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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Audible Book Review: The Synchronicity War, Part 1 by Dietmar Wehr

This is slow starting but gets better – with personable AIs to add to the excitement.
The Synchronicity War, Part 1
Written by: Dietmar Wehr
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
Series: The Synchronicity War, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:02-27-15
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Genre: Sci Fi, Military
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Be aware that Part 1 has a cliffhanger ending. After almost a century of peaceful exploration and colonization of space, the United Earth Space Force stumbles across a shockingly xenophobic alien race that has more and better armed ships and refuses all attempts at contact. As the outgunned Space Force is driven back in battle after battle in what appears to be a war of extermination, one officer experiences precognitive visions that help him blunt the enemy onslaught, but he can't control or predict when they occur. With the Senior Brass convinced that he's a tactical genius, he's given more and more responsibility and is terrified by the belief that Humanity's Fate will be determined by a battle with himself in overall command.
This is Volume 1 of a military SF series about desperate space battles and the men, women and Artificial Intelligences, who fight and die in them.
©2013 Dietmar Wehr (P)2015 Podium Publishing

Commander Victor Shiloh is one of seven Frigates out in jump space. One of their own team has gone missing and the squadron leader is going in to investigate. It soon becomes apparent that a ruthless enemy is destroying ships at will with no contact or warning.

Shiloh begins to have visions of movements to take that become true after the fact. These appear to be instinctive, if not skilled, tactical moves. He can’t go to his superiors to tell them of his visions but it may be tricky to explain some of his actions without revealing the source. His superior wants to move Shiloh up in leadership but Shiloh declines the advancement and is sent off to an AI hanger as punishment. This turns out to have a positive result as Shiloh begins to develop a relationship with the AI team.

The AI units seem to be developing their own personalities – naming themselves and bantering with the humans they interact with. These AIs soon become fiercely involved in the battle preparations. Shiloh’s superior soon realizes that Shiloh is still making important decisions even from the fringes. They reassign him and he continues to face the enemy with limited success – but more success than anyone else.

The first book ends with a terrible cliffhanger. Fortunately, the audible book had the beginning of book two so I got pulled into that. I love the interaction with the AIs and I really enjoy the battle strategy and Shiloh’s personality. The story starts slowly and seems a bit dry until well into the story. Much of the beginning of the book was less than stellar in presentation and I might not have been interested in book two except for the pick up of action near the end of part 1 and the excerpt of part 2 being made available.

Audio Notes: Luke Daniels is the narrator and I have found him very effective in narrating The Iron Druid series. Sadly, this story is dry well into the midpoint so I think that the lackluster was more the story than the narration. I have not yet decided if I will continue in ebook or audio.

[I had to look up “synchronicity” and that wasn’t totally helpful. The Webster definition is: “the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung.”]

This has been in my Audible Library since December 2015 and on my Kindle library since 2014. This qualifies for Audio Challenge and Mount TBR.

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