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4.5 out of 5 stars
I love a good novella and I honestly like a good prequel too. I haven’t read the full story that is supposed to be after this, but as any good prequel should do, I’m hooked. Dean M. Cole has me hook, line, and sinker in his other series Solitude — but now he’s going to have me in two different series? How is that fair!?
I said it in my review of Solitude, Cole knows how to write and Sector 64: First Contact was no different. The main character was both likable in a Tom Cruise in Top Gun kind of way, and also in a really relatable kind of way too. He just seemed a lot like (a military version of the) “every man”.
First Contact is just that — a novel about first contact, but it felt like it was a little different. Sure there are some of the same “learn the language” and similar first contact-y type storylines in this, but because it’s such a short novella Cole didn’t have a ton of time to mess around with all the typical niceties. And sometimes you feel like you’re missing something from a story that’s shorter like this. First Contact doesn’t feel like it’s missing anything. I cannot wait to dig more into this series.
RC Bray could narrate anything and I would listen to it. He has such a great voice, especially for science fiction novels like this one. Bray is easily one of the best in the business and makes any book he adds his sultry voice to better.
I received a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review of my opinion.
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
“Sector 64: First Contact” is a short but intense prequel novella in the acclaimed Sector 64 series written by Dean M. Cole. The book is masterfully performed by well-known narrator R. C. Bray; who voiced The Martian and Solitude to name just a few of the hundreds of books he had voiced. Both the writing and narration comes together to create a wonderfully crafted science fiction story that in its small form-factor packs a lot of punch. I may be one of the few who have not yet listened to the Sector 64 series, however after listening to the prequel, it will be one of the next series I intend to tackle. If you enjoy fast-paced and well-written stories involving aliens, nanotechnology, or if you have already listened to the Sector 64 series, I highly recommend you pick up this book to continue the journey.
The book opens with powerful action and excitement. It quickly envelopes and shrouds you in mystery and questions of what is about to happen. Some of this may not be new to people who have already listened to the series, but for a newcomer like me, I was hooked from its start to its finish. The book includes topics involving aliens, nanotechnology, telepathy, glimpses of new and exciting worlds, and what some would call an abduction. The story left me feeling like I had just watched an X-Files episode and afterwards wanted more. I enjoyed the authors use of similes to better assist me in understanding some of the stranger technologies. I also thought there was a good balance between hard-core science and a great piece of fiction. Even if you are not a science fiction fan, I think you will enjoy this novella. However, if you do enjoy this genre of book, you will find this one is right up there with some of the better ones. There are also aspects of friendship, loss, and the desire to fulfill one’s orders.
Let me move to the narration of the book which is done by R. C. Bray. This man is a veteran when it comes to published audiobooks. At the time of this review, he has nearly two-hundred and fifty works available; and many of them are award-winning pieces. Although this piece is rather short at only 2 hours and 23 minutes, the attention to detail is what makes him a professional in his industry. The narration was clean and the narrator’s voice was rich; giving depth to the story. For some, having the same narrator for a series is important and gives a consistent feeling. Be aware that only the prequel is performed by Mr. Bray. The rest of the series is narrated by Mike Ortego. As this is a prequel of the series, I do not think it will be an issue for most, but I did want to call it out in this review.
In all of my reviews I include a section for parents and younger readers alerting them to books containing anything that may be of concern to this age group. I do have to mention that this book includes some very light use of vulgar language, but apart from that, the book lacks any other potentially objectionable content. This is only relating to the prequel and is not speaking to the complete Sector 64 series.
To summarize, the book was a good toe-dip into a much bigger series called “Sector 64”. If you are like me, the prequel is enough to whet your appetite for the remaining books in the series. The author even has a boxset available on audible for those who want to pick up the rest in the series and have over 22 hours of audio to listen too. This is a recommended read.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
When I first started listening to this it made me think there was nothing new to be found here but I was pleasantly surprised. What you get here is an interesting beginning to events what starts off as a standard issue Roswell like alien encounter story becomes a well written and tense at times introduction to this setting. A post-WWII alt history with added aliens and action
The characters seem well written their reactions seem believable and consistent with their personalities.
In the short time we get with them I find myself wanting to learn more about them and what happens next. I will definitely pick up the other books in this series to find out. The character reactions seem believable and consistent with their personalities.
The narration is good, easy to listen to and clear and helps with the keeping things tense and the listen invested in the story. Each character has a unique sound which helps keep things clear.
My one problem with this book is how short it is, but if this is a typical example of Dean M. Cole’s writing and R. C. Bray narration I would happily listen to more books by this pair.
This is a good but short story and would recommend listening to it.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Any additional comments?
There is a feel of authenticity to Dean Cole's prequel to the two part Sector 64 series that had me reaching for the Audible 'purchase' button to get the omnibus edition as soon as I had finished listening. As indicated in the title, this book is a first contact story, set in the latter part of the 1940s, two years after the first nuclear detonation. An alternative history, it focuses on the flight of Tony, a pilot whose recent loss has left him almost inconsolable, and his experiences at that eventful time.
Read by R.C.Dean, the story comes alive, his slightly gravelly voice capturing Tony's personality, his incredulity at what was happening to and around him, and recording the unfolding events almost like a documentary. Excellently done.
If the remainder of this series lives up to the promise of this shorter prequel, this will be a series to enjoy. Watch this space (ha, ha!)