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Publisher's Summary

A new flagship. An unfamiliar crew. An old nemesis.

Thomas Baldwin has been appointed captain of the state-of-the-art cruise ship Constantine, named after his heroic grandfather. When their first diplomatic mission turns deadly, all signs point to the return of a former adversary, one the Concord claims to have defeated five decades earlier.

No one has seen Baldwin's commander, Treena Starling, since her previous ship was destroyed in a gruesome battle, leaving her the sole survivor. Can her secret help them rescue one of their crew members from captivity at the enemy's hands?

When the Concord advises Baldwin to walk away from a fight, he must rely on his new crew, including the AI based on his younger grandfather, Constantine, to make the right decisions. One wrong step, and Captain Baldwin could be throwing the entire Concord into another intergalactic war...and this time they might not be so lucky.

©2019 Nathan Hystad (P)2020 Tantor

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  • Jim K
  • 07-07-2020

A fabulous sci-fi adventure!

I’ve been reading and listening to sci-fi fir over 60 years and have just recently been introduced to Nathan Hystad’s work. Wow what an imagination! His characters are fully developed and easy to relate to The scenes are described extremely well it is easy to put yourself there. There’s lots of action and twists and turns. A wonderful plot I highly recommend it! The performance by. James Patrick Cronin was superb really bringing the story alive. The voices are. On distant snd we’ll differentiated. As doin as I stop typing I’m going to start the next book in the series.

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  • BritMick
  • 28-06-2020

Yet another great start from Nathan

I have enjoyed Nathan's other books and am pleased with this latest entry. Once again I see great potential for another interesting series and I'm looking forward to the next entry. Decent concepts and a good character work-up.

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  • Cindy Meyer Lady of the Loch
  • 12-06-2020

An Excellent Read (or listen)

The story was excellent! The only problem for me was the sheer number of characters and keeping them straight. That being said, Nathan Hystad did an excellent job of creating character growth and intertwining the lives of the of and the history of said characters. The audio quality of the Audible version is top notch.

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  • Jas P
  • 08-08-2020

Brilliant New Series by Hystad – Just Outstanding!

This is an Epic Space Opera that captures all the best things we know and love from all the different versions of Star Trek, and more recently The Orville, and just about every one of our favourite written ‘Starship Adventure’ Series’ . There is a brand-new Starship, named after a famous Admiral (The Constantine), with a rising star for a Captain, who just happens to be the Grandson of the Admiral the ship was named for. The Constantine is part of a United Group of Planets and Systems throughout the Galaxy, brought together by the “Founders”, to create “The Concord”, to protect those within its borders, establish trade that is mutually beneficial, all the usual stuff. Thomas Baldwin, or Tom, is the Captain, a man from a distinguished lineage, but with a troubled past, having lost both his parents at a young age, and been raised by the aforementioned Grandfather, the great Constantine Baldwin. Whilst he was a master tactician and strategist, and brilliant Captain, and an even more incredible Admiral, you get the impression that he left something to be desired in the child rearing department. OF course, this could have had something to do with the fact, that at the time, he was at war with a brutal enemy, the Statu, and, this left the Concord shattered at the time, never having encountered such a fierce and hostile species. That was around half a century ago, and the events now, are centred on the new Captain Baldwin, and his incredible new state-of-the-art Starship, the Constantine. Along with this, he also has a very eclectic, but extraordinarily remarkable crew, each member picked for being the absolute elite in their field. There are Reeve and Brax Drak – Sister and Brother, of the Tekol, twins which is a rarity in their species, but it is even rarer that Reeve is one of the most intelligent people in the Concord. Her Brother Brax, is one of the most elite in Security, with superior strength and speed. Their Doctor is an oddity, a Kwant, (I won’t spoil the fun here, you can read this bit), then there is Executive Lieutenant Ven, a Zilphi, but he is a very special Zilphi called an Ugna (again, you can read and find out why – I don’t want to spoil the fun!!). Normally a Concord Captain would have a choice in their crew, helping to pick them, however, Tom Baldwin was just ‘Given’ his Executive crew by the Admiralty, which is unheard of, so his exec team is very eclectic, and rather odd. All Concord ships come with a holographic program, a quasi AI program to assist the crew with information, think of it like a combination of Siri and Google, but a Googleplex smarter. The AI is made up to represent the person that the class of ship is named after, so in this case, it is a holographic representation of Constantine himself. Each of the Starships of this class will have a Constantine AI to help the crew. It is a way of honouring the hero that the ship is named after. Obviously in this instance, it raises some interesting storylines, and not all is as it seems with Constantine – making for some really fun reading. Perhaps the most interesting, and certainly the best written character in the entire story, is Commander Treena Starling. Starling has a very horrific past, and this has left her with a very troubled future, and one in which she is definitely not all that she appears to be. Hystad has written such written a deeply emotional, and powerful character that you can’t help but connect with, she is utterly fascinating. He has been able to really portray the emotional and psychological damage that her injuries and her past have done to her, the deep seated PTSD, and convey this to the reader with so much brutal honesty that you really feel her pain. It is exceptionally good writing. The Character writing, whilst extraordinary, is not the only standout though in this series. The Author has also put a lot of thought and effort into the world-building for his series, so that as the series unfolds, each chapter, further evolves this amazing universe, filled with all sorts of amazing aliens, unusual and creative planets, that left me, as a long time Sci-fi reader pondering things afterwards, and even more impressive, was his tech. Hystad put a lot of creative energy and thought into the Technology he was going to use for this series, and it just adds a whole new additional layer to both the world building, and the characters, making this book just so much fun to read. If you have ever liked anything even closely related to that ‘Captain’ on a starship, supported by some form of ‘United set of Planets’, then you will love this series, whether you love Trek, Orville, or one of a thousand series like Infinity’s End, you will love this series, can’t wait to read part 2!! James Patrick Cronin does a marvellous job with the Narration, he has a fantastic voice, and does a great job with doing both Male and Female voices clearly. He speaks in a nice clear voice, enunciating properly, so you can understand what he is saying easily, making this easy to listen to wherever you want, and if you are someone who listens at a slightly faster rate, you can speed it up a bit if you want. He does a pretty good job with female voices, well enough that you can easily distinguish between male and female, although it is hard sometimes to tell between female characters. His male characters are excellent though. Overall, the Narration is excellent though and it is well worth listening to, not just because the book is absolutely outstanding, but because, but because Cronin does a great job with the Narration as well!!

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  • Simon Rawnsley
  • 22-07-2020

Good book

Good book from Nathan Hystad. Excellent narration and moved at good pace. Won the book through a competition and to promise a review. Will look forward to the 2 books in the series, which I have just bought.

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  • Nat 87
  • 20-06-2020

Excellent

As a first book in a series, this book launches the reader into the vastness of space from the first chapter! The book has excellent characters from multiple worlds and I thoroughly enjoyed listening! Cannot wait until book 2 is available

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