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Linesman cover art

Linesman

By: S. K. Dunstall
Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
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Summary

First in a brand-new, thought-provoking space opera series.

The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he's crazy.... Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level 10 linesman like Ean. Even if he's part of a small and unethical cartel, and the other linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he's certified and working. Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship's secrets, but all they've learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius. The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force and forever reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them.

©2015 S.K. Dunstall (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Linesman

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, gentle to start but grabs and doesn’t let go

I really enjoyed this, and I’m not much of a SF reader on the whole. This was waved in front of my eyes by Audible at some point, and the reviews persuaded me to give it a go - that’s the good side of a subscription, for £7.99 you’re more willing to take a punt of something unknown.

Anyhow, this is set in classic Sci-Fi territory, space ships, military, unknown aliens, super fast travel, courtesy of ‘the lines’, but has a very human heart in Ean (spelt that way apparently) Lambert. It is mostly narrated by him, but about oh, I don’t know, 20%, maybe less, of the chapters are narrated by Franco (can’t remember if he’s a Frank, or a Franco…) Rossi.

Interstellar travel depends on the lines, and the lines need Linesmen to keep them serviced and reliable. There are, at the start anyhow, 10 known lines, with lines 9 and 10 responsible for travel through the void - a sort of hole in time and space that lets ships travel vast distances in no time. Lambert and Rossi are both Line 10 linesmen, as senior as you get, but Lambert is considered a weird misfit, ridiculed and dismissed by his peers, while Rossi is a politicking, patronising, arrogant so’n’so poised to take over his guild.

The book contains some politicking, but not too much, and there were times when I wanted Ean to grow a bit of backbone, but he is who and what he is, so I settled and came to like him! There are a host of supporting characters, generally well fleshed out, some backstabbing and derring-do, a nice developing mystery around the lines and the alien ship, and the last quarter or so was really gripping.

Well read with enough difference between the main characters, and with the women as well voiced by the narrator as the men. There’s a sequel due out February 2016 that I will be buying, with a third planned according to the writers’ web site. Recommended.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

engaging

space opera. found family and interacting with technology in a analogue way. I love it. everything I ask for in sci fi. story struggled to apply a scope to the conflicts but that made it more personal which made it better

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Boring

Could have been a good story. It might make a better film in my opinion. The main character Ian was too un assuming could have had a bigger impact and maybe a relationship. Lady Lion (Michelle) was by far for me the best character. But she could have been oh so much more

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very confusing but enjoyable

Spent a lot of the book wondering where people and who was on whose side but still enjoyed it. The central character is appealing and core idea intriguing. The narration is good too.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Really very dull

The performance was OK. The plot falls foul of endless trudge with no depth of character beyond that of the protagonist. The audio book could do with a list of characters to help separate the cardboard cast.
Science Fiction is meant to be about grand impactful themes & the endless focus on minutiae was really quite tedious.

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