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Grand Central Arena
by Ryk Spoor
Publisher: Baen Books

It was supposed to be a simple test flight, one that pilot Ariane Austin was on only as a last-ditch backup; intelligent, superhumanly fast automation would handle the test activation and flight of humanity's first faster-than-light vessel. But when the Sandrisson Drive activated, every automated system crashed, the nuclear reactor itself shut down, and only the reflexes and training of a racing pilot saved the test vessel Holy Grail from crashing into the impossible wall that had appeared before them, a wall which is just part of a monstrous enclosure surrounding a space twenty thousand kilometers across. With all artificial intelligences inert and their reactor dead, they had to find some other source of power to reactivate the Sandrisson Drive and—hopefully—take them home.

And that was only the beginning. As Ariane, Dr. Simon Sandrisson, darkly enigmatic power engineer Marc C. DuQuesne, and the rest of the Holy Grail's crew explore the immense artifact, they discover that they are not alone; they have entered a place the alien inhabitants call "The Arena," and there is no way out without joining one of the alien factions . . . or winning recognition as a faction in their own right, playing by the Arena's rules—and by the Arena's rules, one failed challenge could mean death or worse—perhaps for the entire human race. Surrounded by alien factions, each with its own secret plans and motivations, some wielding powers so strange as to be magical, Ariane sets out to beat the Arena at its own game. With DuQuesne's strategies, Sandrisson's genius, and her own unyielding determination, she's going to bring the Holy Grail home—even if she has to beat every faction in the Arena to do it!

Published 5/1/2010
SKU: 1439133557
Ebook Price: $6.99 
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Included In
W201005 May 2010 Monthly Baen Bundle
W201005 May 2010 Monthly Baen Bundle
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Product Rating: (4.80)   # of Ratings: 25   (Only registered customers can rate)

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Showing comments 1-10 of 15 (Next 10) Click Here to see all comments
1. Cheryl on 2/25/2013, said:

As I was finishing reading I was thinking I hope there is a sequel ! This is such a great adventure there has to be more to the story!!
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2. Mark on 1/28/2013, said:

What an excellent read, plenty of great characters, a really strange universe view and enough action keep even me interested! I'm really pleased he moved into hard SF instead of the fantasy nonsense.
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3. Charles on 8/30/2012, said:

Loved the book and just went without sleep :-) Where o where is the sequel? Come on Ryk! Throw us a bone!
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4. Dennis on 8/28/2011, said:

Very good book! It stands on its own, but a sequel would be very nice - what happened when they got back to earth?
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5. Alan on 4/28/2011, said:

Revised review: The original Webscription file suffered from numerous defects in paragraph formatting, but it's now been re-done. (The 1 person who marked this review helpful was based on my earlier criticism). I read it through anyway, so there must have been something good about it :). I'm looking forward to re-reading it some time soon.
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6. Brian on 1/6/2011, said:

Very good read!! Looking foreward to further books in this series. AISage "Mentor"? Unknown powers to train? Love the E.E. Doc Smith references.
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7. Nikko on 10/6/2010, said:

very slow and boring start, but then more than great after getting through the first part ... by far the best book by spoor i read yet. hoping very much for something equally entertaining like a sequel with some of the dark stories of hyperion and some more new characters
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8. Alistair on 7/27/2010, said:

Wow! I'd never heard or Ryk until I purchased this book in the May 2010 subscription. I couldn't put this book down! Great concepts, great characters and great reading. I really hope he turns this one into a series and I'm now going to try some of his other book.
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9. bonnie on 6/17/2010, said:

Once I got into it there was no turning back. I am greatly disapointed that there are no further books. So one of you out there grab onto Master Ryk and stick him in front of a computer and figure out something to convince him that more books are good and icecream will be forthcoming.... otherwise.....(evil laugh)
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10. Jason on 5/3/2010, said:

I really enjoyed this. It was a bit slow getting started. I too enjoyed the EE Doc Smith References. I look forward to the sequel. I didn't give it 5 stars as I found myself getting confused as to who was who in the story from time to time.
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