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(Linesman #2)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,626 ratings  ·  124 reviews
As the Linesman series continues, linesman Ean Lambert finds himself facing an alien ship he doesn’t understand—and a terrifying political threat he cannot fight…
The lines. The soul of every ship. It was once thought there were only ten, but that was before an alien vessel appeared at the edge of space—before Ean Lambert heard more lines singing. Ean’s ways of communicat
Paperback, 389 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Ace
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Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,626 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 4.5 stars.

Who knew lines could be so cool and exciting and awesome and stuff?!

Err...That's not really the type of line I had in mind, but I guess this looks kind of fun, too. Perhaps. Maybe. A little. In a non-Sci-Fi, non-space opera, non-devious plotting galore, 100% retirement home-approved way. But hey, there seems to be music involved in that line up there ⤴, so that means there might be singing as well, right? And if there's singing, then it means the lines I'm actually refer
Apr 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great second book in this brilliant space opera series.

Ean Lambert finds himself as the chief Linesman of the New Alliance, a new political entity rising out of the events of the previous book. The New Alliance is also at war with the Gate Union, a conflict that it is bound to lose because of the GU's monopoly over galactic trade and the Gates required for safe travel. What stops the war from being over before it's begun are the alien ships that Lambert and his friends now have control over, b
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite series to re-read when RL is too much! It works every time. I also love how the authors use synaesthesia for Ean’s experience with the lines, something I’ve always found fascinating. Add to this that the lead is just so likeable! :O)

Having loved the first instalment in the series, I had high expectations for this novel, and fears. Would it be as compelling??? Short answer - YES!

Once more we follow the extremely likeable Ean in his tribulations. The narration is this time s
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

So, so good. A completely satisfying follow-up to Linesman.

Always the worry with a second book is whether it will meet the expectations set out by the first. Alliance completely met those expectations. The story picks up right from where Linesman left off, continuing a story of complex political machinations mixed nicely with interpersonal stories. The multilayered world created by the Dunstall sisters continues to reveal itself, while characters (both new and returning) remain as comp
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well bummer. The flaws are starting to glare a bit more. The writing is truly atrocious, I am not sure who to blame, the writers, the seemingly missing editor or Aunt Sally the proofreader. Miss-spellings (of course who am I to talk), whole paragraphs and even an entire chapter that makes no sense. There was one part where a spy was listening in to two different conversations at the same time and the authors clearly wanted to do something clever, switching back and forth between the two creating ...more
Another fun space opera, told in 3rd person POV. The story includes sentient power "lines" and humans who've colonized dozens of planets. Also there's some alien technology, some military maneuvering, espionage, and murderous treachery. The science is soft and glossed over.

The story is interesting and heartwarming, with some humor and some dangerous, suspenseful scenes. I was expecting more action in the second book in the series, and I expected to learn more about the alien spaceships, but th
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Great!!! As much as the first book!
I loved, loved the mix of SF, with politics!
I'm so looking forward to reading what happens next!!!!
Kara Babcock
Oh my god give me all these books I want this entire series on my shelf right now. Alliance builds on the exciting promise made by S.K. Dunstall in Linesman to bring us a new space opera series that is bold both in its vision of interstellar politics and its cool SF technology. After a long time avoiding space opera (except to catch up on the good stuff I’ve missed) because of the overgrown weeds of nanotech posthumanism, I’m so happy to be enthusiastic about a brand new entry into this subgenre ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
FYI for anyone with vision issues: the font in the printed edition is very small. If you're buying the book, it would be worth spending the extra money for the ebook edition for this one. I was frequently tempted to pop for the $7.99 myself (I hate publishers that charge more for ebooks than print, the print was only $6.37 at the time of this review) even though I had the library book in hand.

I definitely recommend reading the first book first with this one, don't jump into this second book cold
The reviews were a bit mixed on this so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get but I enjoyed this. Ean did grow up in this or at least he was in less situations where he was completely helpless. But I did notice another weird trend continuing from the last book - bad guys who get captured somehow usually escape behind the scenes and not much detail is given. It was weird. It’s as if the authors wanted that to happen but didn’t feel like giving plot time to make it more believable. Oh well. The re ...more
Oct 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Alliance is a bit slower and less interesting read than the previous novel in the series, but it still manages to capture both old-school space opera and humanistic approach to science fiction and fantasy that is sorely lacking in the fields of space opera and military sf.

This one is, perhaps unfortunately, all about the world building - or perhaps the space ship building, so the characters are put firmly in the second place, although the new character of captain Kari Wang has her moments to sh
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, space_opera, audio
4.5 stars
This is a wonderful story that I'm enjoying immensely. It's not heart stopping or wrenching, just an entertaining and engaging space opera with an interesting premise and likeable characters, read by a competent and easy to lose yourself in narrator.

I'm going to jump right into book 3.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Review at The Book Nympho:

I waited about 5 minutes to start Alliance after finishing Linesman. (My review ) I had already requested the arc after starting Linesman because I knew right away. I HAD to know more. About 92% of the way into this book, I already felt the terror of it ending and not knowing when the next book would be available so I went to the Internet. After much reading, I found the possible title of t
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
The Linesman series manages to maintain a delicate balance between varying POV, it's usually a tactic that usually annoys me as inevitably you end up stuck with one character who no one cares about. In this case Kari Wang swept me off my feet and I raced through the novel to keep up with both her and Ean.

Captain of the Kari Wang and sole survivor of a mysterious attack which sliced her ship in half (taking her legs with it), Kari is caught up in the scheming of the New Alliance and is assigned
Jamie Rich
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alliance (Linesman #2) by S.K. Dunstall

Our erstwhile band of very reluctant heroes are coming to terms with the main protagonist's very unusual methods for handling the "lines" of a starship. So is our main hero, who sees to have a rather typical geek's love for his craft, and scant attention to all those mess humans around him.
Still feeling way out of his depth, ean Lamber nonetheless has to choose to grow as a person. Whether dealing with the lines, or the people surrounding him, he barely m
Jorid Sørli
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Wish there was more on the LINES!
Erin Burns
Linesman (much like Dark Horse) was a breakout surprise for me last year. It just blew me away and I can't count how many times I have re-read it since. So seeing the next one on Amazon was an immediate pre-order.

I jumped in as soon as I got home from work, and I was quite surprised we didn't start with Ean Lambert. All of the last book was from his perspective, so I just wasn't ready for Captain Selma Kari Wang. Fortunately she completely rocks, a completely in charge woman, and it was a hell o
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
I was very excited to read Alliance. Linesman had set such a wonderful stage and story, and I was looking forward to the building of that story.

Unfortunately, Alliance is a somewhat disappointing sophomore effort. It’s not that the book is bad, it’s rather decent, but it’s lacks the momentum and page turning excitement of Linesman.

I think the heart of the issue with Alliance is that it should have been a novella or short story instead of a full blown novel, or, as a novel, it should have had ano
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4.5/5; 5 stars; A

This one was even better than the first one, in my opinion, because it didn't have so many confusing machinations going on from every direction. It was clear that there was an unknown enemy and something was going on beside the New Alliance/Gate Union conflict but it wasn't distracting.

Usually I like my books with some romantic elements but this has none. Still, the people and relationships really intrigued me. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters from the previous books as well
Ju Transcendancing
I loved this book, a great follow up to the first book in the series. The political intrigue with the background of having a key protagnonist be highly empathic and not very good at fighting is fantasitc. I'm loving the largely female supporting cast and they're getting to be awesome and different in command ways, fighting and strength ways and various other things. The interpersonal storylines as well as the epic space opera is very satisfying here. I'm reminded of McCaffrey's 'Crystal Singer' ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking forward to this book since I finished the first one. This had lots of action and lots of discoveries but over all didn't move the plot forward as much as I was hoping for. That being said I still loved the story, world building and the characters. Now I'm waiting for the next one. ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, keepers
Awesome addition to the series. It did add a lot of new characters and there was a lot of plot which I enjoyed. I wish the book had been longer to include some character development for Ean and the other main ones. I felt like they stayed stagnant. Hopefully the next book combines both.

Re-read today. It just keeps getting better each time I read it :)
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. It ended up being one of my favorites. I really love the story and characters. It won my undivided attention from the page one. I wish there were more books like that.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved it! Love Ean and his singing linesmen! Captain Song got what she deserved!
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, scifi
Not as good as the first book. Suffered from second book syndrome but still kept me interested and surprised. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a strong, engaging installment continuing from The Linesman. My rating 4.5.

Ean is busy building his relationship with the alien lines while training Rossi, Fergus and other linesmen how to communicate through singing rather than thought manipulation. Abram has been promoted and required to leave the Lancastrian Princess. The new bodyguard for Michelle sees Ean as a dangerous weapon and a major risk. She is intent on getting him off Michelle’s ship and it looks like Ean will be sent as th
John B.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
1.7 stars, rounding up to a 2 star rating. There were times when reading this felt like a school assignment. Class meets three days a week. It has been so long since I have been to class that I forget which room it is in, and when I finally arrive in class I am under dressed and there is an important test on the last ten chapters of this book, which was a chore to read. I wake from my dream and realize that I have finally finished the book and can now get on with life.

I liked S.K. Dunstall's Li
John Purvis
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Alliance” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by S. K. Dunstall ( This is the pseudonym for Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall. Together they have published three novels in their “Linesman” series. This is the second in the series.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future with humanity spread out i
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good sequel, definitely should be read in order. Nothing too flashy, so maybe this should be only 3 stars, but it kept me hooked without resorting to romance or anything else that wouldn't fit well. It delves more into the mysteries of the lines & still doesn't solve anything. A lot of realism in that. Why haven't they investigated this or that aspect? No time! A lot going on, but much is just mentioned since it's mundane stuff. Still, it fills all their days as they scramble to deal with the ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Linesman so much that I started reading Alliance immediately after I finished. It was a fantastic continuation on the story, where Ean continues to learn more about the alien ships and communicating with all the lines, and teaching other linesmen to do the same. A captain is finally chosen for the Eleven, Captain Selma Kari Wang, who lost her ship, her crew and her legs in an attack by ships using alien technology. She isn’t sure she wants another ship, since she should have died along w ...more
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