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Daedalus #2

The Enceladus Crisis

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Two dimensions collided on the rust-red deserts of Mars—and are destined to become entangled once more in this sequel to the critically acclaimed The Daedalus Incident.

Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. But there’s competition and complications when she arrives aboard the survey ship Armstrong. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets deep under its icy crust. And back on Earth, Project DAEDALUS now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. But there are other players interested in opening the door between worlds . . . and they’re getting impatient.

For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase an escaped French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the enigmatic and increasingly unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. Meanwhile, in Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces . . . and finds the true, horrible reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.

The thrilling follow-up to The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis continues Martinez’s Daedalus series with a combination of mystery, intrigue, and high adventure spanning two amazing dimensions.

327 pages, Paperback

First published April 1, 2014

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About the author

Michael J. Martinez

13 books119 followers
I’m a father and writer living the dream in the Golden State. I’ve spent nearly 20 years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and ABCNEWS.com. After telling other people’s stories for the bulk of my career, I’m happy that I can now be telling a few of my own creation.

When not being a parent or writer, I enjoy beer and homebrewing, cooking and eating, the outdoors and travel.

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5 stars
62 (21%)
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136 (47%)
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76 (26%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,050 reviews1,834 followers
March 29, 2016
This was an amazing book.

If you have an interest in any of the following things:
- Aliens.
- Inter-dimensional travel.
- Sailing ships that fly through space.
- Humans first landing on Enceladus and/or Titan.
- Alchemy.
- The Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution, British-French conflict.
- The movie Prometheus.
- The movie The Thing.
- The movie Alien.
- A science-fiction book in which the protagonist is an Indian/Hindu woman and many supporting characters are Asian, Latina, and black. Not in an "oh, look at me, I'm DIVERSE" way, but in a "hey, this is life" way. Excellent.
- Good, loving male/female relationships.
- Sword-fighting.
- Strong female characters who are NOT Mary-Sues.

...then you should DEFINTIELY read this trilogy, starting with the first book: The Daedalus Incident.

I think this book, the second entry, is stronger and more powerful than the first, but the first was excellent also.

Martinez has completely drawn me into this world. Thanks to him I can visualize sailors and pirates swashbuckling on the Seven Seas Solar System. I can believe that alchemy can make a ship fly! I can believe that Venusians make excellent valets for proper British gentlemen in 1798.

This is a great piece of writing. Extra respect to Martinez for having so much ethnic diversity in his characters - and making this seem effortless. It's so perfect you don't even notice it. Martinez is all, "It ain't no thing!" Wow. I loved it.

Also, Martinez writes amazing male/female relationships. The men in this story who were partnered were just wonderful guys and the relationships Martinez crafts are loving and real. Martinez is unconcerned with this alpha-male crap and just writes real people with real feelings and problems. I was so touched and swept-up by these caring bonds.

Martinez is also very much a nerd - and he's hidden Firefly, Star Wars, and Star Trek references in this novel. If you don't get them, you won't even notice them - but if you DO get them it is awesome.

I think that this novel is better than the first one solely for the reason that Martinez cranks up the anxiety in this novel. After spending the first book with these people, they are very dear to my heart, and so when stuff hits the fan in this novel - my heart was pounding and I was very anxious and scared for my adored characters. This novel definitely has some heart-pounding scenes. It was very impressive.
Profile Image for Stefan.
405 reviews164 followers
May 15, 2014
Once again, the story is split between two timelines, one set in the year 2134, the other in 1798. What’s more significant, though, is that the 2134 timeline is set in a universe that mostly appears to follow the regular laws of physics we all know and love, while the 1798 story takes place in an alternate universe where sailing vessels can fly through outer space, most planets and moons have a breathable atmosphere, and several races of aliens exist.

The contrast between those two timelines couldn’t be stronger. The future one is unmistakably science fiction, with strong elements of military SF and even some hard SF. The other one mixes Master and Commander-style historical fiction with strange and fascinating pulp SF concepts. And just like in the first novel, the two timelines initially feel like entirely separate novels, but the parallels and connections become more and more apparent as the story progresses.

Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,862 reviews1,897 followers
July 31, 2016
Rating: 4.5* of five

My finger-wagging scold of a review is live at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud, the place I call "my blog." How dare that young whippersnapper of an author shove me on this emotional roller-coaster without a safety rail!

Y'all click-a-phobes will need to wait a minute before the full review comes here.
Profile Image for Beatrix.
578 reviews5 followers
August 4, 2021
Legyen 3,5 mert jobb volt, mint sz első rész. Izgalmakban nincs hiány és lassan megszokom a vitorlákat az űrben, viszont a szerző mrgint addig kavar, míg az olvasó elveszíti a fonalat.
Profile Image for Abhinav.
Author 6 books66 followers
May 30, 2014
You can read the full review over at my blog:

Michael J. Martinez debuted last year with his novel The Daedalus Incident. The book had a bit of a rough time around its release since the publisher Night Shade Books went under and was eventually bought up by Skyhorse Publishing and Start Publishing. The release was delayed and when it finally arrived, it quickly became a hit, as far as I’m concerned. I’d read the book much earlier and I had enjoyed it quite a bit, so I followed all the news with an interest. A shame that the book was delayed so, but the end result was positive, so that’s the silver lining. Michael wrote a really fantastical novel that merged the fantasies of alchemy and the Age of Sail with space opera and the sequel was something that I looked forward to a great deal.

The Enceladus Crisis is the second novel in Michael The Daedalus series and if anything, it is a better novel than The Daedalus Incident. Michael continues the story of Lt. Cmdr. Shaila Jain as she is finally given her dream job of commanding a ship of exploration to the Saturn system and at the same time we also touch base with Captain Thomas Weatherby who is now a much respected captain of His Majesty’s Royal Navy. But in a twist, while only two years have passed for Shaila Jain and her friends in the near-future, in the alternate reality of Thomas Weatherby almost two decades have passed, and the worlds of these two explorers and heroes are set to collide once again for a very dramatic showdown in the end.

Everything that was great about The Daedalus Incident makes a comeback in this novel and it is all better than before. Much better than before. Shaila Jain and Thomas Weatherby are much more interesting characters this time around, due in part to the familiarity I have with these characters and The Enceladus Crisis proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable read, for several reasons. When a sequel to a novel I have enjoyed so much is this good, then that is especially pleasing. The betterment speaks to a refinement in the author’s craft, in the ability to learn from both the good and the bad to turn out an even better product the second time around so that it resonates more with the readers, which was the case for me.

The novel starts off with a prologue in which we see a flashback to the Mars of 4137 BC, in which the villainous Warlord from The Daedalus Incident makes a chilling comeback, as does his aide Rathemas. The prologue pretty much sets the tone of the novel and from here on out the novel is “adventure on the high seas of space” and non-stop high-octane action in a way that only a melding of alchemical magic and space exploration can be. And that’s fun right? It certainly is for me, because it makes this entire setting so much more unique than anything else out there. I could be wrong, and Michael may have built up on something that is already out there, but I haven’t heard about it personally, certainly not outside the Disney movie Treasure Planet, which was a typical movie from the studio but also quite heartwarming and fun.

Once we move past the novel, we are in the “present” territory from the perspectives of both our primary characters, Thomas and Shaila. For the former, his story starts off with him helping repulse a French fleet at the Nile, only to end up chasing a runaway French ship all the way to Saturn and getting embroiled in a deep conspiracy that builds on the events of the previous novel and casts the French as the villains of the story. At the same time, we also get a really good look into the culture and society of the Xan, the alien species that has claimed the Saturnine system as its own and which in The Daedalus Incident was portrayed as quite a reserved species that wanted very, very little to do with Humans. That seems to have changed now and I thought it was rather neat that Michael decided to explore their culture and society so much in the new novel. Given the fantasy that the series is built on, this also feels like a natural outgrowth of ideas, especially given how the Warlord and his aide Rathemas are deeply involved in everything that is happening here.
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 107 books488 followers
October 23, 2014
I loved the first book of this series, The Daedalus Incident. It used two distinct narratives: far future Mars, where a human settlement encounters disturbing geological shifts, and a colonial British navy where alchemy-powered ships sail through deep space. The two story lines converge in an epic battle, though there is a lot left unresolved.

The second book continues a few years later--two years in the "contemporary" timeline, and twenty years for Weatherby and his fellow British officers. It's an incredibly fast read with the intensity increasing with even more points of view. This leads to the one negative comment I have: there are a lot of characters to keep straight, and remembering names is definitely my weak spot. That said, it didn't impair my enjoyment of the book. It was rollicking fun from start to finish though one particular plot line made me get somewhat sniffly at the end. The next book is going to have a lot at stake, that's for sure.
Author 10 books9 followers
June 19, 2022
In 2134, Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain is living her dream: she’s the second in command in the survey ship Armstrong, the first crewed mission to Saturn. It’s been two years since ”the Daedalus Incident”, the previous book. She and her geologist boyfriend Stephane Durand are still wondering how the rift between the two worlds happened. But they have their own problems. When the Armstrong nears Enceladus, they pick up a Chinese transmission. It seems that the Chinese have sent their own ship to Saturn first.

Meanwhile, Jain’s former commander General Maria Diaz heads the new agency, Daedalus, that investigates crossing into parallel universes. Her people find out that unexplained Cherenkov radiation emissions are coming from Mexico and Egypt. Diaz grabs a couple of underlings and heads to Egypt to investigate.

In 1798, 19 years have gone by since the first book. Thomas Weatherby is now the captain of the HMS Fortitude, a sailing ship that can also travel between planets using alchemy. The British and the French are at war. Weatherby is ordered to escort captured French ships from Egypt to England. However, when they’re crossing the Mediterranian, one of the prizes mutinies and jumps to space. The ship shouldn’t have been able to do that because all alchemical materials should have been confiscated. Also, Weatherby’s second in command and a group of English soldiers are onboard. Of course, Weatherby orders the Fortitude to follow. The chase will take him to Saturn and to the mysterious aliens, the Xan.

The former Royal Navy alchemist Andrew Finch is in Egypt, teaching alchemy to the locals. He’s also on good terms with the local French and takes the opportunity to spy on them. He tries to keep away from politics and is far more concerned with the dangerous alchemy that the French are trying to get access to.

This time we have four POV characters and four different, if linked, missions. For the most part, this worked well but the pacing is, of course, slower than in the first book. This time, too, we get two pretty different worlds. 2134 is straight-up science fiction while 1798 has working alchemical magic. It’s also interesting that both female (and POC) POV characters are in the future timeline while both male POV characters are in the past and white. Finch is on good terms with the Egyptians. He’s trying to understand their culture and customs, and respect them, unlike the French.

I enjoyed this mash-up as much as the first book. The story is very entertaining and brings back all of the major cast from the previous book. The story has a couple of twists and turns I didn’t see coming. But it ends in a huge cliffhanger.
Profile Image for David Zimny.
112 reviews
July 6, 2022
Book two of a trilogy. Once again there are parallel stories taking place in different centuries, but instead of one taking place in the 1700's and one in the 2100's, this time it's two and two. The heroine Ms. Jain is traveling to Saturn's moon Titan hoping her crew becomes the first people to set foot there. A Chinese ship comes out of nowhere and bullies Jain's ship to settle for landing on the smaller moon Enceladus. Meanwhile, Jain's former commander Colonel (now General) Diaz detects radiation that indicates some 1700's blokes are trying to cross dimensions into the 22nd century again. There's a bad 18th century French guy hanging out in Egypt who is trying to do just that. Also in the 18th century, Captain Weatherby is chasing a bad French ship that is trying to back the warlike Xan (natives of Saturn) into overthrowing the peaceful Xan.

First of all, I'm a stickler for good editing. When Weatherby's first lieutenant is sometimes referred to as Obrian and sometimes as Obrien, I cringe. Likewise, when a female character is referred to as "he", the whole story comes across as amateurish. The four interacting stories are too confusing. I don't root for any of the characters- not only are they dull, but none of them come across as particularly virtuous.

I will not bother reading book three.
Profile Image for Randal.
954 reviews12 followers
February 23, 2018
What's here: Separate missions on earth and in Saturn's orbit; alt-reality and near future. Wide range of tech, believable if slightly stereotypical lead characters. Fun, fast-moving. Really wants to be a movie franchise.
What's not: Any depth for background characters. The reason this matters is that the rest of the book is so well done that it raises expectations.
Profile Image for Kevin.
355 reviews18 followers
September 19, 2018
Pretty fun! I think it's a solid 3.5/5. The character development is well done, both worlds are fleshed out, and there are real stakes. Also Napoleon shows up, so that's rad.
Profile Image for Jean Hontz.
925 reviews14 followers
April 24, 2019
Not as good as the first and ends with a cliff hanger. Not at all certain I'll read more in the series.
Profile Image for Steven Lomas.
53 reviews
December 16, 2022
Rip roaring adventure in a universe filled with steam punk and hard SF. There's magic, hard science, alternate dimensions and much in between.
Profile Image for Daniel Shellenbarger.
392 reviews16 followers
September 2, 2016
Enceladus Crisis picks up 2 or 19 years after the Daedalus Incident (of book 1), depending on which universe you're in. In the futuristic non-magical universe (essentially our universe in the year 2134), two of the survivors (Royal Navy Lt. Shaila Jain and her French geologist boyfriend Stephane Durand) of the incident are aboard the first manned ship bound for Saturn, hoping to explore the mysteries of its moons and stake mineral rights on Titan ahead of a rival Chinese expedition. Most of the rest of the survivors are serving as the core of a new agency (DAEDALUS, of course) whose mission is to understand and prevent cross-universe invasions such as occurred in the first book. It comes to their attention that the Chinese expedition to Titan may have a more sinister purpose as it is tied to a company led by another of the survivors, a corporate stooge with more interest in profit margin than morals, and unexplainable Cherenkov radiation is popping up from "ancient astronaut" sites in Mexico and Egypt.

At the same time, in the other (cooler) universe, Captain Thomas Weatherby has risen far since he was a mere junior lieutenant aboard the HMS Daedalus, now 19 years later he is captain of the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Fortitude. Following the defeat of the French fleet at the Nile, Weatherby is given orders to escort some of the prizes and damaged ships back to England, but while transiting the Mediterranean, one of the prizes mutinies and (to his astonishment as the French weren't supposed to have the alchemical materials necessary) jumps into orbit. Thus begins a mad dash through the solar system as Weatherby desperately tries to catch up with his wayward charge even as he is drawn back into matters of alchemical esotericism, the machinations of the long-dead warlords of Mars, and the internal politics of the reclusive and insanely powerful Xan of Saturn. As if things couldn't get worse, the French and rogue Xan appear to be in league with the Count of St. Germain, a powerful alchemist and the husband of the girl Weatherby totally blew it with in the first book (and has been beating himself up over ever since). Meanwhile, Weatherby's old friend Finch (ex-Royal Navy alchemist and sometime revolutionary) is working to uncover the purpose of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt by traveling with a band of French savants deep into the deserts following the path of Alexander the Great.

As with Daedalus Incident, Mr. Martinez does a great job of mixing hard science fiction and fantasy in a way that is both intriguing and enjoyable, he one-ups himself by weaving four separate plot threads together this time (as opposed to the 2 threads of the first book) and gradually revealing them to all be working towards the same inexorable purpose. As with his previous book, Enceladus Crisis is bursting with imaginative and exciting descriptions of space travel (in both universes this time) combined with some great world building. Additionally, one of Martinez's particular strengths is the way he portrays his characters, as one and all they are imperfect and complicated individuals who make mistakes in all-too-human (and inhuman) ways (thank goodness for an author whose villains don't always seem to know every move everyone is going to make), and if you sometimes can feel sympathetic to some of the villains, it's never in doubt who you should be rooting for. The only real flaw in Enceladus Crisis (in my opinion) was that the book was more open-ended than the Daedalus Incident, leaving a lot of things unresolved for the next book. While I appreciate the importance of setting up plot for an ongoing story, I got to the end of the book and felt like it was missing the second half and as such the ending felt a bit rushed, but again, this is a relatively minor gripe, especially given the scope of the wit, imagination, and thought that went into this book (I just wish I had the next in the series).
Profile Image for BRT.
1,392 reviews
February 20, 2017
The story from the Daedalus Incident continues with it's delightful mix of science fiction, steampunk, history, and time travel. Strange forces are still attempting to overthrow both dimensions by controlling the inhabitants of each. Even having prior knowledge of what might happen, it is almost impossible to avoid a repeat due to the greed and gullibility of some creatures. A bit harder to follow due to action at four different points; two locations in each dimension.
2 reviews
July 11, 2014
While somewhat entertaining, not half as good as The Daedalus Incident. The first book had amazing world creation, relateable characters, and Martinez brought it all together in a climax. He left hooks for a sequel, and that's what this is, which sadly adds very little. In Daedalus he had two protagonists who eventually came together in exciting climax on Mars to save the world(s), in this he has two sets of protagonists in each universe, who he moves around the solar system to coincide in Egypt and Enceladus respectively, in a predictable way that leaves no surprise when it actually happens. But there is no real meeting of worlds, and it ends in an anti-climax, up in the air as "to be continued". With -- wait for it -- zombies.

Also, the motivations of the corporate types trying to make the new portal to the alchemical universe never made sense. Some guff about "resource extraction" was mentioned, but that vague promise (they could have no idea what resources they could extract, if any) would hardly justify the huge expenses, risks and illegalities they committed, without any concern for the powerful evil alien who entered the last time and was forced back.

The Daedalus Incident is a bit like Dune, or The Matrix, a good story in a wonderful cohesive world that is best left at that; but then the author(s) tried to return to the well. I hope Martinez moves on to something new after he's churned out the announced "Book 3" and that's really the last he does in this series. It's sad when writers try to wring more story out of a concept.
Profile Image for Joe Frazier.
131 reviews5 followers
May 20, 2014
Michael Martinez's Story That Sails Into Our Hearts And Soars Into Our Minds

I gushed over Michael J. Martinez's The Daedalus Incident. Yes, I confess to being a bit rabid in my love for the book and becoming a raving fanboy of Mr. Martinez’ writing. Now, I was waiting, to borrow a phrase from the Bard, "...with bated breath, and whispring humblenesse" for its sequel, The Enceladus Crisis. Truth be told, however, I was also waiting with a little trepidation. After all, Mr. Martinez set a high bar for himself in his debut novel; could his sophomore effort live up to the expectations it established? It has and then some. His characters and their relationships are even more fully flushed out, his dialog , description of action (I love the first battle scene) and overall handling of the narrative is, if anything, tighter and better.

For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-GI
Profile Image for Notme.
389 reviews2 followers
June 3, 2014
Not quite on par with part one, I thought. Also, would benefit from some editing, as things like "Would probably would have declined" are not something I want to encounter in a book that was not published independently. Not that I would want it in the indie, but I would probably be more understanding. Also, some formatting errors in my Kobo version. Not enough to deter me from reading, but enough to annoy.

Other than that a decent read, even though somehow repetitive. Daedalus Incident was excellent, this is merely good, and I just hope next installment will bring more to the plate. Again the mix of "sailpunk", science-fiction & fantasy, but if there are no new plots and elements, this can get old fast.
657 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2014
Book two of the Daedalus series, picks up in different periods for each half of the story. For Shaila Jain in 2134 A.D., it has only been a few months; for Thomas Weatherby in 1798 A.D., it has been over 20 years. Again there seems to be no way for the universes to touch, but greedy businessmen will find a way. This time the meeting takes place in ancient Egypt and on future moons of Saturn, Titan and Enceladus and just as much is at stake. I love the blending of the stories and they are different enough that you stay interested until the end. The third one, The Venusian Gambit, should give us even more to look forward to.
Profile Image for Robert.
93 reviews4 followers
March 4, 2016
I was very much looking forward to reading The Enceladaus Crisis. Going back to the story of Weatherby and company.
For the most part, I wasn't disappointed.
This time around, Martinez decided to have two point of view characters in each timeline.
This slowed things down a bit. Not drastically, but from time to time. You wouldn't get back to the characters you wanted soon enough.
He also introduced some new and interesting characters in the Xan.
This was an interesting alien race and you didn't really get to know them enough.
Profile Image for Conal.
316 reviews9 followers
August 9, 2016
I received this book in a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

This was an interesting fun read that I picked back up this weekend and read through in one sitting. The author has done a great job in world building and lots of great characters in this one. I really enjoyed the premise of the inter-dimensional worlds where events are happening simultaneously. Looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

4 stars for a fun read. Recommended for sci-fi fans.
Profile Image for gradedog.
249 reviews
June 2, 2014
This is a sequel to The Daedalus Incident. The first book was good in spite of the difficulty I had reconciling the mashing of two genres and I gave it a fourth star because the author pulled it off. The Enceladus Crisis is fully deserving a four stars. Either I am now used to this unique blending and was primed, or the author hit his stride in this follow up novel. Both perhaps? Either way the story was seamless and the characters are engaging. I am looking forward to the next book.
Profile Image for Tyrannosaurus regina.
1,013 reviews19 followers
May 18, 2015
This is one of those books where I argued with myself over the rating, because it was almost higher. There are four different stories here that do all tie together in the end, but in fairly predictable ways, and they mirrored one another a little too closely at times. As well the ending was...not an ending. More of a set up for the next book. Yet I did really enjoy the story and the characters and have no hesitation to continue reading the series.
Profile Image for Rob.
284 reviews
April 14, 2016
Though somewhat distracted trying to keep up with 4 story lines (in this volume) instead of 2 (as in the first volume), this series continues to be enjoyable. I am definitely going to have to pick the final book of the series, just to see how the 2 different worlds finally resolve themselves. The only down side in this middle novel is that there was not nearly as much "high-seas" adventure here as in the previous book.
Profile Image for David Rossing.
30 reviews
January 31, 2015
"The Enceladus Crisis" by Michael J Martinez - book two of the Daedalus Series. a Sci Fi Book which takes place e in an alternative universe where Sailing Ships with the use of alchemy and sail the ether and travel the solar system. and that dimension clashes with our dimension with dire events. ITs a good yarn
Profile Image for Todd Gutschow.
274 reviews2 followers
November 9, 2018
Sometimes the author loses the "uniqueness" of the first book is lost somewhere during the subsequent books in a series. Not so here. The author has built upon the concepts he created and continues to embellish them with more interesting ideas. The action melds well with the plot line. A good second book in the series.
Profile Image for Susan.
965 reviews3 followers
May 29, 2015
I just love this series. It has two different realities, one is our reality, in 2134. The other has alchemy set in 1798, with sailing ships---in space!! Very well written characters, plot and settings. It has been awhile since I read the first one in the series, but didn't have to work to remember who was who, all characters stand out. Fun!
Profile Image for Marty Nicholas.
562 reviews3 followers
September 18, 2014
I was dubious about the author's chances of carrying on the parallel universe theme but he managed quite well. Since the reader is not discovering these worlds and characters for the first time, a bit is lost from the first book. That being said, enjoyable story.
118 reviews1 follower
July 21, 2015
A solid combination of near future and early 19th century into one story. I mean come on...TALL SHIPS in space! I look forward to the next installment. I don't know that it'll appeal to everyone, but I definitely enjoy the blending.
Profile Image for Doreen Dalesandro.
1,060 reviews46 followers
March 16, 2015
Genre: sci-fi
Rating: 4
I listened to this book.

Can't wait for the 3rd in the series!

Bernard Setaro Clark and Kristin Kalbli do a great job narrating.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 35 reviews

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