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The Wrong Stars

(Axiom #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  2,388 ratings  ·  341 reviews
The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that th ...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
Tim Pratt’s The Wrong Stars seems to have found a sweet spot between John Scalzi’s acid-tongued space adventures and the interplanetary political maneuvering of The Expanse series. The story follows the crew of the salvage ship White Raven, and the mess they put themselves (and the human race) in when they happen upon a centuries old derelict ship and awaken its sole occupant, Elena. Elena believes she is bearing news of humanity’s first contact with an extraterrestrial species, only to
Allison Hurd
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Argh. Blerg. Gah.


This is a story of some mercenaries who stumble upon an ancient ship that has no business being where it is, and which is the harbinger of a struggle humans could not stand to survive. It had lots of funny quips, harrowing close calls, and I'm pretty sure the author's eventual goal is for this to be a "woke" pornographic film with something like a plot between the lesbian scenes. Or, at least JJ Abrams type plots, i.e. explosions.

CONTENT WARNING: (no actual spoilers, just a
The classic small ship and crew in a big universe at ground zero when everything changes. Very much the backbone of modern space opera at the moment.

It's the twenty-seventh century and humanity has colonized our solar system and twenty-nine other systems as well as making contact with another alien species. The White Raven and its crew runs contract security as a sort of privateer for the Trans-Neptunian Authority, the only government/corporation in the solar system past the orbit of Jupiter. Wh
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to start this by saying this book was awesome and exactly what I’ve been wanting to read lately. It’s a space opera complete with space pirates, cyborgs, aliens, alien conspiracies and cover ups and futuristic weapons and tech and a colorful cast of characters.

In general the book was just so much fun to read. Especially everything from the 40% mark on, the pages just seemed to fly by. I don’t want to ruin anything about the plot because it’s full of twists and turns and edge of your se
K.J. Charles
I'm attempting to deal with my horrific reading slump by reading a bunch of stuff I picked up at random, rather than the ~10 books I have on my kobo that I've been hugely looking forward to but don't want to spoil with my crappy inability to read. It's sort of working.

I very much grabbed this at random with no expectations, and enjoyed it. It's a fun space opera that ticks a lot of modern space opera boxes (strong female captain, assorted weird crew including alien and AI), with lots of nice in
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
4.5 Stars
Spoiler-Free Trilogy Review Video:

This was easily one of the best space opera series I have read in quite a while. Fans of Becky Chamber’s Wayfarer series will appreciate the well developed characters found within this diverse, ragtag crew. While not an ownvoices story, the author still chose to predominantly represent several diverse groups including a bisexual woman and a man with prosthetics limbs. Likewise, this novel will appeal to fans of the Expanse s
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story line but it never seemed like the crew was ever in a situation that didn’t end well & they were never surprised or scared about anything. It’s like oh there’s a giant monster coming at me? That’s ok I’ll just shoot it. Bang bang now it’s dead. OKAY.
I would have given this book at least 3 stars if they cut out the romance between the captain & Dr. Oh completely. It was the most god awful cringeworthy crap I have ever read. I almost stopped reading the book altogether after this
Richard Derus
I enjoyed it. Lesbian sex scene averted, blessedly, so I had no need to flee screaming. I never heard of a "demisexual" before, so my education continues.

One instance of the dreadful pollutant w-verb on p244. I damn near unswallowed on the page. But to be fair to the writer, both characters (sender and recipient) were in imminent danger of death when the heinous abuse of my eyestalks took place, so I don't doubt but what he was under some significant existential stress.

The characters, Captain C
Peter Tillman
Outstanding light space-opera. Highly recommended: 4+ stars!
Liz Bourke nailed it:
"Bloody hell, but The Wrong Stars is an amazingly good, extremely fun, very satisfying novel. ...
The Wrong Stars is space opera. It opens with Callie, captain of the White Raven, discov­ering a ship that looks like a derelict. Callie’s a bounty hunter, a salvager, and sometimes a law enforcement officer on a contract basis for one of the major powers in the outer reaches of th
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed this - it was a lighthearted space opera, quite funny at times, with some interesting aliens. The characterization wasn't deep - there was no internal conflict, etc., but it was fun. I especially liked the Liars as an alien race, and Ashok - I'm pretty sure I would totally have his attitude towards tech and enhancements. I'm sure I'll be picking up the next book soon.

“maybe it explodes. No reason to think it will, except for the way a lifetime of consuming fiction makes me associate co
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zread-1-scifi
2.5 stars

I hummed and hawed about this one. It had things I liked and things I didn't, so a middling 2.5 stars is where I ended up.

It's certainly the pulpiest space opera I've read to date. I'm more familiar with this type of story in TV/Movie format. In fact, it shares the same pacing issues with the newest Star Trek: Discovery. Great start, laggy around the middle to later half and the end feels too rushed and overstuffed with action and twists.

Likes: The swashbuckling female captain, the wac
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite having an element I really don't like (instant romance between two main characters), I enjoyed this space opera. It's light, and can be read as just a fun adventure story with several funny moments. Everything about this story is light, from its characterization, its tone, the banter between characters; I enjoyed this book as a well-needed break after several darker stories. As this is the first of three books, there is more for the crew of the White Raven to do, and I really am interest ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Modern Campbellians
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work, though that's not much of a guide this time
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves...
Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II
That may have been true for Cassius and Brutus, maybe even for ol' Jules too—but not this time. In The Wrong Stars, the fault is out there, among the stars, and Captain Callie (short for Kalea) Machedo of the White Raven, contract security for the Trans-Neptunian Authority, needs to take it on.

The Wrong Stars is a good old new old-fashioned rip-roaring space adventure yarn, the kind they don't write any
Oleksandr Zholud
This is a light SF space opera. It has one great idea, but execution is rather mediocre.

The ship White Raven finds a wreck of a (seeding) goldilocks ship, which was sent away over five centuries ago. There is a single survivor is creo-sleep, Elena. She wakes up to inform about the first contact, but she is several centuries late. Or are those the same alients?

Here is a big idea: aliens that contacted Earth are called Liars. Because they lie:

(view spoiler)
Exciting plot and interesting worldbuilding. The language was nothing special. Characters and romance were both boring (although queer romance representation is always good), and the dialogue was 90 % sarcasm, which got old quickly.

For the most part a fast moving and exciting read, but other than that, nothing special and not much depth to be found. There was also a second, rushed showdown after the first, main showdown was over, that would have been better as the start of the second book, I th
Dale Renton
The Wrong Stars (Axiom, #1) by Tim Pratt

'The Wrong Stars' by Tim Pratt features a diverse cast of humans, cyborgs, human(ish) amalgams, AIs (built partly from human personnae) and squid-like aliens named "Liars" in recognition of their mendacious nature. In a future where interstellar travel is both enabled and limited by a set of 29 gateways gifted to humanity by the Liars, the crew of the space cruiser 'White Raven', led by Callie (Captain, my Captain), are involved in a series of adventures triggered by the discovery of an anci
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
“Callie floated, feet hooked over a handrail in the observation deck, and looked through the viewport at the broken ship...“
As first lines go, this was pretty good, you know straight away what is going on. Mainly, light entertainment with snarky banter...

“Have I told you lately that I‘m a genius?“
“I‘m not sure. I don‘t usually listen when you talk.“

...and a collection of archetypical characters, some funny aliens, some scary, mysterious aliens, a few pirates, instalust, empty and badly lit space
DNF @ 10%. Even in the first three chapters of this book, there were quite a few things that were annoying me, and then Allison told me that the rest of the book would be filled with other things I wouldn't like, so I'm not going to bother. The Liars sound interesting, but not enough to make me want to put up with everything else. ...more
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Solidly entertaining space opera. The characterisation had a bit of a paint-by-the-numbers feel but I was charmed enough to want to continue reading.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a fun space opera cowboy type read. The characters were well developed, the plot was ok, there was decent humour and alot of issues were covered better than most. Diversity being a big overall topic. I just found that the plot was a little slow and pretty straight forward. I also found the writing at stages a little shaky but this is still a good read. Angry robot have been releasing a tonne of books but none have ever gripped me and i cant figure out why.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have become a favourite but it ended up disappointing me in the end.
Lots of good ideas, good intentions regarding a great diversity of characters, but it wasn't done well in my opinion. I'm really sad because at first it was really good and I was really having a great time for a few chapters.
Taylor (TaysInfiniteThougts)
The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt is everything a Science Fiction novel should be. It is full of adventurous characters, post-humans, aliens, spaceships, and exciting action. Callie works for the TNA, catching bad guys, running freight, and pretty much anything she can do to earn some lix (money) throughout the galaxy. She finds a Goldilocks ship which are over 500 years old and investigates it only to find one of its members still alive. This changes everything for Callie and her crew upon the White ...more
Daniel Cunningham
At about 40% read:

I decided to start checking out some popular sci-fi books; maybe "decided" makes it sound too directed... I somehow ended up adding a number of the last one or two years' popular sci-fi books to my reading list and have been rather disappointed. So far, The Wrong Stars is shaping up like that for me.

To be clear, I'm seeing a few patterns. One is, of course, that action sells. And I like a good action flick as much as the next person; but watching 3 or 4 action movies back to ba
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve just re-read my review below and trust me on this, I’m not doing this book justice. It was really good but I’m sick and don’t have the mental capacity at this time to do better. Let’s just stick with “You should read this!”


The Wrong Stars was a really good story filled with great characters. I would say it was a bit like a cross between The Expanse series and A Long Way To a Small Angry Planet. It’s set in the future long after Earth almost destroyed itself. Many colonies have been se
*Source* Edelweiss/Publisher
*Genre* Science Fiction
*Rating* 3.5-4


The Wrong Stars, by author Tim Pratt, is the first installment in the authors Axiom series. Captain Kalea Machedo, runs freelance security contracts for the Trans Neptunian Authority out of her ship the White Raven. Here crew includes pilots Drake and Janice who are called post-humans, Shall the AI, Ashok the engineer, and medical officer Stephen. Callie's ship does fugitive rescue, chases smugglers, along with Freight an
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An ancient generation ship winds up back in Earth's solar system, and the crew of the White Raven salvage it and find there's someone on board... who's got a remarkable tale of encountering alien life. Actually, it's not that remarkable, as everyone knows aliens exist, and they assume these aliens are more of the same... but they soon discover that it may be a much bigger threat.

I really, really wanted to like this book a lot. The description had a lot of things I usually go for, and I've read s
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
It feels like forever since I’ve had so much fun with a book!

Callie and the rest of the crew of The White Raven exist far out on the edge of the solar system, doing salvage runs and acting as the closest thing to a police force. Then on a routine salvage mission, they find a centuries old “Goldilocks ship,” with one of the original inhabitants still in cryo-sleep. When Dr. Elena Oh wakes up, she proclaims that she’s made first contact with an alien species and that the rest of her crew is in nee
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: November 2017

ISBN: 9780857667090

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 3.4/5

Publishers Description: The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien
Brian Clegg
This solid space opera is sold as as being 'ridiculously fun' and 'fun, funny...' - so I was expecting something rather Douglas Adams-like - but it's certainly no comedy in space. The characters certainly attempt banter, but to be honest it's not very good (Tim Pratt should take a look at something like Ben Aaronvitch's Rivers of London series for banter lessons.) However, if you take the book on as a straightforward tale of slightly dodgy space traders (who are also sort-of law enforcers) and s ...more
Michelle Morrell
Another of the PK Dick nominees, this one is definitely a space adventure, it reminded me a lot of a Mass Effect story, good guys, bad guys (or are they good?), even badder guys. Heroics worth rooting for, evolving plot lines that get deeper and wider, and lots of action.

Regarding evolving "norms" for gender and sexuality, this book nails it. Instead of a long, drawn out lesson, we get the perfect treatment. It's treated as normal, so normal it's not even worth dwelling on. We may get an acknow
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Norwescon: The Wrong Stars 3 12 Feb 27, 2018 05:15PM  

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Also writes as T.A. Pratt and T. Aaron Payton ...more

Other books in the series

Axiom (3 books)
  • The Dreaming Stars (Axiom, #2)
  • The Forbidden Stars

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As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
34 likes · 11 comments
“If we manage to cheat death, we’ll give death another sporting chance.” 2 likes
“You know that saying about how fools rush in where wise men fear to tread? Ashok rushes in where fools won’t even go.” 2 likes
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