Captain Jackson Wolfe never thought he'd see the end of the Phage War in his lifetime. The enemy was too powerful, too numerous, and utterly determined to exterminate humanity.
But the appearance of a new ally in the fight has changed all of that. For the first time since the original incursion, Wolfe thinks that maybe there's a chance to stop their implacable enemy before they have the chance to wipe out any more human planets. That opportunity comes at great cost, however, and even as he makes plans for their first offensive move on the Phage, Jackson is all too aware that most of them will not survive.
©2015 Joshua Dalzelle (P)2016 Podium Publishing
I loved it! I loved the entire series! Mark Boyett could narrate an instruction manual for my Ikea furniture and would gladly listen. The story is engaging and the characters are easy to relate to. I haven't listened to many of Joshua Dalzelle's books but I will definitely start now.
"Awesome end to the trilogy"
Excellent trilogy. I thought the pacing was good and the performance was excellent as always.
"Satisfying trilogy closer"
Counterstrike is Joshua Dalzelle's 3rd and final installment of the Black Ship Trilogy. With human forces now focused on addressing the alien invasion and coming to understand the nature of their new alien allies, Captain Wolfe remains unique as the only human who has experienced any contact with the phage which places him in a unique light with their new allies. He becomes privy to the background of Robert Blake and his crew as well as the humanity's place on the galactic pecking order. Wolfe's main character attribute of following his gut rather than his orders, forces him to go rogue and end the phage conflict in his own unique way. At the same time, he learns the frightening origin of the phage themselves and its implications for humanity.
The sci-fi elements are in line with the earlier installments with a greater focus on alien biology and intelligence. Dalzelle creates a striking juxtaposition of a super-intelligent race unable to defend itself nor contemplate genocide against an intelligent predator species without regard for alien intelligence. Wolfe recognizes this dichotomy leaving him and the listener to ponder the possibility of a third way. The battle scenes are quite well done with humans recognizing the inevitable impossibility of fighting a hive mind mentality from the outside that results in Wolfe's 'hail mary' attempt for closure. Overall, this installment is more cerebral than earlier ones and ponders the various possibilities for future human evolution.
The narration is solid with an excellent range of voices of both genders. Alien conversations are particularly satisfying without the more typical nasally or psychomotor retardation renditions. Pacing and mood are appropriate making for an easy listen.
"Satisfying end to the series "
Apart from the repetitive use of a couple of words such as 'terrifying' and 'shocking', the story was well written and the characters sufficiently developed. What made the book for me, were the well executed twists and pleasantly surprising solutions. Im looking forward to reading more from this author and Mark Boyett's narration was a good fit for this space opera adventure.
good reading, good story. I really enjoyed the story the characters and the trilogy. ready for more.
"Loved the series"
Had listened to several of the Heppner and Larson series and liked them. Saw that Mark Boyett narrated this series so I thought I'd give it a try, listened to the series straight through and enjoyed every minute.
"good story but possibly anticlimactic"
It's been a great trilogy and this is a clean, gratifying, possibly simplistic ending to a nuanced multilayered story. My only gripe is that this was maybe a little bit anti-climactic after such a thorough and well thought out build up. Overall great book and excellent performance by the narrator.
"Great conclusion to the series"
I absolutely love Mark Boyett! The voices and personalities are fun and interesting. I have listened to several series narrated by Mark Boyett and they are always great.
Yes, the story combined with the enthusiasm and passion of the narrator was excellent. Interactions and conversations between humans and aliens was both engaging and believable...
I really enjoyed this series by Joshua Dalzelle...I also recommend the Omega Force series.
If you want to hear Mark Boyett at his finest...listen to the Undying Mercenary series by B.V. Larson. Outstanding and fun!
"Narrator must be commended"
I listen to a ton of books (I have an hour and a half commute), and I have some narrators that I love and others that I can't stand. This narrator is cream of the crop. His diction is so precise, and he does great voices. Along with George Guidal and Stephan Rudnicki, he is one of my favorites.
The book was a very thrilling ride. The trilogy could have gone without much of the second book, and could have been better as a two-parter. If you weren't entirely happy with the second, the third is worth reading.
"Well Done ! For the entire series"
This is the final book of a trilogy. And I find it to be a satisfying ending. I am not an erudite reviewer, my criteria is simple: I either like a book or series or I don't. This book and series I liked a lot. Mark Boyett's voice is very clear and easy to listen to, and differentiates between different characters without being overdone.
Joshua Dalzelle's writing was enough to keep bringing me back through all the books. I can see his characters and follow who is who. I found his plot lines easy to follow and they were believable. The best complement I have for books is that when I am done I feel satisfied and not like I wasted my time. I give that complement to all three books in this series.
"Excellent Conclusion to a Fine Series"
I love it when a series sticks true to from throughout and this one does just that. It’s a great fun series which evokes the original Star Trek ethos but set in amongst a major conflict rather than an exploratory situation. Maverick captain, enigmatic aliens, an implacable enemy and lots of “all ahead full” action all set among the stars. Possibly in truth this concluding part is probably a little lighter on the action than the previous two but it brings this long story to a conclusion in fine style and with plenty of cliff-hanging tension.
The fine narration makes the story rattle along at a pleasing pace and the whole thing is wrapped up neatly at the end with possibly a slightly more subtle end game than might be expected.
As I’ve said in the reviews of the previous two this is not heavy duty sci-fi this is a good old-fashioned story of humanity attempting to survive against evil alien hordes albeit with some rather unpredictable allies “helping” out here and there.
If that’s your kind of thing then this series delivers in fine style.
Thoroughly entertaining. One of the best sci-fi series I've listened to. The story is excellent with twists and turns that keep you gripped from one chapter to the next. Excellently read too.
Having found the first two parts of this trilogy absolutely fantastic, it was with great anticipation that I awaited the release of the final part of this Black Fleet trilogy. James Dalzelle had really impressed me and was one of those writers you stumble upon that hasn't published a lot of stuff but all the same puts together a well written story.
This final instalment is another well written book but, I'm afraid to say, exhibits a trait I've seen in the excellent Fear saga series where we are built up and up to a finale that manifests itself in a rather underwhelming way. it seems to me that in the case of the final parts of the Black Fleet trilogy and the Fear saga that the authors sort of wrote themselves into a corner by being so darn good at constructing the previous books. Perhaps they had both worked so hard on the build up that by the time they had to actually write the final and climatic last part that they simply ran out of steam. Dalzelle ran out of steam or it felt to me as the resolution of this epic confrontation was something that was rather a damp squib. I do have to wonder if pressure from the publishers had something to do with these outcomes which is a real shame.
An enjoyable if not particularly satisfying read. I hope Dalzelle revisits this Black Fleet universe and has more time to pen something of epic proportions as I am certain he is quite capable of.
An A for effort but a B minus for execution.
I bought the first audio book in the Black Fleet trilogy on a whim, after listening to an extract on Audible, and once I got started I had to have the rest and finish the series.
The storyline, whilst being a slightly familiar "alien attack" theme, is reasonably fast-paced and interesting enough to carry it through. There is a fair amount of detail around the story, and it would be an interesting idea to "backfill" these with some supporting stories.
As usual, Mark Boyet does an admirable job of narrating.
An amazing well written sci-fi trilogy! I couldn't stop listening until I had gone through all three books! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Can't wait to read more from this author!
"Hollywood Make this a movie trilogy"
Simply fantastic throughout, lots of twists and turns. The performance was brilliant. Will be looking for more of both author and narrator
"Very detailed book"
Fantastic just like the other two books before this ! Can't wait for this talented writer to write another book.
Hard to stop listening. First time reading this author. Will read more of his works.
"Great space opera with engaging narrator."
Really enjoyed this trilogy , with a high paced plot and characters which sometimes fit the standard sci-fi tropes but with some fun twists that kept me engaged.
A bit if a "comfort food" for SciFi fans.
"3 out of 3"
If you haven't read the first to books go back and read them first you won't be disappointed The only thing I'm disappointed about is that it's finished the last book :(
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