Humanity is about to learn it isn't alone.
Zack Quick has been on the move for 10 years, hacking big corporations and exposing their secrets. Then he stumbles upon one of the biggest discoveries that will forever change the world - and possibly get him killed.
Kaylan Farrow is the pilot for Earth's most advanced spaceship, whose maiden voyage is supposed to take her crew to Titan, but newly released images from a deep space probe threaten to cancel the mission.
Kept secret for 60 years, the discovery of an alien signal forces a NASA pilot and a computer hacker to team up to investigate an alien structure discovered in the farthest reaches of the solar system.
The Star Shroud is the first installment in an action-packed science fiction thriller series. If you like space opera adventure stories with clever heroes, impossible situations, and chilling discoveries, then strap yourself in; you're in for a fun, nonstop thrill ride.
©2016 Ken Lozito (P)2016 Podium Publishing
"Great story so far!"
I really like the characters and their continued growth into them and how that plays a role in the dynamic of the relationships with each other. Beware...
Okay let me spell it out for you... I started book 1 yesterday morning I finished book 3 today and I haven't slept yet. And I'm on pins and needles waiting for book 4. It's not very often you get a series this good it's the can't put it down variety on steroids.
"Alien contact without the contact"
Ken Lozito's Star Shroud is the opening installment in what is at least a trilogy concerning alien contact. A thankless and fearless hacker (in 2049), sticking it to greedy corporations, stumbles upon evidence of alien contact, known to a select few for the past 60 years. As a result of public disclosure, a NASA mission is re-tasked to head to Pluto to explore the alien artifact.
The sci-fi elements are a bit crude, with a made for a broadcast TV series quality, than a sophisticated and realistic science fiction audience. All the cliche elements are present: a shadowy corporation getting rich off alien technology, a super hacker who everyone immediately acknowledges is most competent computer genius on the planet, a young female astronaut who just happens to be the granddaughter of the guy who made initial discovery 60 years earlier, and an assorted cast of double agents with unknown agendas. At the same time, there is considerable license with plausible science fiction in that NASA can re-task a mission and move up the launch as well as just happening to have probes in the vicinity already. Regardless of nearly everything going south from the start, everyone just keeps motoring forward. The one saving element is the mysterious nature of the alien presence and their ultimate motives as well as references to another, more powerful foe.
The narration is respectable, although the female roles are a bit overdone in an attempt to convey distinction.
"Human Sci-fi basics at the the right pace!"
Develops a character set easy to warm to right out of the gate. Sometimes jumps over physics issues but HEY its Sci-fi. staggering price on AUDIBLE but what's your going to do? Looking forward to book 2 ... I have faith :-).
"GOOD. WELL WRITTEN AND PERFORMED."
I like the characters. Zack and the rest of the team. Superbly performed by Jeff Hays. Intrigues in space. Aliens, are they good or bad? Very interesting plot. I will continue this series. Worth the credit.
Enjoyable read! I was entertained enough to make me want to read more so I picked up the second book.
"Good until it wasn't"
two dimensional characters, pointless romantic plots that don't add anything to the story, neither action packed nor a thriller... bottom line if you want to be disappointed this is the book for you.
"Had potential but love quadrangle ruined it for me"
I had high hopes for this book. I was looking for a new sci-fi series and the description of potential first contact and finding alien artifacts in deep space is always a subject I enjoy - when written well.
Like some of the other reviews, I too thought the tech was much too glossed over. It was explained away too quickly. One minute they are on earth, the next they have an amazing interplanetary ship made with knowledge gained from a mysterious message. Instead the author chose to focus more on the characters and their interactions. I'm fine with that, and any good series should develop the characters. But I found myself not caring at all about any of them. In fact, as of this writing I can't remember a single name of any of the characters. That's not good.
Perhaps what ruined it for me the most was (minor spoiler), where four of the main characters are caught up in a teenage-like love quadrangle. One has a crush on another and the other isn't sure of his or her feelings about a third, yada, yada...And these "conversations" came at ridiculous times. Let's just say for the sake of being spoiler-free, there's a point in the book where two of the couples are exploring something and they are musing about feelings for this person or that. What? There is potential danger at any moment and they aren't focused on the mission.
Action was almost non-existent as well - except towards the end. I know this first book is a setup for more in the series, but there was nothing at all to hook me. In fact I kept looking to see what chapter I was on so I could get it over with.
I hate writing less than stellar reviews, but this one just didn't do it for me - not when there are so many outstanding sci-fi series, and at just 7 hours there's not much value for the price either. Sorry, I won't be continuing.
It's always a treat to happen on a new author that displays the writing skills worthy of future novel purchases. With Star Shroud, Ken Lozito has shown to be one of those that I will add to my selective list. What makes this even more interesting is that the setting is in the not too distant future, however, the actual start of events leading to this mission starts back in the 1980s by CIA tests from volunteers using remote viewing. Yes, the same telepathic force that Dean Koontz wrote about in, Soul Survivors, and Art Bell kept folks up listening to during the wee hours of the morning.
Fast forward and now there is a small crew ready to launch off to Pluto to discover the secrets of these signals. The crew is mostly scientists covering multiple disciplines along with some NASA pilots and a pair of special forces type security personnel. For relationships, the author set up, as best as I can explain it, some budding double-helix romance triangles that seems to promise some messy situations in the subsequent novels. He also created characters who seem all too convincingly human, what with political rivalries and competing agendas. All this makes for a rather different SciFi novel and one I find pulled into liking.
Jeff Hays is one of the best narrators I've heard in terms of mimicking many accents and both genders and brings his talent to full force here.
Story line somewhat predictable but the most annoying part is the difficulty keeping track of/ following characters do to similar names or games starting with the same letter---example Kat and Kaylen, Hicks and Hutchison--seriously!
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