Cassandra Chamberlain has always stood out. It's hard not to at 6'1" and 165 pounds, with jet black hair and sapphire blue eyes. And if that isn't enough, she is also brilliant, graduating from Harvard at 15, teaching at MIT at 19, and up for the prestigious Magellan Award at 25. She's never really fit in. Not with her peers, not with her contemporaries, only with her family.
But everything changes when the Earth is attacked, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only survivors. Suddenly the smartest woman on the planet has to relearn everything. Everything she's believed to be true is challenged, and she has to learn to survive, not only for herself but for Victoria, because someone wants them dead.
Admiral William Zafar is the youngest Admiral ever in the Coalition fleet, the hero of the Battle of Fayal. At 7'1", he's 325 pounds of Carinian male in his prime who is feared and respected throughout the fleet. He is a royal from the House of Protection, carrying its birthmark, and considers its king one of his oldest friends.
But when the Regulians destroy a previously unknown planet, leaving only two survivors, he finds he's willing to risk it all to protect the woman he loves from the Regulians and the Carinian traitor that wants her dead.
©2013 M.K. Eidem (P)2016 M.K. Eidem
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 17-03-17

Good but not Brilliant

The story follows Cassandra and her young (9 years old) niece Victoria who become refugees from Earth which is destroyed at the start of the book. We watch Cassandra and Victoria struggle to come to teams with what has happened and Cassandras quest for justice for Earth.

There is an acceptable love story which runs though the book and hold most of the story together. It is quite amazing that this distant plant speaks very good English and only has different item names.

I found the book quite enjoyable but nearly gave up about halfway when Cassandra was trying to trace the traitor code - too much detail and rather boring.

I think that a couple of hours could have been cut from the 22 without affecting the narrative. I am not sure I will reread 22 hours is a long investment of my time to do it twice.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Catriona on 21-01-17

Gave up after six hours

I might have stuck with this if it had been edited down to a more reasonable length as I did have some curiosity about the story, but I concluded I couldn't give it another sixteen hours of my life.

Narration - there is a narrator and people voicing the characters. They have clearly been recorded separately, as the person playing Cassandra always sounds as though she is in a large echoing room, when people she is talking are not. The actress does not appear to have read around her lines and generally is fairly unemotive. It is especially noticeable when she says something with no emotion, then the narrator says - "she said angrily/sleepily etc.."

It's not giving anything away to say Cassandra and her niece are the sole survivors from Earth. They are on a spaceship and the story picks up again a few days later. I can only think that their rescuers are particularly unempathetic, as a couple of times people with whom they have been interacting over those days apologise for not remembering that every one they know has just died.

There is very little background or world building. Cassandra herself, who is meant to be super intelligent, shows no curiosity at all about their rescuing race or their enemies. It is some five hours in that we are told a little about their family system, but that doesn't arise out of any enquiry by her. By the stage I stopped we have been told nothing at all about the enemy except their name. If I were the only one of two survivors I would be asking for a little more information. As a reader I also wanted more idea about the ship she was on - it has families on board, is that because it does long voyages; there is more than one place to eat - so are there hundreds of occupants; it apparently doesn't have a captain, as Cassandra's lover is the admiral, but also is in charge of the ship. I don't think the author has visualised things for herself. We are constantly told that Cassandra, at six foot one, is considered very small, yet there is no comment that she finds everything outsized for her use.

I found the characters quite one dimensional and was left wondering how William ever achieved the rank of admiral. His reaction to any problem seems to be to yell and swear at whoever brings him bad news.

All in all, if this had been cut down to a short novel the basic plot would have kept me going, but there was insufficient to keep me interested for its length.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cheri on 24-06-16

Outstanding Story And Performance!

Another outstanding story by M.K. Eidem, with excellent characters and world building! This was more than just a Sci-Fi Romance, with the alien race know as the Regulians who are out to destroy the "light." In their quest, they destroyed earth, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only two survivors who were rescued by the Admiral and the Coalition fleet. Cassandra is not only a strong female character, but is very smart, and begins to not only fit in, but is able contribute by using her knowledge and skills. It was awesome hearing these two characters interacted with everyone, and how they became important to both the admiral and his son.

As this story unfolds, we see how Cassandra and Victoria both adapt to their new world, and how their fates are actually entwined with the alien race. However, while they are welcomed as the "two loan survivors," there are some who are not happy with having these two "stowaways" around, and attempts are made to remove them. During these times, we really get to see what these girls are made of, and how far the Admiral will go to protect both Cassandra and Victoria.

Due to the length of the story, Cassandra's and William's relationship evolve naturally, and is not forced. There's a lot of attraction between the two of them, and you get a sense of knowing the characters. Overall, an awesome romance with both action and suspense.

The performance was SPECTAULAR! I loved the multi-narrators, and sound effects! The audio performance really enhanced the story, making it more of a audio drama. Kudos! Job well done!

This is a great story for any Sci-Fi romance fan, and I'm looking forward to the next story being released in audio! Credit or Sale ~ it's excellent deal either way!

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31 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jonella A. Moore on 16-06-16

Fantastic audiobook!

I have read all of MK Eidem's books, and since I enjoy listening to audiobooks I purchased Cassandra's Challenge. I have to say that this was the best performed audiobook I have ever listened to. I really enjoyed the multiple voices, it felt like listening to a play! I hope other authors will start to use multiple voice soon. The story itself I have always loved, and listening to it made it seem almost new again. If I could give it 6 stars, I would. Great work, Michelle!

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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