Summary

Ten thousand years ago, a single alien super-ship survived a desperate battle. The vessel's dying crew set the AI on automatic to defend the smashed rubble of their planet. Legend has it the faithful ship continues to patrol the empty battlefield, obeying its last order throughout the lonely centuries.

In the here and now, Earth needs a miracle. Out of the Beyond invade the New Men, stronger, faster and smarter than the old. Their superior warships and advanced technology destroy every fleet sent to stop them. Their spies have infiltrated the government and traitors plague Earth's military.

Captain Maddox of Star Watch Intelligence wonders if the ancient legend could be true. Would such an old starship be able to face the technology of the New Men? On the run from killers, Maddox searches for a group of talented misfits. He seeks Keith Maker, a drunken ex-strikefighter ace, Doctor Dana Rich the clone thief stuck on a prison planet and Lieutenant Valerie Noonan, the only person to have faced the New Men in battle and survived to tell about it.

Maddox has to find a place hidden in the Beyond and bring back a ship no one can enter. If he fails, the New Men will replace the old. If he succeeds, humanity might just have a fighting chance...
©2014 Vaughn Heppner (P)2014 Vaughn Heppner
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 07-03-15

nice story shame about the narrater

The story was fine, an old fashioned action movie with all the usual aspects you would expect. The narration however was at times truly appalling, especially the attempt at a Scottish accent. The character variously sounded Russian, Indian, Scouse, Brummie, Irish and a whole variety of others but never ever a Glaswegian. It was embarrassing and truly cringe worthy.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Robert Wheatley on 08-02-15

Annoyingly dull

First off, it's a really basic, linear story where not much happens. It's also very repetitive.

At one point, I logged back into to Audible to see when the book was written. I figured that perhaps it was in the 50s due to the lack of technical imagination. Turns out that it wasn't written in the 50s, and it just was a lack of imagination.

The most annoying thing is the "Batman '60s TV series" dialog that's rife throughout the story. Remember the endings to the old TV series where there'd be a barrage of questions? "Will, blar blar do whatever? Can so-and-so do x? Will batman make it out alive?" That kind of nonsense. Well, there's a lot of that in it, which gets very irritating, very quickly.


Finally, although the narrator did a reasonable job, one of the principle characters is Scottish, and his attempt at a Scottish accent is a joke. Either they should have found someone who could at least approximate a Scottish accent or the producer should have said don't both.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jim "The Impatient" on 01-02-17

THE NEW MEN

SOUNDING CONFIDENT ABOUT A THING DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE
I don't want to sound like a copy cat of The southern STRIKER man on meds, but I too thought this good, but not great. It was 70% entertaining. The filler in the middle was boring.

I MUST SAY DOCTOR, YOUR AWFUL HARD TO LIKE
While I did not like the doctor on the prison planet they rescued. I did like the adventure on the prison planet.

THE WAITING IS GETTING TO HIM, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.
This is a long set up for the gathering of a crew and the finding an ancient derelict from an unknown super race, in order to beat THE NEW MEN, who are far superior to us and who feel we are like ants. Heppner writes in a old time serious manner, so don't expect any laughs. His writing reminds me a little of pulp science fiction.

The narrator was a little slow and I put him on 1.25 for the last three hours.

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50 of 59 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By D. Backshall on 18-03-16

Old school-style scifi with dreary narration

I'd love to say great things about this book, but all I can come up with is "meh". The simplistic, straight-line, single character focused writing is reminiscent of classic 50's-60's scifi, which was fine for Heinlein half a decade ago, but this is supposed to be a contemporary book. Heppner seemed to borrow too much from older scifi, and at times this novel reads more like Star Trek fan fiction than an original piece. While there's nothing wrong with fanfic, I was expecting something a little more unique in theme and modern in complexity.

As for the narrator, who was at best dull and at worst awkward, I am very happy to see that the next books in the series use a different one. The breathy voice he used for the female characters was laughable. The odd pronunciations (e.g.,"rum" for "room") and sometimes outright mispronunciations were distracting. The supposedly "Scottish" accent sounded more like a cartoon character than a serious one. There were also times when it was clear the narrator forgot who he was speaking for, and used the wrong voice or changed it midway through. All in all, it didn't work.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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