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The Belt Loop (Book One) [Kindle Edition]

Robert B. Jones , Christopher A. Jones
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Captain Uri Haad is plunged into one of the most terrifying voyages of his Colonial Navy career. His ship, the CNS Corpus Christi, stumbles upon a derelict alien vessel out in the void of Orion's Belt -- The Belt Loop as it is known by the sailors of the Third Colonial Fleet out of Elber Prime. He launched a Search and Rescue mission to the hulking derelict after his scans detected surviving life forms. What started as a mission of mercy quickly turns into a nightmare of epic proportions and as the horror spreads to his ship and crew, Captain Haad must make life and death decisions to avoid his own destruction and possibly an interstellar war. This taut deep-space adventure bridges the gap between distant suns and gives us a glimpse into the workings of the Twenty-eighth Century Colonial Navy. Approximately 95,000 words.

Product Details

  • File Size: 434 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Robert B. Jones (August 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HRNKA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, I guess November 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this because the 3 reviews available were all 5 star. I suspect they were all friends of the author. Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't terrible, but 5 stars? Seriously? I thought about giving it 2 stars, but in the end I decided on 3 as an encouragement to the author to keep trying.

The major plot wasn't bad. Patrol boat finds derelict ship inhabited by 2 alien species, one determined to wipe out the crew, one harmless. On board battles, space battle, a little of everything in the space opera genre. What's not to like, right?

The writing and some of the plot were pretty simplistic. It looks like it was written for teenagers or even preteen. And several of the sub-plots were down right stupid and annoying. One, having to do with a kid stowaway (seriously, on a military ship?) who saves the day at the end and seemed to take up 25% of the story almost had me stop reading the book. Another, involving a deranged crewman who somehow manages to create a whole new type of weapon (with nobody on board finding out) and fire it at the alien ship to start the battle was just silly.

Still the major plot line has some interesting possibilities. Looks like future battles with the aliens in the series. I'll probably buy the second book in the series and hope the author ditches the kid and adds some complexity to the story. If not, there's just too much other good stuff to read out there, even at $2.99.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strong ideas, weak execution. January 31, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At first I thought I was in for a rare treat: something new. The derelict spacecraft discovered at the opening of the book appears to be a living starship in the form of a worm, and I settled in to get busy with good sci-fi. Unfortunately, the plot spirals out of control into a mess of ideas, some fully formed and most of them not. This is the kind of book where, if a good editor had been present, it could have been smoothed out into something much more readable and pleasant.

The prose is jarring and awkward, introducing multiple concepts and acronyms simultaneously while jumping back and forth from tension to easygoing within sentences. I had a hard time keeping track of which character was who, and also which character's POV we were supposed to be seeing from. Sometimes the POV would switch in the middle of a sentence, and I had to re-read sections more than a couple of times to be sure of who was who. Characters are introduced to give the plot wheels to turn, such as the deranged weapons master who only exists to go crazy and fire unprovoked at the derelict spacecraft, but they come and go and we don't get much more than a paper-thin introduction and we don't need to care about them. This is especially unfortunate with Captain Haad and Lieutenant Hansen, who seem to be the main characters, but neither of them get much depth or need to care about what they do; it's unfortunate because, to me, a story like this hangs on caring about the outcome of these people, and without that the story loses all of its tension and drive to read it. What is on display is a crash-course in sci-fi grandeur without any of the grandeur and none of the humanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tense, gripping, top-notch sci fi November 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Space operas are meant to spark the imagination. They are meant to take the reader to places where in our lifetimes we will sadly never go. They must ooze drama, action, pleasure and pain. The Belt Loop by Robert B. Jones certainly does not disappoint. The action is steady and military (navy) aspect well researched. Once the story develops and you start to get to know each character - love them or hate them you really feel a part of the crew and truly a part of their investigation of the unknown derelict craft. Then once the meat of the story begins (don't want to give away spoilers), you are just simply immersed and there's no turning back. I suppose the only thing that prevents me from giving this book 5 stars is - and it may just be a personal qualm - is the author occasionally abandons the narrator and almost takes on the role of the jester who makes little side jabs at characters or scenes. For example there was a catty exchange between two female officers where at the end the narrator throws in a `What, Gena? No invite to the slide show on the bridge? Aww, too bad, bitch.' It feels slightly off-color and snarky and I saw it in places throughout the book. But that could be just me and my old-fashioned ways. So small gripes aside, I can only give this book praise. I hope to see more from this talented and hard-nosed author. Well done!

- Slava Heretz, Author of Corsair (Outer Pendulum, Part 1)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All right...but February 2, 2012
By Sarge
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After the last two books I read (see my earlier reviews), my initial reaction was that this was worth 5 stars. It was just such a relief to read something competently, if not brilliantly, written. Of course, it is not worth 5 stars.

One problem with the author's style is that he uses spoilers. You know the sort of thing, "If only he had looked right instead of left, he wouldn't have been dead in two minutes" type of thing. As a literary device, this can be effective. However, effectiveness depends upon moderation. It needs to be used judiciously. It was used far too often and became quite annoying. Other than that, the writing was reasonable.

SPOILER ALERT: The following contains some of the plot details. Do not read if you don't want to know.

Other problems: 1. One crew member soups up one of the weapons so that he can destroy the alien vessel that was located. His reasons for doing so are unconvincing. If he was so upset at his treatment by his own Navy, one would have expected his anger and frustration to be directed at it, ie the Navy, not an apparently derelict alien vessal. Furthermore, as a plot device, it did not really add anything, except add a few hundred words to the story.

2. There are hints that an earlier war with the Varson (another alien race) was caused by misunderstandings at first contact. Given that, Captain Haad's first message to the aliens of "Go f... yourself" was probably not high on the list of recommended protocols for first contact. In his defence, the aliens did appear to be homicidal, well, aliens. Still, one would have expected some attempt at reasonable communication, particularly if an earlier botched first contact had led to war.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars awsome
Thrilling. Not an obvious or predictable story. This book will keep your attention. It will be hard to put the book down.
Published 17 months ago by oceandude
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting Space Opera!
Space Opera is one of my favorite genres and, in general, I wasn't disappointed. The author has a great imagination, and obviously loved setting up the scenes and characters. Read more
Published on February 5, 2012 by Hyperlight
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting focus in this story. Not just epic space battles for a...
It was great to have a diversion from the traditional epic space battle class of stories. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters as the story progressed. Read more
Published on January 12, 2012 by locoluna69
3.0 out of 5 stars Too many dire forecasts
I've just started reading the book and overall find it is a good read. However, the flaws present tend to be the main detraction from the book. Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by G. Yendrey
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I usually knock out a book this size in one day. I've picked it up about 10 times knocking out as much as I can. I am about 75% done and just can't read any more. Read more
Published on December 28, 2011 by Van
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Opening To An Exciting Series
The most effective science fiction functions on an allegorical as well as literal level. The Belt Loop is a terrific read that functions on both levels. Read more
Published on December 22, 2011 by Mr. Aman S. Anand
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read!
"I will admit that this was actually the first sci-fi book I've read in a
long time. It's written in a unique, snappy style, the descriptions make it easy to
picture... Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by jerseyone
2.0 out of 5 stars A little juvenile, Didn't work for me.
I tried the sample and it seemed good except the author said something a long the lines of: "little did they know it would cost one of the crew their lives". Read more
Published on November 28, 2011 by Kimberly T.
2.0 out of 5 stars Earthworms in Space - Definitely Not Five Stars
This is definitely not a five star story. Writing was fairly good if simplistic. The story flowed well, editing was good, not too many technical blunders. Read more
Published on November 26, 2011 by Cary G. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I will just give you my bottom line on this book: It was a great read. The plot was excellent. Many things happen that you would not expect in most "space opera" books. Read more
Published on November 24, 2011 by Kindle Customer
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More About the Author

Robert B. Jones was born in Houston, Texas in 1946. He is an accomplished futuristic artist and illustrator and a former Chinese linguist for the US Air Force. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and has worked in some of the most security-sensitive places in the country, including the White House, Camp David, and the National Security Agency. His novel "A Chip In Time" is set in the year 2075 in Las Vegas and provides a realistic and harrowing look into the future of Sin City. His second novel "The Hand Is Quicker" featuring detective Danny DeVille continues the exploits of the hero from the first book, with a new case, and, of course, new dangers.

"The Belt Loop" (Book One) offers a look inside the Colonial Navy of Elber Prime and is set against the star-rich area known as Orion's Belt. This space adventure is packed with realistic action and high-adventure in 2789.

"The Belt Loop" (Book Two) continues the high-adventure saga of the Colonial Navy of Elber Prime with a resurgence of the Varson Empire, a nomadic race of humanoids hell-bent on destroying the human race and avenging their losses from an earlier conflict.

"The Belt Loop" (Book Three) finds the Colonial Navy suffering tremendous losses at the hands of the new Varson madman, Bale Phatie. His recently developed "Planet Killer" weapon poses a serious problem for Uri Haad and the rest of the Admiralty and Haad is running out of time to put down the Varson uprising. Will he succeed? Is the Colonial Empire doomed?

Jones currently lives in Henderson, Nevada and is busy with his sixth novel.

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