In the second book of the Blue Gemini trilogy, air force majors Scott Ourecky and Drew Carson continue to fly highly classified missions to intercept and destroy suspect Soviet satellites. But after experiencing numerous close calls in orbit, the astronauts soon discover that not all perils reside in the sky.
With his marriage already at risk because he cannot explain his frequent absences and strange activities to his wife, Ourecky learns that his unborn child may be in grave danger as a radiation consequence of his flights into space.
Even as Ourecky and Carson accumulate successful mission after successful mission in space, other crucial events occur much closer to home. Interservice rivalries reach new heights as a caustic but highly influential navy admiral schemes to steal control of the project from the air force. Realizing that a Soviet GRU agent is operating in their midst, a shadowy team of counterintelligence operatives scramble to shield the project's secrets from discovery, leading to a confrontation that bears fatal consequences.
As they train to accomplish more difficult missions against complicated targets, Ourecky and Carson are asked to volunteer to risk their lives one more time in an extremely hazardous rescue mission. The stakes are high; even as they leave the launch ad, there is no certainty that either man will return.
©2016 Mike Jenne (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
These books take place in a late '60s/early'70s space race world where the secret militarisation of space is a reality (as indeed, almost happened). This book carries straight on where the first left off, continuing with the same cast of characters, with a few walk-on additions to mix it up a little. The story is more space-focused, but continues to have a tremendous sense of time and place for the era, and the science feels right for the period. This is another well-paced, absorbing story that I enjoyed very much.
"This is a wonderful book."
Complete with period details, a great plot and intrigue. Second in a series of three, both draw the reader into a world, albiet fictional, which could (or may) have been. Great work Mr. Jenne!
"The Blue Gemini Cold War Intrigue Intensifies"
Mike Jenne’s ‘Blue Darker Than Black’ (BDTB) is much more than a sequel to his ‘Blue Gemini’. Although BDTB can stand by itself, I’d recommend listening to ‘Blue Gemini’ first to get the solid foundation upon which BDTB builds.
Blue Darker Than Black is by no means, just more of the same. The shared alternate history is there, of course, along with the same endearing characters as well as those less so. But, Blue Darker Thank Black is a crucible, a proving ground of sorts, that tests and tries the very fundamental makeup and relationships of the characters, most notably, Scott Ourecky, the unlikely math savant turned astronaut.
I very well could describe at greater length the Blue Gemini and Gemini-I black world variants of NASA’s public Gemini spacecraft, the equally secret Soviet manned space efforts, the UFO fringe and the other ingredients that make BDTB such an intense, intriguing read. Instead, though, I would simply state that Mr. Jenne is a superb storyteller. Reading his work is very similar to the immersion one experiences while listening to Frank Herbert’s Dune. Mr. Jenne provides a wonderful richness, a thorough and credible presentation of the universe inhabited by characters who live, love, strive, scheme, strain, break and succeed. His sentences are substantial but never bogged down by jargon, superficial dialog or contrived circumstances. The tech is well researched and highly credible. The plot flows well with ample surprises. The characters ring true.
I highly recommend reading both books (so far) in the Blue Gemini trilogy. Blue Darker Than Black is a tight, solid listen. I anxiously await the release of Pale Blue, the last volume of the trilogy, due very soon.
At first, the narrator's telling feels a bit off. Kevin Stillwell also did Blue Gemini, the first book in the series, and I gave him an excellent review. However, it doesn't take long for him to regain his traction and pacing. The story moves quickly and embedded in the sentences are acronyms and foreign words and names. Mr. Stillwell handles these in stride and does a good job of voicing each character differently and believably, as he did in the previous volume. Overall, another good performance.
"Fantastic follow up"
It was a great continuation and the story picked up and built on previous happenings. There are several embedded stories in the book. I particularly liked the development of the capsule recovery unit story and how Haiti and its culture were used in the book. It really added a lot of depth to the book overall.
The continual battle and balance of personal life and professional life for the good of the country. There are lots of highs and lows throughout the story and the 3rd iteration should be a great close to the story.
Kevin continued to do a great job of bringing the characters in the book to life.
"Absolutely first rate Science Fiction"
Reading this book you have to wonder, "did this really happen?" The author presents the story in a contextually accurate manner that renders the story highly believable. This novel is about not only technology, rockets, and space ships but also about human struggles and adventure.
To make the story believable, the author also creates and describes all the underpinnings of the Gemini Interceptor space program to include communications relays, emergency and contingency rescue teams and counter espionage personnel. This all adds to the excitement of the story.
Great story and great performance!
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