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The Burning Son – 4 Star Book Review

Welcome to the November 23rd review stop on the blog tour for The Burning Son by TH Leatherman, organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, an audio excerpt, great character and setting artwork, interviews with the author and characters, and other reviews.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

The Burning Son
The Burning Son Book One
by TH Leatherman

Published 20 October 2016
by Fivefold Publishing LLC
Page Count: 286

Audiobook narrated by Russell Archey
Published 12 August 2020
by Russell Archey
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Pilot Mark Martin must flee his homeworld of Yale when the Erethizon theocracy overwhelms the defenses. His father, an influential senator, is captured. Now Mark must find a way to save his dad before the resistance is crushed, and with it, all hope of ending the occupation. A chance encounter with a smuggler captain may be his only hope. Will they help, or will the crew sell him to the alien invaders?

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Audible

Character Interview with Sara Chew

  1. What’s your name, age, and race? – Sara Chew, 28, Terran
  2. What do you do? – I’m the first officer on the Leonard Fox. 
  3. What is your goal? – Well, the goal of the ship is to make money, so that works for me. We smuggle stuff and occasionally raid Porcu-bear ships. That takes a disciplined crew, so I make sure to keep them in line.
  4. What was life like for you growing up? – *sigh* I grew up on Shoshing. I know, I know, but it’s not as bad as all that. Emotions are something for the home, not something for your co-workers. I know that’s a popular opinion out here, but it’s who I am. My Dad is an Admiral. He didn’t believe that the navy was a good choice for his daughter, but I love ships so I did it anyway.
  5. What do you do for fun? – I have a boyfriend. We go to movies and cook food together. He’s the navigator on the Leo. He is my happy place.
  6. What is your biggest fear? – I don’t like losing people. If someone dies aboard my ship, it was because I didn’t train them well enough. 
  7. What do you feel are your strengths? – Disciplined. I’m tough. Some would say stubborn, but they can go jump out an airlock for all I care.
  8. Where could you improve? – I don’t think many people like me. I’m not what you’d call a people person.
  9. What is your relationship status? – Did you miss the whole boyfriend part? I think he’s going to propose soon. He’s just waiting for the right time.
  10. What is your relationship with your parents like? – My Dad and I are distant. We don’t talk much. Mostly because of the whole naval career thing. My Mom and I are pretty close. I send her vid mail fairly frequently. She likes hearing about my travels.

My Review

My Rating: 4 Stars
(Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads)

Overall: 4 Stars
Narrator Performance: 4 Stars
Story: 4 Stars

Thank you to the author TH Leatherman and Audiobookworm Productions for access to this title in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour for this title. This has not swayed my review in any way. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

The Burning Son is a classic space opera novel that tells the story of Mark Martin, a marine pilot stranded when his home planet falls under attack who is forced to sign on with a crew of smugglers. It’s fast-paced, fun, presents a lot of cool technology and alien species in a very easily absorbed was, and absolutely takes the reader (or listener) on a riveting ride that doesn’t slow down until it’s over.

I think my favourite character was the smuggler captain. I think if you were to mesh Captains Picard and Janeway together she might be the result. This captain is witty, smart and full of surprises. It certainly takes Mark quite a while to start expecting that she’s always got back up plans B through F lined up and she’s already thought a dozen steps ahead of the enemy.

Where this falls short for me is that it all feels so familiar. While I was experiencing it I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, but as I mulled over how I was going to review this one it came to me. This feels like the intended correct sequence of playthrough events in a sci-fi video game. Cut scene of talking to marine superior, taking father’s call, disaster strikes, stranded. Objective: save sister and father. Most players find sister first, approaching father’s location triggers cut scene: too late, witness father abdupted. Next cut scene (immediate if sister is in the party): Finding smuggler captain and wounded pilot. Objective: help pilot. Captain NPC offers a position on her ship, player options: Accept, haggle on salary, decline. (Decline triggers a time wasting side quest that eventually leads to working for the captain anyway. Not recommended for speedrun attempts.) And so on.

The narrator’s performance in the audiobook version is great. It’s easy to follow the plot and keep track of which characters are speaking, and for listeners like myself who listen at 1.5-2x speed it remains clear and digestable. Since there are strong female characters in this book it might have been nice to have multiple narrators, but I do think Russell did a good job with all of the characters. I appreciate that he didn’t force a higher pitch for the female characters’ dialogue as I’ve heard some male narrators do, as that usually sounds tacky. Russel stuck within his own comfortable range and managed to make the different voices distinct anyway in different ways.

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Audible

About the Author

TH Leatherman

TH Leatherman is a writer from Firestone, Colorado. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, winemaking, and the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. When not busy writing his next book, he can be found hiking with his wife and two sons or walking his rescued dogs. He worked as a stockbroker for twenty years before he started writing full time. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Regis University with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology. He has released four books, The Burning Son, Marque of the Son, Son Rise, Twin Sons and The Son Set, an omnibus edition of the first three books.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

About the Narrator

Russell Archey

Russell Archey loves the spoken word. Whether you need a story told, a product marketed, or a character brought to life, he takes both great pleasure and pride in voicing your project. Let him bring his passion and skill for the art to your creative venture.

​Clean, warm sound. Full and rich narration. Villainous vs. Heroic. Energetic and Upbeat! Smooth or Gravelly. Serious and heavy… or Light and Humorous! Lurch with a heart of gold or sinister evil lurking in the shadows.

​Russell is what you need him to be!

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Visit Other Stops!

Nov. 22nd:
Girl Who Reads (Review)
4 the Love of Audiobooks (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)
T’s Stuff (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)

Nov. 23rd:
Westveil Publishing (Review, Character Interview)
Audiobook News (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt)

Nov. 24th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews (Spotlight, Author Interview)
AC Squared Book Blog (Audio Excerpt)

Nov. 25th:
A Wonderful World of Words (Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)
Super Booked! (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Character Interview)

Nov. 26th:
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Character Interview)
2 Girls & A Book (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)

Nov. 27th:
Jazzy Book Reviews (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Character Interview)
Eileen Troemel (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Author Interview)

Nov. 28th:
Ya It’s Lit (Review)
Teatime and Books (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Character Interview)

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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