Scott Ourecky wanted to fly - he never dreamed he'd end up in a secret military space program.
The year is 1968: The Cold War is far from over, and nuclear annihilation is always only a heartbeat away. America is racing the Soviet Union to land men on the moon, a war is raging, and a pivotal presidential election looms on the horizon. A child of the early space age, Lieutenant Scott Ourecky joined the air force with aspirations of going to flight school. A brilliant engineer, he repeatedly fails the aptitude test to become a pilot but is selected to work on a highly classified military space program - the innocuously named Aerospace Support Project - in which air force astronauts are slated to fly missions to intercept and destroy suspect Soviet satellites.
When one of the astronauts in training abruptly falls out of the project, Ourecky is asked to fill in for the two-man simulated missions and survival training only. He's asked to serve with a headstrong and abrasive test pilot, Major Drew Carson, until another astronaut can be assigned. By far the most proficient pilot assigned to the project, Carson has a dangerous propensity to engage in pick-up dog fighting sessions while on cross-country training flights. And although Ourecky was only a temporary place holder, not destined to fly in space, he soon finds himself much more involved than he ever anticipated - and in deepest peril.
Based on a real secret space program, Blue Gemini combines high-altitude action with edge-of-your-seat storytelling to create a modern Cold War thriller.
©2015 Mike Jenne (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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"Conservatively Tagged 'A Thriller'"
Blue Gemini is the riveting tale of an unlikely astronaut in a secret space program thick in the middle of the Cold War. What makes the story so spellbinding is it is based on fact and experience.
Blue Gemini was a little-known offshoot of the white world NASA Gemini space program but was instead run by the US Air Force. Because of the secrecy involved, launches and crew returns would have been handled in secrecy and the book describes how these operations could have very plausibly been accomplished. The book details the mission planning, training and eventual orbital activities.
Blue Gemini is more than just a techno-thriller, it's also the very human story of Scott Ourecky, the comfortable, content, land-based airman whose unique talents make him a key part of the secret space program, a part that requires him to grow beyond his original conservative career goals and forge some strong bonds along the way.
Blue Gemini is full of intrigue and adventure and moves at a quick pace. Kudos to Mike Jenne for creating an engaging, believable - and thrilling - story. I look forward to the next two installments in the trilogy. Kevin Stillwell has done a great job of voicing each of the characters uniquely and conveying the quick pace of the adventure with ease. Most highly recommended.
"wonderful...deep involvement in the space complex"
REAL people, real astronaut training, real risks... can't wait for book two!!!! loved this, twenty hours! great value.
"Fantastic story with great narration."
One of the best audiobooks I've completed so far.
It's a great story based on events as they happened in the Cold War and the infancy of a maturing space program. The was a great mix of life lessons the characters learned and action of the military and space program. I have always been intrigued with the space program and the military. I also liked how Mike used songs and other things to tie the story to era it was set in throughout the story. Many authors forget about that and only set the story a couple times in the book.
He did a great job with all characters. In most cases he had me intrigued with the character of Virgil Wolcott. His reproduction of Virgil's dialogue painted a vivid picture of the character and allowed you to create that image in your mind when he spoke.
Absolutely! I listened to the book everyday on my commute to and from work. Approximately 1 hour each way.
Mike did a great job in so many aspects when writing this book. It has action, historical reference mixed with aspects of human life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
"A great book brought to life with great narration"
I love historical fiction and especially anything to do with the cold war period. But this book hits on so many of my interest areas there is no way I could not love it.
What I loved best about the story is the characters. And the masterful way that Mike Jenne developed the characters and had them grow throughout the book so they could fulfill their roles in the story.
It's hard to say what my favorite scene is. If I had to name one is was when they made the big intelligence gathering coup. (I don't want to be to specific and spoil anything for those that have not yet read it)
Cold Warriors In The Cold of Space
All I can say is to anyone who has an interest in alternate history, cold war, the space program, special ops, or aviation will thoroughly enjoy this book. Mike Jenne had done his research and knows his subjects well. Also the audio book narrator did an excellent job and I hope he can do the other books in the series. Get this book!
"Can't wait for the next one"
I hope this is not the end of the story. I really want to know what happens next in the careers of Orecki and Carson.
"Outstanding book. can't wait for next installments"
this author hits the detains square on. even the audio production is best in class. great job!
"Middle era space exploration thriller that works!"
Technical, interesting, historically correct and full of fascinating characters. All of it actually. This is very good offering.
Maybe added aliens, ( just kidding ). Overall this is very enjoyable audiobook.
I likely have, but I have forgotten them only because I listen to so many audiobooks. Notwithstanding, this is a solid performance, well produced and consistent, which I use as my benchmarks.
Nothing extreme, but it did make me laugh at times.
A surprising, solid offering, with drama and tension set against a historically accurate ( if not slightly altered ) back drop. I genuinely enjoyed this book, and anyone who enjoyed the US Space Programs early and middle years will enjoy it as well.
I was given a copy of this book by the narrator free of charge in return for an honest review through Audiobook Boom.
Kevin is a hard to listen to initially but he warms up as the story goes on.
"Wild Ride - Sierra Hotel"
A well thought out, researched and detailed story. As a former USAF pilot, the training scenes brought back memories (good and bad). And, I know that I knew several friends who fit the described personalities.
As a teen and young adult, I followed the activities of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions; great details here for these, too.
The narrator made me cringe with a couple of mispronounced terms and places. it's TAC-AN, not TA-CAN. The USAF base in Alaska is Eielson eye-el-son, not eel-son.
"Needs audio leveling."
Can't hear the narrator when he acts out characters whispering. Seems to be most of Drew Carson's lines. Very good besides that!
I really liked this. For folk like me who were small children at the time this story is set, the early days of space exploration have a seductive resonance. This story taps straight into this, taking a cancelled "black" programme and making it real. This is primarily a "Boy's Own" and likely "Boys only" story, but nevertheless a well-written, well-paced adventure rather than a "thriller". There is a nice balance of action and science, with intelligent characterisation rather than Top Gun-style heroes.
Robust history it certainly is not, but an engaging adventure with a satisfying flavour of realism? Absolutely.
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