By Evan Currie
Narrated by Stephen Dexter
Published on: September 1, 2019
Sometimes you find a book when you just need it most. I tend to really enjoy military science fiction stories, but oddly enough I don’t read them very often. Not sure why that is. I happened to run across this one when randomly searching on my Kindle for something new to read within science fiction. Kindle Unlimited offered this one in both written and audio format. I chose the audio version and it was a blast!
Humanity has reached an uneasy truce with the Empire—but unless the allies bring the fight to the enemy, extinction is all but assured. In preparation for the inevitable next war, Commander Stephen Michaels is at the helm of the Archangel Squadron, and his orders are simple: go rogue.
Disguised as mercenaries, Commander Michaels and the Archangels seek valuable intelligence on their imposing foe. Their mission takes them deep into uncharted territory, where they make inroads with the Empire, fiercely guarding their true identities and purpose. Fighting for the enemy goes against everything they stand for, but these are desperate times.
As their deception increases, so does the risk. With the Empire’s deadliest secrets within reach, Commander Michaels and the Archangels accept a mission that will take them even deeper into the Imperial fold. They know all too well that one wrong step won’t just end their lives—it could end their entire civilization.
This was so much fun to listen to. It’s actually the first in a new series, but the universe it exists in originates from the Odyssey One series. This is my first time to read anything by this author so everything in it was new to me.
As best I can tell, the premise is that at the end of the Odyssey One series there is a truce of sorts between Earth and their allies with the Imperialists. However, no one believes the Empire is just going to let things lie. So, with brand new fighter ships that no one has seen before, the Archangel squadron is given the task to go into deep space, pretend to be pirates and start gathering intelligence. What occurs is they find themselves assisting in a battle between two planets, but in the process they learn a lot more is going on from behind the scenes by the Empire.
Audio Book Review
I thoroughly enjoyed the drama and action this book presented over audio. Archangel One is full of action and military space fights and listening to this made everything come alive – from the story, to the characters and to the stress they are all under. If I had to choose between reading orders being given by a character or hearing orders being barked at to another character, I’ll choose the latter every time. I will never go to space or participate in a space opera, but listening to a space battle on audio has got to be the closest thing to it. So much drama and action!
The story also has a wide range of characters in the book, providing the narrator a lot of opportunities to shine with his many voices and accents.
Although, I loved the story and audio book, I did have two very minor issues when listening. First, the audio speed was rather slow. I’m not someone who usually increases the speed of an audio book, although I believe many do. However, the original speed was just a bit too slow for me to listen to, so I felt I needed to increase it in order to make it feel a little more natural sounding. Doing so also created another positive – action scenes come at you quicker and helped increase the intensity of the story. The other issue is more because it was a new series to me than anything else and that is how it was a little difficult at the beginning for me to distinguish where the different scenes take place. In the book, there is clearly a heading telling you where you are in the universe – Earth, Empire, etc. and it does get announced in the story, but somehow my ears had trouble picking this up at first. Thankfully, I did have the book to fall back on and could quickly look to in these situations.
Overall, I found the story to have a cohesive order to it, where circumstances don’t feel out of place or position within the context of the story. In general, I am not very knowledgeable in spaceships and the science of them, so I can’t comment too much on that part, but I found it was generally easy to pick up and understand. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series when it comes out in January 2020.
Rating: 4.5 stars