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If you enjoyed the Lost Fleet military science fiction series written by John G. Hemry under the pen name Jack Campbell or Evan Currie's books or Horatio Hornblower -- you will like these. Two books in a new series: "Of Treasons Born" (prequel) and "Choice of Treasons". Embattled ship, a destination and mission, desperate, running space battles, a tough captain who came up the hard way -- the whole enchilada. The first book gives you all of the background -- then comes the 21-hour second book that is a continuous, destination-oriented space fight at its best. Enjoyed these very much. Also enjoyed the performance greatly !
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My Rating 4.5.
York Ballin was mostly raised on the streets. He was pressured by the wrong sort of friends and at age 11 he ended up with a conviction for murder. He is sentenced to a prison asteroid where he will no doubt be dead soon. He is surprised when he is confronted by naval officers who “offer” him a place in the space navy. It isn’t really a choice.
York has to start at the bottom swabbing floors – he learns they are called ‘decks’. He is smart and picks up quickly… if only someone is willing to train him. He learns that there are bullies in the navy too and he ends up caught in a bad situation again. He takes the punishment and is sent to the Marines for further discipline. They figure he is a loser who will wash out but soon discover that he learns quickly and is willing to take risks for others. Bit by bit York makes friends and shows himself as more than a loser.
He is sent to Naval Academy where he bunks with three others of totally different backgrounds. One comes for power, one from money and one from influence. They realize that York is the one from experience. There are superiors who feel that street kids have no business in the Academy – they aren’t smart enough to learn and not worthy of the training. These men make trouble for York but fortunately there are others who see the potential for leadership in York and want him to succeed.
I found this story very engaging. I liked how Doty develops York’s character and how friends and staff along the way contribute to that character. York is a sympathetic character who is able to rise through the ranks even when he doesn’t even know what the space war is all about. There is a suitable balance between the strong action and human elements. I have the next book in the series (although this was actually shown as book 2) and I am looking forward to reading/listening to more. I recommend this to fans of space military tales.
Audio Notes: Noah Michael Levine does a great job on the narration. The voices are varied and the inflections are conveyed to share the nuances of the situations. I really enjoyed the listen.
Story: Nothing particularly novel or gripping about this, but a nice coming of age story with some interesting military quirks (strong classism, corrupt system); but I've seen it done better elsewhere (eg Phil Geusz's David Birkenhead Series). But enjoyed it nevertheless.
Audio narration: the narration was OK - certainly not the worst I've ever listened too, but far from the best. The narrator. kept. clipping. all. of. his. words. which spoilt the flow of the story for me, and kept "dropping me out of the story". I got used to it as the book went on, but I'd think twice before listening to this again. Which is sad, as his range of accents was really good, with the exception of the women who all "spoke" with the same voice.