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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Audio Book Review: Alliance by S. K. Dunstall

This is a strong, engaging installment continuing from The Linesman.
Author: S. K. Dunstall
Narrator: Brian Hutchison
Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:02-25-16
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Sci Fi, Space Military
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

As the Linesman series continues, linesman Ean Lambert finds himself facing an alien ship he doesn't understand-and a terrifying political threat he cannot fight The lines. The soul of every ship. It was once thought there were only ten, but that was before an alien vessel appeared at the edge of space-before Ean Lambert heard more lines singing. Ean's ways of communicating with lines is strange. But his abilities make him a valuable tool-or weapon-to command. Captain Selma Kari Wang has lost everything-her ship, her crew, her legs. But the New Alliance of Worlds is not done with her yet. After they rebuild her broken body, they send her to captain one of the new alien ships, teaming her up with Ean, the only one who can understand the alien lines. Kari Wang and Ean are poised on the threshold of discoveries that could change the world. But not everyone wants the New Alliance to control the secrets they uncover-and those who oppose won't hesitate to do whatever it takes to stop them.

Ean is busy building his relationship with the alien lines while training Rossi, Fergus and other linesmen how to communicate through singing rather than thought manipulation. Abram has been promoted and required to leave the Lancastrian Princess. The new bodyguard for Michelle sees Ean as a dangerous weapon and a major risk. She is intent on getting him off Michelle’s ship and it looks like Ean will be sent as the primary linesman on the alien ship known as the Eleven.

The New Alliance leadership has recruited a mixed crew from all the allies to learn to operate the Eleven. Although not everyone supports the assignment, Captain Selma Kari Wang, a traumatically wounded officer, has been chosen as the captain. Selma is the sole survivor of an attack that destroyed her former ship. Suffering from survivor’s guilt, she doesn’t want a new ship. But Eleven, and its powerful lines, are ready to accept Selma as Captain and have already begun to respond to her even though she doesn’t ‘sing’ to the lines. The ship and those working on it are endangered when Selma’s negativity impacts the lines. Ean and friends recognize new abilities in the Eleven and ask to make some dangerous tests.

While the linesmen and new crew are training, Selma faces some unusual mishaps. It appears that someone, in addition to Selma, does not want her to become the new captain of Eleven. Two ‘odd’ members of the new crew, an old salt linesman and a young, passionate woman, who could be his daughter (granddaughter?), come to the rescue of Captain Selma and adopt her as theirs to protect.

An assassin still lurks in the shadows and Ean is almost kidnapped again. Other leaders stage a coup to gain back some control and a powerful enemy is exposed. It’s all part of the intrigue and danger that Ean deals with on a regular basis.

I loved book two as much as book one and stayed glued listening whenever I could. I really like Ean and his close companions, including the new quirky crew members. This book did not have as much action and suspense as book one but it had enough that added to the character developments to keep it interesting and to keep me fully engaged.

I do recommend reading the series in order as this book would lose a lot if a reader hasn’t read The Linesman. I am really looking forward to book three, The Confluence, even as I fear I will be sorry when it ends.

Audio Notes: Once again, Brian Hutchinson does a very good job with the narration. Once or twice I think I noted a missed character voice but for the most part he kept them all straight. He also kept good pacing even through the slower scenes in this installment. I love this series on audio and have already picked up book three.

I received this audio book from the publisher through Audiobook Jukebox. It qualifies for my 2017 Audio Challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Thi sounds wonderful Martha. I added book one to my wishlist. I want to meet Ean and his crew.


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