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Publisher's Summary

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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  • Steve S.
  • 09-10-2015

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • CarNut
  • 17-07-2015

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Shane
  • 22-01-2016

Fantastic story with great narration.

Where does Blue Gemini rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best audiobooks I've completed so far.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Kevin Stillwell – was your favorite?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely! I listened to the book everyday on my commute to and from work. Approximately 1 hour each way.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth J Klein
  • 07-09-2015

A great book brought to life with great narration

What did you love best about Blue Gemini?

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 did you like best about this story?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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)

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Cold Warriors In The Cold of Space

Any additional comments?

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • 02-08-2015

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kurt Schwoppe
  • 30-09-2017

Hyper-Accurate Space Race HIstorical Fiction

This book pulled me in hook, line and sinker. I love the early days of the space program, and Mike Jenne brought it to life. We've all heard about NASA's 10 crewed Gemini missions that were launched by the Titan II rocket, but most people never realized that the USAF built 368 of these bad boys. And while most of these became ICBMs, maybe just a few were used for covert Space Ops flown by Air Force astronauts. I consider Blue Gemini a realistic version of how this might happen. Jenne's knowledge of the Gemini capsule and how it would have to be modified for covert missions was especially brilliant. He brought the Gemini guidance computer, the ejection system, and even the initial concept of the Rogallo Wing reentry system to life. Mix in some good old Cold War warrior action, and you got yourself an awesome book (even if it has a really awkward love interest back story). I also want to recognize my new pard Kevin Stillwell. His performance was stellar as he gave each character their own unique verbal identity. (He even did a superb Nixon imitation in a later book in the series).

If you have any interest in the early space program, there is no doubt you'll enjoy this book. I absolutely continued on with the rest of the books in the series, but feel that Blue Gemini is by far the best of the three. While I definitely don't regret purchasing and listening to the other two books, let's just say that by the time I finished with the last, I was glad they were over. I think Jenne's mistake was sticking with the few main characters through all three books rather than mixing it up a bit. Good to be loyal to your characters, but after 30+ hours they all become a bit stale.

Blue Gemini easily rates all five stars, but you should take away 1 star for each iteration in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Doug D. Eigsti
  • 07-08-2017

The Right Stuff...No Your Other Right !

Blue Gemini is billed as a thriller but it is a thriller only in the cerebral sense. Anyone who grew up in the early days of the Space Program and who followed the progress of the Mercury and Gemini programs will find a lot of things to like. This novel is written in a style that is reminiscent of some of the older works of Science Fiction in that it has a large amount of explanatory passages. But unlike early science fiction novels this novel spent a great deal of time working on character development and realistic dialog. Somehow this fits quite nicely with the whole sixties motif and the early days of the Space Program. A book set in the 1960s and done in the style of the Science Fiction of the time. A time when the culture in the United States was a bit more stolid and formal.

I lived through the 1960s and the early days of the Cold War space race with the Soviet Union. Blue Gemini has more than the feel of the 1960s, it actually evokes many memories if that time for me. One of the things I really enjoy are all the references to the songs from Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Beatles and the movies like Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Anyone having lived through this time will instantly recognize that all of these references are Period Correct. Just as the book Ready Player One was a great piece of nostalgia for those who lived through the 1980s, Blue Gemini is a real blast from the past for those who lived through the 1960s.

I really love the whole idea of a Black Ops Space Program running parallel with the Gemini program back in the 60s.

This is the simply told straightforward story. As the novel progressed about halfway through it suddenly dawned on me that the narrator Kevin Stillwell is really quite good. The narrator's character impressions excellent. Each character is given a distinct voice and very appropriate voice I might add. When I started the book I begin to wonder when it was going to become a thriller as it was billed but I stuck with it and am glad I did. Soon I began to like the characters. All the sudden I began to find every scene interesting because it was a scene involving somebody I liked. The pacing which I had first thought was a bit slow became normal; it became realistic and lifelike. And I think that's the intent of the author. One of the great charms of this novel is that it harkens back for me to an earlier time maybe in a sense start to relive the 1960s the 1960s Space Program of which I was fascinated with as a child.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 31-10-2016

Middle era space exploration thriller that works!

What did you love best about Blue Gemini?

Technical, interesting, historically correct and full of fascinating characters. All of it actually. This is very good offering.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Maybe added aliens, ( just kidding ). Overall this is very enjoyable audiobook.

Have you listened to any of Kevin Stillwell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing extreme, but it did make me laugh at times.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Taylor
  • 19-11-2015

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-06-2016

great story

Kevin is a hard to listen to initially but he warms up as the story goes on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Derrick
  • 02-09-2016

Absorbing story

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful