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.
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Great start to the series...
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.
- Book Magic
"Look at me. LOOK at me!"
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.
- Norma Miles