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Duel in the Dark

In most stories it’s clear from the beginning who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist, the hero and the villain. Duel in the Dark by USA Today Bestselling Author Jay Allan stands in contrast to that. The story is told from two points of view: the captain of a Confederation battleship sent to the edge of Confederation space for repairs, and the captain of a Union battleship sent to capture a vital base for the forthcoming war. Eventually, their ships come against each other. As it turns out, they are both heroes.

The reader is able to sympathise with each captain and with their people’s very different social structure and the ideals they grew up with. It shows you what they believe and why. I understood and sympathised with both. When the great battle comes and you find they are on opposing sides it’s a new experience. Which one is the bad guy? It was great to be able to really get to know both sides of the story. Reading this was a really great experience.

Duel in the Dark

This is the first book in a series called Blood on the Stars. The following books are Call to Arms, Ruins of Empire, Echoes of Glory, and Cauldron of Fire. Book number 6, Dauntless, will be out in January 2018. I have not gone on to read the other books, not because I didn’t like the writing, but because I don’t like war science fiction. If you do, I’ll bet the whole series is well worth reading.

War is coming.

The Confederation battleship Dauntless has spent ten months patrolling the border, alone, watching for an attack from the enemy Union. Her crew is exhausted and the aging vessel needs repairs.With the fleet mobilized, and the forward bases overloaded beyond capacity, she is sent clear across the Confederation, to a base along the peaceful and sleepy sector known as the Rim.

But the quiet frontier isn’t what it seems, and when a distress call is received from a mining colony at the edge of Confederation space, Captain Tyler Barron must take Dauntless forward into the unknown.

Barron and his crew have their ship–and each other–but they can expect no reinforcements. His superiors believe that Union deceit is at play, that the attack is merely a diversion,intended to draw Confederation forces from the disputed border. Their orders are clear: no ships will be transferred from the front. Stopping whatever is happening on the rim is Barron’s responsibility, and his alone.

Barron’s grandfather was the Confederation’s greatest hero, the father of the modern navy. His name has always carried great privilege, and crushing responsibility. Now he must prove that he has inherited more than just a name. He must face the enemy, and win the victory.

Before the Confederation is caught between two enemies and destroyed.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at