Dark of Night – Flesh and Fire by Jonathan Maberry narrated by Ray Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*I received a free copy of this audio book for review via AudiobookJukebox.com*
I cannot get enough Jonathan Maberry, so you could imagine my enthusiasm when I found out about this book. It takes three of Jonathan’s worlds and melds them together. Joe Ledger, from his bestselling thrillers, meets Des Fox of the Dead of Night series. That series leads into his run of hit Post-Apocalyptic zombie tales, Rot & Ruin. Rachael Lavin makes her debut as well laying out the adventure of Rachael; a cosplayer who, out of necessity due to the new world in which they now live, turned real life superhero. Having read virtually all of the books from those three series, save maybe a novella or two, I put this at the very tip top of the queue. I also was very excited to see how well Jonathan and Rachael work together. I have very high hopes as Jonathan Maberry is a proven editor, and exceptional one. These ingredients mixed with Ray Porter performing is a recipe for a hit.
The story starts off six months after the events of Fall of Night. Des Fox sets off in hopes of finding somewhere more secure for her people and ends up running into some major trouble, Joe and his dog are doing their best to save a girl from some thugs and ends up running into a situation he may have been better off avoiding, and Rachael sets off to find more survivors to bring back to her base and ends up coming across something only a hero can handle. In a world where the word “safe” has almost no meaning, the three take seperate paths as they battle their way through the dead and the living culminating in a thrilling and intense conclusion fit for a Maberry novel.
Jonathan Maberry’s writing was never in question of course; the man knows how to tell a story and tell it extremely well. Not to mention the fact he can write a very intense and completely enthralling fight scene. Rachael Lavin’s debut was a home run in my opinion. She has a very similar style of writing to Maberry, probably due in part to her time in his writing program, Writing for Teens. That said, she absolutely has a voice all her own and she knows how to use it. She channels her inner hero, intertwines it with her apparent love of comics, through her writing and delivers an enthralling tale. For any that may be concerned with jumping into this book without having previously read any of his other work, do not be deterred. The author does a great job of including backstory and easter eggs for his characters through very well done dialogue. Dialogue delivered with precision by Ray Porter.
Ray Porter is without a doubt my favorite narrator. Every book is a stellar performance. Despite the fact that he reads his books cold (he does no prereading, just jumps in), or maybe because of it, he reads with passion and precision, and speaks as if he knew the characters personally. Very few writer/reader combos can compete with Maberry and Porter; I’m convinced Ray is in fact Jonathan’s “writing voice” come to life. The fact that Rachael Lavin has such a similar writing style to her predecessor made for a seamless and stellar narration of all points of view in the novel. For fans of Jonathan Maberry and/or Ray Porter this audio book is an absolute must have. It brings the authors world together in epic fashion and explores new facets of the characters. It’s an outstanding debut for Lavin and a collision of awesome for Maberry.
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Predator One by Jonathan Maberry, read by Ray Porter
What a book! I always wait with anticipation for the next Jonathan Maberry novel. Always. This time was no exception. I have re-listened to every Ledger book over the last few months in preparation. Timing it just right, I finished Code Zero Monday on my way home from work. Tuesday morning I set in for an adventure. I was not disappointed.
It was going to be a good day. Joe and Rudy were at opening day in Baltimore. They were going to watch a true American Hero throw out the first pitch and shake hands with Joe’s all time hero, his father. Junie, Circe, and Lydia were in San Francisco house hunting. Then, out of nowhere, Circe faints. Meanwhile in Baltimore, a small remote airplane flies over the field, doing tricks and dives. The crowd was loving it! In the blink of an eye. BOOM! A good day went very, very bad. A quick series of events involving timers, guns, and…pigeons? WTF?…sends Church and the entirety of the D.M.S. into a battle they are ill prepared for, and a name they thought they’d never hear again. This time though, it’s all personal. A computer program developed by a man who puts even the D.M.S.’s top expert, Bug, to shame, can take control of virtually any military equipment with a CPU. It wreaks chaos, sending Captain Ledger and the rest of the Echo team on a mission they thought was completed years ago. While Echo team tries to find the bastard behind this, unknown to them as The Gentleman; Church is stranded on Air Force One, a plane no longer under their control, and Rudy Sanchez is battling his own demons. Oh yeah, and a nice little glimpse of where Joe Ledger gets his tenacity.
I devoured this audiobook in 2 days. Ray Porter delivered an absolutely incredible performance. I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks narrated by Mr. Porter and he is easily my favorite narrator, so I will obviously show no bias. He is Joe Ledger. I’m sure you’ve seen that before, so have I. It’s just fact. The man adds so much to this story with his intensity. Every character has his or her own voice and they all get their own special touch of character from Ray Porter. You can hear the passion he has for these characters in every word.
This is a must read and a must listen. It’s one of the best Ledger books yet. It adds depth to a lot of characters and is packed with adrenaline.
I really enjoyed this book. When I first bought this book I was concerned it would be difficult to relate to, due to the fact it was originally published in the 1930’s. In fact, there were only a couple things that made it seem “old”:
1) Cigarettes, they were smoking everywhere.
2) prohibition has recently ended
3) An abundance of derogatory slurs towards homosexuality.
The 3rd was the only thing that really bugged me about the story. Though not enough to really take anything away from my enjoyment, more of an annoyance. This aspect has a similar feel to H.P. Lovecraft and his racist comments throughout his works, if you are familiar.
Ray Porter is a fantastic narrator. In fact, I found this book by searching for Ray Porter on Audible. He always gives a solid performance, this was no different.
If you’re a fan of books like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, you will like this book. Philip Marlowe, the novel’s main protagonist, operates very similar to Reacher. The differences being Marlowe is less violent a character, and he is an actual Private Detective.
All in all, a good story with great narration. Highly recommended.