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Publisher's Summary

Captain Jackson Wolfe never thought he'd see the end of the Phage War in his lifetime. The enemy was too powerful, too numerous, and utterly determined to exterminate humanity.

But the appearance of a new ally in the fight has changed all of that. For the first time since the original incursion, Wolfe thinks that maybe there's a chance to stop their implacable enemy before they have the chance to wipe out any more human planets. That opportunity comes at great cost, however, and even as he makes plans for their first offensive move on the Phage, Jackson is all too aware that most of them will not survive.

©2015 Joshua Dalzelle (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Corey
  • Peoria, AZ, United States
  • 07-11-16

Awesome series!

I loved it! I loved the entire series! Mark Boyett could narrate an instruction manual for my Ikea furniture and would gladly listen. The story is engaging and the characters are easy to relate to. I haven't listened to many of Joshua Dalzelle's books but I will definitely start now.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the series

Had listened to several of the Heppner and Larson series and liked them. Saw that Mark Boyett narrated this series so I thought I'd give it a try, listened to the series straight through and enjoyed every minute.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome end to the trilogy

Excellent trilogy. I thought the pacing was good and the performance was excellent as always.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Satisfying trilogy closer

Counterstrike is Joshua Dalzelle's 3rd and final installment of the Black Ship Trilogy. With human forces now focused on addressing the alien invasion and coming to understand the nature of their new alien allies, Captain Wolfe remains unique as the only human who has experienced any contact with the phage which places him in a unique light with their new allies. He becomes privy to the background of Robert Blake and his crew as well as the humanity's place on the galactic pecking order. Wolfe's main character attribute of following his gut rather than his orders, forces him to go rogue and end the phage conflict in his own unique way. At the same time, he learns the frightening origin of the phage themselves and its implications for humanity.

The sci-fi elements are in line with the earlier installments with a greater focus on alien biology and intelligence. Dalzelle creates a striking juxtaposition of a super-intelligent race unable to defend itself nor contemplate genocide against an intelligent predator species without regard for alien intelligence. Wolfe recognizes this dichotomy leaving him and the listener to ponder the possibility of a third way. The battle scenes are quite well done with humans recognizing the inevitable impossibility of fighting a hive mind mentality from the outside that results in Wolfe's 'hail mary' attempt for closure. Overall, this installment is more cerebral than earlier ones and ponders the various possibilities for future human evolution.

The narration is solid with an excellent range of voices of both genders. Alien conversations are particularly satisfying without the more typical nasally or psychomotor retardation renditions. Pacing and mood are appropriate making for an easy listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Roy
  • Mawson Lakes, South Australia
  • 09-02-16

Satisfying end to the series

Apart from the repetitive use of a couple of words such as 'terrifying' and 'shocking', the story was well written and the characters sufficiently developed. What made the book for me, were the well executed twists and pleasantly surprising solutions. Im looking forward to reading more from this author and Mark Boyett's narration was a good fit for this space opera adventure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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good reading

good reading, good story. I really enjoyed the story the characters and the trilogy. ready for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story but possibly anticlimactic

It's been a great trilogy and this is a clean, gratifying, possibly simplistic ending to a nuanced multilayered story. My only gripe is that this was maybe a little bit anti-climactic after such a thorough and well thought out build up. Overall great book and excellent performance by the narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great conclusion to the series

What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

I absolutely love Mark Boyett! The voices and personalities are fun and interesting. I have listened to several series narrated by Mark Boyett and they are always great.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, the story combined with the enthusiasm and passion of the narrator was excellent. Interactions and conversations between humans and aliens was both engaging and believable...

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this series by Joshua Dalzelle...I also recommend the Omega Force series.
If you want to hear Mark Boyett at his finest...listen to the Undying Mercenary series by B.V. Larson. Outstanding and fun!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator must be commended

I listen to a ton of books (I have an hour and a half commute), and I have some narrators that I love and others that I can't stand. This narrator is cream of the crop. His diction is so precise, and he does great voices. Along with George Guidal and Stephan Rudnicki, he is one of my favorites.

The book was a very thrilling ride. The trilogy could have gone without much of the second book, and could have been better as a two-parter. If you weren't entirely happy with the second, the third is worth reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well Done ! For the entire series

What made the experience of listening to Counterstrike the most enjoyable?

This is the final book of a trilogy. And I find it to be a satisfying ending. I am not an erudite reviewer, my criteria is simple: I either like a book or series or I don't. This book and series I liked a lot. Mark Boyett's voice is very clear and easy to listen to, and differentiates between different characters without being overdone.
Joshua Dalzelle's writing was enough to keep bringing me back through all the books. I can see his characters and follow who is who. I found his plot lines easy to follow and they were believable. The best complement I have for books is that when I am done I feel satisfied and not like I wasted my time. I give that complement to all three books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 07-06-16

Excellent Conclusion to a Fine Series

I love it when a series sticks true to from throughout and this one does just that. It’s a great fun series which evokes the original Star Trek ethos but set in amongst a major conflict rather than an exploratory situation. Maverick captain, enigmatic aliens, an implacable enemy and lots of “all ahead full” action all set among the stars. Possibly in truth this concluding part is probably a little lighter on the action than the previous two but it brings this long story to a conclusion in fine style and with plenty of cliff-hanging tension.

The fine narration makes the story rattle along at a pleasing pace and the whole thing is wrapped up neatly at the end with possibly a slightly more subtle end game than might be expected.

As I’ve said in the reviews of the previous two this is not heavy duty sci-fi this is a good old-fashioned story of humanity attempting to survive against evil alien hordes albeit with some rather unpredictable allies “helping” out here and there.

If that’s your kind of thing then this series delivers in fine style.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Elise
  • 07-04-17

Never really finished

I'm assuming there is more to come in this universe and it was a good listen but - and a big issue for me - it pretends the stuff in the first book with the invasion and worm like creatures never happened. Also, the plot is so straightforward it's painful. I enjoyed it, just won't be recommending it to anyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-18-18

I liked it but ...

There is a desync between audio and the book starting around chapter 5 if I remember well, it can be incredibly annoying and ruins the experience of otherwise a good book....

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-18

Great story

Binge listened all three books over four days do ing the decorating. Kept me engaged all the way from start to finish.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tezrob
  • 01-21-18

A great conclusion to a gripping trilogy

The writing involves you deeply in the characters and situational action, I never wanted to stop listening. The performance kept me hooked from beginning to end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stuart
  • 12-08-17

Brilliant, didn't want it to end!!!

Fantastic book and as always, brilliant narrator, really immerses you in the scenes. Look forward to reading more of his books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • misterrobbie
  • 12-08-17

Satisfying end to a great trilogy

Loved this trilogy, great story well performed likeable characters good action and relatable universe will probably check out more Joshua Dalzelle

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-04-17

I'm 5 years old help

It was a interesting audio 📑i recommended it👍👍👍👍👍🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 I'm 5years old help plus plus plis

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Diarmuid OGorman
  • 10-27-17

Brilliant SF

I so enjoyed the whole series .. Mark Boyett narrative exception throughout. ..excellent & highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rogeraee
  • 05-12-17

wonderful and very gripping,

could not put my phone down. the whole trilogy was great. ready to start on book 4.

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  • Roland
  • 07-22-16

Decent sci-fi, well narrated

I downloaded this piece while in hospital to get my mind off other things..I quite enjoyed the story its simple and entertaining while the storytelling is very good ...