anywhere new but the execution is good and consistent through out.
Helen Gould
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this a lot. It's been a while since I actually read any science fiction, as during the nineties and noughties I completely went off reading SF due to the fact that it all seemed to be related to computers and near-future settings. That didn't interest me at all - it wasn't what I signed up for!

But with this book I re-entered the genre. Sure, it has a character who has some kinky machine-based implants, but we don't really know what they are or what they can help her do, at least at the
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Heike by: review from a goodreads friend
Shelves: sifi
Entertaining story, interesting characters. I did really enjoy this book but was not satisfied with the ending. Like a delicious meal that leaves one hungry. The characters were set up with sometimes even too many flash backs, and still many secrets, and since the book was written as a first in a series I could live with it expecting it to be a set up for the next books to come. Except ... two years after this novel was published there is no follow up. Which makes me feel like I wasted my time l ...more
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ian Whates: Pelquin's Comet
The Dark Angels #1
Space opera, adventure, treasure hunting, a motley crew, aliens and some corporate intrigue are the building blocks that form this science fiction tale from Ian Whates. Pelquin is a free trader/ The Comet, his ship, and motley crew, bear some resemblance to the Fireflyesque scenario (no bad thing in my book) in which a rag-tag bunch of adventurers skirt the barely legal side of free trade amongst a collection of worlds. Pelquin, the captain has a lead
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Pelquin's Comet ia an entertaining and enjoyable space opera.

Pelquin and his crew set off to find a cache of alien artifacts, rumoured to be of very high value. Along the way they have to deal with aliens ("Xters"), a new crew member with a secret, and a bank representative along for the ride (with his alien genpet) to ensure his banks's money's protected.

I think one of the best assets of the story are the characters - very well developed, and many of them have some sort of agenda going on to ma
Catherine Griffin
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
A good old-fashioned space adventure, very Firefly-esque.

Fans of Firefly will find themselves spotting the similarities: small spaceship, motley crew with back stories galore, operating on the fringe of criminality. Thankfully, the universe they inhabit is entirely different.

Captain Pelquin and his crew head off in search of a huge fortune, in the shape of a cache of artifacts left behind by ancient aliens. Bad guys are after it too, and the tangled pasts of the crew lead to other complications.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Summary: I enjoyed this book, however the plot wasn't well thought through, the universe didn't work for me, the characters weren't particularly real, but the writing was engaging and pace nice and fast

Plotline: The plot should have been good but had some flaws that really needed a bit more work and tidying up

Premise: The weakest part of this book, it just didn't work

Writing: Engaging, a fast pace, but the characters were too artificial, needed more care

Ending: A bit predictable, but good fun.

Holly Ice
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable read. This character-driven tale has enough back story to bring intriguing elements into the current story - as well as setting up a future sequel - while not overdoing it. The plot has a mystery running through it which isn't solved until the end and is difficult to guess. If you like your sci-fi daring, full of disguise and colourful characters, this is for you. Also likely to be enjoyable if sci-fi and space opera is not what you usually reach for in your bookshelf. I'l ...more
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

It is a fast, easy and entertaining read.

+ a motley crew
+ a treasure hunt, in space!
+ mysterious aliens
+ dastardly scoundrels
+ characters have their own unique feel

- felt too short; the universe presented to us is huge, and maybe more words should have been dedicate to its presentation; I can't shake the feeling that the book I read is a stripped down version of the real one
- a lot of unanswered questions (guess that's what sequels are for)
M J  Harrow
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Wake characters.

Ian Whates has a strong descriptive ability but that's the only positive thing I could say about this story. I just didn't care about the characters, towards the end I realized that I was forcing myself to finish. I don't like giving anything about the plot away, what I like to do is tell people that this story is entertaining and worth your time. Which it is not.
Victoria Lee
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed Pelquin's Comet, an entertaining space opera, with memorable characters who each have murky pasts and uncertain futures. Ian Whates leaves the reader with enough curiosity about unfinished story lines to pick up the sequel, but the novel is also pleasing as a standalone read....
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf
I had high hopes for this book, as people with tastes similar to mine greatly enjoyed it, but unfortunately I didn't. The plotting was good and the viewpoint characters were well fleshed out - although I wouldn't have described them as likeable. Also, I found the characters of the crew besides Leesa, Pelquin and Drake, rather flat.
Justin Sarginson
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Nothing too expansive or deep, but just a fun story full of characters that engage you. The plot clunks into place at times and it has it's share of predictable elements but it's fun and leaves you wanting more. Someone tell me when the next instalment comes out.
Jun 23, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This is copy 39 of 100 signed numbered copies printed in hardcover.
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Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets – Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).

Ian’s earliest memories of science fiction are fragmented. He remembers loving Dr Who from an early age and other TV shows

Other books in the series

The Dark Angels (3 books)
  • The Ion Raider (The Dark Angels, #2)
  • Dark Angels Rising (The Dark Angels #3)

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