Following the bloody war between the Athenian Republic and the Pruessen Empire, an uneasy peace has settled over the region of space known as The Tunguska Fault.
The Telford family's independent trading vessel, the Belinda, is captured by Pruessen slavers and the crew forced into a life of brutal servitude. Their desperate bid for freedom succeeds but a tragic price is paid.
Years pass and Nathan Telford, fighting the nightmares of his past and yearning for revenge, joins the Athenian Navy. His first posting is aboard the warship Truculent, patrolling the northern quarantine zone beyond which lurks the Empire.
Answering a distress call from a beleaguered freighter, the routine mission becomes a desperate fight for survival. The Pruessans are once again testing the defenses of the Republic and this time they have technology far in advance of the last war.
It is left to Nathan, three untried middies, and a disgruntled petty officer to try and avert a looming disaster.
With their high-tech weapons rendered useless and facing overwhelming odds, Nathan risks everything on a brave, hastily conceived gamble.
©2015 Tickety Boo Press (P)2015 Tickety Boo Press
Keith Michaelson brought the characters to life. and I recognised all his voices when they came into the story.
Yes, when Nathan let it all go towards the end.
I listen to, and read, a lot of science fiction books and would rate Uncommon Purpose amongst the top twenty percent of books in this genre. The reader grows up with young Nathan, the main protagonist, feeling his pain, his achievements and fully understanding his desire for revenge. He came from an independent space trading family, which lived and worked together on the ship, Belinda. Family was everything. When still a child, they were attacked by a Preussen vessel and Nathan, together with his entire family, was captured, brutalised and enslaved. Many died but, after years of subjugation, the survivors managed to escape only to die almost at once of a plague originally seeded by that same Empire Nathan was left alone, a young teenager with vengeance in his heart, the only one able to uphold his family's honour.He does not have an easy time as he trains to fulfil his self appointed quest.
The narrator was, mostly, excellent in his reading, especially dialogue. There are a lot of characters encountered and, although not everyone had their own distinctive 'voice' it was always clear who was speaking. However, I disliked the rather gruff introduction to each new chapter, especially at the commencement of the book;, so much so that when I first started to listen, I doubted that I would be able to continue through the full twelve and a half hours. Fortunately, the story line was so intriguing that I decided to continue with it and found that this aspect of the narration only occurred intermittently. It is for this reason alone that I have reduced my rating to four stars overall.
I can genuinely recommend this book. It has excitement, frequent detailed fight scenes that do not become too drawn out and tedious, the depth of characterisation is good - as previously mentioned, the reader actually grows up with Nathan - ,and the unexpected is always possible. There are sparks of humour, too, Plus there is ongoing mystery: how did Nathan survive when his family died, and what is the source of his strong intuition? This alone will be sufficient to make me read the continuation of his story.I received a free copy of this Audiobook from Garden Media, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you. The thoughts expressed in this review are entirely my own.
"Superior Science Fiction"
This book was without a doubt a demonstration of superior writing and storytelling ability on the part of the author. I was hooked by characters and story and was unable to stop once I reached the halfway point. Admittedly, it was a little slow to start, but I think that the backstory that was given in the first few hours was critical to setting up the rest of the book and the series to follow.
The main character, Nathan, is a young boy on the crew of an Athenian cargo ship when it is attacked and captured by a Pruessen Empire military ship. Long quarantined and isolated from the rest of civilized space, the Prussens actively raid and capture ships and crew, putting them to work as slaves and treated as less than human by the Prussen Human Resource Division. After years of captivity, Nathan and the rest of the survivors of the ship hijack it and fly back to Athenian space, only to crash land on a quarantined world. Nathan's surviving family and crew die from the same disease that resulted in the initial quarantine of the Prussens. However, for some reason Nathan is unaffected. He not only survives, but is able to thrive and develop skills and abilities that make him both resourceful and lethal.
After being rescued by a passing military ship, Nathan joins the family of a man his father served with in the military years prior. While sworn to secrecy about his experiences (for fear it may restart a war long ended), he never loses his drive for revenge against those who caused his enslavement and the loss of his family. He excels in his studies using his intelligence and abilities and is accepted into the naval academy, where he hopes to someday get the revenge he desires.
Nathan is sent on a training cruise with several of his classmates on a small but deadly border patrol ship. When the ship is attacked by a new Prussen secret weapon, Nathan must use his skills at survival and need for revenge to save himself, his ship, and stop a deadly threat the the Athenian Republic.
Narration for this book was also very good. No complaints whatsoever.
Definitely consider this book if you are looking for quality military space science fiction.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.
He really brought the story to life.
This book is really a 4.5. I wish we could do half ratings. Love books that can bring out all the emotions while including tons of action. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.
"A very good read"
Wow just wow! Nicely done. Way to go on the why the main character is so driven and doing it in such a manner as to drive it home but refrain from being too graphic and leave some of it to the readers imagination. I look forward to listening to more of this series and any other books.
"Wanted to listen straight through!"
This story MOVES! This isn't like a lot of space themed operas where everything is on a single ship. They are space battles, colonies, opposing forces all vying for control, and young Nathan Telford, the last of his family, navigating currents of hate and forces he can't control.
I'm looking forward to some of the forces introduced but not fully developed coming to fruition in the next book! Great concepts with some mystery that blends a bit of "magic" into what feels, at first, like a traditional space journey. Great universe!
Good mix of on and off world action. I suspect the author has previous military experience. Felt very genuine but not overly technical. I couldn't help feeling very in tune with the characters. Not sure if it was the writing or the outstanding narration. Probably a bit of both. Really hope the next book in the series is on par with this. Military sci-fi fans will not be disappointed. Coming of age fans will not be disappointed. Great escape from the daily grind.
Def. Good stuff, bro. No doubt. Started out well, ended on a high, waiting for next book.
(Mild spoilers) The time Nathan had growing up on the "ranch" or whatever were actually some of my more favorite parts. Felt very real, and it was cool to see time on a planet for a good part of the book rather than only in space.
Nathan and Moe.
I did laugh at several points. That's always a good thing!
You might think from the cover that this book is about big battles in space, ship against ship. There definitely is some of that, but most of the action is closer in, more intimate. Hand to hand. Boarding parties, raiding. Very fun stuff, bro. Glad I took the chance on this one.
"Really great book."
I really liked this book. Held my attention well. The story was easy to get into. I recommend! I enjoyed this book. Story was well written and well red. I'd like to see more from this author. "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
"Excellent Military SF!"
I'm looking forward to answering that question when I get to read the print version - the tale was that good, I'll definitely be reading the print version.
Nathan Telford, for sure. When we meet him he's young, brave and impressionable, and as he goes through the crises which begin to define his character we get to see not only the hardness in him which he has needed to cultivate to survive, but also his softer, deeper side. He's a well-rounded, believable character and I'm looking forward to continuing his journey is the second book.
Keith did a wonderful job of maintaining a balance throughout the narration - he managed to match and evoke the emotional content of each scene while continuing to engage the listener, and I'm looking forward to listening to more of his narration.
After a young man witnesses the destruction of his life, he focuses on building himself into the kind of person who will be able to pursue the revenge he seeks.
Truly cool Military SF - PJ is a wonderful writer capable of deep emotional communication and edge-of-the-seat action and tension. Highly recommended!
"Military, Revenge, Patience, Awesome Listen"
Exciting, Tactical, Brilliant
Nathan was my favorite character. He came alive through the listening, he was fearful. The telling of his story at the end just made him more human. Loved this character and the risks he was willing to take.
I truly enjoyed this book and was sucked in immediately. I will be looking forward to listening to this again as well other books. Thank you for sharing.
“This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”
"A great science-fiction thriller"
I loved the pace of the story and I loved the world building. I was really surprised at the direction it took after the first few chapters. There were hints of Star Trek, hints of Starship Troopers and hints of Ender's Game in this book which was really interesting.
Nathan was definitely my favourite character for his strength and purpose. I liked the way he grew and developed over the course of the story.
I haven't listened to any before, but I will again. I thought the narrator handled the story and all of the characters incredibly well.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom
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