• Stars Beyond

  • Stars Uncharted, Book 2
  • By: S. K. Dunstall
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The crew of Another Road are back, closer than ever to the biggest score in the galaxy...if they can stay a step ahead of the Justice Department agents and Company men tracking them.

An engineer with a fondness for weapons. A captain with no memory. An obsessive genemodder who loves to tinker. Meet the crew of Another Road.

Josune, Roystan, and Nika have escaped the company thugs trying to kill them. They've gotten a new spaceship to replace The Road (after it was blown up underneath them). And their new ship is armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, courtesy of Josune. All that's left to do before they head out to find the legendary lode of transurides is to restore Roystan's memory. To do that, they need to collect the genemod machine Nika has ordered.

But first, they have to shake off the Justice Department agent and the Companies tracking them.

It should be easy. They've done it before. What could possibly go wrong?

©2020 S. K. Dunstall (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A vigorous sequel exploring the depths of space and human deceit...the vivid action and lovable characters keep the pages turning." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Stars Beyond

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another slow begining but amazing ending

First mention has to be the narrator. I didn't have an issue with lower tones before but this time around she was almost inaudible. she was so quiet! It almost ruined the story for me. When she was speaking dialogue it was fine, but every other time i was straining my ears to hear.

And not to continue bashing the story, because I really did like it, but most of the story around Alistar seemed so unnecessary and boring in the beginning. I skipped a fair amount of his chapters.

There are also too many times in the story that seemed just too convenient for the bad guys. Every time the crew had a problem there were 9 other things that they had to do to solve the problem and it just seemed highly unlikely and irritating. For example (no spoilers) "oh a locked door, oh no there's a bomb too, oh look someone is also chasing us with a gun, and oxygen is about to run out!" This is not in the story and a bit of an exaggeration but that's how the story feels at times and it makes no sense how they escaped.

Now for the good stuff... Once you get past their ridiculous escapes the story is amazing. We get to learn more about some of the crew and new characters. Relations grow closer and we get to travel with the crew to new lands and makes amazing discoveries. This would be a great adventure to continue with the crew without being chased all the time. I hope the author considers that. Although I did like the first book better, this one still adds great depth to the story, their world, and the characters. I hope Another Roads story continues!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

***WHY ARE WE WHISPERING?!?***

Is the story a secret? Is the narrator reading the book in a library? I can't wait to hear the audiobook, but I need to seal myself in a sensory deprivation chamber.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Fun Action Packed Series

Great series with really interesting unusual characters, lots of bad guys chasing good guys on the run, hunt for a long lost explorer & his once in a lifetime rare metals find, a quirky loveable crew, plenty of corporate intrigue & consummate greed, a newly discovered alien species, a plague, a stranded settlement, piratical Mercenaries & cattle ships (i.e. human cargo) & all sorts of action.

I found this 2 book series to be fascinating, fast paced & loaded with space & ground side action. The 1st book, which I'd picked up in a 2 for 1 sale, got off to a slow start, but improved along the way & had really picked before the end. At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the 2nd, not sure if it would continue in the vein of the start or the ending of the 1st. Fortunately I took a chance & found 2 picked up where 1 left off & only got better. By the end of 2 there was no question in my mind that I had made the right decision to shell out a credit to get it. (& I don't do that easily, I'm very miserly with my credits & hoard them like a Dragon does this Treasure, saving them for what I feel will be a quality read.)

This series just keeps getting better, each book drawing you in more & more than the last. I definitely hope there's more to come. Book 2's finish, which ended in a satisfying way (not on a cliff hanger, thank you very much!), definitely left room for continuation or a new series to start. I'll be picking up that next or new series if or when it's available. The 1st thing I'll be doing when I finish this review is go back & see what else is available by this author.

The narrator was fine. At 1st I found it odd that it was a female, but throughout the entire series, it's mostly about 2 female characters. That the book isn't told through the eyes of one character is different from most. It's told from the point of view of a number of people mostly 2 women & 3 men to the best of my recollection. By the end if the 1st book I was used to this narrator & she did a fine job with all the voices. There was no confusion as to who was who & no voices that were intrusive or annoying.

I probably didn't need to write this review because if you've gotten to the end of 1, you already know you want to read 2, but I think it's important to at least let the author know you enjoyed their work. This series, despite a slow start, I found to be much better than the average SciFi fare in it's category & I haven't run into that in awhile.

So, thank you S K Dunstall! (& please keep writing. And thank you for not splitting your 12 hr books into 2 to get more money like most. It's so refreshing to be able to get a book that feels like a real book & not just a formulaic factory. I can't wait to find out what happens next with the crew of the "Another Road."

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great 2nd book. Ready for 3rd!!

Mrs Woo Zeller did a fantastic job reading this great 2nd book. This book opened the universe quite substantially, so there is room for many more books!!

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Good book, still wish the narrator wouldn’t whisper

Having listened to the first book in the series, I knew what to expect with the narrator. I still wish she’d speak louder and not in such a whisper. It makes me afraid to listen to other things shes narrated. Aside from the whisper tones, I think she’s a fair narrator. A few times it was hard to differentiate between who was speaking. But overall, I didn’t mind listening to her and enjoyed the book. If volume isn’t an issue, I would listen to her other works. I enjoyed the characters and the writing. I would listen to a continuation of this storyline.

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Another great story

No spoilers, I enjoyed Dunstall’s storytelling and Zeller did an excellent job on the narration.

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  • Rob Roy
  • 01-05-22

Space opera at its best

Interesting characters, novel situations and camaraderie aplenty.
I read a lot of space opera and this series of two books is one of my favourites. I hope the author considers a third episode - but another plus is that the second book reaches a point which could be a satisfactory conclusion.
Emily Woo Seller has a hypnotic voice which could make listening to a shopping list a worthwhile experience. Five stars from me!
Read the first book before this one!

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  • DebB
  • 10-31-20

Excellent part 2 - lots of action

A good Part 2. This follows on a few months from the first book, Stars Uncharted. The blurb, which sets it up pretty well, ends with “What could possibly go wrong?”

Well, lots actually. There are several odds-defying escapes from utterly impossible situations, and the scrapes come thick and fast - at one point, after surviving being blasted in space, a space walk by a non-spacer, crash landing with one person thrown unconscious into water, savage local beasties, and then… I did find myself thinking “Oh for heavens sake, can’t something go right for once?”. But I had faith that the authors weren’t going to wipe out their entire cast, so I hung on in there. One of the baddies does chortle with “Haha, now I have you I can kill you” a bit often, when you know damn well that because he’s wasting time by chortling and gloating, something's going to happen to save the imperilled character, but at least he's consistent

There are two new characters Alastair and Cam, who have their own story arc and back history. There are parts narrated from Alastair’s point of view, more from Josune and Nika, and the odd bit from others.

Alastair needs to find Nika. A company man with not nice intentions really, really wants to find Nika. The Justice Department want her. Others want Josune, others want Alastair, someone really nasty wants Snow… Cue lots of dodging and diving. Nika and company should, of course, lay low, but she needs to fix Roystan, for which she needs a fancy genemod machine, so out into the big bad world they go.

When I reviewed the first book I said how convenient a modding machine is, people can get blasted and burnt and broken, and all they need is to pop into a machine to be as right as rain again. It's the same here - one character in particular seems to have a bad time of repeated injuries and fixes.

Whilst there’s a lot of action, there’s also introspection from the main characters, Nika maybe goes on about modding a bit much, and there will be those that criticise this for times of drag. I didn’t find that. I enjoyed the play between the main characters, enjoyed learning about Alastair, enjoyed the time out to ponder. In this, the book is typical of the authors’ other books.

The end could be “The End”, or it could lead to a part 3 - it ends with a plan for a future - quite a complicated one fraught with potential problems, so there's scope for a return…

note - the description of Alastair’s “apartment” is amazing - I want me one of those please! Oh, and Alastair needs to tell Cam he loves him, ;-)

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  • Andrew
  • 04-01-20

Good continuation of the series.

Lovely light entertainment as always by AK Dunstall - never fails to impress. Can highly recommend if you have read the first book in the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-20

Awesome book

Nikas character and skill set is unique and awesome. I couldn’t find any info on a book 3 but I hope you both keep writing this series :)