After initial contact with an alien entity leaves Kaylan unconscious, she wakes up to discover that she's now in command of the Athena mission stranded in a star system far from Earth.
The ship's computer is malfunctioning, and former hacker and astronaut trainee Zack Quick is the only one who can fix it. If he can't figure out what's wrong, they have no hope of getting back home.
In order to survive, the crew of the Athena must explore an alien star system to find the species that summoned them.
©2016 Ken Lozito (P)2016 Podium Publishing
The first book was a relatively slow introduction; the second book has stepped up a notch and is really very good listening. Having purchased the first three books at the same time, I am looking forward to continuing journey.
I am anxious to see more books in this series become available on Audible. This story is just getting wound up and has huge potential to grow to quite the collection of books. I highly recommend giving this series a shot.
"Well that escalated quickly"
Star Divide, book 2 of the Ken Lozito's Ascension series picks up immediately where book 1 left off. Kylan, Zack and the rest of the crew have been transported via wormhole to an unknown star system that they presume is related to the observation station back on Pluto. During this adventure, they encounter the alien race that built the observatory and surrounding star shroud as well as another alien race living in that star system and the alien race they were warned about. As with the 1st book, the relatively short story ends on another cliffhanger.
The sci-fi elements are mainly limited to alien biology with wings or treebark like skin, but are mostly anthropomorphised humanoid creatures. There is implant technology that allows interface with an alien artificial intelligence which incrementally upgrades all the human tech. For what little humanity has to offer, Kaylan is a bit too ready to lend assistance on the expectation of returning to Pluto to rescue her captain, left stranded with presumed injuries.
There's also a bit of discordance with humans being regarded as "primitive" and not ready for entry into the galactic federation. This is contrasted with the resident aliens of the star system already being in the federation, but upon first contact with another alien, a social foo-pah is taken as such offense that a duel to the death is initiated. In addition, in spite of this race having some degree of scientific sophistication, at least interplanetary travel capability, and familiarity with alien species beyond their star system, they have no planet wide governmental authority (in that they let a local, largely rural group handle diplomatic affairs) and don't even monitor spaceship activity around their planet. Finally, there are two opposing alien races vying for power in the federation and Kaylan and crew naively assume the first group that tells them they're the good guys are being truthful.
The narration is respectable given the range of characters of both genders as well as the various alien races. Overall, the pace is smooth and moves quickly, although there is the feel of a made for Netflix / Amazon series where each book is handled as a season with the requisite cliffhanger to hold the audience for the next round.
"An excellent follow-up to book 1"
While the thrust of the story focuses on humans introduction to multi-species galaxy, some seemingly benevolent and others malevolent. This encounter is complicated due to conflicting romantic relationships between Zach (hacker par excellence), Kaylan (remote viewer), Hicks and Katy. While Zach and Kaylan are the primary protagonists, Hicks and Katy play an important roles as the crew's security contingent as well as the competing romantic interests of the two.
The SciFi elements are not crucial to the story but they do add to the excitement to the story. For example, the shroud was a means used by the benevolent species to prevent both the detection by humans of other higher-level species as well as guarding their being detected by higher level species until such time as human had evolved enough to be deemed worthy and ready. This type of filter would provide the answer to why aliens haven't visited us.
My only criticism is that both this book and book 1 were too short in length.
"Excellent second book!"
I was lucky to stop by and see Jeff Hays new releases because I didn't know these were out! haha, it was nice to be back so soon with the crew of the Athena, and to see how and what was going to happen to them in their dire situation. From Michael trapped on Pluto to the crew now in an unknown galaxy.
The character development is really good, I enjoyed the little menage a la 4 that's been going on, even though we know that Kayleigh and Zack are meant to be with each other, it seems that they're just not going to get that right just yet. Katy is a wonderful gal and does Zack a load of good by being nice to him, I do wonder though if it's going to go south it will just end up with Katy and Hicks being hurt. :( and that sucks these two are really nice characters.
As for all the alien stuff, it takes off after the first book and the speed and action doesn't really get chance to let up. There's one thing after the other for the crew, and my heart was literally in my throat for most of the read through. What I really love about this is it's not quite your typical alien invasion 'we must destroy Earth' of course no doubt they're on the way to doing so, but this is more exploration gone wrong with fallible characters you grow to love.
Jeff of course is an excellent narrator, his tone and voices really make this pop out. And it was a great listen while driving. I can't wait to get the next book on. Thank you to you both. This is an excellent series. :)
"Prue Sci-fi pleasure!"
Where some of the story seems thin it rebonds with original magnetic draw! Looking forward to book 3 and hopefully another climax to SCI-FI magic's reward to being alive and endowed with GOD'S gifts of consciousness of being and imaginations and thoughtd shared with those of another like mind!
I am enjoying this series very much. Both Kaylan and Zack are such interesting protagonists. Kaylan made an excellent commander of the starship. She has a strong character. Zack is awesome. The intrigues with the aliens are very challenging. With so many different types of aliens, the humans have to be very careful. A lot of action. Must continue book three.
"1/3 od a story Give me a break. $ grubby mediocre"
Mediocre story line. 2 books and ?2/3 rds the way through 1 story. Audible needs to group these as 1 book 1 price.
Alastai Reynalds he ain't! That's over kill for the money.
i expect a complete story good or bad NOT a 1970's tv show to be continued (to be fleeced)
Narraror good enough.
writing, cliched or board injection of emotion at times.
sub par writing for genre.
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