"Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying." (Arthur C. Clarke)
Book one in the Wings of Steele series, Destination Unknown is an epic science-fiction adventure that reaches from the surface of our familiar planet and the safety of terra firma to the dark, vast expanse of deep space and distant star systems.
Jack Steele is an ex-big-city cop that left the department after losing a friend in the line of duty. Recovering from a tough divorce, he reinvents himself with a love of flying and restructures his life as a pilot for hire. Accompanied by his ever-present German Shepherd, Fritz, Jack will fly almost anything anywhere, shuttling new and used planes for clients all over the world.
He had never been a Boy Scout, but he is a man who likes to stay prepared and in control of whatever life throws at him. But nothing could have prepared Jack and his copilot for how life suddenly goes drastically and violently sideways, in a direction and magnitude that no one could have ever anticipated. Wanted men, it seems, like everyone on the planet, are hunting them, and their only option is to run...but to where?
©2012, 2014 Jeffrey J. Burger (P)2015 Jeffrey J. Burger
I felt I had to write this review to warn people, there is a genesis of a potentially good story but.....
The plot lacks depth, if you have any imagination then you question almost every development as the main characters meander along the path making decisions which do not seem to be based on logic, the existing situation or any other reason comprehensible to the reader. this is science fiction. But there is little science or knowledge of the physical laws in the book or an explanation of why they are not true, e.g. he uses space fighters with reaction engines, fuel is exhausted out the back and propels the ship forward, but when the throttles are shut, the fighter is dead in space, not on a ballistic course and the turn and junk as if they where a atmospheric fighter.
I am British and there are a couple of British characters in the book which are so offensively stereotypical that it annoyed me instead of entertained me. The language employed by these British characters is contextually wrong and I am not sure if this is the author or narrator's decision but the accent used combined with the language is just wrong, I have met and conversed with a large spectrum of people from all backgrounds and have never met anyone like this.
Definitely needs more details in the plot development, remove the misogynistic elements of the book, make it more believable.
This is a very negative review and I know there might be people out there who will enjoy this book, However this is the 1st book in over 20 years that I have abandoned without finishing, and that combined with the comments articulated above compelled me to write this.
Nothing at all, I gave it a good chance hoping for...well
non of these books
the narrator was awful, it was as though he was rushing to get to get the job done or done in a certain time.... really bad
I didn't manage to finish it. It just got so bad. If you like cheesy 80s action characters, stories where everything goes right for the goodies (only some bad boo boos but only flesh wounds) and the hero can sleep around with as many women as he likes with no consequences then you may like it. Otherwise go for some Elizabeth Moon or Chris Bunch.
"Lots of Action, But a Little 'Comic Book-ish""
I'm torn in two directions with this book...
One one hand, it was very entertaining and kept my attention the entire time.
On the other hand, there were too many loose strings, unexplained holes, and unrealistic characters and events then I would generally prefer in any story.
The story follows a former police officer turned pilot. In the wake of a recent messy divorce, he makes a new life and successful career for himself as an independent pilot. While on a trip to deliver a WWII plane to a movie set, he is... well, abducted by aliens. With him is his dog, his co-pilot partner, two naval pilots, and a covert US intelligence operative. The latter three characters are a long story, but the short version is that there were some snags in the plan to deliver the plane, and the two navy pilots were chasing them...
Post-Abduction, the five find out that they are on a luxury alien cruise ship, and that it will be some time (possibly years) before they can return to earth. They decide to make a life for themselves as pilots. After defending the cruise ship from a pilot attack, they take the ship and fighters as their own and decide to continue as something like galactic navy pirate hunters.
As I said I really did enjoy listening to it, but the story just has too many problems to be considered a good book. Lets lay some of them out...
The characters are very one dimensional. The main female character (supposedly a covert US intelligence officer, and assumed to be a rather smart person) has the attitude, mentality, and emotions of a two-year old child.
Some of the technology is believable, but some things seem closer to magic than something you'd find in a Science Fiction book.
There are waaaay to many holes in the story, or things that are just never explained properly, such as how the planes actually got on the ship and why several days passed before they realized it. There is also an entire sub-story back on earth with everyone looking for the missing planes that is very unbelievable. We even find out that the whole trip that he was on to deliver the plane was planned by US intelligence, but that it is never explained or elaborated on (like a lot of other things).
Also, there is this ancient alien guy that pops up to tell the main character that everything happening to him is all part of his "fate" or "destiny" or something like that... Kinda weird.
As I said, I enjoyed the listen, but this was more like a long science fiction comic book than anything else. It was worth the credit, but only barely. I may or may not download the next in the series (if there is a next audiobook) depending on what mood I'm in.
This book is a must for anyone that has ever dreamt of what it would be like to go into space. The performance, characters, and story are incredible!
I'm really looking forward to the continuing adventures of Steele and his crew!
"Empty characters, but interesting story."
I had a difficult time finishing this book. The story was interesting, but not well executed and they first few chapters were so outrageous that I almost put it down before they ended up on the spaceship. The dialogue is feels unnatural and the descriptions feel more like extended stage directions in a screenplay. The characters are hollow and stereotypical; I could not stand Jack and his uber-masculinity, or the frustrating portrayal of the women in this book. The dog had more personality than all of the main characters.
Now, I read a lot of reviews that claimed the grammar/spelling errors were enough to put it down before finishing. I can't say if these were corrected with the edition I received as I listened to the audio book. If they were as bad as I've read then I would have definitely put it down. However, I didn't read the physical copy and I found Kevin Clay to be an excellent narrator. This is the second book I've listened to him read and he has the perfect type of voice and inflection for sci fi/action stories. His pacing was great and I look forward to listening to more books read by him.
Empty characters, but interesting story.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
"Wings of Steele"
Yes I will listen again.
The narrator did a good job
It is slow in the beginning but once it's gets going you can't put it down! I like the mix, would be most people's dream to end up in Captian Steele's spot. Very good detail! We all learn as we go! You will not be disappointed! I can't wait for the next one! I agree with other reviews he is on his way and is similar to well read authors in quality.
"Loved the book and the narrator!"
I very much enjoyed this book. If you have ever wondered what happened to all those people on ships and planes that disappeared inside the Bermuda Triangle, this story gives you one possibility.
When Jack Steele disappears inside the Bermuda Triangle with a vintage bomber that he supposed to be delivering for the CIA many Federal agencies become involved in looking for him.
Meanwhile, Steele and others who disappeared with him find themselves on a ship in space that is of alien origin. In the beginning, all he can think about is where is he and how is he going to get back home. However, as things play out he finds himself commanding a spaceship of his own.
There were not a lot of Star Wars'esque space battles in this book, but there was indeed plenty of action.
Love the characters. By the end of the book I found myself caring about them and wanting to know more. Thank goodness there are more books to be had.
The narrator of Destination Unknown, Kevin Clay, had a voice that kind of reminded me a newscaster. He would seem to have had some voice training as all of his characters were separate and distinct. One or two might have been a little cheesy, but the overall effect was very entertaining.
I highly recommend this book.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Simple, shallow and cliche-filled teenage story for an audience below 14.
Good plot and could have been a good read, but the stereotypical and moronically predictable character are toe-curling horrible
Should be advertised in the teenage section ...
"Story must be written by 12 year old school boy"
The narrator is excellent and paces things well.
I might read another Jeffrey J Burger if I was 12 and had never met a real woman in my life.
This book made me cringe whenever there is any interaction between Mr Steele and any woman in the story. You do get the feeling that the author has never met a real woman or is such a male chauvinist that he wishes that he lived in a world where women just fell at his feet no matter how badly they are treated.
"Does not feel like believable story"
Minor spoiler, maybe:
Everything Jack does is just good. And when some moral stuff happens, he is quickly justified and everyone around agrees. And when it went real bad, it kind of fixed itself.
The entire book felt like it was thought up by a boy that just wanted to bring all his fantasies into a book.
"Space fiction for adolescent males"
This has the feel of a Buck Rogers movie. Simplistic and stereotypical characters, predictable plot, bad science.
"Series has great potential"
This is a good story with all kinds of potential. The main character is very likable. He does make some stupid decisions, but overall he seems like a good fit as the main character.
The narrator isn't the best I've heard but he does a pretty good job, has a variety of voices and isn't irritating.
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