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Corsair

Corsair - James L. Cambias ABR's full Corsair audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

It is approximately fifteen years in the future and the moon is being mined for its helium to fuel the world’s fusion reactors. The payloads coming back to earth are worth billions; attracting the interest of pirates who try to intercept them. David Schwartz , AKA Captain Black, the space pirate, is a computer genius and hacker, using his skills and lack of morals to hijack these flying treasure chests. He is brilliant, elusive, charming in an annoying way, equally wanted by the police for his crimes and by the crime syndicates for his skills.

That’s the basic plot/theme, straight forward and linear. Though predictable, it doesn’t really matter, this story is about the many quirky characters, and most importantly, Captain Black, the space pirate. The author uses his full moniker over and over, “Captain Black, the space pirate; Captain Black, the space pirate,” which at first annoys the listener, then numbs him, then reveals the actual intent – humor. And if you go into this book with a sense of humor, you will be OK, if not, you will want to rip your eardrums out. There is no middle ground.

The characters are more like caricatures: Captain Black is a genius nerd, brilliant, sarcastic and supremely annoying; yet he somehow always gets the babe, whether she is the dumb blonde or the smart scientist. Elizabeth, the military scientist, is also brilliant with everything going for her, including a skyrocketing career; yet is strangely attracted to the destructive David Schwartz (Captain Black), then hates him. The corporate eunuchs, on the other hand, shrug as their billion dollar payloads disappear, far more worried about a lawsuit than the money they should be making. Equally impotent are the military and police forces of the world, unwilling or unable to do much more than watch as the world’s power supply gets hijacked over and over. In one scene, a single police officer on a bicycle (yes, plastic helmet and bike shorts) attempts to intercept a vicious assassin in a cafe shootout.

If taken as a kind of super nerd, spy satire, it’s pretty funny and will hold your interest throughout. The science is well researched and rings true. Many of the scenes are inventive and painted realistically enough for your imagination to take over. The several chase and action scenes should hold your attention too. There is some violence, but it is superficial, without gruesome details.

Victor Bevine reads the story well, moving quickly during the action and slowing down during the descriptive scenes. His voice is clear and his characters are generally easy to discern. Overall, Bevine is competent and skillful without ever getting in the way of the story.

If you know what you are going into (humorous high tech satire) you should enjoy the story. It is also recommended for young adults and older teens who like computer hacking adventures. Don’t get caught up in the obvious contradictions and unlikely character interactions and you should have a fun and light read/listen.

Audiobook provided for for review by the publisher.

Eye of the Moonrat

Eye of the Moonrat - Trevor H. Cooley ABR's full Eye of the Moonrat audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Look at that cover! How could anyone say that they didn’t want to know what this story was about after seeing that calm yet creepy cover. As soon as I saw it I needed to know more. Thankfully I am well aware of the narrator, yet the author is new to me, so I had some idea of what I was in for.

This is a total unadulterated fantasy story. Full of all of the creatures one would expect, Ogres, Orcs, Gnomes, Goblins, Elves, Dwarves, and many other fantastical and potentially magical creatures and races. The main focus is on a young man, Justan, who has tried for his entire adult life to get into the prestigious battle academy. Here was a guy that didn’t think he needed to do anything difficult in life and everything should just pan out. This was not working for him. Now this is his last chance to get enrolled and this time he is given a trainer. Here we get to see Justan grow from a cowardly youngster into a brave adult. While some of his dreams are met, others are seemingly taken away from him without reason.

Eye of the Moonrat has a lot going on, many things that seemed disjointed, slowly came together, even though not close enough for me, the nearer I got to the end. As there are several side stories happening at the same time, I think, as Justan’s. They never did merge into one, however I do see that happening in the future.

Trevor H. Cooley did a great job creating a world that, while familiar to fantasy lovers like me, still has an originality to it all. The characters are given space and time to grow and develop. Descriptions of the scenery would make you swear that he has been there.

At first it felt a bit sacrilegious to hear James Foster be anybody other than Adrian Ring. I did eventually get used to this and allowing Foster to lull me into my imagination. He has a certain calming quality to his voice that allowed me to forget that I was in pain, forgive me I listed to most of the audio book while on an epic 30 mile bicycle ride. I think this is the highest amount of characters that Foster has had to deal with in one story. Happy to say he pulled it off very well. I especially like his take on the dwarf Lenny, er, Lenry, whatever.

If you are looking for a fantasy story that tells itself to you, rather than lecture, look no further. While some may say it is juvenile, I would saw that you have to start somewhere and might as well be the beginning. I am looking forward to being able to listen to book two in this fascinating series.

Audiobook provided for for review by the narrator.

Dark Awakened

Dark Awakened - H.D.  Smith ABR's full Dark Awakened audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Dark Awakened by HD Smith is the urban fantasy sequel to Dark Hope, part of the Devil’s Assistant series. What an amazing follow up to the first novel! The main character, Claire, was the Devil’s personal assistant in the first novel and somehow escaped from that responsibility, but she constantly tries to maintain her freedom. But fate has other plans for her. With a prophecy and with newly discovered non-human powers, she finds out that somehow she has a role to fill in the future of the realms. But of course, she has to do this while politically battling for her freedom and against the machinations of those more powerful than her. Once again, to save her life she sets out on an impossible quest, while a myriad of obstacles try to stop her.

I enjoyed the first book a lot, and the sequel was also fantastic. As before, HD Smith masterfully released bits and pieces of information that constantly kept me thinking and trying to figure out what was happening. In this novel, Claire’s sarcastic, rebellious attitude is combined with experience which allows her to make smarter choices and it is clear that she is working to get onto equal footing with the big three rulers of the realms, the Devil, Mab, and Harry. All of the characters have so much depth and there are a lot of characters and mostly all seem to be important and have a purpose, which makes the whole novel richer.

The sequel introduced more information in the way of the overall storyline and of course introduced more questions that will easily transition into the next novel. One of the pet peeves that I have with sequels, especially with one as complex as this, is when it is impossible to follow what is happening from one book to the next, but luckily within the first 20-30min, most of the information needed to know what was happening and be invested in the novel was revealed.

As before, Lauren Fortgang did a fantastic job with the narration. All of the characters’ voices were true to their characters and the changes to tone of voice for different situations were well done. The production quality was great. The one issue that I had with the logistics of listening to this novel was that certain details/clues that were constantly referred to throughout the book, were sometimes difficult to remember and it would have been useful to have a hard copy to refer to. It resulted in a little bit of confusion. I recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy with strong central female characters and I’m looking forward to continuing to read this series.

Audiobook provided for for review by the author.

Jackers

Jackers - William H. Keith Jr., Ian Douglas ABR's full Jackers audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

The Warstrider series continues with the confederation fighting for its survival, desperately underpowered and undermanned. A series of strategic blunders almost wipes their tiny rebellion out of existence. But don’t worry, they don’t go away that easily and neither do the Xenophobes.

Book three picks right up where two left off. Dev Cameron is admiral of their only warship, while working hard to get more ships. Katia, back on New America, is leading a campaign to defeat the invading imperial forces. There are more exciting battles between incredibly enormous and ponderous war machines, some as big as large buildings. Don’t ask why they are so big, just enjoy the ride. Katia picks up an unusual band of engineered humans along the way, Genies (gene manipulated slaves), who want to help and are as interesting as they are misunderstood.

Douglas has hit his stride in book three. The action continues, but we also get a deeper understanding of the Imperium, what makes the Japanese “tick.” Their cruel and ancient hierarchical society is as believable as it is oppressive. The listener gets a kind of “Dune” feeling to the story. The heavy hand of an ancient tyranny that has institutionalized torture and slavery and used high technology to protect its power at all costs. One early scene is especially chilling: a bioengineered plant/person is kept in the art room of one of the imperials as a kind of living sculpture. The poor creature is in perpetual pain, with just enough mental capacity to know that it is in pain and can never escape, silently screaming for the unknown length of its life.

David Drummond is the same narrator as the first two books and continues to do his excellent work. He is more than capable at his delivery. He sometimes gives high whiny voices to minor warrior characters, but that is easily overlooked. More importantly, he does an excellent job with all the Japanese voices, words and phrases, which is critical to the story.

It is not really fair to judge book three against the first two, it is part of a much larger story and does its job well. If you have listened to book one and two (why would you be reading this review otherwise), and enjoyed them, you will like book three even more and look forward to book four.

Audiobook provided for for review by the publisher.

Starship Eternal (War Eternal Book 1)

Starship Eternal (War Eternal Book 1) - M.R. Forbes ABR's full Starship Eternal audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Captain Mitchell Williams is the celebrated hero of the recent battle which saved Planet Liberty. Unfortunately, it’s all a lie, his wing mate and lover actually did it, sacrificing herself in a suicide attack against overwhelming odds. But the Alliance is keeping quiet, using Mitchell as a PR pawn to attract military recruits. The Alliance and Federation are 400 year old Earth factions who have been at war since an alien ship crashed into the Earth in the mid-21st Century.

Mitchell hates taking the credit, but goes along with the ruse until he is lured into a sexual liaison with the Prime Minister’s wife. Accused of rape and exposed as a fraud, he has only one option—run—but where? He is helped by criminals, an antique ship with future technology and even his past self. Barely making it to the edge of known space, he finds more questions than answers.

Starship Eternal has some time travel elements, but they are more conceptual than actual. Most of the action is real time and no one is jumping forward or backward at will. The novel is more of a high-tech military story with plenty of fighting action and military situations, brain implants, medical nano-bots, lasers and force fields. Much of the story takes place on a mining ship full of court-martialed misfits who run espionage runs when they aren’t trying to kill each other.

There is plenty of action throughout the story to keep any space war junky happy. Mitchell has every woman after him, getting enough sex for half the galaxy, though none of it described explicitly.

The story is read by Jeffery Kafer who does a very good job. He has a pleasant baritone voice and is good with character changes. You will enjoy listening to his voice through the length of the novel and presumably, through the sequels.

Starship Eternal is a great ride, full of action and plot twists that keep the listener thoroughly entertained. Though, technically SciFi military, it has a lot of space opera elements that give it a much wider feeling. Time travel is a central element of the story, but the scientific explanations don’t hold much water, better not to over think it. Just go with it and enjoy the ride. The novel wraps up the initial action well while still leading the listener to the sequel.

Audiobook provided for for review by the publisher via audiobookblast

Shards of the Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder

Shards of the Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder - Roy A. Mauritsen ABR's full Queen Cinder audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Shards of the glass slipper is the first book of a series with the same name, its written by Roy A. Mauritsen self ublished in March 24th 2015, its narrated by Christopher Crosby Morris (with sixteen hours and thirty two minutes).

This novel is fantasy, magic, and adventures (some will consider it to be a dystopian novel).

This novel is about a resistance movement including fairy tales heroes such as: Goldenhair, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White against the evil queen Cinderella (she isn’t under any spell she is just evil), and her dominating step-mother. In a land with almost no magic left, that happens to be in a state of war with Wonderland.

I had a very hard time reviewing this novel, so I will be doing it in a different style (I couldn’t do it any other way).

What I liked about this novel:

1. The idea: the idea is pretty awesome and creative. It gathers many of the characters from all of the of the well-known fairy tales. Add in a dark kingdom under a dictatorship, and the coup d’état plan in a neighboring kingdom.

2. The setting: it was a very good and suitable for the mood in the story (the time is after years from the timeline in the original tales, the place is Marchenton a kingdom whose magic is about to run out, the royal palace is surrounded by “blood thorns “so no one can enter or exit without queen Cinderella or her step-mother permission ) and bunch of other interesting places

3. The events are fast paced and told in a very dramatic way (overly dramatic sometimes). I was almost able forget myself and was absorbed in the action scenes.

4. The audiobook came with music and sound effects which was totally great, it gave the story a third dimension, and made it more enjoyable.

5. Good, as in not evil (or almost good), female leader roles.

What I didn’t like about this novel:

1. The plot: the plot is confusing and chaotic, it left me with a lot of questions. Mostly wondering about plausibility of the events (a lot of them weren’t very convincing, and generally naïve even)

2. The characters: they are shallow, amateurs, boring, and just a mere shadow of their past known glory. Considering all of the fantastic story telling, this was a let down.

3. Horrible male leader models: each man in this story could be classified under one of those categories: useless, womanizer, coward, traitor, irresponsible or a combination of two or more of these characteristics …seriously it was frustrating.

4. The audiobook pacing: while I liked the music and the sound idea (I hope to see it in more books). I did find the voice of Christopher Crosby Morris to be very suitable for fairy tales. Yet it was so slow for me (and I mean painfully sloooooooow).

5. I don’t know to which age group this novel target. Because the novelty of the plot and the music would apply to children, yet there are things that I don’t feel comfortable for a child to hear.

Audiobook provided for for review by the author.

The Synchronicity War Part 4 (Volume 4)

The Synchronicity War Part 4 (Volume 4) - Dietmar Arthur Wehr ABR's full The Synchronicity War Part 4 audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

If you haven’t listened to the reset of the The Synchronicity War series, this review may contain spoilers of those books.

Here we are with Book 4 of The Synchronicity War the final installment. I find myself sad that this will be the last. I really hope that Dietmar Wehr writes more military space operas. If you haven’t listened to the previous three books, do your self a favor and do so.

Now actual time travel is possible. We can not only send messages back in time, we can send an AI that doesn’t exist in the past back to warn ourselves of the ultimate destruction coming our way. The question is, how far back in time would you go? Would you go back just far enough to be able to build enough ships to make sure you win the unwinnable battle or would you go back far enough to stop your enemy at the source?
These are the decisions that Shiloh must make.

Yes, this series contains time travel. If you are like me you know that this is a tough area to write about. Paradoxes open them selves up without even realizing it. Dietmar Wehr does a great job making the time travel premise makes sense and seem plausible.

I am really looking forward to more coming from Wehr. He is able to make a space opera journey have heart and soul. While keeping all the technology high tech with just enough techno-babble to keep me interested but not so much that I got board. The emphasis on the growth and development of the AI beings was one of the items that sends this series over the top for me. Along with amazingly deep and multidimensional human characters and also evolve throughout the story.

Throughout this entire series Luke Daniels delivered a performance that was amazing in all aspects, and this last book is no exception. Daniels will continue to be at the top of my go-to narrator list because of performances like the one he give not once but four times in this incredible series.

If you want interesting characters, amazing space battles and rival those of Jack Campbell, time travel that works, hostile and friendly aliens, convincing technology and well a whole lot of fun. This series is for you.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

The Synchronicity War Part 3

The Synchronicity War Part 3 - Dietmar Wehr ABR's full The Synchronicity War Part 3 audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

This is a review of the third book in a series please listen to those first as this review may contain spoilers to those books.

The Synchronicity War (Book 3) picks up right where The Synchronicity War (Book 2) leaves off. Aliens life exists and they all do not want the human race dead. Some are pacifists, they do not have weapons, yet they have vast technological knowledge. Some of which they are willing to share so that humans might survive long enough to save yet another alien race. We found that we can communicate with the past, well at least send messages aka visions, to help ourselves win key strategic battles.

There is a lot happening in this installment, way too many spoilers to giveaway.

Book 3, to my enjoyment, focuses much more on the AI involvement. I love that Wehr went the route of having these artificial beings that humans created become, after maturing somewhat, fully sentient beings. These machine have feelings for humans, especially Shiloh, and we find out for one another. This is one of the driving forces that make this space battle adventure so much fun.

There are a few moments that feel like watching the movie Groundhogs Day, because certain thing are repeated a few times from different perspectives.

Between the publisher’s summary and what I have written above, I cannot say much more about the plot.

Just know this. If you are in need of a multi book epic military based space opera series and has great battle scenes, multidimensional characters with great interactions between, humor, sorrow, makes you squirm in your seat from anticipation, where the technology makes sense, you are in for a wild ride with this one.

Luke Daniels is on the ball with this performance. He handles everything the Wehr throws at him with grace and comes out triumphant. Daniels has this uncanny ability to produce a dozen, give or take, unique and almost monotone robot like voices. Plus all of the human characters and alines with their emotional needs. And it all make sense. Bravo!

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

Predator One

Predator One - Jonathan Maberry ABR's full Predator One audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Ok, I am a huge fan of Joe Ledger, everyone in his team at the DMS, Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter. So I will let the gushing commence. If you have been following this blog from the beginning, not sure how many people were around back then. This is the series that jump started my obsession with audiobooks.

If you are a fan of precise secret agent, hugely entertaining, highly technical and sophisticated military, fast paced action scenes, characters that seem shallow on the surface but are way deeper than you would ever imagine, constant plot twists, turns, dead ends and reboots, expertly crafted stories that are brought to life with a master of his craft narrator. Then Joe Ledger is for you.

If you have yet to listen or read to any of the books in the series, your in luck, because any of them could be picked up and enjoyed in any order. Jonathan Maberry made this possible by briefly introducing most of the characters and a history of what the DMS team has been through.

In my humble little fan-boy opinion, Predator One is hands down the best Joe Ledger novel yet. Why, you ask? Simply because Joe Ledger and his team are unleashed from their reins and allowed to do what they do best. Stop the bad guys. However, in Predator One, each one of them have a huge price to pay. I think everyone of the characters are forever damaged if not killed from, of all things, drones.

Yes, drones. Remote controlled flying machines (there is so much more to this, but I will not spoil the fun) wreak havoc on the DMS, yes there is way more to it than this but trying to keep this simple. Told in a way that made me look around whenever I heard something strange outside or saw a strange shadow coming near me. Along with that Maberry was able to deepen each and every character contained to a level that has never been reached before.

The more that I listen to Ray Porter, the more silky, subtle and commanding his voice becomes. I have not listened to him do much else other than be Joe Ledger so maybe I am biased. You want to hear a story telling technician at work, this is your chance.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

Dark Hope

Dark Hope - H.D.  Smith ABR's full Dark Hope audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Dark Hope by HD Smith is an amazing urban fantasy. The main character, Claire, is the Devil’s personal assistant, but she quickly becomes wrapped up in the politics of the non-human world around her. Sent on a quest to save her life, she encounters troubles in the form of magic, beings that hate her, and mysteries. This quest takes her all over the human and non-human world as she not only has to try to save herself, but also beings that she dislikes as she tries to solve the mystery of who is trying to get her killed, or so she thinks.

I pretty much loved everything about this book. The beginning sucked me in, and I was constantly trying to figure out what was going on as Claire discovered new clues and questions. Claire herself is a spunky 21-year-old with a deep well of sarcasm and skepticism to draw from which she wields with rebellious attitude even when perhaps she shouldn’t. Every character from the big three non-human world rulers: the Devil, Mab, and Harry, to their children and lackeys, are fantastic and have depth. While some characters are definitely evil, many are in a gray area – at least to the reader, which makes trying to figure out motives even more fun. Other than Claire, who is the main character, I didn’t specifically have a favorite character, but I think that I loved and hated, and was unsure about all the right characters. While some of the magic/dream states were a little difficult to follow, other settings were easy to imagine. The end of the novel had a clear wrap-up, but left a healthy amount of questions and openings to lead to future novels. The world building is rich with many different avenues to explore and I can’t wait to keep reading/listening to them.

Lauren Fortgang did an amazing job with the narration. The characterization of each of the different characters, male or female, was spot on. The voices and tones of voice for the characters changed and were well-suited. It was easy forget that someone was even reading the book and to be engrossed with the storyline. The production quality was great. I one hundred percent recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy with strong central female characters.

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

Well Fed (Mountain Man Book 4)

Well Fed (Mountain Man Book 4) - Keith C Blackmore ABR's full Well Fed audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

SPOILER ALERT. If you have not read “Mountain Man book 1” and “Safari (Mountain Man Book 2)“and “Hellifax (Mountain Man Book 3)” best read them before this one. They are all well worth the time and give you a base for what happens in the following books.

Gus is still at the farm. It has been a year and 8 months sense he burned Annapolis. The burns he suffered have healed but left terrible scars. Now he is content to keep watch over the farm for any zombies or rats. They don’t see very many anymore. That doesn’t mean they don’t have to search for necessary things, like toilet paper. Four men go out to see about a mansion that might yield some goods. They don’t come back. Gus is asked to check up on them. So begins the fourth book. Maybe the best of all.

This was a long one but well worth the time. I had the audio version and was hard put to stop for the night. The characters in this series are so well developed you just have to cheer for them. Gus a lonely man doing his best to survive in a deadly new world. He drinks too much and maybe if he were sober he would not get into so much trouble. He had survived for two years on his lonely mountain. Scavaging from empty houses in the nearby towns. He fought zombies, his favorite weapon is a silver bat. During one foray he saves a man, Scott, from the zombies and nurses him back to health. He meets a woman, falls for her, and ends up killing her. This was after she betrayed him and beat the S____ out of him. He killed a mob of zombies and then an invasion of zombie rats, big ones. He blew up his home and was severly burned. Why is this man not dead?

During the telling of this tale we get a vivid, graphic, bloody look at what very well might happen if we suddenly lost all technology and survivel was a matter of kill or be killed. Blackmore delves into the basic downfall of humanity and how some of the worst make it to the top. Only to fall, hard. He follows the dregs as they happily bring more death to the few survivors. Serial killers flourish, megalomaniacs rise and fall, and some just like to torture for the fun of it.
Mr. Bray did a splended job of bringing this book to life. I didn’t have a problem with his voices and liked the tone of his telling. Everything was clear and easy to understand. Audio production was without fault. I sure hope there is another book coming but the ending of this one was excellent.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

sickEST B*stards: An Extreme Horror SHORT STORY

sickEST B*stards: An Extreme Horror SHORT STORY - Matt Shaw ABR's full sickEST Bastards: An Extreme Horror Short Story audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

This is a review of the third book in a series, please read them first before reading this as there will be spoilers here to what happens in those.

No I don’t know about you. But I thought that sickER Bastards did a pretty good job of wrapping this highly disturbing series up. So you can imagine my surprise when I found out about this third and thankfully shortest addition.

sickEST Bastards picks up right where sickER leaves off. Brother is now at his original home with his real parents. Now he finds himself in a situation I don’t think he ever dreamed of. Having killed is real father, he is now the man of the house and decides to become the partner to his real mother. Yes. In all ways. Especially in the perverted ways.

What I liked most about sickEST is that the whole story is told from his mothers perspective. Letting us in an all of the thoughts and horrors going on within her mind. Wrestling with what has just happened in her life. Finding that all her son seems to care about is eating flesh and extreme insetual assult for his own pleasure.

Being only 51 mins long it is hard to say more than this without giving everything away. I find myself wondering who is really the sickEST person here. Matt Shaw for imagining and writing all of this down, Chris Barnes for speaking it out loud or myself for willingly allowing myself to be subjected to the most horrific and perverted stories in existence. You be the judge.

I will say that sickEST is an iron clad finale to this series of total wrongness, or maybe it simply starts the entire circle of perversion all over again.

I have sang many praises over pretty much every performance by Chris Barnes. His performance here is no different. I knew to expect a phenomenal listening adventure with him and the helm. I will always expect this until I am disappointed and I do not ever see that happening.

Just because I have agreed to review books that might question my character. I in NO way condone or approve of any questionable sexual experiences.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves - Bill Meeks ABR's full Dogboy: Den of Thieves audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

I’ve been thinking about this story a lot. On the one hand Dogboy: Den of Thieves Book 1 was well written and narrated though admittedly the narration was simplistic, but then again, I believe it was written for a younger audience (approximately 8-15 year olds) and they would find it to be just right for them. I also believe the production of this program was well done. I’m sure my boys would love to listen to The Dogboy Adventures and then use magic tricks to become the new superheros of the neighborhood. Truly, this story could inspire a great deal of fun for family and friends….hmmm, I’m going to have to figure out costumes now.

On the other hand audiobooks bring the written word to life and this story had a few very dark scenes that might upset young children, i.e., 13 year old Bronson Black’s parents are killed and he must go to live with his very evil uncle Randolph who cares not a bit for him. Yes, I know this happens in real life but the issue is worth mentioning because the things that happen to Bronson would be frightening. If a parent of the very young listens with them then the point is likely moot.

With that being said, overall it’s a sometimes serious, sometimes humorous story about a boy who takes up magic after the death of his parents and uses the magic to become “Dogboy” and save his community. There are quite a few twists along the way but this young superhero is able to work through them while uncovering the mystery of his magician father. I cried a little, I laughed a little, but most of all I did enjoy listening to this first book of I imagine many more to come.

Bill Meeks has a good start on this new series and narrator Nathan Beatty does a fine job of bringing Dogboy’s adventures to life. I think the artwork for the cover shows the artist to be very talented and understanding of the story, and I like it.

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

Unbreakable: A Novel

Unbreakable: A Novel - W.C. Bauers, Andi Arndt ABR's full Unbreakable: A Novel audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Promise Paen, the main character, grows up on one of the outer colonized worlds called Montana. The earth has split into two factions who fight over the resources of the outer colonies. More or less equal in strength, they seem to struggle back and forth gaining and losing worlds. Montana (the planet) has recently joined one of the factions to protect them from pirates. It is in fact a pirate raid that killed Promise’s non-violent father in front of her as a child. She joins the military as soon as she comes of age.

That’s the basic plot, unfortunately, it is mostly hard to believe. The two political factions are woefully undermanned and plot ill-conceived plans that fail constantly. For example, the alliance which protects Montana (the planet) sends 16 marines to protect the planet. Hmm, kinda slim, Slim. The other side, nicknamed the Lucies send some fake pirates to destroy the space port and some of the capital city. Uh, aren’t you going to need that when you take over the planet? And on it goes.

Promise spends some time conversing with a hallucination of her dead heroic mother. We are supposed to believe she is this super soldier, but with psychotic episodes. Though to be honest, this is the most interesting part of the character.

There is lots of action, soldiers in mech suits and laser weapons, spaceship explosions, etc. But somehow, the action seems flat, phoned in, almost boring. The rest of the story is minute details of Montana life and the ridiculous political machinations of its cowboy president and her ex-boyfriend. Not awful, but tedious at times. You ever look at your phone or ipod to see how much longer the book is, this is one of those.

Andi Arndt is the narrator and does a competent job. Nothing about her performance stands out as especially good or bad.

This is a space military novel with some action scenes in space and on the ground with a strong female protagonist. If you generally like this genre of SciFi, you will find something to like about this novel. Also if you like strong female military characters you might also enjoy this one. There is a lot of political and sociological minutia which many listeners may find tedious.

Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

Extinction Horizon (The Extinction Cycle, #1)

Extinction Horizon (The Extinction Cycle, #1) - Nicholas Sansbury Smith ABR's full Extinction Horizon audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

During the Vietnam war a new weapon was created and used. For 10 years, this new weapon runs amok in the jungles killing randomly and thoroughly. Rage fueled, Brett was the first.

“Only one thing mattered, KILL.”

Years later, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and his Delta Force Team are told to enter the jungles and find the top secret medical lab and research facility that has gone off line and dark. Beckham and his team enter the facility expecting one enemy only to find another totally different and deadly one. This enemy cannot be seen but it is a deadly enhanced strain of Ebola that turns men, women, and children into raging flesh ripping monsters. The infection is incurable and highly infectious. Once infected, humans turn into destructive beasts that have one common goal – kill.

Kate Lovato, CDC scientist, is faced with saving the world. Rescued and supported by Beckham, she seeks the cure or at worse another deadly monster that will destroy the variant strain of Ebola infected humans. She’s racing the clock as the disease has already spread and with less than 8 days before humankind is extinct, she has to work quickly. Left on a deserted island in a top secret military facility, Lovato creates a weapon but is it the right one?

I enjoyed Extinction Horizon very much. The plot was very well developed with several twists and turns. A cliffhanger ending but then again, when humans are faced with extinction … no one wants it to be over! Characters are well developed; readers are able to connect with all including the man responsible for ordering the weapon. I liked knowing how the disease came into existence and how it spread. There were no questions other than the most important one – how to stop it.

Bronson Pinchot did an excellent job of narration. It was clear who was speaking and words flowed flawlessly.

Production was excellent. No issues with background noises or any other distractions.

Anyone who listens to this book will enjoy it but especially zombie enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists will LOVE this book!

Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

Cannibal Reign

Cannibal Reign - Thomas Koloniar ABR's full Cannibal Reign audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Cannibal Reign is a Post Apocalyptic, and Thrillers novel by Thomas Koloniar, narrated by Brian Hutchison, and published in June 26th 2012 by Harper, the audiobook by Blackstone Audio Inc.

Warning: this novel contains – rape, cannibalism, violence, strong language, and quite frankly it’s not for the faint hearts or dreamers who waits for happy endings.

An astronaut discovers that an asteroid is coming to earth. Even though the government didn’t want the public to know about it, some people knew about it and tried to get ready for the destruction as fast as possible, while others didn’t know that it was coming. People end up trying to survive in very difficult conditions, this novel about survival in a brutal world who lacks morality and resources.

As for a post apocalyptic novel I found it to have a kind of originality, it was fun, fast paced, and gratifying.

The settings were very real, in fact, the most realistic setting for post-apocalyptic novels in my experience. The characters were well done, stable, logical, and deep, but above it all they were likable. Thomas Koloniar made me feel sad when some of them died. The interaction between them was rational and practically awesome, for me as a psychologist. What I liked about the event is that they were told in very interesting way (that could be from the narration) some events weren’t predictable at all. Full of very good climactic scenes.

The plot was logical with great twists and turns, fast paced (there were scenes you couldn’t just leave unfinished), but what I really liked was the world building it was very structured. The story focused on more than one place which gave more creditability to the authors ability of world building .

As for the narration it was EPIC and I mean it, Brian Hutchison did awesome job in this novel his voice moved me into the story in all its parts, the laughing parts, the sad parts, and the action scenes . He altered the volume of his voice to suit the situation, he gave each character a life with special accent.

Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.