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Dispatches from Terabithia

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The Man With the Golden Torc
Simon R. Green
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Linesman - S. K. Dunstall 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 linesmen disdain his self-taught methods, he’s certified and working. Then a mysterious alien ship is discovered at the edges of the galaxy. Each of the major galactic powers is desperate to be the first to uncover the ship’s secrets, but all they’ve learned is that it has the familiar lines of energy—and a defense system that, once triggered, annihilates everything in a 200 kilometer radius. The vessel threatens any linesman who dares to approach it, except Ean. His unique talents may be the key to understanding this alarming new force—and reconfiguring the relationship between humans and the ships that serve them, forever.

This really fell apart for me about halfway in. Ean got too powerful too quickly, and everything else just felt made up and fake Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series. Really disappointed, because it started out SO good. And by the way? I felt like I was hearing the word “lines” every other word by 2/3s of the way in. Ugh.