Aurora CV-01 is a decent modern sci fi with enough characterization and action to keep one eagerly listening. Although the main character might be a bit much of a cliché (the unique snowflake, glib male version), I still enjoyed the story.
Ethan is the son of a senator and wants as far away from his famous father as possible. He enlists in the fleet - yet despite lackluster scores, manages to be assigned to the fleet's flagship. But he must compete with a very by the book colleague who wants the top position. And a side cast of characters will also have to deal with their own challenges being raw recruits suddenly thrust into an unforgiving situation with an alien threat.
This felt very captain Kirk and the Kobayashi Maru - the man whose instincts and daring are far more important than by-the-book learning and so can compensate for any situation. Of course, this is a very male-driven book - all the women are 'hotties' and antagonize or sleep with the male characters providing titlation. It was very nun or whore - and as a female myself, it would have been nice to see the women as people and not objects to bag or be annoyed by.
In the end, I did enjoy this first book in the series and felt the Audible narrator did a decent job.
The Lost Stars Perilous Shield was another wonderful Jack Campbell/Hemry novel - riveting, full of action, and with the characters we've come to know and love (even if they were once syndics!). The first half details the back story on several events occurring in the Lost Fleet: Guardian - it was great to see how it all transpired from a different perspective though admittedly some of the impetus was lost since we knew the results.
All the good Jack Campbell trademarks are here - those great space battles and machinations, traveling through gates (very little takes place on Midway planet this time), and high stakes action. Some of the weaknesses are there as well - women are still screechy, over emotional wrecks next to their calm, easily seduced, and bemused male counterparts. And yes, there is still a lot of political commentary here that can be very thinly veiled metaphors for 20th century world politics. But honestly, Jack Campbell is to military sci fi what Tom Clancy was to military fiction - one of the best out there. So I'm going to cut slack here on the above simply because I love everything else about the books.
In Perilous Shield, Midway is still teetering - CEO Boyens waits to swoop down and retake Midway once the Alliance Fleet leaves. As well, Commander Bradamont, Alliance Liason to the planet, will find herself thick in the middle of the very dangerous arena of a former syndic world - will she survive long enough to help Iceni and Drakon find the resources they need to protect Midway? Meanwhile, assistants Togo, Morgan, and Malen have secrets of their own that may end up destroying their bosses.
I am constantly surprised at where Jack Campbell can take these books and especially love that Perilous Shield had so much space action. The one thing that kept this from being a 5 star book for me was the ending (a cliffhanger for the next book in the series) which ended up playing out too much like an overwrought Mexican Telenovela soap opera. I think it would have worked better in the middle of the book rather than being the random punctuation on an otherwise wonderful read.
Greatly looking forward to the next in the series.
My husband and I both listened to this. While I enjoyed it for what it is, he really didn't like it at all. We both had read the first book. I enjoyed the action; he felt it was poorly written.
If you're read the first book (and I recommend you do), you can expect the same in the second. A mix of action, philosophizing about war, and a lot of perspectives on the same situation.
As with the first novel, the writing isn't as strong as you typically find in the genre. It's not terrible (read a few YA dystopian and you'll know what I mean) but does come off as a bit weak in the military sci fi/sci fi genre.
There is a LOT of philosophizing on the necessity of war and soldiers, told in a way that is a little too obvious (obvious comparisons to big issues in certain wars like Viet Nam and Iraq are rather glaringly obvious and takes away from the plot). But when the action kicks in, it's a fun roller coaster of a read.
The narrator is the same from the first book. I enjoyed him on the first and was glad he's on the second. However, as with the author, there are some issues in quality of the performance: odd pauses where there shouldn't be and especially in this book, an affectation that has him swallowing the words at the end of every sentence. Unlike the first book, this reading feels a bit too mannered and that is really distracting. That said, I like the way he reads and he brings an easy humanity and grace to the characters that suits the book.