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Warship by Joshua Dalzelle
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This is a pretty good piece of military science fiction that should please most people that are into these kind of books. It is perhaps somewhat light reading but it is a good adventure story with plenty of likable characters, a good somewhat mysterious enemy and quite good ship versus ship action.

This is the, not too original, story about a hero that is not exactly in favour by the upper brass of the navy he is on. Partly because of his origin (Earth) but also because a lot of the upper brass is appointed, not by virtue of their competence, but by their political skills and their support from the usually incompetent politicians.

Not too surprisingly our hero have to fight an uphill battle, even after it is evident that there is a clear and present threat to humanity. Also not to surprising he manages to come out pretty much on top much owing to the fact that he is indeed a good starship captain.

The book introduces several characters, some of which start off being not so likeable. However in a few twists, some more unexpected than others, a lot of the characters turns out to be not only likeable but even allies of our hero. I quite liked the Aston Lynch / Pike character. He was one of the more surprising twists in the story.

One thing that I really liked with this book is that the despicable, manipulating, useless and generally destructive politicians do not really get the upper hand. On the contrary, the worst of them gets the very treatment that I whish we could bestow on some of our present day useless oxygen wasters.

As a whole this was a pleasant, perhaps somewhat quick, read that is well enough written, has nice characters and have ship to ship combat that can stand up to the work of some of the better authors in the genre.
( )
  perjonsson | Oct 28, 2017 |
I generally liked this book. It was entertaining, action packed, tension filled, and had some good space battles. On the down side, the writing wasn’t the best I’ve seen (and there were typos, a pet peeve of mine), the character development for most of the characters was completely lacking, the utter hatred by the admiral for Captain Jackson Wolfe, apparently just because he’s from Earth, is never fully explained, is not remotely believable – no one can hate that much for no reason – and borders on comical, it’s so ridiculous, and the arrest and trial leading to potential court martial for humanity’s only war hero borders on stupidity and is also not remotely believable. However, for all of its faults, Warship was a fun book to read.

Humans haven’t been at war with each other or anyone else for centuries. There are no veterans and most of the decent warships are aging and most of the newer ships aren’t that good. Jackson Wolfe, commander of the Blue Jacket, a 50 year old destroyer, is given a mission by his commanding officer (the admiral who hates him) to take a senator’s aide far out into space to another ship, where he’ll be transferred. He’s going to act as a courier ship captain. A destroyer. Seriously? Wolfe isn’t happy. He’s less happy when the civilian tries to take control of the mission and less happy, too, when the admiral takes his exec and sticks him with a new one clearly designed to take his job from him. So begins his new relationship with Celesta, the officer designed by the admiral to take over for him ON this flight, without his knowledge. Fortunately, he earns her respect and loyalty and they become a good team in terms of leadership and simply working together as officers.

They reach their destination, are about to transfer their annoying civilian, when the man has a private talk with Jackson, informing him that he’s military intelligence on a mission and using the senator’s aide ID as a guise. He also tells him the area Wolfe is heading to has had some strange problems lately, to be careful, watchful, and gives him a data chip with some potentially valuable information on it. And he leaves.

The Blue Jacket heads off to its destination system, gets there, and finds a devastated colony planet. All two million inhabitants are gone, as are all of the cities and towns. Wolfe leads a team to the surface, where they see sludge/slime-like material that seems alive somehow and they lose one of their scientists gathering samples to it, so they escape, as it seems to come for them, and return to the ship. Going to the next system, they find another demolished planet but this time there is a massively huge alien ship in orbit. It’s nearly asteroid-sized and dwarfs them by a huge margin. However, the ship engages the alien craft., with the crew thinking the captain is insane. The two ships then engage in a series of vicious battles across multiple systems as the Blue Jacket chases the alien ship, trying to save other still-populated systems.

The Blue Jacket takes an absolute pounding, but because it’s so old, it was actually built pretty sturdily and has some outdated weapons that are actually helpful to its cause. It’s humorous how that works out. Ultimately, the ship hurts the alien ship badly, but it, too, is pretty much destroyed, so how does Captain Wolfe keep the aliens from escaping, keep them from destroying more worlds, keep them from reporting back to their allies? Well, the final battle scenes are pretty climactic, and if the very ending is somewhat unbelievable, which it is, it’s still fairly satisfying and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I was ticked, as I mentioned earlier, that Wolfe gets hauled away for a court martial, but I liked how it turned out, both the outcome and the way in which that outcome was achieved. Very satisfying.

This book, in terms of entertainment, action, intrigue, and space battles, merits five stars. But the author’s habits of having the exec use the same shocked expression on her face every time Wolfe says or does something unorthodox gets really old. I mean, over the course of a mission that takes weeks or even months, when she becomes such a loyal officer to him that she commits treason with him, you’re telling me she that still gets surprised when he swears? 300 pages into the book? Seriously? Come on, Dalzelle, that’s just stupid. Spend a little more time honing your skills on sharpening your character development and believability. Also, having weapons and weapons systems that hadn’t been tested in 15-25 years or longer sort of stretches believability, no matter how badly the military has fallen. Going a quarter of a century to a half of a century without testing weapons just seems too much to ask the reader to believe. Then, again, there’s the admiral’s absolute delight in torturing Wolfe, in screwing him repeatedly, including informing him by video message while he’s out on his mission that his ship is on its last mission and that he’s going to be retired because there’s no place in today’s Navy for a has-been Earth captain. Okay. Right. Whatever. That’s just stupid. So, there are a lot of weaknesses, both here and mentioned previously in this review, as well as many I haven’t mentioned, that bring the book’s rating down. Normally, I would drop the rating quite a bit for this many faults, but the book was simply too much fun to do that to, so I’m going to give it four solid stars and say, recommended. I already have the next two books of the trilogy on my Amazon Wish List. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jun 12, 2016 |
If you like hardcore military scifi (and I do), then you will like this series. The characterization is pretty two dimensional, but there's plenty of action, á la Star Wars. ( )
  KirkLowery | Apr 20, 2016 |
Slow and boring; lots of interactions between characters that neither advance the plot nor provide insights into personality or motivations. For example, the new Exec shows up in undress blacks, the Captain tells her to wear something else, the next time she shows up she is wearing the new outfit. No detail on what she thinks about the correction, what it might mean that she originally chose to wear the blacks, what the captain thinks of her for this behavior, and no plot implications from it. It just happens, words are spent on it, and we learn nothing.

The captain, who is also the main character, is from Earth. Earth is considered a "slum" and people from Earth face considerable prejudice and discrimination. Why? Because for the past 400 years, Earth has been exporting the "top 10 percent" of its people to develop the colonies, resulting in brain drain back home. So far, so interesting. But how do people know our MC is from Earth? Because of his "ethnic" (the author's adjective, not mine) appearance: olive skin and dark hair. Implying that Earth's creme-de-la-creme were, for all 400 years... white. Or possibly Asian. Either way, EW.

Did not finish. ( )
  being_b | Dec 3, 2015 |
ABR's original Warship audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Earth is no longer the center of the human universe. With an abundance of resources and a plethora of planets to colonize, the wars of past centuries are exactly where they need to be: in the past. With no violent warring in over a hundred years, the interstellar navies of the loosely aligned human states waste away.

The Blue Jacket was built after the last war and it was built with war in mind. It is lined with large plates and shields, rail guns for close combat and all of the bells and whistles to be a formidable opponent. Jackson Wolfe, the Blue Jacket’s commander and, much like his ship, is a misfit in the new Navy. He is an old Earther rather than a new colonist. And for some strange reason, he is very much disliked by everyone. Must be why he is given a dinosaur of a ship to command.

Wolfe and his crew are rushed out on a seemingly pointless mission: they are to shuttle a politician’s aide to an unspecified location. The Admiral also lets Wolfe know that this will be Blue Jacket’s last mission. When they return, the ship will be salvaged for scrap.

The Blue Jacket comes upon a devastated colony planet. All inhabitants have been wiped out, as are all of the cities and towns. Upon arriving in a new system, they find more devastation, only this time it is accompanied by a large alien ship. The Blue Jacket engages the ship, though the commander realizes it is a futile effort. But the ship doesn’t fight back like he expects. Why? Only time will tell in this cat and mouse/chess match of the space variety.

There are a couple of issues I found with the story. One, the lack of backstory. We have no idea why Wolfe is hated nor how he became Captain. Why would he rise up the ranks if no one liked him? Is it just because he is from Earth? What’s so bad about that? Two, there is too much dialogue. This isn’t generally an issue, but the amount of times I heard “Jackson said” or “Sing said” really got on my nerves. There are ways to go about scenes with a lot dialogue without continually letting the reader/listener know who was speaking. You can also utilize other words than just ‘said’.

Mark Boyet’s narration was great and I’ll definitely be looking for other audiobooks with his name on them. He does a really fine job with gender distinction and voice inflection. Definitely look him up!

Overall, pretty good sci-fi here with a fantastic narrator. Not sure if I will continue on to books 2 (currently out) or 3, but it may just be your cup of tea.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Oct 19, 2015 |
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From Joshua Dalzelle, author of the bestselling "Omega Force" series, comes an all new vision of humanity's future. In the 25th century humans have conquered space. The advent of faster-than-light travel has opened up hundreds of habitable planets for colonization, and humans have exploited the virtually limitless space and resources for hundreds of years with impunity. So complacent have they become with the overabundance that armed conflict is a thing of the past, and their machines of war are obsolete and decrepit. What would happen if they were suddenly threatened by a terrifying new enemy? Would humanity fold and surrender, or would they return to their evolutionary roots and meet force with force? One ship--and one captain--will soon be faced with this very choice. Against incredible odds, Jackson Wolfe is determined to save humanity, and in the process, might end up saving himself...… (more)

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