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Book one in the Wings of Steele series, Destination Unknown is an epic science-fiction adventure that reaches from the surface of our familiar planet and the safety of terra firma to the dark, vast expanse of deep space and distant star systems.
Jack Steele is an ex-big-city cop that left the department after losing a friend in the line of duty. Recovering from a tough divorce, he reinvents himself with a love of flying and restructures his life as a pilot for hire. Accompanied by his ever-present German Shepherd, Fritz, Jack will fly almost anything anywhere, shuttling new and used planes for clients all over the world.
He had never been a Boy Scout, but he is a man who likes to stay prepared and in control of whatever life throws at him. But nothing could have prepared Jack and his copilot for how life suddenly goes drastically and violently sideways, in a direction and magnitude that no one could have ever anticipated. Wanted men, it seems, like everyone on the planet, are hunting them, and their only option is to run...but to where?
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Striker on 03-05-15
Lots of Action, But a Little 'Comic Book-ish"
I'm torn in two directions with this book...
One one hand, it was very entertaining and kept my attention the entire time.
On the other hand, there were too many loose strings, unexplained holes, and unrealistic characters and events then I would generally prefer in any story.
The story follows a former police officer turned pilot. In the wake of a recent messy divorce, he makes a new life and successful career for himself as an independent pilot. While on a trip to deliver a WWII plane to a movie set, he is... well, abducted by aliens. With him is his dog, his co-pilot partner, two naval pilots, and a covert US intelligence operative. The latter three characters are a long story, but the short version is that there were some snags in the plan to deliver the plane, and the two navy pilots were chasing them...
Post-Abduction, the five find out that they are on a luxury alien cruise ship, and that it will be some time (possibly years) before they can return to earth. They decide to make a life for themselves as pilots. After defending the cruise ship from a pilot attack, they take the ship and fighters as their own and decide to continue as something like galactic navy pirate hunters.
As I said I really did enjoy listening to it, but the story just has too many problems to be considered a good book. Lets lay some of them out...
The characters are very one dimensional. The main female character (supposedly a covert US intelligence officer, and assumed to be a rather smart person) has the attitude, mentality, and emotions of a two-year old child.
Some of the technology is believable, but some things seem closer to magic than something you'd find in a Science Fiction book.
There are waaaay to many holes in the story, or things that are just never explained properly, such as how the planes actually got on the ship and why several days passed before they realized it. There is also an entire sub-story back on earth with everyone looking for the missing planes that is very unbelievable. We even find out that the whole trip that he was on to deliver the plane was planned by US intelligence, but that it is never explained or elaborated on (like a lot of other things).
Also, there is this ancient alien guy that pops up to tell the main character that everything happening to him is all part of his "fate" or "destiny" or something like that... Kinda weird.
As I said, I enjoyed the listen, but this was more like a long science fiction comic book than anything else. It was worth the credit, but only barely. I may or may not download the next in the series (if there is a next audiobook) depending on what mood I'm in.
25 of 30 people found this review helpful
By Darkiss on 10-17-15
Story must be written by 12 year old school boy
What did you love best about Wings of Steele: Destination Unknown, Book 1?
The narrator is excellent and paces things well.
Would you be willing to try another book from Jeffrey J. Burger? Why or why not?
I might read another Jeffrey J Burger if I was 12 and had never met a real woman in my life.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book made me cringe whenever there is any interaction between Mr Steele and any woman in the story. You do get the feeling that the author has never met a real woman or is such a male chauvinist that he wishes that he lived in a world where women just fell at his feet no matter how badly they are treated.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By AR Hume on 07-08-15
A real Turkey
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
I felt I had to write this review to warn people, there is a genesis of a potentially good story but.....
What could Jeffrey J. Burger have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
The plot lacks depth, if you have any imagination then you question almost every development as the main characters meander along the path making decisions which do not seem to be based on logic, the existing situation or any other reason comprehensible to the reader. this is science fiction. But there is little science or knowledge of the physical laws in the book or an explanation of why they are not true, e.g. he uses space fighters with reaction engines, fuel is exhausted out the back and propels the ship forward, but when the throttles are shut, the fighter is dead in space, not on a ballistic course and the turn and junk as if they where a atmospheric fighter.
Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Kevin Clay?
I am British and there are a couple of British characters in the book which are so offensively stereotypical that it annoyed me instead of entertained me. The language employed by these British characters is contextually wrong and I am not sure if this is the author or narrator's decision but the accent used combined with the language is just wrong, I have met and conversed with a large spectrum of people from all backgrounds and have never met anyone like this.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Wings of Steele: Destination Unknown, Book 1?
Definitely needs more details in the plot development, remove the misogynistic elements of the book, make it more believable.
Any additional comments?
This is a very negative review and I know there might be people out there who will enjoy this book, However this is the 1st book in over 20 years that I have abandoned without finishing, and that combined with the comments articulated above compelled me to write this.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Graham on 07-07-18
Good story let down by narrater
I enjoyed the story but unfortunately the way the characters were portrayed by the narrator lets it down.
He made these so called military men sound more like over excited school kids