In the second book of the Blue Gemini trilogy, Air Force Majors Scott Ourecky and Drew Carson continue to fly highly classified missions to intercept and destroy suspect Soviet satellites.
But after experiencing numerous close calls in orbit, the astronauts soon discover that not all perils reside in the sky. With his marriage already at risk because he cannot explain his frequent absences and strange activities to his wife, Ourecky learns that his unborn child may be in grave danger as a radiation consequence of his flights into space.
Even as the Ourecky and Carson accumulate successful mission after successful mission in space, other crucial events occur much closer to home. Interservice rivalries reach new heights as a caustic but highly influential Navy admiral schemes to steal control of the Project from the Air Force. Realizing that a Soviet GRU agent is operating in their midst, a shadowy team of counter-intelligence operatives scramble to shield the Project’s secrets from discovery, leading to a confrontation that bears fatal consequences.
As they train to accomplish more difficult missions against complicated targets, Ourecky and Carson are asked to volunteer to risk their lives one more time in an extremely hazardous rescue mission. The stakes are high; even as they leave the launch pad, there is no certainty that either man will return.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fictionnovels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
About the Author
Mike Jenne is a licensed pilot, lifelong aerospace aficionado, and amateur space historian. As a child, he felt the ground shudder as the Saturn V moon rockets were tested at the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center. Trained as an Army Ranger and Military Free Fall (HALO) Parachutist, he has served across the globe, including deployments to Africa, Central America, Haiti, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. Mike and his wife, Adele, make their home in Trussville, Alabama.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is even faster paced than the first book! If you're a manned spaceflight enthusiast, this series is well worth reading.
I read Blue Gemini over 3-1/2 days after receiving an autographed copy from Mike Jenne. He graciously sent me an advanced e-copy last year of the second novel of the the trilogy, Blue Darker Than Black: A Thriller (Blue Gemini, #2) and while I didn't think I could enjoy the second novel more than the first, boy was I wrong! Sequels often aren't as good as the original but in this case Blue Darker Than Black really delivers picking up where Blue Gemini left off while moving at a pace that kept me turning the pages until I finished the book late in the evening on a Friday after work. I was so caught up in the book I couldn't wait until the weekend the finish it! As I mentioned in my review of Blue Gemini, I really liked the way Mike Jenne developed characters early on even though their contribution to the story wouldn't become evident until the later two novels. Some of those characters became major players in Blue Darker Than Black while others will have their impact felt in the third novel. The technical detail continues to be first rate and interesting with enough clarity to allow the reader to understand how the systems work. I continue to enjoy the character and relationship development among the various characters and how the stress and secrecy of their jobs affect them and their spouses. The biggest surprise for me was watching the almost role reversal of Scott Ourecky and Major Drew Carson at one point in the book when Carson started to have doubts and Ourecky had to get tough with him like Carson did to Ourecky in Blue Gemini. Mike Jenne in my mind has hit another home run with this book. I read between 2,000 and 3,000 pages a month but when the third and final novel, Pale Blue comes out, everything gets put on hold until I'm finished reading it. There's unfinished business in the second novel that makes waiting for the final installment almost unbearable because the reader wants to know how it all turns out. You know, with the right actors, this trilogy would make a pretty good mini-series. (less)
"Blue Darker Than Black" continues the story started with "Blue Gemini". In this sequel, the ultra-secret Gemini-Interceptor program goes operational against the Soviets in the early 1970's. The story picks up with the 2 lead astronauts with increasing number of flights and its strains on Ourecky and his new wife and family. The story also broadens plot and characters introduced in "Blue Gemini" - primarily the US military and intelligence operatives deployed for crew rescue at key foreign emergency landing sites. The author also adds significantly to the Soviet story, both in their military space program and intelligence work. Jenne sets the stage on all fronts, builds a great story and keeps it all moving at an ever increasing pace. It builds to a terrific climax with some significant, unpredictable, and heartbreaking turns along the way. With all of the plot and action, the author keeps the characters central to the story, even more so than in "Blue Gemini". This is not just an action yarn but stories of people in trying and exceptional situations. The authenticity of the characters and situations leads me to believe that it comes from Mr. Jenne's own military experience. Once again, Jenne provides an unparalleled mix of detail yet breadth, plot with real events mixed in with some very imaginative additions to the fictional cold war in space of the 1970's. He cleverly expands the Russian story of leaders, astronaut and intelligence, with characters from the first book and new ones. The author builds a speculative and convincing military back stories. One of them I liked was of the mid 1960's (i.e. Vostock/Voskhod days) with the audacious but believable background of military cosmonaut Gogol. Mr Jenne does a very convincing job of building an entirely plausible alternative history if just a few things went differently in the 1960's and 70's. Although I got into the "Blue Gemini" series to climb into the Gemini cockpit as a space buff, I found much more in "Blue Darker Than Black" than a great cold war space thriller. Jenne writes very convincingly of the exceptional people in special operations that take on life or death work without fanfare, reward or even thanks. Those special forces and intelligence soldiers assigned crew/spacecraft recovery/rescue on foreign soil need to get in and out quickly, in a way that preserves project secrecy, international diplomacy and stealth. In this world there are no guns blazing or cavalries charging over the hill. You get a real feel of what it must be like to be on your own in a foreign country and living with your skills, training, talents and wits (if you even have the luxury of a compatriot). The wives of these people have an unusually difficult burden as displayed and contrasted by the wives of Nestor Glades and astronaut Ourecky. How each deals with the uncertainty and ambiguity are very different, but both stories are understandable and very poignant. This story is fictional but the personal demands are the same to military personnel from the past up to the present. A terrific book! "Blue Gemini" kicked off the series and "Blue Darker than Black" expands the plot. After masterfully building and weaving sub-plots into a great story, and following it to where you think it is going to end, Jenne provides quite a surprising plot twist. This takes the book to a fast paced run to a conclusion. A wonderful book and I look forward to the final installment!