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A Red Peace

(Starfire #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  444 ratings  ·  98 reviews

A Red Peace, first in Spencer Ellsworth's Starfire trilogy, is an action-packed space opera in a universe where the oppressed half-Jorian crosses have risen up to supplant humanity and dominate the galaxy.

Half-breed human star navigator Jaqi, working the edges of human-settled space on contract to whoever will hire her, stumbles into possession of an artifact that the lead

Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Published August 22nd 2017 by
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting space opera in a familiar style that pits a victorious force of vat-grown clone warriors against their former masters, the human race.

Fleeing from the evil Empire Resistance is young Luke Jaqi who is of the same human/alien hybrid stock as the clones and can use the rare ability of the Force the Starfire. She is pursued by the minions of the Emperor John Starfire led by Stormtroopers the Vanguard who all wield light sabres soulswords.

It's all actually a lot more complex than that
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
An book that starts out fast and a little bit confusing, but quickly falls into place and grows into its own. The combination of interesting characters and creative, layered storytelling have me looking forward to the next installment, Shadow Sun Seven, due to be published in November 2017. ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I really liked this book.

It is space opera cranked all the way up to 11.

I would be remiss if I also didn't point out things that might seem "Star Wars-esque" - we've got our young hero Jaqi (Luke) fleeing the evil Resistance (Empire) while she grapples with her rare ability to use the Starfire (Force). Of course she's pursued by the troops of John Starfire (the Emperor). The elite troops, the Vanguard (Stormtroopers) are armed with their soulswords (lightsabers).

For about the first 130 pages (r
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tor.Com novellas are becoming one of my favorite things. This one is an excellent addition to a growing number of first rate novellas.

There is a lot packed into these pages. I found it a bit confusing at first and it's not for the faint of heart but if you just go with it it's a good ride.
Michael Britt
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book for only being 3 stars. It actually would've been higher if I was more into hard sci-fi (that's the equivalent to high fantasy, right?). Anyways, fans of sci-fi would enjoy this so much more than I did.

ARC graciously provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Full review to come when I get more time to write one.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Some cool concepts and ideas but the confusing plot doesnt belp much
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A quick read, very entertaining.
The overwhelming feeling I received from reading this was that it was merely set-up for the next book(s) in the trilogy.

In spite of all the running and gunning, the chase between the stars, and a brush with what may have been a literal manifestation of evil, it sadly didn't feel like anything of consequence happened in this story. Even the deaths along the way, and there were more than a few, failed to get any response from me other than an "oh! ... Who were they again?"

None of the events were
Liezl Ruiz
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Starfire: A Red Peace is an intense read set in outer space with a plethora of characters that will either surprise you with their hidden badassery or shock you with their sudden demise. This isn't for the faint-hearted which is surprising when compared to other grimdark books.

Starting off this book, I was lost. And then just when I think the young female protagonist got good things going (she met a boy), everything goes suddenly dark. Turns out, there's no romance after all. If Starfire were a
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Disclaimer: I received A Red Peace from Net Galley in exchange for a fair an honest review.

A Red Peace is the first in the Starfire Trilogy written by Spencer Ellsworth, and along with an interesting plot (more on that in a minute) it comes with an utterly stunning cover. Please take a minute to appreciate the artwork, detail and color palette of the cover. I’m in love with it. As far as the plot is concerned, it’s a bit like space opera meets the Wild West. It’s full of aliens, giant space bu
I really loved this story. It's told primarily from two points of view, Jaqi's and Araskar's, with only the prelude or opening or whatever (it's the "Overture") being told from John Starfire's POV. Interestingly, I think John Starfire (the Starfire of the series name?) is the antagonist in this series. All three POV characters are what's known as a Jorian Cross. Araskar came from a vat, while Jaqi was born to her parents, who were vat aberrations that escaped before they could be re-assimilated ...more
Jeremy Szal
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first installation in the Starfire series is a space opera that's bursting with squicky biotech, funky worlds and rich story-telling that almost manages to be supercharged and surprisingly character-driven. New ideas are tossed out on every other page like so much candy, but the story never loses focus of the fact that the characters are the beating heart of this story. The jargon and made-up vernacular could have been cut back a bit, and the opening chapters could have swapped it's relentle ...more
T.J. Berry
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Starfire: A Red Peace does exactly what it sets out to do. It’s a rollicking, fun adventure with a group of relatable three-dimensional characters against the backdrop of a unique and enthralling universe. This is a quick read and a great introduction to the worlds of the Starfire series. There are unique bits of eye candy like soulswords, moth carapaces used as vehicles, and planet-sized spiders. And even though the book is fast and full of adventure, the story also delves into tough topics lik ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read a lot of sci fi books so at first I was worried I would not understand. however, the action and intruguing characters sucked me in and I found myself finishing the book quickly and finishing the book with an audible "awh".
Ellsworth knows his characters through and through and I felt like it added a lot to the story.
Apr 22, 2018 added it
This book was hella fun. Violent and sometimes dark, but fun nonetheless.

The characters are one of the high points. Jaqi is awesome. She's also a type of character that I haven't seen much of, because she's...not very smart. She's brave and worth rooting for, but she'll only think a step ahead. It's refreshing in a genre with a lot of "canny" or analytical protagonists.
The book also manages to have small children as main characters who felt real but weren't annoying, which is hard! I was less in
Bonnie McDaniel
This first book in the Starfire Trilogy is either a short novel or a really long novella. It feels like a throwback to the pulp age: we have a galaxy-spanning war, lots of oft-squicky biotech, a horror aside that absolutely gave me the shivers (seriously, that brief sojourn into the Dark Zone, with its planet-sized telepathic spiders consuming all life, is enough to give anyone nightmares), soulswords that vacuum up their victims' memories, one vat-grown supersoldier with PTSD, and a half-human ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I saw this title on an issue of the Barnes and Noble sci-fi and fantasy blog and I thought it would be a good chance to read an author I had never read before. I like space opera, but often I balk at delving into a lot of titles as some can be quite long and extensive, and while this one is a trilogy, each book is manageable. This one was only 210 pages, so it was an easy read and very enjoyable. Looking forward to starting the second one when I get back from Comic-Con.
Peter Tillman
Publisher's Weekly review:

"Elsworth’s debut is a capable, if familiar, take on revolution in space and what comes after an empire falls. ... This first volume primarily sets up the narrative that is to come, and leaves too many threads dangling for the conclusion to be satisfying. "

So, probably not for me. Cool cover art, though.
Matt Dovey
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Technically, at 50k, this book is a short novel. But it's not, not really: it's a long novella. It has the focus, the energy and the freedom of weirdness that novellas excel at. It's a novel with the padding stripped out, and a novella with the awesomeness given space to run.

It's a space opera with soulswords, with giant bugs as spaceships, with light devouring spiders the size of suns, creepy cyborg human/millipedes and half-human crosses and weird aliens and everything your 12-year sel
This book was fantastic and fast paced and if you enjoy reading science fiction with flavors of Star Wars and Ender's Game you will really love this book, as I did. It was a lot of fun, intense, with memorable characters that I can't wait to see what happens to them.

Likes: Jaqui is awesome. Actually so is Z and Araskar. I loved these characters, they were funny and very cool. The world building was well done and interesting, I'd like more details. The ideas on gender and the nature of creation a
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
More like 4,5/5 maybe! That was super fun and I'm very excited about what's going to happen next. I loved the characters!!
Will write a longer review closer to release date :)
Robert Collins
A Red Peace is the first volume in the Starfire trilogy. A Space Opera that is both familiar in its themes but has a major difference in the positioning of the protagonists.
The main 'good guys' in this battle for supremacy are the Human/Jorian crossbreeds. Known colloquially as Crosses.

"Like all his troops, he’d been grown in a vat, yanked out slimy and febrile by mechanized arms, given a data dump to serve as his memories, given a number without a name, and loaded onto a drop ship to be another
Jared Adams
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
"A Red Peace" does Star Wars better than Star Wars.

It's what I longed for when I watched "The Force Awakens." I so wanted to see a Stormtrooper fighting his upbringing, having an attachment with his fellow soldiers that kept him from, say, killing a planet-full of his compatriots. I also hoped to see an original story (ie not involving a death star). "A Red Peace" delivers on all of these things in a way that hits all the adventure beats of a Star Wars movie, while also presenting something uni
John Purvis
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Starfire: A Red Peace" eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Spencer Ellsworth. Mr. Ellsworth has published five novels. This is the first book in his "The Starfire Trilogy".

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future.

Genetic half-breed between Humans and Jorians have been created, and now they have risen up as rebels.
Will Hudson
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that Spencer is in a Facebook group that I am in and over the last few years I have grown to enjoy his posts about various geeky topics and his insight into things. That said, my review is below. Potential spoilers, but I will try to keep those to a minimum.

I tend to prefer more of a hard sci fi or sci fi opera when it comes to Science fiction. In the case of the Red Peace, the Sci Fi space part is the setting more than the focus. This is definit
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: space-opera
This review first appeared on: Wayward Kitsune.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unsettling at first but once you get used to all the jargons used in this book, you’ll find yourself having a hard time in putting it down. The basic premise is that the age of humans is coming to an end when the crosses (term for human/alien hybrids) that they’ve made—through vat culture—rallied toge
Chris Bauer
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Debut novelist Spencer Ellsworth hits the ground running with "A Red Peace" and doesn't look back. I really appreciated the level of detail the author put into worldbuilding AND his wisdom to not infodump all over his readers. I get the sense there is a hefty tome's worth of history and details in the setting, but was given only enough needed to enjoy the story.

The tactic of using alternating POV characters provides an interesting mix of perspective to the reader, while eagerly awaiting the inev
Bridget Mckinney
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
The first in a trilogy of short novels, A Red Peace begins with the ending of and intergalactic war fought between natural humans and the genetically engineered hybrids who have spent years being used as fodder for humanity’s wars and slaves for their industry and agriculture. It seems as if justice has won the day until John Starfire, the leader of the Jorian-cross rebellion, reveals his final solution to end the oppression that he’s dedicated his life to fighting. The book follows the points o ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story is told from two perspectives, in the first person, and present tense. I loved that the two main characters weren't a king and queen, and the female protagonist isn't another virgin assassin with a heart of gold.
The reluctant hero Jaqi (I mean in full denial all the way through), the natural born scab of two vat born crosses, has a hand in shady business and a not picky love life. She jumps from one heap of trouble to another all for tomatoes (and perhaps two clueless children).
The no
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Spencer Ellsworth lives in Bellingham, WA, teaches at a tribal college, plays bass for the band Pawnbroker, and writes his little brain out. He is the author of The Great Faerie Strike, out in August 2019 from Broken Eye Books, about a plucky union leader gnome and young investigative report vampire, who join forces to take on the alchemists and sorcerers industrializing the Otherworld.

He is also

Other books in the series

Starfire (3 books)
  • Shadow Sun Seven (Starfire, #2)
  • Memory's Blade (Starfire, #3)

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