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Alliance: A Linesman Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 23, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Linesman Series

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Linesman
“A fascinating new take on the idea of the sentient spaceship.”—Sharon Shinn, national bestselling author of Archangel
“Rich with that sense of wonder that makes SF delightful.”—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fire Touched
“Riveting and fast-paced.…A great read.”—Jack Campbell, New York Times bestselling author of the Lost Fleet novels

About the Author

S. K. Dunstall is the author of the Linesman series, including Linesman and Alliance.

Product Details

  • Series: A Linesman Novel (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (February 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425279537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425279533
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback

After I read Linesman, the first thing I did was reread it. It was that good. I did not feel that way after reading Alliance. It was good but I was not caught up in it as I was in Linesman. I think Alliance spread itself too thin. In Linesman major character development was focused on just a few people. In Alliance there were too many new characters being introduced and not enough time to develop them. Also I found many of the new characters totally unlikable - both villains and good guys. For example the young Tinatin was so annoying that I kept wishing someone would shoot her and shut her up. Rossi was still there, obnoxious as ever, but he was nowhere near as irritating as Tinatin. Another character that didn't even appear to be needed was the interim captain Edie Song. Not a good person and honestly I didn't see how someone like that became a captain. With the captaincy of ships being so competitive, the likelihood of such a miserable person getting one seems to be very remote, yet there she was.

The villain Vilhjalmsson was just plain unbelievable. He escaped from all sorts of situations as if by magic. In the last part of the book, he was knocked unconscious by Ean and sustained what were said to be major injuries, but somehow he escaped. No explanation just a line: "He has escaped." No discussion of how or why. This man caused many problems throughout the book. He was a spy and saboteur, got knocked out and had multiple debilitating injuries yet escaped with a one line reference. Abracadabra and the rabbit disappeared? Abram always talked about holes in security but this was just plain unbelievable to me.

Throughout Alliance there were minor characters who got a lot of attention for a short period of time.
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Think about everything that made the first Linesman book great. This book has none of that. By the points:

-It felt like the author was trying to write an overcomplicated spy novel instead of a sci-fi book.
-First 65% of the book is just a slow build of an org chart with random attempts at assassination/kidnapping tossed in
-The "end" is more of a middle. It's not even a cliffhanger. There was no climax.
-So many characters introduced, and so many of them are poor/flat/annoying.
-The lines and the ships: We really learn nothing more about either of them.
-The last 30% or so was decent writing, but it should have been the first 30% instead.
-There was so much story that could have been explored that this was truly a wasted opportunity (reviving the frozen aliens, learning where the ships came from, learning about the war the ships were engaged in, learning more about the lines, something actually happening with the eleven fleet, some development with Ean's character, building up a crew and bonding them over a first hard trial, the existence of other ships out there in human space, exploring new frontiers, spending time in the void to learn about it... the list is long and completely overlooked.

I would have given 2 stars, but at least the last 30% reached average quality and set the stage for a hopefully redeeming third installment where a few secrets are revealed and something happens besides drinking tea while debating temperature preference.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Linesman (much like Dark Horse) was a breakout surprise for me last year. It just blew me away and I can't count how many times I have re-read it since. So seeing the next one on Amazon was an immediate pre-order.

I jumped in as soon as I got home from work, and I was quite surprised we didn't start with Ean Lambert. All of the last book was from his perspective, so I just wasn't ready for Captain Selma Kari Wang. Fortunately she completely rocks, a completely in charge woman, and it was a hell of an introduction. Any doubts I might have had about how Dunstall would write from a female perspective were immediately dispelled.

As for the main action, we get right back to Ean and the New Alliance quickly, the action is exciting, Ean's self deprecating charm is still a hit, and the politics are still simply fascinating. Seriously, I can not quite come up with the words to express how fascinating the political parts are, but it is one of my favorite aspects of this series. And the lines and the way Dunstall is building them and the linesman are a close tie for interest.

When we head back to Kari though, it is a gut punch, and I am highly impressed with how the author was able to weave such an emotional connection between the reader and this woman in such few words. While Ean was a man who needed to grow, Kari is a woman broken down to nothing who rebuilds herself...despite herself.

Secondary characters are also coming into their own fleshing out an already interesting world. It will be interesting to see how the Eleven's crew shakes out, some of them are a delight

The only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. Nothing negative, and no cliffhanger, it just came to a conclusion rather than a climax. But I can live with it, and I am in fact giving it 5 stars. I an hoping desperately Dunstall can keep creating at this rate.
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