The Terran Privateer by Glynn Stewart

A spaceship flying towards a distance star.

I actually came across this book some time ago in a Reddit post where the author’s spouse posted a picture of them with all the books they had written. It was impressive in my eyes, and I thought I would give one a try. The Terran Privateer was that book, and for the most part, I thought it had some really good bones. Unfortunately, it also felt very lacking, which I’ll talk more about.

The number of books the author writes is impressive, and having not read any others of theirs, I’ll make one comment: I wish they’d spend more time fleshing things out. What I mean by this is that there is a lack of character development in the story, which makes the decisions and actions they take seem incorrect.

Usually, when a character needs to make a decision, especially a main character, you should have a rough idea of the direction they are heading. Not a full-blown picture, as that would take away from the actual story process, but you should know the character well enough to understand their principles and morals. To me, the main character, Captain Bond, didn’t have any of this.

The author did a good job of presenting some of her backstory, but it just felt like the decisions she made were made to continue the story, not because that is what she actually would have done.

For example, when she agreed to work with the pirate armada even though she knew it was filled with slavers. There was so much pretense prior to this that she didn’t trust them and overall despised slavery, but she had no problem jumping on board with them even though she knew it was a trap. Then, when she boarded the ship even though she knew it was a trap, she had no backup plan in place other than luck and her reflexes.

The decisions her character made really didn’t sell me. Captain Bond comes off as this hard person who won’t let anything get in the way of her principles, but the second the story needs to go someplace interesting, she jumps right into it, even though it goes against who she is.

The space battles were also pretty bland. It was nothing more than shooting more missiles and lasers at the other ship before they could do it to you. I’m not saying this wouldn’t be realistic when ships are moving at significant fractions of light speed, but it was boring. Every battle they went into, I felt no thrill or worry. I knew exactly how things were going to pan out, and they panned out quickly.

Another issue I had was the fact that Captain Bond and her ship clearly blew up and killed innocent people during their pirating adventures. The empire made specific regard to how they treat murderers, but by the end of the book, they just didn’t care? I know she saved billions of lives by sabotaging the bad guy’s plans, but I would’ve liked the empire to discuss that in some manner.

As mentioned above, I think this book has some good bones, and I know it’s the first in a series, but there is just so much to be desired.

There were some things I did like, and I promise I did like some things: The overall story of the galactic war between the empires is fun. Maybe a bit overdone, but I liked the world building and the development of alien characters as well. I wish the same amount of work that went into these two categories was also put into the rest of the book.

Everyone likes the underdog, and I thought this first book was really setting up for that underdog story, but in no time at all, she goes from an insignificant privateer with an okay vessel to ruling the Earth? Kind of a hard pass for me.

I give the book a 5/10. I probably won’t read any others of the author’s works but I’ve read in a couple of places that this isn’t his best series so there may be a time where I try something else out. Overall, I’m still impressed with his writing and it’s far better than my own.

Thanks for reading and catch you later,


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