Chain of Command Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Lieutenant Sam Bitka, US Naval Reserve, is getting used to civilian life when he is called back to active duty. Tensions between Earth and the alien Varoki are on the rise, and Sam is assigned as tactical officer aboard the deep space destroyer USS Puebla. Dispatched to the distant world of K'tok to protect human colonists, he wants nothing more than to serve out his active duty time and get back to his civilian life.
But when the Varoki launch a crippling surprise attack against the Earth coalition fleet, Sam finds himself suddenly in command of the USS Puebla, a job he is far from certain he can discharge successfully. What's more, mounting evidence points to a much larger and more sinister alien plan.
Now, Sam must deal with faltering leadership in the human task force and an alien enemy who always seems one step ahead of them. Time for Sam to step up and rise to the challenge of command.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 58 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 28, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #175,294 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,124 in First Contact Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,969 in Military Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,384 in Adventure Science Fiction
Top reviews from the United States
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This book superbly captures how it feels to be in a critical and dangerous situation in a military unit - on a military ship in the midst of conflict - and how people develop and show the inner truth of who they are as military officers in a short period of adversity. As a former Navy pilot who has been there (no spoilers about what I discovered about myself, this is about Frank's character) - Frank got it here. Thank you and more please.
It tells a an great war story with excellent characterization. It is the story of ordinary men and women required to extraordinary deeds under the most difficult circumstances. None of the characters are Weberesque paragons. The seem like real, believable people conflicted between their personals goals and desires, the fears, and their duties.
The technology described helps with the suspension of disbelief. I loved the DDRs.
Frank Chadwick is an amazing writer who tells a hell of story! He can even capture military life (remarkably boring and often frustrating) with amazing accuracy and mix it with adventure, and make it all seem credible.
I can't recommend Chain of Command and Ship of Destiny enough!
The story is straightforward: protagonist Sam Bitka is a Reservist, currently serving a tour aboard the deep space destroyer USS Puebla to further his resume, and not expecting anything more than the usual ribbing from the regular navy crew that he's not "real Navy". Then the aliens unexpectedly attack and Bitka is thrown into the firing line, literally, assuming a role he does not feel ready for and adopting tactics that his peers question.
I liked the realistic space battle aspects, particularly the accounting for the speed of light. I also liked that characters died. It adds tension when you are never sure if the character you are rooting for is going to make it or not. A bonus is that Chadwick clearly knows the military mind, so the novel drips with expertise and is very much better for it. Still, it's an emotional-driven story and Chadwick does well in never letting the jargon or Navy details get in the way of telling what is essentially a fish-out-water/coming-of-age story. There was also a good balance of overachievers and incompetents in Bitka's chain of command. That was nice; those lazy military novels where everyone senior to the protagonist is a gibbering idiot in a uniform are hard to believe.
I did have a few niggles. The aliens were anything but. In fact, apart from some facial tics, their motivations and way of thinking mirrored ours. And humans have that special 'something' that no other race has. That was necessary to drive the plot, and it was not overdone, but the "we're special" never sits well with me as a narrative because it is just so self-serving.
Still, those niggles aside, this was an excellent book, and I'm already looking for more Chadwick with fingers crossed his other novels are as good as this one.
And as I'm reading I kept thinking, boy this sounds familiar somehow -- then the author explains in the notes that the story was influenced by the experiences of WW2 DD captains during the Guadalcanal campaign. Very cool, and it worked!
l hope this isn't a one-off and that Chadwick plans more stories with these characters!
I loved the Red Duchess as well. I liked it that the main character was not a hot head, or a lovable rogue like Han Solo. I have more respect for this kind of character - dig in and do the job, care about people, learn and grow.
Also, the "politics" of the book is also very interesting.
Top reviews from other countries
His characters are always really so well put together.
And his lastest foray into sci-fi naval battles is now one of my favourite in the genre.