Admiral by Sean Danker

May 5th, 2016 Kimberly Giveaway, Review 62 Comments

5th May
Admiral by Sean Danker
by Sean Danker
Series: Evagardian #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star


“I was on a dead ship on an unknown planet with three trainees freshly graduated into the Imperial Service. I tried to look on the bright side.”

He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer.

Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.


Admiral by Sean Danker is the first in the Evagardian series. The Admiral is a science fiction military series set in deep space and it lured me with its promise of mystery. Danker delivered a first personal tale reminiscent of the Martian with a mysterious narrator and impending doom.

Five reasons to grab a copy of the Admiral

  • The Admiral was an enthralling and suspenseful read that draws the reader in from the very first page. The tale begins when three new recruits of the Evagardian Empresses’ new flagship the Julian, find themselves in their sleeper pods on a critically damaged Ganrean freighter. Lt. Deilani, techie Ensign Nils, and negotiator Private Salmagard discover a man in a sleeper pod that identifies him as an Admiral. However something seems off.  The man refuses to identify himself, does not know protocol and has no uniform. The Ganrean freighter has crashed on a barren planet covered in black sand with a weird green atmosphere. There is no evidence of a crew.
  • Danker delivers the tale in first person from the perspective of the Admiral whose identity is kept a mystery even from the reader. As the four of them try to understand what happened, they begin to learn about each other. They are suspicious, concerned about rescue, and curious about their commander. Salmagard thinks she recognizes him but says nothing. Nils easily follows the Admiral’s orders and Lt. Deilani is suspects he is a fraud. From the beginning, she openly accuses him of being a spy. Danker cleverly has them working together, finding common ground and setting aside hostilities for the greater cause…survival.
  • The story that unfolds was nail-biting with moments reminiscent of Mark Watney’s survival on Mars in The Martian. The four worked together to solve one life-threatening situation after another. While there is geek speak the story is one even non-science fiction fans will appreciate it. It flowed wonderfully balancing character development, information, and climatic scenes.
  • From the synopsis, we know that they are not alone on this strange planet. Danker slowly built on that suspense as their ship fails and they are forced to leave. Action scenes with MacGyver moments had me holding my breath. Will they survive? What is out there? Peppered with God save us all scenes the Admiral made for an entertaining read.
  • Between our mystery man the Admiral and surviving their predicament Danker weaved in humor, fleshed out the world these folks came from and gave us a little history on the war between the Evagardian and the Ganrean. We are rewarded at the end with answers to who the Admiral is, before being left on a cliff awaiting what happens next.

A fantastic science fiction thriller the Admiral left me excited for the next installment in the Evagardian series.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 1

There were voices.
“An admiral? Is this a joke?” one of the voices said.
“It’s the seal. Look at this. I think someone’s done something to it.”
“Is he alive?”
“This isn’t even our ship.”
“He’s breathing. I have him.”
I was distracted from the pain wracking my body by a pair of soft lips on mine, and a rush of welcome, secondhand oxygen. The kindness didn’t last. A powerful fist smashed into my sternum.
The hand drew back for another blow, but I managed to grab the wrist and hold it. I didn’t need to be hit again.
Coughing, I opened my eyes just to shut them again. There were three lights blinding me. I released the wrist, then slowly sat up and groaned. Someone backed away from me. The deck was cold, and the air didn’t taste right.
I opened one eye and squinted up. Three people stood over me. Two young women, one young man. They wore only service-issue undergarments. Like me, they must have just come out of their sleepers.
I had no circulation in my limbs. My mouth was dry. The world was skipping frames, and my mind was stumbling to catch up. Sleepers were good at shutting down brain function; they weren’t as good at bringing it back. I could feel my heart twitching in a way that I didn’t particularly like, though the sleeper wasn’t to blame for that.
I felt like a dead man. I’d had bad wake-ups before, but nothing like this. Apart from a few readouts, the sleeper bay was completely dark. No lights, no emergency lights. Tangled as my head was, I knew that couldn’t be right.
The deck was metal, and not especially clean. I could feel an aggressive nonslip pattern of ridges under my palm. That was unexpected.
“What’s happening?” I asked, rubbing at my eyes and trying to make myself focus. It was as if I had all the negative effects of ethanol poisoning, but none of its perks. Every part of my brain was struggling except my memory. “Where are we?”
The three exchanged looks.
“Undetermined, sir.” That came from the shorter of the two females. The tall one watched me suspiciously, and the young man looked like he was trying to wake up from a bad dream. I knew exactly how he felt.
“Did you pull me?”
“You were showing warning lights. Something’s wrong with this unit,” the young man said, tapping the sleeper’s plastic shield. “The power’s gone, sir.”
“Thank you.” That was why these three had their hand-lights. My thoughts weren’t so jumbled that I didn’t know they’d just saved my life by getting me out of that sleeper.
I didn’t know where we were, but it wasn’t Payne Station. The paralysis was wearing off. I wanted to close my eyes and lie back down.
So I got to my feet, wobbling only a little. I reached up, touching my hair. It was short. I’d already known that; I was just checking.
The taller of the two women was eye to eye with me, and I’m nearly two meters. The look she was giving me wasn’t particularly friendly.
I rubbed my face, finding stubble. I shook my head and considered the three young people, thinking fast.
I eyed the young man. “Are you a tech?”
He nodded. “Ensign Nils. Trainee.”
“Graduate, sir.”
I looked them over, trying to understand. “All of you?”
“Yes, sir,” they replied as one.
Evagardian trainees. All graduates. I sort of waved my hand at them.
“And you’re all going to the Julian.”
“Yes, sir.” Nice chorus.
“First assignment?”
“Yes, sir.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose and groaned. They politely just stood there, staring at me. We were all shivering.
I pulled myself together and tried to look as though I was in control of my life. How had these three gotten onto a ship transporting me? I took a deep breath to keep my temper under control.

Giveaway of the Admiral

One lucky US winner will get a copy of the Admiral delivered to their door thanks to Penguin Roc. Enter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fans of the Red Rising/Martian should check out Admiral by Sean Danker #review #win Click To Tweet

About Sean Danker

Sean Danker

Sean Danker hates everything, especially author bios. He works in Public Affairs in the United States Air Force.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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62 Responses to “Admiral by Sean Danker”

  1. Tyler H. Jolley

    As I was reading this I thought, ‘this sounds a little like The Martian,’ so I’m glad you said that too. I loved The Martian so this has totally piqued my interest.

  2. Jenny

    YAY! Christy really loved this one too Kim, so I’m glad to see it was a winner for you as well. It sounds outstanding, and I’m in the mood for something that’s not my usual fare. And thank you so much for the chance to win! *fingers crossed*

    Jenny recently posted: Review: Ride Hard
  3. Tracy Terry

    Having recently really struggled with The Martian alas given the comparison this one really doesn’t appeal to me.

    Still, each to their own, I now lots of people like yourself who would really enjoy it.

    Tracy Terry recently posted: THE A TO Z OF NORMAL.
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Ah I understand and isn’t it lovely there are so many different genres we can all find something to enjoy. Do you like Jayne Castle’s Harmony series? Romantic suspense with science fiction elements?

      • Ksenia

        I haven’t heard about this series before. I checked out your review on GR, and it sounds interesting. Also the audiobook is narrated by Joyce Bean, and I’ve enjoyed her performance in the past. Thanks for the recs, Kim!

        Ksenia recently posted: Review: Act Like It by Lucy Parker
  4. Leona

    I’m listening to my first scifi read right now, and there’s something addicting about the stories. Great review, so glad you liked it. Maybe once I finish the one I’m listening to and a few others I’ll look into listening to this one.

    Leona recently posted: VIKTOR by Clarissa Wild
  5. Greg

    Hmm, this looks good. I like the idea of the guy maybe or maybe not being an admiral- has me curious. And I like how it starts with them waking from deep sleep. Nice excerpt.

    Greg recently posted: Silicon Dawn
  6. Katherine

    I’m not a big sci fi reader but I’ve been pushing my boundaries a bit lately and really enjoying reading some new genres. While I haven’t read much sci fi I have really enjoyed the ones I’ve read and the blurb and your review definitely has me intrigued. I’ll have to look for this one

    Katherine recently posted: Starfish Moon - Review
    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a good book to dip your toes in. It is suspenseful and the kind of story that grabs the reader and holds their attention. It has a nice flow without info dumps.

  7. dianne casey

    Sounds like an interesting read. A dead ship on an unknown planet, it will be fun to see where it goes from there.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Dianna. I try very hard to never give away more than what the synopsis offers but still let you know how my experience was.

  8. Linda Romer

    Admiral sounds great ♡ I would love to read this exciting book. Thank you