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Fleet of Knives

(Embers of War #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  42 reviews
From award-winning author Gareth L. Powell comes the second book in the critically acclaimed Embers of War space opera series.

The former warship Trouble Dog and her crew of misfits is called upon by the House of Reclamation to investigate a distress call from the human starship the Lucy's Ghost. Her crew abandon their crippled ship and seek refuge aboard an abandoned, slow
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Published February 19th 2019 by Blackstone Audio
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  267 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
3.5 stars

I'm a bit torn on this one. On the one hand, I do like the story and the general premise. I like the idea of the sentient Trouble Dog and her whole internal conflict and rebuilding of her sense of place, but I also felt there wasn't quite enough of that here. On the upside, in Fleet of Knives the character that I felt was a bit too much of a sideline in Embers of War, Ona Sudak, reveals her importance to the overall story arc.

On the other hand, I continue to struggle a bit with the wri
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5. Looking forward to the finale
I loved Embers of War but Fleet of Knives is even better! It's such an exciting, very well-written read, packed full of spaceships, aliens, battles, mysteries and menace. Arguably the stars here are the spaceships themselves and each has its own distinct character. Loved it. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trouble Dog (disreputable hound, and all the other wonderful names given to her by Nod) is back and just as funny, fierce and thoughtful as before. The massive fleet she and Sal Kostanz found on their last mission has found a purpose, and begins acting on it, to everyone’s detriment. (view spoiler)
The story moved quickly, and switched fr
S. Naomi Scott
Yet another fantastic outing for the Trouble Dog and her crew.

Fleet of Knives is the sequel to last year's Embers of War and follows on from roughly where the last one left off. A year has passed and following a debriefing and some repairs Trouble Dog and her crew are off on a shakedown cruise, ostensibly to make sure everything's running smoothly but also to give the crew a chance to patch up any psychological wounds they might still be suffering, when they're called on to rescue some merchants
The Trouble Dog and Sal Konstanz are back after the events of Embers of War, and specifically after a refit and rearm of Trouble Dog, they're off on another rescue. This time it's the stranded crew of opportunistic raiders who'd tried to loot an ancient and immense generation ship that an alien race had been preserving as a monument. All this while the Fleet of Knives gain a new commander, the previously introduced Ona Sudak, and a mission throughout human space that leads them on a collision co ...more
Seregil of Rhiminee
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Gareth L. Powell's Fleet of Knives is without any kind of doubt one of the best and most enjoyable space opera novels I've ever read. I haven't read anything as entertaining and rewarding as this novel since reading Iain M. Banks and Neal Asher. Considering the huge amount of space opera novels being published each year, it's amazing to find a novel as fresh, rich and enthralling as Fleet of Knives. It has all the elements one could ever hope to find in epic
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
“Courage is making the choice to forgive even if when when every nerve in your body cries out for vengeance.”


I have received this book for free from Titan Books in exchange of an honest review.

Fleet of Knives is everything Embers of War is and more. As Titan Books send me both book one and two, I was able to read these back to back. That felt so good. I was submerged in this whole futuristic world for about a week and being able to start the sequel right away contributed to my reading exper
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2/10/19 Full review tk.

2/19/19 Oh, man, Book 3 cannot come fast enough!

I readily admit that I don't remember a whole lot from the first book, which was an intriguing novel of ideas that somehow lacked an ability to engage me emotionally. Fleet Of Knives certainly doesn't suffer from that problem! We open with Captain Sal Konstanz on a pilgrimage of sorts, with her ship Trouble Dog on overwatch. Sal is trying to patch things up with security officer Alva Clay after the events of the last novel, a
Plamen Nenchev
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I hate to be the voice of dissent here—but Fleet of Knives suffers from several, hardly insubstantial flaws. The most serious one is Gareth Powell’s style of writing. Exactly like in the prequel and in his award-winning Ack-Ack Macaque, he uses different POVs to weave several plot threads into a climax at the end of the novel. The problem is that all POVs here sound the same: like solemn declarations of someone very prim, conscientious and politically correct (and therefore not particularly plau ...more
Mike Maurer
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Trouble Dog, where are thou?

I like the idea of sentient ships, one where their own moral code can be challenged. That is what we learned in the first book, why Trouble Dog works for the House of Reclamation. As Trouble Dog points out in this book, all humans are broken in some way. It is a matter of how humans compensate in groups for their flaws, building a more solid whole. For me, this a profound observation of a former ship of war.

I take the premise of this book to be: Careful what you
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 3-5, sf
Fleet of Knives is the second novel in the Embers of War series by Gareth Powell. It follows three main storylines – one with ex-warship Trouble Dog and its crew, who are sent to investigate a team that are in trouble and marooned in a barren ship, which is the second. In the third, war criminal Ona Sudak is saved from execution at the last minute to be the representative for the Marble Armada, tasked with enforcing peace at all costs.

Like the first book, Fleet of Knives works at a brisk pace, s
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I freely confess to being something of a Gareth L Powell groupie, books like this are the reason why. Fleet of Knives continues the tale of The Trouble Dog and her crew, rescuing stranded travellers in Space as part of the House Of Reclamation fleet. The story moves apace like it's predecessor, Embers of War, drawing you swiftly in with wonderfully drawn characters that you will frankly love or loathe. There are no wasted or unnecessary words and I loved them all. The Trouble Dog holds a place i ...more
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This continues the "What do you do when you've done the worst thing possible" choice path.

Look. I'm not judging the Author here, I think there's actually legitimate reasons for the (view spoiler) But it did make it much, much harder to get into this book.

The main job of the crew, the space rescue work, gets them int
Paula Costello
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second novel in Gareth Powell’s Embers of War series. I loved the first book and was keen to see where the story went next. I read Embers of War many books ago so the details were a little fuzzy in my mind but I thought this book did a good job of re-capping the important points and I quickly felt like I was right back in the story. The crew of the Trouble Dog returns and we are also introduced to some great new characters. I liked the new characters but my favourite is always going ...more
Mr. P.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Trouble with Dogs

Trouble Dog is back with her crew in mourning and on cruise shakedown. Then comes the call from the House of Reclamation a ship is in distress on the border of Generality space with the Nymtoq.
At Camrose the alien fleet a million strong awaits a human commander so they can fulfill their purpose to end war. Who better than the commander in humanity's last war whose actions culled a billion sentient trees. Who else can make those hard decisions?
Mr Powell has given us more Tro
Josh Hamacher
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I've read several books lately where I really disliked one or more characters, but Ona Sudak is probably my most-despised character in recent memory. Which makes it truly unfortunate that she's the driving force behind the entire plot arc here. Don't get me wrong - this is still fine space opera and I'm very much looking forward to the next novel in the series. But beyond that, I'm driven to continue this series just in hopes that she dies a very slow and painful death.

There are definitely some
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
In my first review I said, "A delightful cocktail of Science Fiction that includes: war, sentient ships, ancient archeology, empires, various races, hyperspace, guilt, redemption and hard questions." Well for this book he adds inter dimensional monsters and ghost ships to the series.

My biggest complaint with the first book was the beginning, but I found this book to be much easier to get into. However, while I know this is the second book in a trilogy, I was expecting a little more from the endi
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poor Trouble Dog (remember she is a warship that did not like what she had done and changed sides) Even a routine shape up flight after repairs turns into trouble. And not just trouble for her - trouble also for the ship they try to rescue. This changed view points throughout the book as danger from multiple fronts are revealed. There are new characters introduced and the crew of the Trouble Dog returns. Nod is still my favorite character and there is a big surprise when the ship goes off on the ...more
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The return of Trouble Dog, a warship with certain opinions.

When last we left,Trouble Dog had recruited a million strong fleet of ships that were sworn to protect life. Now the fleet has recruited their own commander who also has sworn to prevent whole scale war. Unfortunately, when dealing with a rather literal crowd, allowing them to use "all means necessary" to achieve their goal is only going to end up in one place.

While Trouble Dog is on a rescue mission things go from bad to straight out b
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Moves story along from Embers of War. New villains are revealed, creatures (not human), who are attracted to scent of conflict. For some reason the beings allegedly trying to avoid attracting these creatures run around the galaxy causing massive conflict & inter species war, while weakenning what should be their allies against a common enemy. Characters suffer problem of revealing their love then immediately dying. Two parallel crews merge, so we have double of everything. Some great scenes ...more
Joe Prosit
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powell builds a full universe full of governments, armies, politics, alien cultures, FTL technology and alternate dimensions, exotic planets... and admits all that he has a tremendous knack of focusing on a small cast of engaging characters.
For whatever reason, I’ve enjoyed Powell’s non-human characters even more than his human ones. The sentient spaceship Trouble Dog is fantastic! But who really surprised me was the disgruntled alien ship engineer Nod. Nod really shines in the second book of th
Peter Mark
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant book. Very well written, great and unexpected plot. Great characters. Written as a great story that just happens to be set in a world that demands sci-fi, as opposed to "let's find a story that uses spaceships and laser guns". The text is often deep and moving, and certainly thought provoking. Very much recommended.
Frank Burns
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice. Really nice. As I suspected from the first book, the author has really grown into his setting. This fair rollicked along. It had adventure, laughs, pathos and that indefinable 'I am enjoying this' quality. Straight up, old school space opera. So, nothing ground breaking here. You know what though? Not everything needs to break new ground. A good story, well told. One doesn't ask for more.
Oh my word yes! Such a worthy successor to Embers of War.

I feel like with every novel Gareth L Powell is levelling up as an author and I can't wait to see what he does in the final part of this trilogy.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
Most of the things I want to gush about would also involve spoilers - not uncommon once I'm deeper into a series.

So... if you like science fiction, if you like characters that feel completely real - flaws and all... do yourself a favour and read this.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
MARCIA-DON'T READ THIS! oh man. i don't know how to rate this one. i liked it less than the first but it was still a decent fast read. am i jumping to read the next after this? not really. if i'm honest, i became a bit bored and uncaring of the outcome in this one.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
good to be back with The Troubledog
moves the story on and introduces some new characters
does appear the universe/galaxy is in real difficulty the Fleet is not always what you want?
and things lurking in the other dimensions could be trouble?
John Mosman
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The series continues. All humankind are now under attack by vastly superior forces who are wiping all war making capabilities to produce peace, war makes peace. Our ragged band of heroes are racing away to hopefully find the time and resources to fight back. Fun Sci!!
Tim Tofton
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another roller-coaster ride with the Trouble Dog, this is turning out to be an excellent series, just the long wait for the next one :(
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Gareth L. Powell is an award-winning author from the UK. His alternate history thriller, Ack-Ack Macaque won the 2013 BSFA Award for Best Novel, spawned two sequels, and was shortlisted in the Best Translated Novel category for the 2016 Seiun Awards in Japan. His short fiction has appeared in a host of magazines and anthologies, including Interzone, Solaris Rising 3, and The Year’s Best Science Fi ...more

Other books in the series

Embers of War (3 books)
  • Embers of War (Embers of War, #1)
  • Light of Impossible Stars (Embers of War, #3)