Linesman is the first book in a trilogy by S. K. Dunstall. I enjoyed this book. The concept of the "lines" was different and fascinating, and the plot moved along nicely. What I didn't care for was the writing style -which struck me as a bit choppy- and the sketchy way I thought the politics was handled. I used to stubbornly forge ahead with series novels, giving the rest of them a chance, but those days are gone for me. I'm glad I read this one for the sake of the linesman concept, but I won't seek out the rest.
from the back of the book:
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 though 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 two-hundred-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.