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Dark Horse

(Class 5 #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,049 ratings  ·  445 reviews
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally--a fellow prisoner with whom she's formed a strong bond. Sazo's an artificial intelligence. He's saved her from captivity and torture, but he's also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.
ebook, 468 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Eclipse
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,049 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Nalini Singh
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-love
I loved, loved DARK HORSE by Michelle Diener!! It kept me up way too late. It's a science fiction romance with great worldbuilding and a wonderful romance between two characters I truly liked.
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I really loved this character driven sci-fi story. It had the perfect blend of action, intrigue, romance, humour, and cool sci-fi technology! It also really helped that I found Michelle Diener's writing to be quite engaging and that I was interested in the plot and emotionally engaged with the likeable characters.

It was the books blurb that drew me to this one:

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she's made a powerful ally - a fellow prisoner with whom she'/>Rose
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, netgalley
What an unexpected gem!

I thought this would be the usual alien abduction book, but I was very pleasantly surprised!

Rose and Dav were wonderful, but my favorit was Sazo! LOL

Who wouldn't like such an AI?! I'm sure I would! He was such an endearing and at the same time very dangerous being!

Rose was great too. A level-headed heroine with really clear and clever ideas! I very much appreciated her honesty and her reasoning (with Sazo!). She didn't do TSTL things an
Michelle Diener
May 29, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: science-fiction
Dark Horse was a book that simply wouldn't let me work on anything else. It got its talons in me and wouldn't let go until I had finished it. Science fiction romance is a new genre for me, but I have had so much fun writing about alien abduction, artificial intelligence and life on the other side of the galaxy in Dark Horse, I'm definitely going to do it again.

As a huge fan of the original (and the new!) Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as new science fiction mo
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you love science fiction and enjoy some romance with it - this books is for you.
And it's FREE for a limited time - Amazon

It's one of the BEST romantic science fiction novels I read so far. It was as enjoyable as Ender's Game, Dragonflight and now my two newest obsessions which are similar in style Rules of Redemption and Polaris Rising.

Dark Horse was utterly captivating and enthralling. It was mostly sci-fi but with a good amount of romance. The world building was fabulous, the characters were fantastic, but
My criteria for a five star book is simple: if I can't wait to re-read it again immediately after finishing it and I can't stop thinking about the storyline and characters - then it gets five stars from me.

Dark Horse gets an enthusiastic 5 star stamp from me because I have not stopped thinking about the nuances & characters since I finished it. The author tied in music in an extremely clever way, and now all of my favorite songs cause me to wonder...

I will try to give
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, gr2016

There were a lot of things to like about this book:
☆ Rose was a great heroine, sassy and a fighter. I loved that when she made a promise she kept to it no matter what.
☆ And Dav was quite sexy, especially his ears ;-)
☆ I loved all the difference species, all from different worlds. It was very interesting learning how they differed from each other.
☆ The plot was very interesting, especially with all the intrigue regarding Sazo and Rose, why they were captured and who was tr

Loved it.

A big thanks to Gavin for turning me onto this series.

Full review once I finish the trilogy, though I just wanted to say I'm sad there aren't more books.
Jill Myles
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl La Pa
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it! A great read; well written, smooth flowing and action packed. It kept my rapt attention throughout and it was refreshingly different & unpredictable.

Captain Dav Jallan is determined to find who killed the entire crew of a Class 5 battleship, especially when the sole survivor is an Earth woman, a prisoner, who seems innocent and relatively harmless. Rose is a Dark Horse, the unknown variable in a problem. He does not know that Rose has found a very powerful ally, a fellow prisoner,
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF at 50%

It bored me.
Stephanie (Bookfever)
Starting Dark Horse I was excited to read it but I was also a little worried I wasn't going to like it as much as the author's other titles because, although I love science-fiction, I haven't actually read many books in the genre. But I should've known not to worry because this is Michelle Diener we're talking about and I ended up absolutely loving this book!

This book is mainly about Rose McKenzie, a human from earth who gets abducted by aliens and taken captive for three months unti
Douglas Meeks
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have had this book laying around for months, the idea of it just did not sound interesting ..... add this to that list of "Stupid Things Doug Has Done"

This may have been one of the best things I have read in months, I have read a lot of great books over the last 12 months but I can safely say this one gets into the Top 10.

It is a story of a very odd friendship, a touch and go romance (which in the action, strategy and mystery type plot might have been a bit weak) but ov
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4/5; 4 stars; A-

I really enjoyed this light sci fi romance. There were good guys, bad guys, Intelligent thinking systems, space ships and lots of adventure.
I liked this book enough to go right out and buy the next two in the series. I wanted to check this author out and found I like her style. I would rate all three books the same.
Ann Lou
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Sazo stars!!!

I really wish GR would have .5 stars to offer.

What a surprise this was! A good one, at
that. I'd like to thank Ira, for recommending this to me. I love the star trek movies but for some reason, I don't read sci fi that much. Time to remedy that this year. :)

Anyho, I really enjoyed reading about Rose. She was abducted from Earth.

"She could whine about her fate, or embrace it, and one thing Rose had never been able to stand was a whiner.

Yup, n
Wesley Fox
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Dark Horse tries to do three different things but fails to do any of them well. It tries to be a sci-fi romance, an alien abduction story, and a space opera all in one. Throw in a slow pace and an underwhelming protagonist and you get a book that just doesn't deliver much on the interesting premise.

Rose McKenzie finds herself prisoner on an alien warship after being abducted from Earth. With the help of a self-aware AI, she breaks free of her prison and lands on a remote planet waiti
Jacqueline J
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nicely done sci fi romance. The sci fi element was very strong here. The romance was sweet and understated. This was a SFR which wasn't just an excuse for some sex scenes. The world building was strong.with believable tech and well thought out history. The plotting made sense and moved right along. There were quite a few interesting secondary characters. The main character was believable as a woman snatched from Earth. Like all good sci fi the book asked some hard questions. In this case about a ...more
Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn't know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he's not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5's owners,
Dark Horse is a sci-fi book by author Michelle Diener. This to me wasn't really a romance story at all like I thought it was going to be, it was more along the lines of a sci -fi adventure maybe. The book revolves around "Thinking machine" Sazo. From what I gathered he IS the class 5 battleship. He just "woke up" and is curious about things around him. Rose (the heroine of the book, shes an abducted victim on the ship) becomes Sazos friend and helps him to break free of his "cage" and starts to ...more
Jane Stewart
4 stars. Good sci fi and good character development. Very enjoyable.

It got a little slow in the middle, but most was good and the end was cool. I loved Rose’s intelligence and loyalty. There is a little romantic relationship development, and a good romantic ending.

Rose had been a prisoner in a Tecran star ship for three months. Sazo is the artificial intelligence “thinking system” that runs the ship. Sazo figures out a way to communicate with Rose and helps her escape. H
Lyndi W.
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 5-star
The first time I read this, I stayed up until 3am before accepting that I needed to stop reading and actually get some sleep.

The second time around, I stayed up until 6am before crashing and spent most of the morning drooling on my Kindle and dreaming about being an AI in outerspace. Woke up and immediately finished reading.


Jun 29, 2015 marked it as no-dnf-zzz-avoid
DNF, not liking the writing style, there just seems to be a lot of information dumping through the dialogue, hardly much narrative - something which always gives me a headache. Especially when there are so many characters all at once as I feel here there are...just not for me, I guess.
Gail Koger
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. An original storyline and great characters. I highly recommend it.

Shadi ***save your ratings use disclaimers**
Amazing!! fantastic world building and likable H/h. This book is more sci fi than romance so if you go into it expecting a heavy romance plot you won't get it.
"You Earthlings are slow, as well as heavy"

Aaww, Grih males say the sweetest things. ;-)

Review to come.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, netgalley, own, romance
Political intrigue, deceit, artificial intelligence, inter-galactic travel, Michelle Diener proves her power over her pen, once again with Dark Horse her latest addition to her versatile and varied accomplishments.

Rose is a kidnapped curiosity to the aliens who have taken her. Cool under pressure, she uses her own wit and intelligence to survive the torturous prodding and experiments for three long months until she escapes. Sure, you say, but she has an ally, a friend, Sazo, an artificial intelligence who is more than a
Jun 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dark Horse was delightful! Like a mild, less insane version of Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Höst or Last Hour of Gann by R.Lee Smith. The main kick of it all was that Rose McKenzie absolutely kicked ass as a heroine.

In fact, strong female heroines who keep their heads in very tense, stressful situations, who can do some quick creative thinking on the go are a trademark of Michelle's writing. If you want a heroine who will save the day sign up for her book be it fairy ta
The first book in the Sci-fi Romance series Class 5 by Michelle Diener. Rose McKenzie is stolen from Earth the Alien race, Tecran. She experiences starvation and torture at the hands of her captors. She befriends Sazo, another prisoner, on board the Class 5 battleship and together they plot their escape. But Sazo isn't a physical prisoner. He is an artificial intelligent being that operates the ship. They jump into Grih territory and encounters Captain Dav Jallan and his crew of the exploration s ...more
Kagama-the Literaturevixen

Jav Dallan the captain of the Grih spaceship the Barrist is surprised when they find a derelict Tecran Class 5 just floating in space.Entering they find that all but eleven of the crew has been killed in some accident

Rose Mckenzie was taken from Earth by the Tecran aliens and examined and experimented on,she finally managed to flee with the help of an AI named Sazo.Before the Grihs arrival she had taken a pod and Went down to Harmon a moon.

She is quickly fo
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
This is Michelle Diener’s first Science Fiction Romance book. There is a check list of things I look for in a good SFR book and Diener has checked them all off.

First there is the story line. I always want to know if it can survive if the romance is removed. In Dark Horse it is certainly strong enough to stand on its own. The romance just adds to the tension and the action in the story

World building and back story are always important. Getting them into the story can be tr
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Cozy Nook of Book...: Dark Horse 2 5 Apr 04, 2019 03:34PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Sci-fi romance series about sentient spaceships. [s] 6 52 Feb 14, 2018 12:09PM  

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Michelle Diener is a bestselling, award-winning author of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy. Having worked in publishing and IT, she's now very happy crafting new worlds and interesting characters and wondering which part of the world she can travel to next.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa and currently lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

Other books in the series

Class 5 (4 books)
  • Dark Deeds (Class 5, #2)
  • Dark Minds (Class 5, #3)
  • Dark Matters (Class 5, #4)
“I come all the way to the other side of the galaxy, and what do you know, itʼs still populated by boob men.” 2 likes
“Youʼre like Sherlock Holmes, Sazo. Scary, scary smart, and with an underdeveloped sense of empathy. But Sherlock Holmes was absolutely a person, and so are you.” 2 likes
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