• Freezer Burn

  • Waymaker Wars, Book 2
  • By: Rachel Aukes
  • Narrated by: Scott Aiello
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Having an AI control the system can’t be that bad, can it?

The Waymakers are gone. Sol Corps and the colonies have reached a fragile peace. But some in the Corps want to install a new AI to prevent another rebellion. Thus, Glitch, a supercomputer built from old Waymaker code, is born. There's just one problem: the AI is incomplete.

Humanity has seen its share of brutally oppressive regimes, but none have been by an artificial intelligence… until now.

Unleashing its vicious star snakes, Glitch takes control of the system, killing thousands on Day One. Everyone loses someone. Captain Jack Hale and his crew are no exception.

Outmatched by a corrupted AI, Jack Hale will need to change the rules if he’s to win. The odds are against him. But it's never a good idea to underestimate Captain Jack Hale...

It's Harlock: Space Pirate meets The Expansein Book 2 of this pulse-pounding Military Sci-Fi series from Rachel Aukes, the bestselling author of Black Sheep, Rebel's Run, and 100 Days in Deadland. 

©2022 Rachel Aukes (P)2022 Recorded Books

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One of the best Sci-Fi Series of the Year!!

Freezer Burn picks up a few years after Space Junk, Heidi is a few years older, and things have moved on after the Waymakers left the system, having ended the conflict between Sol Corps and the Rebels, and leaving the Rebels in control of the Mars planetary system, and a fragile peace between them. That peace is still in effect, much to the disgust of Director Junger and General Metrell, with Sol Corps slowly trying to reassert their authority, and the Rebels continuing to try and resist whilst also trading, and feeding the rim. Whilst all this is going on, General Metrell, unhappy with the state of things has decided to try and recreate the Waymaker project. However, as he does so, Metrell makes one very big mistake this time, he gives the AI the power to harm humans, and thus Glitch is born.
It doesn’t take long for the AI to wreak havoc on the solar system, leaving a trail of devastation on both Sol Corps and Rebels alike, anybody the AI decides is a threat dies, without a moments hesitation.
Without giving away too many spoilers, with the Sol System in utter chaos as a result of Glitch’s actions, the crew of the Cabrón are tasked with a mission that is a Hail Mary to save all of humanity, travel to another system, try and find the Waymakers, and see if they will help bring down Glitch.
In the meantime, what is left of humanity, will try and survive against the terrifying reality that is left, of Glitch and its horrifying ‘Star Snake’ creations.
This is a very different book to the first one, but as with the first it such a complex and multi-faceted story with so many different aspects to the storyline. It starts out with the continued story of Sol Corps and the Rebels, as well as the crew of the Cabrón trying to make a living in this new environment that was created by the Waymakers departure, and we see all the usual suspects of Junger, Metrell and Domino Wolfe. But this changes so quickly when Metrell unleashes his new pet project, and the Sol System finds itself at the hands of a new AI, one that has no mercy, and no problems with killing anyone, or anything that stands in its way.
This is one book, in which you should not become attached to any character, major or minor, because the head-count is intense, Aukes does not hold back when she unleashes Glitch, and there are several chapters that you are left in stunned awe at the events that take place.
This book is kind of split into two sections, the pre Glitch and the post Glitch, as post Glitch we see Jack and the Cabrón crew head off into deep space in search of the Waymakers, and get to follow their journey. No spoilers though, so I am not saying any more.
Aukes has again done a masterful job with the Character work, from the pre-Glitch phase, with the various Sol Corp people and Rebel Factions, all trying to assimilate to this new way of life. The Sol Corps side of the equation trying to work out how to eradicate the Rebel leadership and seize control of the galaxy again, and the Rebel leadership trying to hold together this fragile peace, and keep Sol Corps in their place, awaiting the inevitable betrayal. It is interesting seeing the characters and their attitudes to things on this side Glitch.
Post Glitch, things have such an air of desperation, and Aukes captures this in all of the characters, the fear of discovery, and the utter loss of hope that if discovered, it means certain death. In amongst this is the resigned nature of Jack, stuck once more as humanity’s last hope. It is really fascinating watching how events affect Jack and the crew, the impact the journey has on the crew of the Cabrón.
As with the first book, the world building is outstanding, from the various colonies that make up the outer rims, the homes of the rebels, to the planets that Sol Corps occupy and Metrell is using to create his AI Waymaker replacement. The Cabrón is perhaps the most fascinating part of this story, the ship that started as the Aria, and over the decades, has been transformed into multiple different types of craft to suit the needs of the crew. The concepts and technical aspects of this are just fascinating, as are the history of the crew, Sol Corps and the human race through the eyes of the main characters.
This is a story that incredibly fascinating, with such a multi-faceted storyline as it delves into so many different character stories, with political games and powerplays, and at the heart of it all, is the crew of the Cabrón, just trying to survive as they have done now for multiple decades. There are so many genres of Sci-Fi covered in this book, Military, Space Opera, Colonisation, Alien Invasion, Empire, First Contact, Dystopian, Adventure, Exploration and more – it is such an incredible story.
This is an absolute must read as one of the best Sci-Fi series this year!!
Scott Aiello is one of the True Masters of storytelling, and it is an absolute joy listening to him tell this story. He is a beautiful Narrator, with a voice that is able to deliver a clear and concise version of the story. He is also able to create a multitude of different voices, both male and female, for all the different characters, with different accents and different ages. These are done so well, and so easily, that you can tell the different characters by the tone of their voices, you don’t need to be told who is talking, you can just tell.
Even more importantly, The Narrator is able to convey the emotions of the characters, you know when they are happy, or sad, tired or grumpy, allowing you to understand the emotional state of the characters as the story is being told
This just adds so much extra realism to the Narration, and the storytelling, and the experience of the Audiobook,
This is one of those times in which listening to the Audiobook is a far better experience that reading the actual book, as the Narration is so good, you will get so much more out of it – Exceptional Job!!

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Are the Waymakers truly gone?

Wow, I don't even know how to review this book... even after thinking about for several days...
I will say that this book is awesome and Rachel Aukes doesn't let up. Where the last book ended with the Waymakers leaving the Solar system leaving humanity to govern themselves. I really didn't have a clue as to what Rachel Aukes would do inorder to keep up the pace. In steps a new AI to pick-up where the Waymakers left off except this time the AI aptly named Glitch had no limiter, no compunctions had been placed on it about preserving life... and are the Waymakers truly gone?
You're not gonna wanna miss out, grab the book to find out how that works out. And of course grab the audiobook because Scott Aiello has a story to tell you!

Here's a couple of quotes that I really liked:

"There was an old Martian saying that the only thing you could get for free from a Martian was a knife in the back."

"He died with a sparkling clean conscience because it’d never been used a day in his life."