Engage at Dawn

Engage at Dawn : First Contact: A Novel of Science Fiction

4.5 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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The discovery of a drug-runner's derelict boat, with extensive and inexplicable damage, leads Coast Guard Officer Ben Wyporek and his crew on a dangerous mission to locate a crashed alien vessel before a transnational criminal organization, known as the 252 Syndicate, can find it.

Driven by Dr. Peter Simmons, a mysterious government agent obsessed with secrecy, the crew of the aging Coast Guard Cutter Kauai is ill-prepared to handle the mission. The operation quickly turns into a life-and-death race with the technologically-advanced 252 Syndicate to find and contact the first known extraterrestrial visitors to Earth.

For DIA Agent Simmons, the objectives are clear; he must preserve the secret of the aliens' arrival and discover if they are hostile or benign. Either way, he must keep the 252s from accessing alien technology. From his perspective, his ultimate mission is to save the world, no matter the costs.

Lieutenant Samuel Powell, Commanding Officer of the Kauai, distrusts Intelligence specialists like Simmons, and despite his best efforts to protect his crew, he still can't prevent his First Officer and best friend Ben from being drawn into the fight of his life.

Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship's crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Engage at Dawn: First Contact illustrates the bonds and humor common to Coast Guard and other military units.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 18mm | 399g
  • English
  • 1735444308
  • 9781735444307

Review quote

"The entire narrative has a conspiratorial feel, as though it's a true story we shouldn't be reading. The intensity of certain moments, the rapid-fire dialogue, and the incredibly high stakes of the plot make it difficult to put the book down, and Hochsmann knows how to masterfully draw out suspense. Engage at Dawn is an imaginative and captivating story, one that explores the nuance of brotherhood and service, along with plenty of rich twists and extraterrestrial tangles, for a uniquely compelling sci-fi thriller."

Self-Publishing Review

A taut and enigmatic SF nail-biter that offers plenty of tension and action...

Hochsmann melds high-tech gadgetry and fast action with elements of science fiction in this first-rate action thriller. ...The chapters move seamlessly as new revelations unravel at a relentless pace. The interesting speculations about the destroyed alien vessel and floating alien conspiracy theories are integrated skillfully into the plot, and Hochsmann expertly evokes Coast Guard landscape, military protocols, people, and politics associated with wide-scaled extra-terrestrial conspiracies. His deeply realized characters complement his cleverly executed plot. Ben with his well-rounded world-weariness and edgy impatience makes for an electrifying protagonist who is determined to protect his crew and friends at any cost. His profoundly protective nature and his struggle with realistic moral dilemmas gives an authenticity to his character while the run-ins with DIA Agent Simmons add to his allure. The excessively secretive Simmons and the overly-cautious Samuel are both relatable and convincing. The secondary cast is sketched with equal conviction: they're multifaceted humane characters, each with a full array of strengths and weaknesses, each fighting to realize their collective goal. The crew's everyday interactions add levity while their growing bond reinforces that a normal life exists for them onboard despite the circumstances. Hochsmann seems to have fun while creating Coast Guard protocols and precise military language and culture. It hampers the flow of the narrative, but at the same time the descriptions make the Coast Guard landscape a fascinating place. Some of the military gadgets, including USCGC Kauai and cutters Poplar and Skua are fictional instantiations of the original, but Hochsmann succeeds in infusing over-the-top technology with authenticity. This is a wonderfully intricate SF action thriller, and one not to be missed.

The Prairies Book Review, 4 September 2020
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 67% (4)
4 17% (1)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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