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Cast Under an Alien Sun

(Destiny's Crucible #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,920 ratings  ·  142 reviews
What if you were thrown into a foreign society, never to see home again? What would you do and could you survive?

A story science fiction in premise, adventure in execution. A cross-genre adventure with elements of science fiction, history, hard science, epic fantasy, time travel, romance, alien contact, and space colonization.

Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published July 9th 2016 by Olan Thorensen
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Newbage Rather than wait for an answer, I decided to take a chance and read the book. I've decided to answer this question for others who might be interested.…moreRather than wait for an answer, I decided to take a chance and read the book. I've decided to answer this question for others who might be interested.

TL;DR: It's Multi-POV, but if you're like me and don't like multi-POV, it's heavily focused enough on the MC that even if you skip most of the POVs from other locations, it doesn't detract from the story much.

It is indeed a multi POV book. The book mostly follows the MC, but also follows the head of an antagonistic Imperial force (Bad guy general), A leader (Hetman is his title) of the Province the MC is in, and the daughter of said leader. The rest either follows the MC's POV, or are of nearby POVs relaying stuff about the MC when the MC's POV is not viable (e.g. when the MC's unconscious, it follows the POV of his doctor while the doctor is treating him).

There are only around 2 POVs of the Provincial Leader and 2 POVs of the daughter, both are reasonably short. The most extensive POVs that don't follow the MC is from the perspective of the Antagonist forces. As an experiment (and because I HATE jumping around from location to location in stories) I skipped every single one of the antagonist POVs after the first one, on my first read through, and only went back to read them after I finished the book.

I'm happy to announce that for those like me who want to just follow the MC, and find themselves anxious to get back to the MC whenever another POV interjects, you can skip all of the antagonist forces' POVs and still come away without missing much. You'll lose some details on some of the culture and motivations of the antagonist empire, but it isn't anything big. They're pretty much what you'd expect scheming imperial colonial expansionist douche nozzles to act like. The culmination of their schemes intersect with the MC's POV during the climax anyways, so it isn't as if you'll miss the payoff of the antagonist POVs.

I would, however, recommend reading the POV of the Hetman and his daughter -- especially the ones of the daughter as it seems like she'll be significant to the MC in later volumes, and you wont' get her backstory any other way.(less)
Steve Foerster The 1632/Ring of Fire series from Eric Flint, et al., has enough volumes that it will keep even a voracious reader busy for some time. A West Virginia…moreThe 1632/Ring of Fire series from Eric Flint, et al., has enough volumes that it will keep even a voracious reader busy for some time. A West Virginia coal mining town is mysteriously dropped into central Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War.

S. M. Stirling's three volume Nantucket series is also a favorite of mine. The island of Nantucket is mysteriously transposed with its counterpart in 1250 B.C.


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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,920 ratings  ·  142 reviews

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Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
What did I think?

If you make a world where a human is being transferred from Earth to another planet, where some aliens, some x-thousands of years ago already planted other humans and several Earth fauna and flora have alredy been transplanted, kindly avoid that they could possibly have had the same evolution:

- Monotheism
- Indo-Germanic language
- Minutes as a unit of measuring time while the complete calender is different
- Abbeys with real abbots
- Miles as units of measuring distance, for god's
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
It isn't often that a series grabs me by the short hairs and drags me into its world. This is one of those. Prepare to loose sleep until you have finished the book/series. I highly recommend this book series.

Jun 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Let's jump right in, there is a lot of exposition and very little story. Long before you are intrigued , you will receive lectures about various subjects and characters in the story, peppered with an occasional "as you all know" and the narrator going "this would not be the last time" or "at the time X did not know how right/wrong they were" killing tension and whatever tiny interest you had. The book does not try to make you care, it assumes you do. I expected an updated version of "John Carter ...more
Pavel Lishin
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I've got two big quibbles with this book, and one minor one.

1. There are a lot of sections that are excellent example of how to tell, and not show. At one point, a minor but important character rehashes five years of recent history to a room full of people who know it, who lived it, who literally made it happen. It felt incredibly forced, and I skimmed through most of it, and continued skimming through most of that faction's point-of-view. (I don't think I lost much. They're bad guys, obviously
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, aliens, scifi
I really love the cover of this book. It's super unique and it really caught my eye. The synopsis starts with

"What if you were thrown into a foreign society, never to see home again? What would you do and could you survive?"

I didn't need to read much more after that, I knew I wanted to check this book out. Joe is basically given the choice of death, or go live on a new planet, after he's rescued from a crazy plane crash by something or someone unknown to him, otherwise known as aliens.

I loved t
Clabe Polk
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Joseph Colsco, bound for a chemical society meeting, is traveling on an airplane involved in a mid-air collision with an alien spacecraft. Barely surviving the crash, Colsco, physically repaired by alien technology, is given a choice. He can be released on another planet also populated by humans, but at a much earlier stage of development, or die. Not much of a choice, but one from which Colsco was determined to do his best to adapt and survive.

Now called Yozef Kolsko, he becomes a resident of t
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great surprise!
Not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't a book that grabbed me like this one did and I didn't want to put it down. Can see how the book doesn't easily fit into usual categories. A science fiction premise, with shades of time travel/alternate history, and straight out adventure/epic. Reasonably average kind of guy gets dumped into a foreign society and has to adapt. The hook is that it's on another planet where someone/somethings transplanted humans thousands of years a
Romuald Dzemo
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book with a colorful and attractive cover will immediately catch a reader's attention, and the blurb is as seducing as well. But its what's inside the book that will be a source of delight and entertainment to many readers. A story about a man who is thrust into an unfamiliar world and with no hopes of ever seeing home again becomes intriguing. Joe Colsco is about to attend a Chemistry event in Chicago, but his plane never lands at his destination. Awakened on a foreign soil, he has to adjust, ...more
Kathleen Martinez
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cast Under an Alien Sun is my kind of book. I personally don’t like books that involves only one battle after another but prefer ones that engross me in a new world. This one definitely did that. I felt that I was learning how to navigate a new environment along with the main character, Yosef. All the characters are brought to life with wonderful details. The events in the story build logically and compellingly to a believable ending that leaves me wanting more. I’m looking forward to the next b ...more
Bolajide Adeyoye
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very good book

It starts slow and kind of dry and kind of well not confusing per se, but busy. But then it gets very good very fast. Suddenly you suddenly start caring about the characters and the conflict. The world is pleasantly built and the inventing and evolutions are fun to watch, and basically if watching someone go back in time and modernise and old world is your thing you'll probably enjoy this book.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best I have read in years

Wow. So glad I found this series. A regular guy, finding himself in a land several hundred years before his current time. How he survives and adds to the the knowledge of the people who rescue him is such an interesting story. The characters are beautifully developed. Having devoured each of the three books written so far I find myself anxiously awaiting book four. I cannot recommend this series highly enough. It deserves more than five stars.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Pages and pages and pages of mansplaining (hours and hours if you're listening to it on Audible). I couldn't bear it.
Fred Anderson
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An exciting page turner throughout, with great dialog and well drawn characters. Looking forward to the future volumes
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, complex
3.5 rounded to 4 - Imagine flying in your average passenger plane when out of nowhere an alien spaceship appears and crashes into your plane. That is what happened to Joe, soon to be Yosef. But the same aliens saved him for some unknown reason, and they offered him death or relocation to a planet with other humans. Since our hero chooses the latter, the book continues. There is a lot more world and character building in this book than actual plot. Fortunately, there are two more books in the ser ...more
Pooja Loftus
Sep 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
The main plot idea is very original but the execution is lacking. You can tell that the writer is a real nerd's nerd, which isn't a bad thing, but there are these long, dry, passages. I started to play a game where I'd replace some of these passages in my head with like, a single, short sentence.

The other thing that bothered me is that the "alien" world is basically 1700s Europe, with abbeys/abbots, similar language, culture, etc.. While that sounds kind of trippy, the author doesn't "sell" thi
Alex Paul
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
if I was transported to another world I would have built an armada of steel ships and gatling guns and be on my way to world domination.And this guy has a chemistry degree.
It's a bit slow going but if you like world building and engineering you might like it.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The basic theme or trope of this book would seem familiar to anyone who's read or seen A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. In this story John Colsco, a 26-year-old married chemist, boards a flight to Chicago for a conference. There's a sudden explosion on the plane and John finds himself falling to earth. He wakes up in a strange room where a mechanical voice explains that an alien observation craft was flying invisibly over the earth on an observation mission, but there was a computer ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good start to an empire building type book. The main protagonist is chemist which is a good choice for this type of scenario...not a warrior like most other books of this genre. He isn't really a strong character, unique or particularly likable for that matter. These type of books tend to create legends who have extraordinary character, abilities and foresight b/c they face long odds and they need whatever advantages they have. Joseph is average joe with average joe needs, however he is a traine ...more
Shawn Ridenour
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was such a disappointment, it had an excellent start and it's moments, but there was so much tedious 'telling' it was grating. Combined with long overwrought expositions that didn't really matter, it made me wish that it's initial premise was returned to, and that a good editor had cut out the boring parts. Better writing - show us that somebody's ____ (anything), don't tell us! and a tighter story would've made this a good read.

The other thing that grated was the off hand reference to
Joe Diaz
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Was looking forward to reading a sci-fi book.. instead I got a poorly re-hashed "Gulliver's Travels" where Thorensen plays out, what seem to be his own, fantasies of a world where men have no responsibility for children. Seemed like a long-winded way of getting at that point. Not much else here to critique, it's just a guy who goes from being average in an innovative world to being above-average in a world stuck far behind his scientific knowledge. Snooze. There is almost nothing in this book ab ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alt-history, wonder
I want to love this book. It is exactly the type of novel I tend to gravitate to. The characters are excellent, their motivations seem plausible. The world feels real. Maybe its the pacing. I am used to this type of tale bogging down in minutiae, but the "action" scenes here never lived up to the build up.

I look forward to the second installment and hope this story can live up to the promise.
Sep 18, 2017 marked it as couldn-t-finish
Started out great, but once he reaches his new world, we leave him and are immersed in the politics of the society he's landed in... Names of clans and plans etc. I lost track and became bored. DNF
Brandon Nimon
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A unique premise leaves a man stranded with modern knowledge, but in a time with technology hundreds of years behind our own and a language not his own. He must find his place in this new community, struggling to find a place to work, to make friends, to discover a reason to keep living with the knowledge of his own past.

I really enjoyed this book, and it took me a while to decide between 4 and 5 stars. It was well written, and the premise is unique, there's not much to complain about. The only
This book was more of an alternative history. The initial premise was good but it failed to deliver for me. In this series, Joe Colsco is a PhD student on his way to Chicago to deliver a groundbreaking lecture. However, life takes a markedly different turn and Joe finds himself on an alien planet. The planet is humanoid, resembling life in the seventeenth century on earth.

This is basically a set-up book which tackles history with a smash-up of modern science which Colsco uses to benefit the tow
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Solid 3.5 Stars.

Here Joseph is a Chemistry academic who's plane flight is suddenly struck by an object, thus causing it to crash, although he is removed from the plane by aliens, who ship it was that struck the plane.

Not knowing what to do with Joseph he is given the option of death or to be relocated to another planet where human kind has been seeded. This planet is somewhat similar to earth from the 1600-1700's.

Here he is washed up on a beach and has to make a life and gets involved in the st
Josh Rosenbaum
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good sci fi. On to book two immediately as I liked the characters and want to know more about them.

Events unfold, somewhat in "list mode" i.e. this happened and then this happened and then this happened. But overall the story was entertaining enough to help me overlook this, and as I said above I just picked up book 2. So lets see what Joseph can do now.
Christopher Rose
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This was the first audio book I tried. It was an enjoyable read to and from work. Some of the parts were a bit long in tooth (such as when Joseph had to learn the native language).
Philippe Chambas
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
OK so I liked the over all story. And the main characters story was really cool. But The surrounding story line was to detailed to soon and would have been better mixed in to a conversation and in many cases was it was like 5 chapters of this book were added on and redundant. I skipped many of them just to get back to the main story and that book was good. The book of meetings that I skipped was boring so in conclusion If you read this book you can skip any thing that dose not happen in the prim ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3+ stars. This genre, a member or a group of people originating in our modern society is transported into a primitve society and attempts to "uplift" it with various degrees of success. I put this book on the shelf called alternate history even though it does not really belong into it, yet most examples of this type of story can be solidly placed there.

The genre itself is a kind of guilty pleasure of mine, despite the fact that many such texts are far from sophisticated and some of them provide
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Destiny's Crucible (5 books)
  • The Pen and the Sword (Destiny's Crucible #2)
  • Heavier Than a Mountain (Destiny's Crucible #3)
  • Forged in Fire (Destiny's Crucible #4)
  • Tales of Anyar (Destiny's Crucible, #5)
“He awoke. Not the instant awareness of being jolted by an alarm or the gentle rising from dozing in and out, but a gradual recognition of existence.” 2 likes
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