Ark Royal - the Royal Navy’s outdated space carrier - has won a smashing victory against the enigmatic aliens, capturing one of their starships and returning to Earth. Now, Admiral Theodore Smith and his crew are assigned to command a fleet charged with making a deep-penetration raid into alien territory, a fleet made up of carriers from four different nations. But with a crewman who isn't what he seems, untested pilots and international friction - and a new and dangerous alien plan - can Ted and his crew survive their mission...or will they die, alone and unremarked, hundreds of light years from home?
©2014 Christopher G. Nuttall (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I wrote in my review of Ark Royal that I found the overall story to be a bit dry and the characters to be stereotypical.. Not much changes with book 2 except that the characters do get fleshed out a bit more. However, it is the overall story arc that carries the day with this series and that continued to fuel my desire to keep listening.
Theodore Smith is promoted to Admiral and must lead a fleet of human ships, led by Ark Royal, back out to confront the Aliens. Humanity has progressed their technology somewhat but Ark Royal still remains the only ship in the fleet able to stand up to the enemy plasma weapons. Their mission is high risk as Earth will be left without Ark Royal's protection so a lot is at stake.
I found this book to be a bit more enjoyable than book one with one new key character added - a star fighter pilot with a secret. This helped a bit with the level of character presence but it was the overall war with the aliens that held my interest throughout. For my money you can just skip the forbidden shipboard romances and launch fighters! This one is worth picking up if you enjoyed book one and again I would peg it at 3.5 stars.
Ralph Lister was solid again as narrator.
I got book one for $4.95 on special, then used a credit for book 2, now I'm hooked. it's interesting that unlike most sci-fi novels, there was no immediate and miraculous way that the aliens were able too speak our language, just another wrinkle in a war that seems from the human to have no reason for starting. I'm looking forward till book 3.
The Nelson Touch is a great sequel that builds on the above average introductory story of the Ark Royal series. Basically Nuttall has created a future universe with faster than light travel, while preserving the current geopolitical structures during an era of expansion akin to 18th and 19th century colonialism. In the opening salvo, mankind encounters an alien race seemingly bent on human annihilation. An old, mothballed British "carrier" is the only spaceship that can put up a fight and takes the lead with a crew of rejects in defending humanity.
In this installment, humanity goes on the offensive and takes the fight to the aliens with several surprising developments. Details about the aliens are slowly revealed. There is the addition of a "mystery" crew member this time out and Nuttall does a great job of alternating big picture developments with a host of personal revelations with the major characters, including career advancements. Nutall also displays an excellent sense of portraying the fog of war throughout. Finally, the author sets up the 3rd installment with Earth hanging in the balance and a potential diplomatic solution. Sci-fi elements are limited largely to alien biology.
The narration is excellent with a great range of voices, tone, and mood.
As a fan of the Aubrey-Maturin books AND sci-fi, this was a pleasant mix. The narrator was good, but could have varied the voices a little more. It was enough to tell who was speaking, but it was more like being read to by a parent as opposed to a professional narrator.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
A decent follow on to a pretty gripping story. I generally haven't enjoyed British Sci-Fi but this one is good. Narration is first rate although it took a bit of getting used to. By the end of the first book though you'll not even notice. I do think the stuffy British Officer attitude is a little overdone. Commands and much dialog are barked instead of spoken and it's almost a caricature of a British Officer. But it's not a deal killer. I liked the Prince Henry angle. Perhaps more should be played up as Henry the Warrior King since he has become a genuine war hero.
Waiting for the next book and that's the problem with Mr. Nuttall. He has two excellent series going at the same time. This one and the Empires Corps. While the print version of the next in this series (The Trafalgar Gambit: Ark Royal, Book 3) is out the Audio version is not scheduled until October. The next in the Empire's Corps series is not scheduled until November. I go through these things like once a week and am left holding my breath for the next installment.
When you're done with this check out the Empire's Corps. You'll like that one too.
The series isn't really about an interstellar war with aliens. It's about grown-up human relationships while dealing with life and death situations.
"Grew on me over time"
Books 1 & 2: At first I found it difficult listening to this type of story in a British accent (I grew up on American movies!!).
The Audio directing was a bit off. I could tell each time the reader took a break. The volume was reduced on the last words (like a fade-out).
But, by the tme book 2 ended - I was hooked. At least I only have to wait 1 month for book 3.
Get past the "non-stereo typical" British Accent and all the characters come to life and a are pleasure to experience.
"Couldn't put it down"
For me, yes. Kindle is abridged so shorter and the Audible version is not. Therefore you get the full work and it is a good story
The very end, but I won't spoil it for the readers
He is a good reader and once you get used to him he is very good
Yes, emotional right at the very end
It is a good book, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone but if this is your think then better than Asimov.
"Great space opera"
Following on from Ark Royal, the adventure of the Royal Navy in space moves up several gear to deliver a fantastic vision of what the Earth might do faced with the circumstances.
As well as a developing plot, there are new characters to involve the listener and we learn more of our existing heros. This is looking to be a great series, ideal for a TV series.
I have preordered the third volume in the series
"Tom Clancy does Battlestar Galactica for the Brits"
Great fun space military drama. Live the sorry and characters. Performance is mostly very good, but I can't forgive the Scottish accent! "they're going to take us from behind captain"
Like listening to a good space "soap" good character development ,enjoyed episode 1 and 2 ..looking to episode 3 soon..😎
"Drags its anchor a little, but is worth a listen"
Much like the first in the series, this book is flabby in its reuse of phraseology - particularly noticeable if you consume audio books at a rate of knots. It also has a tendency to switch away from the most critical action to some of the central relationships in the story.
If you've read The Forever War (and you should, you'll enjoy it) you'll be acutely aware of scientific inaccuracies which while not wholly detracting from the story, do seem to be leisurely skipped over.
I'm faced with the third book in the series and normally I'd jump straight in, but the poor narration and repetitive storytelling and causing me to take a break right now. I'll finish it as the yarn is worthwhile, but it's not the most satisfying experience.
Worth listening to in order to continue the story.
"Brilliant story! Can't wait for the next audiobook"
storyteller was less sexist with female voices. accents ok. Story was gripping at parts and ended with a great cliffhanger
"Maintains the suspense of the series"
The 2nd book of any series is often the most difficult. this book adds depth to the story, world. and characters, and still maintains many elements of suspense. I am very impressed and have enjoyed the writing and performing styles for the books.
The Ark Royal series is well worth a read for any Sci fi fan
Continues the Ark Royal story, listened twice now. It is an excellent story and you just want to hear more
"Slow and ponderous. Half of it could be left out."
Far too technical Makes the storyline too slow. The narrator has a boring voice that makes it hard to differentiate the characters.
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