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Challenger's Hope

(Seafort Saga #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,734 ratings  ·  65 reviews
In the aftermath of an alien attack and an admiral's traitorous desertion, Commander Nicholas Seafort is left in charge of a doomed ship that carries arrogant colonists, violent street children, and dwindling supplies. ...more
Paperback, Aspect science fiction, 407 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by Warner Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,734 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Decent space opera, but wow, Nicholas Seafort suffers from as bad a case of Protagonist Syndrome as I've ever seen. Everything bad happens to him. Every excruciatingly difficult decision rests solidly upon his just-turned-21 shoulders. Everything that goes wrong is somehow his fault (or he feels that it is). And even when he miraculously gets the ship and passengers home safely, his dad's response is "Nice job, son--however, since you broke your oath to that one batshit insane officer when he es ...more
K.M. Weiland
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tight and compelling all the way through, but not quite as good as the first book, if only because Seafort manages to cross the line to sincerely unlikable several times.
Charles  van Buren
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Not as good as the first volume

By Charles van Buren on June 8, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition

I did not really like the first book in this series, MIDSHIPMAN'S HOPE. However, I had already purchased the first three volumes as a discounted set, so I decided to try this one. Maybe it would be an improvement as the author garnered experience. No hope. Seafort displays even more of the characteristics of a manic depressive. As in the first volume, it seems as though he is determined to alienate everyone
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Obviously Horatio Hornblower in space, and that's not bad. I was, however, already tiring of the protagonist's whining during the otherwise entertaining Midshipman's Hope (book 1). His flagellation only becomes worse in Challenger's Hope. It is extremely annoying. HE is extremely annoying. I am currently reading book 3, and it goes on. I almost threw down my Kindle when he once AGAIN sighs inwardly, realising that AGAIN he has alienated this and that young officer after having thrown a tantrum. ...more
In the grim darkness of the future, there is only rum*, giant malevolent space goldfish, and the lash**

*I need to remind you that the distilled intoxicant of choice in this universe is called "goofjuice."
**Actually just the cane, and it turns out that only junior officers are subject to being beaten with it. Which seems like a weird line in the sand to draw in a system where miscreants can be literally hanged by the neck until dead for infractions such as striking the captain, and in a series wh
Erin Penn
I did not like this book, through it does meeting the qualifications of a well-written military sci-fi space opera and I finished reading the book, hence the 2-star rating.

The main character, Nick Seafort, is throughably unlikable. His temper surges and takes over - making him beat and insult people plus constantly has him making decisions he later has to apologize for, and he is a Captain.

The universe is setup for a military based on the strictest authoritarian structure I have ever seen. It wo
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any sf fan but especially military sf fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Familiar with the series
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
This is the second book of the Seafort Saga and it is even a bit better than book one. One of the most interesting aspects to me was the introduction of the "trans-pop" culture.

In the futre Fentuch envisions, in some large cities, the elite live in shielded buildings and much of the city below is deserted. The "transient population" lives amidst the rubble of the old cities and has a great mistrust of the the "Uppies". The "trannies" appear here for the first time. They are a violent., gang like
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: x2019-20-season
A fine continuation, where our lead stretches his wings against fate and circumstance, and all of the lesser characters get a chance to shine as well. Similar to the first volume in tone, but much darker in execution.
The guilt and shear improbably begin to overwhelm.
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great follow-up to an amazing first novel. Challenger's Hope continues to follow Nicholas Seafort and his knack for getting into seriously crappy situations. Weird aliens, mutiny, weak minded superiors, slow death by starvation, this book has it all! As some of the other reviewers have noted, Nick continues to throw himself a pity party through a lot of the book, however considering the dire situations he ends up in, as well as certain lives that are lost, one has a hard time blaming him for pit ...more
Ian Anderson
I read this 3-4 years ago and character and plot haven't left any lasting impression on me.

This series reminds me of Horatio Hornblower in space. Instead of a career as an officer in the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, Nicholas Seaforth is an officer in the United Nations Naval Service. While technology has progressed enormously, society has regressed to the 18th century Royal Navy. (David Weber's Honorverse is based on a similar scenario). I guess David Feintuch uses the familiar
A. Roy King
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Challenger's Hope" is the second in the excellent Seafort Saga, a space opera series authored by David Feintuch, who sadly died in 2006. The series is said to be based on C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels. I see also some reflection of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. The Seafort series focuses on the adventures of a starship captain, Nicholas Seafort. Feintuch does an excellent job of transferring the ambiance of the 18th and 19th century naval life onto the interstellar travel ...more
JV  Findlay
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, military
David Feintuch's Seafort Saga is true military sci-fi. It begins with Nicholas Seafort's second year in the UN's space navy as a midshipman and follows on with Challenger's Hope where Commander Nick Seafort has his own starship taken from him by a cowardly admiral in the middle of a battle with the alien fish. When Nick is left with a damaged ship and a crew full of misfits and unwanted passengers, he takes it upon himself to get everyone back home or die trying.

True military, space navy, alien
Alyssia Cooke
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, navy
Now Commander of a military vessel, the Seafort saga continues as our young protagonist sets off on a voyage to find a set of highly aggressive alien lifeforms. For some strange reason included in the convoy of Navy ships are not only crew but also passengers and indeed Nick's heavily pregnant wife. Ordered to investigate and engage if needed, Seafort's ship takes the lead point in the phasing, before waiting for other ships to pass and then taking point again.

Mixed into this, he also has an add
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
A better book than the first, but marginally so, and not enough to continue with the series. I continued to appreciate the immersion into starship life and the action elements were a definite highlight. The fight for survival on the abandoned Challenger felt real and the stakes were apparent. But, ultimately, the book's undoing was the same as in the first: Seafort is an uninspiring and, worse, infuriating lead, with authoritarian tendencies, capricious treatment of his often well-meaning office ...more
Michael McCullar
What is duty?

Challenger's Hope, to me, is one of the best novels ever written about the meaning of duty. What is duty? How does one follow their duty, honor their oath, in the face of overwhelming odds? It's an easy thing to speak of in good times, when things are easy. It's when the going gets tough, when you are looking into the face of certain death, that your true character is exposed. It's then when you find out what duty really means.
Lucas Grant
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really like the series. I grew up on Kirk who had no problem skirting rules and regulations to get the job fine while Seafort beats himself up about doing the right thing when,it goes against regulations. It is an interesting concept. There is nothing deep or profound in this series but for a quick action sci fi read this series is great.
Rob Markley
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi
I got why he had to be so tough in the first book, but why did he have to turn into a harsh monster in this one. I thought we might seesaw and volume three come back to solid ground.... nope
Clint the Cool Guy
Great story! The second book in the series. I liked it a lot. Not quite as good as the first to me, but still really good. Recommended!
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This stuff just never gets boring. Like goddamnit David. Let me read other books alreaedy
Janet Sibbersen
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Book 1 was great. This, book 2 was so rivitinf, I spent too many hours continuously reading to the end. Anticipating book 3
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm completely addicted to this series. ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heart-wrenching tale of deep space, abandonment, loss, betrayal and the human spirit. Excellent story. Nick Seafort is our inscrutable protagonist, one who's moods can swing faster than a misaligned N wave. He fails to recognize who his friends are, even though his command would be strengthened by building upon relationships. Instead he's a hard disciplinarian, resorting to torture and cruelty for even the most minor infractions of protocol. Really hoping he gets a clue into how human relationsh ...more
Benjamin Espen
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library

The last time I read through David Feintuch's Seafort Saga, I stopped here. The second time, I forged through to Fisherman's Hope, the fourth book in the seven [eight] book series. I can at least recommend that anyone who is interested in this series persevere that far. I hope to finish the last three books soon. There was an eighth in the pipeline when Feintuch died, but I don't know if it will ever see the light of day.

I liked Seafort the least in Challenger's Hope. I blame his youth, and his

Mark Zodda
Brutal, honest and engaging. David Feintuch is a very good author who overcomes the limits of his genre to manipulate my emotional responses to his situations and characters. Recommended.
Pat Cummings
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Book 2 of the Seafort Saga is a thrilling blend of action and internal struggle, triumph over despair, and refusal to surrender even in the face of overwhelming odds. Its ending, which leaves Commander Seafort further burdened with his own grief and self-recrimination, sets the reader up for the next novel, but read with Midshipman's Hope, the two are complete on their own.

Too young to be confirmed as Captain in his own right, the still-teenaged Nicholas Ewing Seafort is given Commander rank, an
Julie Davis
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having devoured the first book, Midshipman's Hope, I eagerly went on to this which is in the same volume lent by my friend.

Now a Commander, Nicholas Seafort, is married and has his own command. Sadly, the Admiral he reports to has taken a distinct dislike to him which does not bode well as the task force to seek out alien life sets out. Let us note that this is definitely hostile alien life so to take one's extremely pregnant wife along, as well as passengers, seems like folly.

At any rate, many
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably not fair to give a book I have re-re-read several times in my lifetime 4 stars, so I upped it to 5. I do like the first book in this series better. This one can be emotionally tough to read in spots, but that was fine with me personally. It reads more sexist than the previous book though. You kind of have to read carefully to spot when it's _not_ being sexist. Like, one of the fleet Captains is female, but it's literally one pronoun in the entire book to let you know that. All the other ...more
Tim Burgess
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Unfortunately, I think the first edition of this series got a poor one-star rating from one of the first reviewers on Goodreads - which now comes up on that page. That and the poor cover art of the original book probably would have made me think 'pass' if I had come across it on Goodreads. But it is a great read and deserves much better than a lowly one star rating. I came across it in Scribd and after an initial read of the first book's initial chapters, I was hooked.

If you liked HornBlower, Ma
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Space adventure fans
This is the second book in the Nicholas Seafort Saga, most likely more appropriate for a juvenile reader but sometimes I just can't resist a space opera.

Seafort is assigned to a convoy going to a deep space colony. His passenger list is made up of arrogant colonists and violent street children. On the way, his ship is attacked by aliens and he is betrayed by his Admiral. Left stranded on a ship damaged beyond repair and short of food and fuel he, an inexperienced Commander at that, tries to kee
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David Feintuch (1944–2006) was the author of the award-winning military science fiction Seafort Saga series, which spans Midshipman’s Hope, Challenger’s Hope, Prisoner’s Hope, Fisherman’s Hope, Voices of Hope, Patriarch’s Hope, and Children of Hope. Feintuch came to writing late, previously having worked as a lawyer and antiques dealer. In 1996, at the age of fifty, he won the John W. Campbell Awa ...more

Other books in the series

Seafort Saga (7 books)
  • Midshipman's Hope (Seafort Saga, #1)
  • Prisoner's Hope (Seafort Saga, #3)
  • Fisherman's Hope (Seafort Saga, #4)
  • Voices of Hope (Seafort Saga, #5)
  • Patriarch's Hope (Seafort Saga, #6)
  • Children of Hope (Seafort Saga, #7)

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