• Duel in the Dark

  • Blood on the Stars, Book 1
  • By: Jay Allan
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Series: Blood on the Stars, Book 1
  • Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 17-01-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (99 ratings)

Summary

A new adventure by the author of the best-selling Crimson Worlds and Far Stars series.
The Confederation has fought three wars against the forces of the totalitarian Union. Three generations of its warriors have gone off to war, held the line against the larger, more powerful enemy. Now the fourth conflict is imminent, and the Confederation's navy is on alert, positioned behind the frontier, waiting for the attack it knows is coming.
The battleship Dauntless has spent the past 10 months patrolling the border, deployed far forward of the main fleet, a forlorn hope, an advance guard positioned to give the warning of invasion. But no attack has come. Her crew is exhausted, and the aging battleship needs maintenance. With the fleet mobilized and the forward bases overloaded beyond capacity, she is sent clear across the Confederation, to a planet along the quiet and peaceful far frontier. Her crew is looking forward to a rest, and Dauntless herself is scheduled for a long-overdue maintenance session.
But the quiet frontier isn't what it seems, and when a distress call is received from one of the mining colonies on the edge of Confederation space, it falls to Captain Tyler Barron to take Dauntless forward, to find out what is happening, and to put a stop to it.
Barron and his crew have their ship - and each other - but they can expect no other help. Suspicion is strong that Union deceit is at play, that the attack is some sort of diversion intended to draw Confederation forces from the disputed border. The orders are clear. No ships will be transferred from the prospective battle line. Stopping whatever is happening on the rim is Barron's responsibility and his alone.
Barron is the grandson of the Confederation's great hero, the father of the modern navy. His family name has always carried privilege with it - and crushing responsibility. And now he must prove that he has inherited more from his famous grandfather than name and privilege. He must face the enemy and win the victory before the Confederation is caught between two enemies and destroyed.
©2016 Jay Allan Books Inc. (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Smudger444 on 16-11-17

Better SiFi difficult to find.

This was a refreshing SiFi story, a great start to the series, I did find this a little over descriptive of personnel in the story, later it soon got going. Perhaps a little more technical would be nice. But that could be me. Totally looking forward to later books in this series. The narrator is brilliant, well done thank you.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Martin Monsrud on 02-11-17

Good story, conflict between alliance, union and federation

It’s a good written book, in the first book we are introduced to the different politics and lives of all 3 ruling entities. But we Focus mostly about alliance and the conspiracy to start a war with federation. Alliance isn’t as big as federation but they are weak democracy ruled sheeps. A lot of action And sacrifices.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 05-06-17

backwards thinking

I wasnt impressed. The tactics utilized are. idiotic at best. Early in the ship battle he mentions torpedo tubes, but then never uses them. The so called honorable commander keeps his crew and himself at general quarters living on stims for days at a time with apparently no degradation of their performance, unless you count the complete lack of tactical thinking throughout the book as a result of this stupidity. As pointed out by another reviewer the main characters are generic and almost carbon copies of each other. Besides all that the author seems not only to have his characters commit atrocities, and to do things detrimental to morale and the lives of their crews, but he seemingly whole heartedly endorses their actions. If this is his notion of a good commander he's obviously never spoken to a real service member. To top it all off he's very generic in his physics concept, and the ships are bland and unremarkable aside from their size. All in all the premise and the execution of the plot was mediocre at best.
The narrator made the women sound like men with bad accents.

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26 of 28 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Trudy Owens on 13-09-17

Similar to many other plots

Luke Daniels is a great narrator; here, however, his female voices were uncertain. It was hard to remember that the 3 women in the story actually were women because they didn't sound like women.

There are some space opera tropes that need to end now. All are present in this book:
1. The use of old Roman/Latin names for military titles and people's names. We rarely use them now; do you think a thousand years in the future people will have reverted to them?
2. The name Kat for a female ship captain. There seems to be some attraction male authors have to this name, as if it makes her both sexy and strong at the same time.
3. The name Dauntless for the main ship. Seriously, every single space tale has a Dauntless.
4. The fact that a warrior people who value honor over all and never surrender, never retreat are always the bad guys.
5. Ship captains who read history, sometimes (but not here) from real paper books and using real eye glasses. Let's leave that one with Kirk and Picard.

Actually the reading of history may be a valid literary symbol, so maybe #5 isn't so bad after all. In this story, it implies that we will continue to repeat our mistakes because no one does read history. This was the most interesting aspect I encountered, yet it was subtle and easily missed.

This story presents 3 civilizations, the Alliance, The Union, and the Confederation. Only 2 of them end up being important in this part of the saga. It is hard to know who is who, especially when the Marines are trying to take a planet and are met with strong resistance. We don't know whose Marines they are, and which side the planetaries are on. This fight should have been one we cared about and cheered for, but it never caught interest. This is a shame because most Marines stories are real chest-thumpers.

It was also difficult to know who was to be the hero and who the bad guy. This was confusing, but actually quite true to life since every soldier on both sides is the good guy to his mother and his comrades. And it allowed us to mourn the defeat and death of the enemy.

There were only 3 people we really cared about, Captain Kat, Captain Tyler Baron and Sam. It took a long time for us to choose which captain to root for. If that was the point, it is so subtle, and so thinly developed for most people to care about, and just causes confusion. There was some real emotion there, and some sincere reflection into motivations, duty, honor, and courage. Those provided the morals to the story. The action was pretty good at the end, the actual duel in the dark. However, this book does not captivate me enough for me to read the next installment.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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