Gripping, fast-moving military science fiction starring the hero of Of Treasons Born.
As a lifer in the Imperial Navy, fighting in a war that has lasted generations, Lieutenant York Ballin's only hope for an honorable discharge is the grave. Neither the Empire nor the Directorate seems to care that millions have died or that millions more are doomed as hostilities continue. Ballin's only option is to hunker down, keep his crewmen and women in top condition, and try not to get them all killed. But matters take a turn for the worse when he's forced to hijack the cruiser Cinesstar in order to evacuate the empress, her daughter, and the imperial embassy just before the planet Dumark falls to the enemy.
Now, deep behind enemy lines, aboard a ship without a trained crew and commanded by an incompetent nobleman, it becomes clear to Ballin that the empress has a dangerous agenda - so dangerous it threatens the power structures of both the Empire and the Directorate. Now even their comrades in the Empire are hell-bent on turning Cinesstar into a cloud of radioactive vapor. It falls to Lieutenant Ballin to save them all, but every option leads to a quandary - and he finds himself faced with a choice of treasons.
A Choice of Treasons is part of J. L. Doty's Treasons Cycle, which also includes Of Treasons Born, the story of York Ballin's reluctant enlistment in the Imperial Navy, his loyalty to his friends, and his doubts regarding the imperial uniform he once wore with great pride.
©2016 J.L. Doty; Published in 2016 by Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science
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". [[[Read the prequel first.]]]] 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 this 21-hour second book that is a continuous, destination-oriented space fight at its best. Enjoyed these very much. Also enjoyed the performance greatly !
This is a well written sci/fic book. It kept me glued to my iPad until the conclusion. What a conclusion! There were some violence but it is to be expected in a military plot thrown in with politics and allies and enemies. The main character, Lt. York Ballin has courage and commands the respect of his crew to help the empress and her daughter to escape from enemy hands. He also has to confront enemies from within the empire. The plot was very exciting throughout with action all the way. All in all a fantastic space opera. I hope the author, J L Doty will continue to write more in this series and to release them to the public ASAP.
I am a avaid audiobook listener and always have a headphone is in when I can.
Best book I've read or listen to all year, I can't believe how well it was written and performed, condos to j. L. Doty and narrator Noah Michael Levine!
If you like sifi go start with treason born, the prequel to this book and then come back and then read this book and be amazed.
Hopelessly addicted to science fiction.
I don't like writing less than stellar reviews, but after giving up more than 20 hours of my life to this book, there are too many nits to pick with A Choice of Treasons for me not to point some things out to potential readers.
First, I kept listening all the way to the end. So to me it's a worthy book in that sense. I devour science fiction and will just as quickly return a book to Audible if I can't finish it. With Choice of Treasons I did want to know how the story would unfold and found myself listening at longer and longer intervals, so that says something about the author's writing ability and the story in general - hence the 3-star score.
I won't go into the plot line - you can read that for yourself, but within about 3 hours I started to get a sense that the author was inspired by Game of Thrones. By that I mean there is a reluctant leader in waiting who may or may not have a very important link in his past (think Jon Snow); there are multiple factions vying for supremacy; people you think you can trust will stab you in the back; truly vile and sadistic bad guys exist; and war is considered a way of life necessary for the aristocrats' continued existence.
The story still stands on it's own. It's not Game of Thrones in space, but one can't help constantly looking for parallels as the story unfolds. Regardless, the battles and tactics are very well done and Balland is a capable and quick thinking ship captain.
However, here are my issues:
1) Balland is a jerk. He spends the entire book yelling at his loyal staff, moping around the universe, and just generally grumbling about something the entire book. It's hard to root for a guy who will try to rile up his troops in one minute only to tell them to "get the hell out" the very next minute. That wouldn't inspire loyalty from me that's for sure.
2) When did a minute become 100 seconds? After the first time I heard it, I couldn't un-hear it and noticed it at least 6 or 7 more times. Throughout the book Balland would challenge his crew to get to their battle stations in a quicker time and would say things like "it only took you a minute and 90 seconds." Isn't that 2 and a half minutes? The same held true for hours, where a couple of times someone would say "we'll transition in one hour and 89 minutes." So, I tried to think, is the author suggesting relativity in space travel or a different time standard far in the future. Plausible I suppose, but never explained at all. So I just kept assuming it was a writing mistake, and cringed every time I heard it.
3) The body can't survive the kind of punishment Balland received. Sure there are medical advances in this book's universe, but time and time again Balland was near death only to receive fast healing treatments and be up and about in no time. He had a recurring nightmare of being only partially human so one would assume that was going to play a role in the end, but that never really went anywhere. The doctor would just patch him up and he would be good as new the next chapter. Something about being tanked was mentioned, but never fully developed and was just a distraction to the overall story.
4) The tech is completely ignored. We're just supposed to assume warp capabilities, transition effects, gravity weapons, hover cars, etc. They just exist in this universe and no time is spent explaining any of it. I don't like books that overdue the technical elements, but this one completely ignores it. Communications and sensors were my biggest issues. One ship could be 1 billion kilometers from another and talk without lag, or a fleet could be several hundred light years away and yet everyone could see their transition wakes in real time.
5) Last but not least, why oh why was the chief engineer Scottish? I mean really? Scottish? I love Star Trek as much as the next person, but that is about as trite as you can get.
If you can look past these things I think you can enjoy the story for what it is. It's overly long and just when you think it's about to wrap up nicely, another ridiculous double-cross takes place, but all in all it's a decent book.
The narrator did an admirable job. I am assuming the author meant for Balland to be as angry as Levine read him to be. The aristocratic and female voices were well done.
Having said that, I won't be continuing the series. It just wasn't for me after all of the annoying issues.
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