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Joshua Dalzelle's ability to write about new and interesting scientific achievements and phenomenon in such a way as to almost have me believe that they already exist is uncanny as much as it is entertaining. It was also good to see many/most of the primary characters return from the Black Fleet Trilogy, albeit, in changed roles. This went a long way in re-invigorating me with a new sense of anticipation as the story unfolds. I was particularly impressed with Sr. Capt. Celesta Wright coming of her own in this book and while not as swashbuckling a personality as Wolfe, her instincts and command leadership was every bit as rewarding to experience.
There's not any acknowledgements I can give to Mark Boyett that I haven't repeatedly made before on his other works other than to assure everyone that he continues to excel as a narrator.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed the Black Fleet trilogy by Joshua Dalzelle even though the last in that series was a little weak in my opinion. However, I had thought that was the last we'd see of Captain Wolf and that universe until I came across Dalzelle's follow-up "New Frontiers" series. This first book picks up a few years after the events in the Black Fleet series.
The premise of this new trilogy as hinted at in its title: New Frontiers - The Expansion Wars has a lot of potential in its scope so I am hoping for Dalzelle to really shine in book 2 of this trilogy. This book is act 1 and thus follows the fairly typical model of establishing the plot and characters and as such is a rather slow burner it must be said. Sure, there are some skirmishes and tight situations but the main meat and potatoes of this story arc will hopefully lie in books 2 and 3. it will be interesting to see how Dalzelle handles book 3 in this series given the rather lacklustre and unsatisfying conclusion to his previous trilogy.
You do not have to have read the original Black Fleet trilogy in order to take a punt on this if you're new to Dalzelle which makes it a little more accessible to the casual reader. however, my usual advice is to start from the beginning and go from there if possible. Having said that, your enjoyment of this book will not be restricted by not having read the Black Fleet series.
If you're new to Dalzelle then one of his key strengths is his ability to put you right onto the bridge of a warship during combat or a patrol into the unknown and reminds me of the best of Star Trek in that respect. Tension is built well during these passages in the book.
In my opinion this book isn't as strong as book 1 of the Black Fleet trilogy but bodes well for the other instalments to come. Judging by the preview of book 2 at the end of this book, it looks very promising that things are going to heat up so I am looking forward to the next in this series.
Nice to see that Mark Boyett is narrating once more and it seems that Audible or whichever publisher is producing these audio books have learnt to stick to the same narrator throughout a series and even for most works by a given author. This is very welcome as not only is Mark Boyett one of the top narrators around but it also provides a nice consistency.
This book is a decent read if a little slow but if you liked the Black Fleet series then it's well worth the time.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of New Frontiers to be better than the print version?
Mark Boyett is to Joshua Dalzelle's excellent novels what Stephen Fry is to JK Rowling's Harry Potter - definitive and you can't imagine anyone else doing them as well.
What did you like best about this story?
All the ingredients that made the first three stories so good are present. A believable depiction on the far future with interesting, fleshed out characters that hooks quickly and keeps you there for the whole story. I can't think a dull moment in the whole story.
What does Mark Boyett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Mark Boyett has a good range of accents and is consistent with them. As a Brit myself, I find his British accented characters to be very well done. I love his slightly wry, world weary, cynical delivery which complements the story perfectly.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
can't wait for the second book. this is a great follow on for the other series
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
On a technical note, I found this novel to be very well written. The military facet of this was clear and precise and was well described.
But I found the characters, sense of scale, and impetus to care about the progressing plot to be simple and lacking.
The best character was Wolfe, but only because most of his presence is described through other's views of him creating a larger than life image next to other characters. This is washed away by his normal presence when he is on centre stage. Whilst that was a good thing for the realism of hero worship usually being based on exaggerations, it didn't highlight that realism as much as it made the other characters simply feel pale.
The sense of scale and time was odd too, but I can't pinpoint if this was due to the writing or the narration in moving from one scene/act to the next.
Space travel is described as vast distances and time, and yet it glosses over the weight of those distances and time on characters entirely beside a simple occasional highlight of a character feeling tired.
The narration (personally for me) didn't feel emotionally invested in the story being told. Different characters were spoken in different voices, but I could discern little emotional presence in the lines delivered. Although, I'm sure this wasn't helped by the descriptions of what and how the characters voiced their lines. The difference to a reader between "He said," "He raged," or even, "He said angrily," can be huge when discerning the characters emotional tone. There was a lot of, "He said," "She said."
In having made those criticisms (Just my personal opinion of the story/delivery of it), it was a solid novel, but being my rebound story from finishing the Merkiaari Wars Saga it was up for stiff competition.
I might be back for the rest of the series.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful