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Publisher's Summary

As the Project enters its final phase, air force majors Carson and Ourecky are dispatched on an urgent mission to intercept and investigate a massive orbiting object suspected of harboring nuclear weapons. Emotionally exhausted, with his marriage teetering on the brink, Ourecky reluctantly accepts the assignment; in return for his sacrifice, he is promised an opportunity to go to MIT to pursue the PhD he has long desired.

As they draw close to the mysterious satellite and prepare to destroy it, they are confronted with a dark secret that they will carry forever and are forced to contemplate their own mortality and the dire prospect of dying in space.

On their return to Earth, they are offered an opportunity that's almost too good to pass up, which entails flying into orbit yet again, except under considerably different circumstances. Ourecky wrestles with his decision, knowing that choosing to fly will almost certainly result in the loss of his marriage, while Carson is finally granted an opportunity to fly in Vietnam. Although he is finally allowed to fulfill his dream of flying in combat, Carson soon discovers that there are some fates worse than death.

Pale Blue is the epic, high-flying conclusion to the Blue Gemini trilogy that will leave you breathless.

©2016 Mike Jenne (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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Great, believeable story, fantastic performance!

Would you listen to Pale Blue again? Why?

I loved this book! Master author Mike Jenne’s “Pale Blue” is the third novel in the fabulous “Blue Gemini” series of exciting historical fiction chronicalling the exploits of Air Force astronauts as they seek out potentially threatening Soviet satellites in orbit in the late sixties and early seventies. The author clearly conducted extensive technical and historical research and sought the insight of astronauts, aerospace engineers, launch personnel, and space flight directors to craft a highly believable and realistic novel. Adding to the drama and the realism, space flight support activities and personnel are cleaverly woven into the storyline. These supporting roles include search and rescue personnel, remote communications personnel, space flight command center staff, senior military officers, and a noteworthy politician. These elements of intrigue are woven together in a fashion reminiscent of that used by James Michener in the best selling novel “The Bridges at Toko Ri”. While there is certainly a lot of technology embedded in the story it is a human story at its core. The hopes and dreams of the astronauts are explored along with the stress and strain the intrigue adds to the astronaut’s personnel lives and the impact it has on their families and loved ones. Further adding to the plot, the author weaves in exciting intrigue and mystery in accurately portraying the Soviet cosmonauts, the communist bureaucracy, military leaders, and aerospace engineers engaged in the Soviet’s clandestine space program. Like an exciting James Bond novel, the “Blue Gemini” series logically takes the reader to numerous exotic locations around the world as the storyline unfolds. The author’s personnel knowledge from traveling to and working in these exotic locales only adds to the realism. The author also accurately conveys the texture of the early seventies as the backdrop. I highly recommend “Pale Blue” to anyone interested in reading thrilling, realistic science fiction. “Pale Blue” offers an exciting alternative to many of today’s unrealistic, fantasy based and super hero based science fiction novels. In reading “Pale Blue”, you will be impressed by the authenticity of the story and the characters. I am definitely looking forward to Mike Jenne’s next novel, whatever that might be...

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

There are three interwoven plots going on, each with its own element of intrigue and excitement.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Stillwell – was your favorite?

I liked Carson, Orecki, Hansen, and Glades the most. Each was well developed and had a significant role in the novel.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Hard to put down!

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book. Great performance by Kevin Stillwell, a highly talented narrator. Mike Jenne is a fantastic author!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the best stories I've read

Just finished the last book and wish it kept going. If you are on the edge about this series I would highly recommend it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Taylor
  • Birmingham, AL, United States
  • 09-19-16

Oustanding Series

If you could sum up Pale Blue in three words, what would they be?

Masterfully rich details

What did you like best about this story?

The trilogy of breaking one long story into three sections provided ample time and interest in the comprehensive sum of the parts.

What about Kevin Stillwell’s performance did you like?

Great and consistent performance and character roles.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

The third installment of the Blue Gemini series doesn't disappoint, wrapping up the various details of the story into one tight and final package. The author masterfully weaves the story with rich authentic details intertwined with emotional threads connecting the reader to the very essence of the characters we grew to love during the trilogy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Check Written—Check Cashed—Thriller Check!

Thriller Validation Inside—This would be a valid product label for Pale Blue.

In the second volume this series began to live up to its billing as a thriller in a big, big way. Now that the Cold War is heating up and the clandestine operations take center stage, this story reaches its full potential. Taken as a whole, the entire series is very similar to a Stephen King novel. First the writer gets us involved in the characters as real people, going about their extraordinary lives, then conflict is introduced to increase the excitement. Now, in the third volume, when the characters are in danger we, the listeners, feel the impact more viscerally because the characters have become our companions. But Jenne accomplishes something special here: He lives up to the hype. Have you ever heard the saying, “My mouth don’t write no checks my body can’t cash?” Well, the “Thriller” check written on the cover of book One is cashed here in book Three. Mike Jenne has accomplished that rare goal of creating likeable, and believable characters and puts them in an interesting, entirely believable story that I couldn’t wait to find out what happened—but also never wanted to end.

This book has a strong element of espionage, and it is told from both sides of the street. And the bad guys, comrades from the Soviet Union, are given adequate character development so that their drama is as real as our compatriots. As far as the spy game goes, all I will reveal is that Pale Blue contains The single most ingenious idea for a Dead Drop that I have ever encountered in any spy novel. It makes you think that it must be a recently declassified technique, because if it were not public knowledge it could still be a closely guarded national secret and would still be used in the field.

This third volume brings it all home; living up to its full potential. I am happy to report that, unlike some other trilogies I can think of; this Blue Gemini series has a conclusion worthy of the other two books. If you are considering this series let me assure you that it keeps getting better and better. Books like this are the reason I keep listening. I am thrilled to have discovered it! It was a great experience.

As of this writing (August 2017) this book has only received 33 ratings on the Audible (USA) site, and it has been released for over a full year! I for one am going to spread the word on this series–it deserves a much wider audience. I think it will be a great book to recommend to readers who find themselves too busy these days to sit down and read a book like they used to do when they were younger. Give them this series and watch them rediscover the joy of a great book all over again!

I hadn't experienced Kevin Stillwell as a narrator before this series. For me this tech thriller is the perfect vehicle to launch Stillwell into the public ear. Stillwell is at once completely unobtrusive and seamlessly inventive in his voice characterizations. Stillwell is a prime reason why this is a successful series. I am a sticker for proper pronunciation and I can say that Stillwell was, to my ear, perfect in that regard. His voice characterizations are all spot on. His pacing adds to the dramatic tension. Kevin Stillwell is wonderful. I will look for Mr. Stillwell in the future. The production of this Audible Studios audiobook is pristine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 07-19-17

Last ( and long ) one of the series.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Well, it seemed like it was being stretched out. The story arcs got bogged down in minutia, with seemingly obtuse details and complexities being added for no good reason except to make it longer. This offering seemed to be the longest, and most challenging listen, of the 3 books in the series.

Would you be willing to try another book from Mike Jenne? Why or why not?

I would be, as his research, topics and overall tone are interesting. A single book might be best, however.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Stillwell – was your favorite?

The Russian characters were good, the Vietnamese commander excellent, and the cowboy General brilliant.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

If was abridged, likely.

Any additional comments?

3 book series that dragged in places, but overall worth the credit for fans of hard core speculative 60s and 70's cold war in space content. Not sure this works for everyone, but it as fulfilling as far as that type of content goes.

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Overall Great Read, Russian Accent Grating

Stories brought to their conclusions, some more realistically than others. My main complaint are long dialogs with harsh, let's say Russian-like, invented accent. It worked for short dialogs but it's tiring in long exchanges. I'm around Russians who speak English with various proficiency every day and they sound quite pleasant. Also, the Russian characters, with some exceptions, we're poorly developed and in addition to the accent I found it hard to relate to them. To be sure - I'm not talking about liking them.
Overall it's a great book, highly recommended. Be sure to read the first two, this series is not like some other series, the main story and supporting stories span through all three volumes.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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