Systemic Treachery: Mission 5 (Black Ocean: Astral Prime)

Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An old foe returns to collect a high price.

The syndicate had given her an ultimatum: disappear. Watched and wary, Fujita Hiroko obeyed for years, burying herself in work. Now one of the galaxy's most recognized faces, owner of the universe's must-see tourist trap, she can't hide any longer.

And that's going to cost her.

The Ruckers don't take kindly to loose ends, and they don't want their history with the station director coming to light. Already struggling to keep up with the demands of the massive influx of pilgrims, scientists, and tourists to Astral Prime, Hiroko won't be prepared for what's coming her way. All the new security personnel won't be enough to stop the assassin.

Because the assassin has help on the inside.

©2019 J.S. Morin and M.A. Larkin (P)2019 J.S. Morin and M.A. Larkin

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One of the best Episodes yet!!!

Systemic Treachery is certainly one of the more full on episodes of the Black Ocean series, and certainly of the Astral Prime series, even given what occurs with the Vaieen, and the darkness that we see with Cedric falling towards.
The episode picks up some time after the events that ended in episode 4, in which the station found Shadow Planet, the race called the Vaieen, and that led to the stand-off between the Eyndar, Zheen and Earth Navy, before Cedric the Brown ended the conflict with a show of immense wizardly power that now everyone is terrified of him. Since then Cedric has announced that he is the first of the ‘Prime Guardians’ of Shadow Planet, and has taken on the role of safe guarding the Vaieen complex, making sure that whilst he will allow visits to the sites by approved cultural, religious and archaeological teams, no one will be allowed to remove anything from it.
As a result, YF-77, the former mining station has now become ‘Astral Prime’, the primary space station for taking on visitors and guests that will visit the site, housing and entertaining them until they leave.
This means the majority of the characters from the first ‘Series’ remain on the station as we saw at the end, Hiroko and Kendra are now running a tourist operation more than a mining station, Myo Tam is back as a diplomat, but with a difference. Jace Jarvis is also back as a station advisor. Another character that had an interesting ending in the first series was Kane, and he is also in the new series, along with his Vaieen passengers, making for an interesting storyline.
Cedric and Heather Williams are on the surface conducting tours of the Vaieen complex.
In this new series we have multiple storylines to explore, and the team of Morin and Larkin have provided an exceptional start to the new series. The main storyline sees the Rucker Syndicate coming back to clean up Hiroko, and this ties in many of the characters. However, as other storylines, Cedric continues his investigation of the Vaieen, and this leads to some fascinating results, there is an interesting visit from a Laaku Monk, Zoti, to both the Station and the Complex, with some surprising outcomes, and it wouldn’t be Astral Prime without a scheme from Zane.
This is a fast moving, action packed story, with just extraordinary world building again from the Black Ocean Universe, and absolutely exceptional Character work. This episode has some darker elements to it though, giving it an edge we don’t see in the Black Ocean Universe that often. However, there is still a lot of the expected humour that we have come to love in this series that makes it so much fun to listen to.
Systematic Treachery shows that, after over 30+ stories in the Black Ocean Universe, the Authors are still creating outstanding stories, as this is easily one of the best stories yet for its clever writing, gripping plot, brilliant characters, and the ability to grab you so you just have to keep listening until it is finished. Don’t miss it!!!!
As for the Narration, after so many of these books now, Mikael Naramore has become incredibly gifted at telling these stories. His voice work with each of the Characters shows how much effort he puts into this work, and how much connection he has with this story. Naramore has been working with these characters for so long now he 'owns' them, and that creative passion comes out with every story he tells. This was an exceptionally well told story, and although we expect a lot of humour, even a lot of dark humour from the Black Ocean Universe, this episode is a lot more powerful than normal. Naramore easily steps up to the challenge and delivers an exceptional performance for one of the best episodes in the series yet.
As always, these books are much better listened to than read, and that is because of the pure genius that is Mikael Naramore.

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FANTASTIC ADDITION to this diverse universe .

A universe and stories in it that Captivate and keep you pulling for the characters. A unique writing style, excellent narration and a great story keeps me coming back for more.

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only complaint is it's too short ;)

waited a while for this next book to come out after purchasing the 1st 4 pack of astral prime series. those 4 taken as a whole, 21 hours of continued black ocean saga glory, was equal to 1 or 2 books unabridged for audiobook length (didnt feel like 4 books). but less than 5 hours of audiobook for 1 book feels underwhelming. of course I knew it would be short when I got it. but it still leaves me wishing there were at least another 3+ hours for my money's worth :D
oh well...hopefully it wont be another 6 months before the next installment is here. much like deep space 9 in the star trek universe, astral prime starts off a little slow but REALLY picks up and right now I have to say it's my favorite of the black ocean series! galaxy outlaws is like STTNG of this series, but astral prime imho is the best of the 3 (mercy for hire being the other offshoot which is good but I like this better). kudos Mr. Morin! just wish it was longer lol