Narrator: Keith Michaelson
Series: The Hope Island Chronicles #1
on 9 June 2016
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher, Submitted
Following the bloody war between the Athenian Republic and the Pruessen Empire, an uneasy peace has settled over the region of space known as The Tunguska Fault.
The Telford family's independent trading vessel, the Belinda, is captured by Pruessen slavers and the crew forced into a life of brutal servitude. Their desperate bid for freedom succeeds but a tragic price is paid.
Years pass and Nathan Telford, fighting the nightmares of his past and yearning for revenge, joins the Athenian Navy. His first posting is aboard the warship Truculent, patrolling the northern quarantine zone beyond which lurks the Empire.
Answering a distress call from a beleaguered freighter, the routine mission becomes a desperate fight for survival. The Pruessans are once again testing the defenses of the Republic and this time they have technology far in advance of the last war.
It is left to Nathan, three untried middies, and a disgruntled petty officer to try and avert a looming disaster.
With their high-tech weapons rendered useless and facing overwhelming odds, Nathan risks everything on a brave, hastily conceived gamble.
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Publisher, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Uncommon Purpose by PJ Strebor is the first in a series called The Hope Island Chronicles. It follows Nate Telford from the time that he is six years old into his early twenties. In a world where the Preussen Empire and Athenian empires hold an uneasy peace across planets, Preussen slavers are able to capture an independent trading vessel, a vessel owned by the Telford clan. Ultimately after escaping, Nate begins a life on his own. He learns how to let down his walls, make friends, and joins the Athenian Navy to help him get revenge against those who enslaved his family. As he works to become a great soldier in the Navy, he must learn to manage his memories of the past, without losing his head and his emotions in a fight.
This novel is really a coming of age story about a traumatized young boy. The story follows him as he grows up on a colony planet with a new family and friends, goes to school, and then goes to the military academy. At times it feels wandering. There is not a true quest but just views into this boy’s life as he turns into a man, which is wonderful in its own way. I found the beginning to be difficult to get into, but once the story takes off, it moves along well at a good pace and captures the attention. It’s possible to just soak in Nathan’s world and how it changes. There is plenty of action throughout the story as well as friendships and insights from different characters. But ultimately, the characters outside of Nathan’s immediate sphere end up feeling flat. And there are so many that it can be hard to keep track of them. However, Nathan’s friendship with his childhood friend is perfectly captured. The story has a good, positive, end, but you are already caught up in Nathan’s life. It’s easy to look forward to the next novel.
The narration by Keith Michaelson was well done. A large number of characters all seemed to have their own voice and personality, which is difficult to achieve. Also, the slimy bad guys have voices that reflected that. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend anyone who likes coming of age novels set in an environment containing space battles.
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