Site icon Christina Engela: Author

Blachart Reviews

Critical Reviews:

Enjoyable action-packed original space sci-fi…

“South African Author Christina Engela was the very first person to reach out to this site for a book review and served as an important turning point for this blog. Since then her work has probably been one of the most featured here and for good reason – she writes great books! Even though it has been a while I eventually got to the next book in the space sci fi Galaxii Series ‘Blachart’ and was not disappointed by this futuristic action packed tale of space pirates. Highly recommended!” – Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer, December 04, 2020

‘Blachart’ by Christina Engela – Enjoyable action-packed original space sci-fi

“Christina Engela delivers with this action packed tale that introduces the Galaxii series; an expansive world of Imperial space fleets, distant planets, space pirates and beyond. Utilizing her unique, fun and strong narration style we meet ‘Mykl d’Angelo’ who serves firstly as a mystery man seemingly marooned alone in space until the authorities take him in and learn he is trustworthy. His brutal back story becomes apparent and as a reader you naturally side with him. Whether it be for his quick witted one liner’s or ability to deal with most situations and seemingly get out of them; the Imperial space fleet soon employ d’Angelo. He even reconnects with an old flame in the form of ‘Ripley Jones’ who vouches for him.

The real threat in Engela’s deep space Galaxii universe and much like many of her other books are the Corsairs – a mystery group of pirate types who appear to ravage any civilization they can. Soon enough d’Angelo’s rescuing ship comes across another vessel manned by them and so the action, drama and deception begins. In order to fully intercept the Corsair world, they must align with an unexpected ally.

While this tale is wholly original there are some fun references throughout from old school weaponry, pirate slang terms and even a hilarious fast food reference. From shootouts to car chases this book has everything fans of sci fi action could want. It’s imaginative, highly readable and fun much like many of Christina Engela’s works which I highly recommend!

5 Stars – A cracking read. Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon. Thank you to the author for providing a copy to review.” – Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer, November 10, 2020.

Why are space Pirates so mean? Because they arrrrrrrrrr

“Blachart is the debut novel from Christina Engela and the first part of an ongoing series of intelligent and well constructed sci-fi adventures set in the not too distant future in a galaxy far, far away, but not that far.

d’Angelo is already having a very bad day when he is picked up by Imperial Starfleet. His crew are all dead and he has been left floating, stranded in deep space when Starfleet hear his distress call.

But his rescue does not come without a price…

Soon former Space Marine, d’Angelo, finds himself neck deep in space Pirates after being re-recruited by Starfleet to investigate a colony that has gone ‘dark’. Teamed up with his former lover and he infamous Blachart The Bloody, d’Angelo ends up going undercover on the Pirates own home world, but can he complete his mission and escape with his life, or is his day about to get even worse?

Blachart is a potential future, modern example of the classic sci-fi space opera genre that amuses and entertains from the minute you turn the first page. Having read many of the other books in the series already, it is great to start experiencing this series again from the beginning and I can only wish Christina every success, because with writing like this she really deserves it!

At times tense, at other times funny, Christina manages to maintain a healthy balance between humour and excitement – producing a first novel that is as easy to read as it is a joy to experience.

Truly this is one of the very best sci-fi novels that I have read all year!” – Mark Woods, author of “Time of Tides” and “Fear of the Dark”, 2014.

Reader’s Comments:

OMG

“Wow, this story is just fantastic! You feel as if you are part of it! I cannot say any more without giving away the plot! Just brilliant! The narrator was so good with all of his gadgets to help it along 😊” – Dave & Linda, August 18, 2023, review of Blachart on Audible.

Blachart

“A romping space opera. Engela’s writing put me in the mind of a cross between origin 60s Trek and Honor Harrington. It was enjoyable and pacy. There were a few too many C20th references for me, which pulled me out of the story at times. Nigel Peevers narration and audio accompaniments were an excellent addition. I marvel at how much effort he must have put in!” – PJM, Blachart review on Audible, December 4, 2022.

A harrowing, nuanced adventure

“Blachart is a gorgeous, wickedly smart adventure and it’s not just the story or the amazing vocal performance by Mr. Peever that makes this audiobook so memorable. The journey is enhanced by music and sound effects that only deepens the intensity of Mykl d’Angelo story as the skipper and owner of the loderunner Pegasus suffers the harsh losses of this crew and in desperate need of rescuing.

Rescued by the Antares, Mykl d’ Angelo sees getting back into the Space Fleet as the way of having a future once again; he could never imagine becoming a pain to a very dangerous Corsair, known as Blachart the bloody whom had left behind a path of death. As d’Angelo comes to get to know the man faces the conflicts of how to view the man; leading to some of the best encounters this book has to offer.
Grab this book, eBook or audiobook and become immersed in one heck of a world. Highly recommended.” – Lori, Audible review, 29 November 2022.

AWESOME and unbelievably real

I haven’t given a book review, although I have read more than a hundred, maybe two hundred. But this [“Blachart”] is the first sci fi action book that made me feel like I was there with these characters. It was AWESOME and unbelievably real to me. Thank you and keep up the good work! Dave” – Dave Duran, fan mail, 22 April 2022.

Literally out of this world!

“Christina is a prolific writer, and she kept me wanting more, which is great because this is the first book in the Galaxii series, which I will definitely keep reading. Without giving away the plot or too much information for future readers, just know that this book will not let you down. So glad I’ve discovered Christina Engela’s books!” – Lisa, review for Blachart on Amazon on April 07, 2022.

Entertaining romp through space!

“The classic tale of a hero who doesn’t intend to be one. Engaging and fast paced… the speed of light is not a challenge to these space faring pirates and the people out to chase them. Took me awhile to figure out the title… but it added a layer to what I took away from the book. Overall, a great entry to my space opera collection! I received this audiobook for free in exchange for a review.” Diane Reynolds on “Blachart” audiobook on Audible, 07 November 2020.

The audiobook for “Blachart” got a grrreatttt review from John Gibson on Audible in October 2020 😉

“Blachart. A good read. Well written good story line. Well narrated. All in all a good listen.” – Richard Davis, September 09, 2020 on Audible UK, “Blachart” (audiobook).

A fantastic swashbuckle through space.

“While Fantasy is my primary love in literature, I have always enjoyed a good science fiction yarn and when this one came to me via the narrator I figured it may just satisfy an itch I’d been having of late.

Sheesh, where to start with this book? Simply put, it has everything! There’s adventure, space battles, fistfights, pirates and, of course. romance.

The story revolves around Mykl, ex-combat pilot turned down-on-his-luck cargo captain who begins the book afloat in space after most of his crew, for reasons unknown, mutiny and fly off in the ships sole shuttle. Shortly afterwards the starships drive explodes, killing his two remaining crew and leaving him marooned in deep space with no hope of survival. That is, until a ship full of marines rescues him from certain death only to then get into a battle with a ship full of space pirates, Mykl has to rely on his military training to survive and capture the dreaded Blackhart!

It’s only now that things really start to get bad when his military contract is reactivated and he’s tasked with a critical, possibly suicidal mission into enemy territory.

Every primary character in the book, from Mykl to Ripley and Blackhart himself are extremely well fleshed out, interesting and fantastically voiced by Nigel Peever, each given a real sense of identity and more than a little snark. In addition to the reading, there is the addition of sound effects and some incidental music which is just enough to add atmosphere without distracting from the reading like often can happen with this in audiobooks.

There’s so much in this story that I could talk about but I don’t want to spoil anything but do strongly suggest that, if you like Buck Rogers, Firefly or Pirate stories you give this book a go as I thoroughly enjoyed everything it had to offer.” – Ryan Pascal, August 29, 2020 on Audible UK for “Blachart” (audiobook).

Epic!!! 

“Another great tale told by narrator Nigel Peever. I look forward to the continuing Adventures of Blachart and Michael.” – Justin Bradley, Aug 16, 2020 on Audible for “Blachart” (audiobook).

Excellent story! 

“This is a very well written Sci-Fi tale that is told by an awesome narrator. I can’t wait to hear book 2!” – D. Sturgeon, Aug 13, 2020 on Audible for “Blachart” (audiobook).

Loving The Audiobook

On July 26, 2020, Scott M. Darrah, a friend and avid fan gave me his opinion of the audiobook:

So Proud To Have Been A Part Of This

On July 21, 2020 Brandon Mullins, CEO of Moon Books Publishing shared the following compliment for “Blachart” in a publishing group on Facebook:

Great Book

July 20, 2020 “Blachart” (audiobook):

Entertaining Romp Through Space!

“The classic tale of a hero who doesn’t intend to be one. Engaging and fast paced… the speed of light is not a challenge to these space faring pirates and the people out to chase them. Took me a while to figure out the title… but it added a layer to what I took away from the book. Overall, a great entry to my space opera collection! I received this audiobook for free in exchange for a review. 4 stars overall.” – D.M. Reynolds, Audible, July 11, 2020.

Crackin’ read

“Roughly about 13% of the way in you have “here” instead of “her”. A little further on you have “or” instead of “for”. Some of the kindle formatting means that some sentences are cut in half and drags you out of the world.

That said, what a fantastic read! I really got engrossed into the characters. The story line kept me hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Your writing “voice” is easy to fall into and the fights scenes easy to follow, you didn’t fall into the sex cliché and built the beginnings of a meaningful relationship. Great job, thank you for your book.” – Verified Purchase Amazon, July 22, 2017.

Awesome And Incredible Reads

“Both books [‘Blachart’ and ‘Demonspawn’ ] were awesome and incredible reads. I couldn’t put them down. They were fantastic and I was able to get vivid mental images of the scenes as I was reading them. That’s the sign of a great author. Congratulations Christina. Your writing truly ROCKS!” – Scott M. Darrah, April 10, 2016.

Great Book

“Good read, very good story!! [Blachart] Definitely should give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed. Keeps you on the edge of your seat.” – Verified purchase, August 21, 2015.

Wonderful Read

“I loved this story! [Blachart] Christina writes well, with humour and vivid descriptions, and develops a plausible tale of futuristic adventures.” –  J. Pietersen, June 16, 2015.

A Mind Blowing Sci-fi Novel

“Christina Engela’s debut novel, Blachart, is a fantastically written sci-fi novel filled with intrigue, suspense and nail biting action. From the first paragraph to the last, I was captivated by her ability to bring her characters to life. Blachart kept me on the edge of my seat! I highly recommend this read. You will not be disappointed!” – Stephanie Bothma, May 12, 2015.

Five Stars

“I love Christina’s novels. Blachart gets 5 stars from me.” – Dorian, March 21, 2015.

I Wasn’t A Fan, This Book Changed That

“I wasn’t a fan of the genre, this book [Blachart] changed that. Sci-fi gained a fan because of you!” – Anonymous, March 17, 2015.

Great Sci-fi From A Highly Under-Rated Author!

“A great read from start to finish! Blachart is another great sci-fi story from the transgender author Christina Engela and set in the same universe as her other books.

This time around the action focuses around Mykl D’Angelo, a Space trader having a VERY bad week! First, most of his crew abandon him during shore leave at his last destination, then his Engineer and Helmsman are both killed in a fatal accident when a couple of crossed wires during routine repairs cause a pulse-wave! Left drifting in space, his only hope of rescue comes when he receives communication from an Imperial Ship patrolling the area.

But when he boards the ship, he discovers that his week is only about to get worse! Communications have been lost from a local Starport and, with the strong suspicion that Corsairs are responsible, the ISS Antares has been dispatched to investigate! Not only that but a certain remember of the crew is someone he once cared about deeply and finds he has feelings for again!

When the Commander discovers Mykl is ex Space Fleet, Mykl is asked to re-enlist and help in the mission and when things go pear-shaped, it is Mykl who saves the day. This results in Mykl being asked to lead the team back on a suicide mission: namely to infiltrate the Corsair home-world, gather reconnaissance and prepare the way for a  Space Fleet retaliation. This would be fine and all well and good but he is forced to bring the notorious Blachart The Bloody along with him; a former Corsair and the scourge of the known galaxy, can Blachart REALLY be trusted to do the right thing?

This is another great adventure from a little known writer who definitely deserves more recognition! Though The Time-Saving Agency may have felt a little flawed, Blachart is far more polished and a far more enjoyable romp! The humour from the previous book is still here in droves and yet the sci-fi itself is still dealt with maturely and responsibly. In fact, this has all the ingredients of a very clever Space epic that sows the seeds for many more tales to come. It is important to note that Blachart is set long before The Time-Saving Agency and features characters and events briefly mentioned at the beginning of that book but you don’t need to have read anything else by Christina to enjoy this!

In fact, if this is your first experience of Christina Engela my best advice would be to sit back and enjoy!

Summary: A Space Trader in trouble finds his life taking an unexpected turn…..” – Mark Woods, February 14, 2015.

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