“Sector 64: First Contact” is a short but intense prequel novella in the acclaimed Sector 64 series written by Dean M. Cole. The book is masterfully performed by well-known narrator R. C. Bray; who voiced The Martian and Solitude to name just a few of the hundreds of books he had voiced. Both the writing and narration comes together to create a wonderfully crafted science fiction story that in its small form-factor packs a lot of punch. I may be one of the few who have not yet listened to the Sector 64 series, however after listening to the prequel, it will be one of the next series I intend to tackle. If you enjoy fast-paced and well-written stories involving aliens, nanotechnology, or if you have already listened to the Sector 64 series, I highly recommend you pick up this book to continue the journey.
The book opens with powerful action and excitement. It quickly envelopes and shrouds you in mystery and questions of what is about to happen. Some of this may not be new to people who have already listened to the series, but for a newcomer like me, I was hooked from its start to its finish. The book includes topics involving aliens, nanotechnology, telepathy, glimpses of new and exciting worlds, and what some would call an abduction. The story left me feeling like I had just watched an X-Files episode and afterwards wanted more. I enjoyed the authors use of similes to better assist me in understanding some of the stranger technologies. I also thought there was a good balance between hard-core science and a great piece of fiction. Even if you are not a science fiction fan, I think you will enjoy this novella. However, if you do enjoy this genre of book, you will find this one is right up there with some of the better ones. There are also aspects of friendship, loss, and the desire to fulfill one’s orders.
Let me move to the narration of the book which is done by R. C. Bray. This man is a veteran when it comes to published audiobooks. At the time of this review, he has nearly two-hundred and fifty works available; and many of them are award-winning pieces. Although this piece is rather short at only 2 hours and 23 minutes, the attention to detail is what makes him a professional in his industry. The narration was clean and the narrator’s voice was rich; giving depth to the story. For some, having the same narrator for a series is important and gives a consistent feeling. Be aware that only the prequel is performed by Mr. Bray. The rest of the series is narrated by Mike Ortego. As this is a prequel of the series, I do not think it will be an issue for most, but I did want to call it out in this review.
In all of my reviews I include a section for parents and younger readers alerting them to books containing anything that may be of concern to this age group. I do have to mention that this book includes some very light use of vulgar language, but apart from that, the book lacks any other potentially objectionable content. This is only relating to the prequel and is not speaking to the complete Sector 64 series.
To summarize, the book was a good toe-dip into a much bigger series called “Sector 64”. If you are like me, the prequel is enough to whet your appetite for the remaining books in the series. The author even has a boxset available on audible for those who want to pick up the rest in the series and have over 22 hours of audio to listen too. This is a recommended read.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.