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(Linesman #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,756 ratings  ·  319 reviews
First in a brand new thought-provoking science fiction series.

The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he’s crazy…

Most slum kids never go far, certainly not becoming a level-ten linesman like Ean. Even if he’s part of a small, and unethical, cartel, and the other line
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Ace
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 3.75 stars. And a half.

Yet another wondrous MacHalo Buddy Read! Well, I'm, um, you know, assuming it was wondrous and stuff. Back when it happened and stuff. Because I'm, um, you know, a little late for it and stuff. Not much though. Just, um, you know, a couple of years and stuff. Pretty insignificant when you're nefariously immortal like me, really.

But anyway. This Linesman business. Let's get the negative stuff over with right away, shall we? The book is sloooooooow paced. Wel
Althea Ann
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
'Linesman' reminded me just a bit of a more military-inflected take on Anne McCaffrey's 'Crystal Singer' books.

It's adventure-oriented sci-fi. In this future, space travel is dependent on "The Lines" - adopted 'found' alien technology which is only partially understood by humans. Each spacecraft has a set of 'energy' lines which have to be maintained and 'in tune' (almost like a piano) to function well. Only Linesmen (both male and female; this is an egalitarian future) can perceive the Lines an
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with my MacHalo Freaks!!!

I truly enjoyed this Science Fiction and the idea of "lines" as a force to propel humanity in space, but also as something sentient and needing to communicate and commune with others, humans included! The main character was very lovable and appealing, but I loved all the strong and independent women who surrounded him. This is a slow developing plot, almost ambient at times, but it is worth the read!!! I was very pleasantly surprised by the debt of
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing

RL is a bit much and I couldn’t concentrate on new books. Therefore, I just picked one of my favourite titles and relaxed into it :0) This one is so good, a treat really!

You know the feeling when you start a book and from the first line you know you're not going to be able to stop reading? Well, this is exactly what happened here.

First, the truly compelling main character. Ean is your typical fish-out-of-water protagonist, deeply empathic and skilled at what he does, but totally without
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Space opera with FTL travel enabled by humans with the special ability to sense and manipulate "Lines", manifestations of some sort of psychic energy that's currently beyond science.

We're introduced to Ean Lambert, one of the few Linesmen that can access level ten, the highest level of Lines and the Line that enables FTL. Ean is unique in that he sings to the Lines and they interact with him in ways that no other Linesman can achieve. Ean starts out with one of the Linesman cartels, but has his
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an unexpected find. The starships in this book are run via energy lines that are kept in working order by Linesmen. There are 10 lines on a ship and the strongest linesmen are the ones who can manipulate all 10 lines. The linesmen are somehow able to keep these lines in good repair through some kind of projection of mental force.

Ean Lambert is a level 10 linesman, but an exceptionally unconventional one because he sings to the lines to keep them in shape. According to every other linesm
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I really liked this one a lot. The worldbuilding was so interesting, and since the main character, Ean, isn't all that worldly himself, the reader gets to learn about it pretty much at the same time he does. It is very well written for a debut novel, and I definitely get the sense that things will only get smoother in future books.

The way the "lines" responsible for a ship's functioning in this world work also make the ship a sentient being, linked to the emotional health of the Captai
Kara Babcock
Ah, it’s so nice when a book blows you away with how awesome it is. I was hoping I’d like Linesman, but I didn’t anticipate loving it so much. But sister act Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall have managed to create an original, exciting new entry in the space opera subgenre. If you like space opera, SF with a psychic twist, or whiny people getting their comeuppance, you should read this book. So let’s not waste any more time and get into explaining why!

Ean Lambert is a certified ten—which is not to sa
Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Am I the only one annoyed by this book?

It's meandering, it's repetitive and redundant and repetitive (see what I did there?), and it has no ending. That last one really pissed me off. The writers (S.K. Dunstall is a pair of sisters) set up this big mystery about an alien space ship and then answer nothing about it. I'm not reading a bunch of other novels to find out about that.

When you make a promise to the readers, you need to fulfill that promise. You don't substitute something else instead a
4.5 singing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for this solid series opener. This story is just a kick. It's not brilliant, but I really enjoyed this singing space man! Jumping through the void, faster than the speed of light. The theoretical foundations are very light — no attempt at hard science — but there's enough to ignite my imagination. I quite enjoyed it, despite some quibbles. I'm adding a star because this is Dunstall's first novel. As a debut, it stands out from the norm.

Intriguing, this idea of optimally joy
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Ilona Andrews
Linesman came highly recommended by Ilona Andrews (one of my favourite authors) so add that to the fact that I've been obsessed with stories set in space recently and of course I HAD to read it. I didn't know a huge amount about the story going in but what I found was unique and refreshing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

After discovering an alien technology humans have been able to adapt it to allow long distance space travel. Space ships access the 10 different lines and each of these lines i
Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waffled between 3 & 4 stars for this. It was a compelling story, a rich universe where 'lines' are a poorly understood bit of alien tech that humanity has salvaged to bring the stars within reach. As others have mentioned, Dunstall seems to have channeled a bit of McCaffery's universes (Crystal Singer & Brain Ship) or possibly Modesitt's Soprano Sorceress, but the characterization & politics were reminiscent of Bujold's Vorkosigan universe, too. No rip-offs, but a unique universe with some of ...more
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf

This is high level political thriller meets SF and Corporate sharks! :)

I really enjoyed this complex, but at the same time intriguing and cute story!

Ean, the main characters is highly unusual. He's completly fish-out-of-water in his highly specialised branch of business, but at the same time unique and capable. He's a 10th lever linesman, the highest level of competence, but he's shunned by everyone because his unique way to apply his ability: he sings to lines, insead of mentaly pushing the
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbr-clean-2019
That was seriously good. I always feel compelled to temper my enthusiasm for books because I am afraid my friends won't like them as much as I do which shouldn't really matter. We all like different things, so for this one I won't temper.

Loved the space opera aspect, enjoyed the politicking even though I usually don't. Loved Ean, loved the sci-fi/magic (yes I can admit the main premise of this book is magic, not sci-fi). Really loved the character interactions, something about forming bonds is r
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who like space opera, underdogs, stories where skills have a ranking system
Recommended to Sara J. by: Netgalley
I randomly picked one of the numerous 'galleys I had loaded into my reader due out this month and started reading... aaaand I was pretty much drawn into the story from there. Yeah, I am a sucker for underdog stories and this is how this one begins... with the introduction of Ean Lambert - a Linesman who doesn't quite fit in with his peers due to his "unconventional" methods and his "street rat" background. Linesmen being those who can interact with "lines" - which is actually from alien tech tha ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok

Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780425279526

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.4/5

Publisher Description: The lines. No ship can traverse the void without them. Only linesmen can work with them. But only Ean Lambert hears their song. And everyone thinks he’s crazy…

Review: The first half of this novel had a fluid story line then turns a bit disjointed as the scenes jump around without any logical progression. Almost schizophrenic in approach. I tend to
another one that moves well though it is plain vanilla writing but nothing wrong with that as long the story and characters are there

finished this and it was quite entertaining though it had a bit too much of the old pulp (planets move in and out alliances like people in and out crowds, now there are 100, next 50, next back to 70 etc, one man can control the fate of the worlds by becoming a modern equivalent of an alien god etc) in new clothes (all gender, sexual orientation etc) feel

the novel
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: acerocstars
** 2.5 stars **

A fragmented, confusing read but enough interesting aspects to make me finish it. Like the lines--entities that are created in factories but end up as sentient beings with feelings that run ships! However, they seem to be in people too. How can that be? Who knows; the reader is not privy to that information, at least not in this book. Then there are linesmen who manipulate these lines, the most talented being our protagonist, Ean Lambert. He is unique in that his extraordinary abi
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

Wow, that was great. I am so happy my GR friends are looking out for me and making recommendations. When Kathleen said that someone who liked the Liaden Universe books would probably like this, she was spot on. There isn't the same kind of social structure or anything like that, its the 'feel' of the world building.

I really enjoyed the concept of sentience outside normal human experience. This book has a vast otherworldly intelligence that we just get a glimpse of as the humans
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

The premise of the story was interesting, the execution at times a bit uneven.

Ean is a self-taught linesman from the slums of a rich world who interacts through song with the lines of energy that control and power ships. Almost by accident, he is plucked from relative obscurity and becomes embroiled in galactic intrigue when a new line source is discovered and various political factions vie to control it and each other.

I usually don't mind beta protagonists with self-esteem issues if t
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A truly enjoyable read.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars. There was a lot to really enjoy in this book. The future that was envisioned was richly detailed and quite fascinating. I'm pretty sure it's our future anyway, since one of the locations mentioned was New Tahiti, it isn't made clear otherwise. The science seemed pretty shaky, more imagined than based on scientific principles. Like one of the most basic concepts in the book, that two ships arriving from void space near the same location doesn't just cause explosions that destroys the ...more
TL;DR: 2.5 Rounded up. Poorly executed SF that manages to exceed the sum of its parts somehow.

So... this is tough to rate. If I were to try and judge it on "quality" alone, it's a 1 to 2 star read at best. But I have to admit, I enjoyed it on some level. It's very easy reading, I blew through this in 2 nights, and never seriously considered DNFing.

Science: 1 Star - This is not trying to be hard SF. It's space opera, and that's fine. I didn't expect anything else. So it's okay if there are no pla
Apr 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I keep going back and forth on how I feel about Linesman, the debut novel of a series written by Australian sisters Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall. It has some issues, which of course I'll get to, but ultimately it is a solid, entertaining space opera, with a protagonist I found interesting. And balancing each problem I saw with the work, the Dunstall pair did something else really well that I appreciated.

Ean Lambert is a Linesman, rated at the highest level of ten. But he is also a pariah, self-ta
After finishing Network Effect, I wanted my next read to be sci-fi. I had trouble finding the right one and had even started and given up on a couple before this one. This was good and fast paced from the get go. I found the concept of lines controlling ships to be unique and interesting. I also liked the MC and what he could do. The book was action packed and it was hard to put down.

I did have some reservations though. The world building could have been more detailed and also on the concept of
Paul Harmon
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This book was given to me by Netgalley

Linesman by S. K. Dunstall, sisters Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall actually, is a space opera about "lines' which are sentient alien technology yet somehow they have a factory that constructs these living things and apparently people have "lines" as well? I really couldn't tell you what the lines look like or if they are actually a physical thing at all, and they can't be since people somehow have them so, how is there a factory that makes them? Yeah it's li
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
An interesting new idea of a poorly understood sentient energy, existing in "lines" that allows for FTL travel. The lines are maintained by Linesman, who are trained from childhood and contracted/indentured by cartels. A Linesman's worth is dependent on their rank, 1-10, with 10s being the most sought after, and also the rarest.

Our main character, Ean, is primarily self taught, "feeling" the lines as a child, and didn't begin formal training until he was an adult, and because of this, most othe
Erin Burns
This book was a recommended read from Ilona Andrews, whose opinion I trust, and the blurb somehow reminded me of Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax, when it comes to space piloting, which I found fascinating. I read the first chapter excerpt and couldn’t wait to get it, so it actually jumped the line over several things that should have been first. I was also pretty pleased that it breaks my cycle of eyes in science fiction (while those have overall been successful for me-it would be tedious if that was ...more
Anne - Books of My Heart
LOVE this one. 5 hearts.

My review at The Book Nympho:

I wanted to read Linesman when I got it and every time I thought of it, and finally managed to read it earlier this month. I’ve been very thrilled with many of my Ace Roc star gifts and especially seem to enjoy the space opera offerings.

Linesman has space and technology and aliens and ships. Military strategy and political manipulations are key facets of the relationships. The world is slowly built with
Robert Thompson
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful universe this is. I haven't had such fun reading a book in a bit. I mean I have read quite a few great books this year but this was just fun to read.

One of my indicators of a great fantasy/scifi read is a great villian(s). This has a few. Unpredictable situations and colorful commentary. Check and check. Last but not least, a story worth telling, told well. Boomshakalaka!

I could tell you more about Linesman but the synopsis is pretty much point on. What I will comment on is the
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Space Opera Fans : May 2018 READER: Linesman by Dunstall 28 40 May 29, 2018 08:11AM  

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“On-screen they could see their destination. A large freighter. Ean didn’t recognize the model—it looked custom-built—but until six months ago, he had only worked on one- and two-man freighters and second-class company ships. Ships like this one in front of him were for the likes of House of Sandhurst or House of Rickenback” 0 likes
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