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The First Casualty (Jump Universe, #1)
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The First Casualty

(Jump Universe #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  601 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Two green draftees of the Society of Humanity. Two career soldiers invested with the cause of the United Colonies. These four soldiers on opposing sides of battle are about to discover the true nature of this terrible war--a quest for profit--from the high command of both sides. What they will risk is nothing less than their lives. For although truth is the first casualty ...more
Paperback, 325 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Ace (MM)
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Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I noticed a few months ago that this series is going to be back in print and I got excited when I saw the first one in the bookstore. I loved the Kris Longknife series, and I had high hopes for this. I enjoyed it, don't get me wrong. The beginning was pretty slow, though. I kept getting confused with all the different points of view. You have the 3 main characters, and then at least 4 secondary characters each get the spotlight a few times throughout the book. The second half of the book is a lo ...more
Mary Catelli
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first Jump Universe book

An interesting military/SF book. We have point of view characters on both sides of the war, and indeed on both sides of the same battles between Unity (out in the newly settled colonies) and Earth (plus the heavily settled original colonies). And, unsurprisingly, a lot of untruths floating about.

It involves miners putting their skills to military use, highly educated recruits sent out as grunts, a "sour" jump (one you don't come back from), a marriage, a woman being s
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the Kris Longknife series so thought I would give this series by Shepherd a try. I discovered that the story was first published in 1999 under the name of Mike Moscoe. The book apparently is the prequel to the Kris Longknife series.

In this story we learn about Major Ray Longknife and his wife Senior Pilot Rita Nuu. They are both career military. Ray is wounded in battle and loses his legs. He is awarded the highest award for valor. Rita returns after being declared dead. Ray’s military
Jeffrey Grant
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Military sci-fi story following four different characters; Mary Rodrigo, miner drafted to be a marine, and Mattim Abeeb, merchant skipper drafted to be a combat commander, on the side of "society of Humanity, which is also the "Earth" side of the conflict. On the other side (the Unity Party) are Ray Longknife, Marine commander, and Rita Nuu, combat pilot.

As others have said, the plot is all over the place. The narrative switches between the characters on a whim. The placement of chapters is arbi
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the 1st book in the Jump Universe series by Mike Moscoe/Mike Shepherd. For those of you who have read the Kris Longknife books, events in these books take place before Kris was ever born. This one tells the story of how Ray Longknife (Kris's great grandfather) meets Rita Nuu ( Kris's great grandmother), marries her , brings down a dictator and ends a terrible war between the Society of Humanity and the Unity. All these events are later referred to in the Kris Longknife books. I recommend ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
The first two-thirds are all over the place, but it really picks up in the last third.
Miss OP
this is extremely unfocused because of that we as a reader never gain the give a damn about the characters the author is lavishing attention on. it's not a character count issue it's a focus issue. you got an extreme long action scene without stakes for the reader. we haven't been invested much and this is the kind of scene that's used in the middle or end of the story. it's EXTREMELY hard to keep reading even as a kris Longknife fan.

had it been a run and gunfight in a canyon we could have the
Mark Sheinbaum
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Part of a military scifi series. A little better than the others in my opinion because there is more focus on the politics.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good use of characters.
Fun read.
A young Ray.
A young Rita.
Crossy on the other side.
Can't wait unil we get everyone one we know all together.
Michel Sizaire
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to reading the next one
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Plenty of action in this prequel. It changes viewpoint from one side to the other. It does so a bit too frequently for my taste. The characters are well-written and interesting.
At first I thought I was really going to like this book. The story opens en medias res and with a tense battle underway I was drawn in, willing to wait for an explanation. But none was really forth coming. We jump from one set of characters to another, in which they are either in battle, getting ready to do battle, or recovering from battle. It was like watching one endless action sequence with no clear person or result to root for.

There was some attempt at characterization, but it is quite sup
Jeffrey Jelmeland
After reading my way through Mike's Kris Longknife series I learned that he originally wrote this trilogy, and this trilogy formed the foundation of the other series. Hungry to read more of his work I decided to give it a shot, and I am quite happy that I did as I have really enjoyed this volume. So many times in the successor series references are made to events that unfolded in Ray Longknife's time, and while no real details come out it is clear that they were important events that helped shap ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Told in alternating viewpoints. Mary Rodrigo was a miner, was drafted and now she tries to lead her people safely through this war they don't want to fight. Ray Longknife has been raised to lead 2nd division, and he gets trounced thoroughly, leaving him practically crippled. Mattim Abeeb was a merchant, but has also been conscripted into this war between Earth and the colonials.
This story was much more confusing than the Kris Longknife books, it was difficult to keep track of who was on which s
Aug 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The Society of Humanity, more or less representing the “core” worlds, is at was with the “rim” worlds, where political power is wielded by a ruthless dictator. We follow protagonists from both sides of the conflict.

While it has some interesting battle scenes and good characterization, the plot is scattered and weak. As in the early Longknife books, I was left reeling by a rich backstory which wasn’t adequately fleshed out. I had to pay real attention to seemingly throwaway comments from minor ch
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
For those who have read the Kris Longknife books, this series was written prior to them and about her grandfather, Ray Longknife, amongst others.

A rousing tale about a merchant captain turned navy captain via the draft, a miner turned marine also via the draft, and a marine on the other side who wants no part of the medal given to him when he lost so many of his men.

A bit slow to start, but then the plot gets a head of steam, and it draws you in until the conclusion.

First in a trilogy, and I loo
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read and enjoyed most of the Jump Universe series, and finally got around to this one. It's probably unfair to judge it in comparison to the later ones, but for the sake of potential readers, I'm doing it anyway.

On the plus side, most of the factors that other reviewers complained about did not bother me. For example, I found that the frequent context switches were done well enough that I was seldom confused (even though I normally dislike this technique). I also found few typos - perhap
Sarah Adamson
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This is the first book in the Jump Universe, a series written long before Kris Longknife appeared although it features many of her distant and not so distant ancestors!
I did enjoy this book which has two great female role model stars as well as two male role model stars. One of the male role models is disabled which allows a lot of emotions and needs to be explored in addition to the usual romance, military chain of command, and coping with loss rollercoaster of Shepherd's books.
I didn't enjoy t
Mark Pitman
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Major Ray Longknife and his wife Senior Pilot Rita Nuu fight for the colonists against the Earth. Mary Rodrigo was pressed into the Marines from being an asteroid miner by the Earth. The conflict is terrible fro both sides until Captain Mattim Aheeb's transcripted freighter makes a bad jump into a distant universe and figures out a way to return.
The first book in the Jump Universe leaves the strong possibility of more enjoyable books in the series. I plan on reading the second as soon as I find
Kathleen Kurdziel
I loved the Kris Longknife series and so I was trilled to be able to read this book as a 'prequel' to that series. I was disappointed that I spent the first half of the book confused about the characters (there's so many to keep track of), but mostly, who's on what side of the conflict? The second half of the book is much better and the tension on the Sheffield when the ship is making it's bombardment run on Wardhaven is delicious. Can't wait to read the next one.
Joe AuBuchon
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Military sci-fi story seen thru the eyes of professional soldiers and unlucky draftees of opposing sides. Fast, interesting and interesting characters on both sides. Not quite as polished as his later work.
I have a bias toward early books in series as new characters are introduced and gradually fleshed out. The same is true in this series. I enjoyed The First Casualty (1) more than The Price of Peace (2) and both more than They Also Serve (3) but, all three books were worth reading.
Zachary Wagoner
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book started out some what confusing, as there were several characters rapidly introduced into a confusing situation. Fortunately, I rarely give up on a book. The book quickly came into focus after the initial confusion and became a page turner. Was reading this at work and had a hard time putting it down to do the work. Some excellent characters and some familiar characters to anyone who likes the Kris Longknife series of books, written by the same author.
Gerri Balter
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-authors
Often in military SF, there are soldiers one one side that we want to win against the soldiers on the other. Not in this book. There are soldiers on both sides that I didn't want to die. I wanted everyone to survive. The author did a fantastic job depicting on what war and killing do to them. In this book, the real villians aren't the soldiers at all. I couldn't help but keep on reading to find out what would happen to all people involved. It is a book worth reading more than once.
Great precursor to the Kris Longknife series, although this series was actually written first, it is only now they are being republished due to the success of the follow-on KL series that I found out about them and was able to get a copy. Well worth the read, I'm enjoying this immensely, looking forward to seeing how everything I know will happen, will actually do so, with all the details.
Stony Biby
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting start

I can sort of see why this series didn't sell as much as his later series. I feel I needed a scorecard to keep up with all the changes in scenes and characters. It was pretty cool to see some of the old characters (in his later Kris Longknife series) before they became legends.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: military, sci-fi
First book of the Jump Universe series.

Prequels to the Kris Longknife Series. How did Ray, Rita, Trouble, & Mary first meet? This book tells you - on the battlefield.

I started this book once before and could not get passed the first 50 pages. But, I gave it a second change and it is a very enjoyable story once you get past the first 50ish pages.
Laz the Sailor
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This prequel series to the Kris Longknife saga is a good kick-off to the King Ray / Trouble era. There are many characters interwoven from multiple POVs, but it's handled deftly, and the transitions are clearly marked.

Partly because of the way the final battle plays out, there is a lack of intensity in some of the threads. However, it's still a good space-opera.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very good when I finally got to the end. It started out with a lot of action, but the story line was very confusing. I couldn't figure out who was on what side. I have always enjoyed Kris Longknife series and it is nice to see how the Longknife became the people who they were. I will be reading the next book in the Jump Universe series
May 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the book. It was a nice prequel to the Kris Longknife series which I have very much enjoyed. It filled in some alluded to gaps in family history with a bit of different perspective. While the Longknife series has stayed very appropriate for teens this book moves in a bit more explicit direction in a couple of scenes. Completely unnecessary to plot.
Andrew Rose
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beginning of the Longknives

This is a prequel to the Kris Longknife Series and a good read in its own right. There are some editing issues and the transition between scenes isn't always clearly marked which can be confusing. Still, if you like h
the Lost Fleet or Honor books you will enjoy this new series.
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Currently writes under the pseudonym Mike Shepherd

Other books in the series

Jump Universe (6 books)
  • The Price of Peace (Jump Universe, #2)
  • They Also Serve (Jump Universe, #3)
  • To Do or Die (Jump Universe, #4)
  • Rita Longknife: Enemy Unknown (Jump Universe, #5)
  • Rita Longknife: Enemy in Sight (Jump Universe, #6)