Tag Archives: Thriller

Audio Book Review: Sick by Brett Battles

Sick
Sick by Brett Battles, Read by MacLeod Andrews

4 of 5 stars

*I received a free copy of this audio book for review from Audiobookreview.com*

This was my first Brett Battles book and I must admit, I’m a bit upset I haven’t tried his work before. I had no idea what to expect outside of the description. I am a sucker for a good techno thriller or post-apocalyptic story so I assumed I would enjoy it and plugged in my earbuds.
Captain Daniel Ash and his family had only lived here for just a few months when he woke from a nightmare to find his daughter burning hot, and though his son seemed fine, his wife was dead in bed. They were separated, put into containment trucks, and hauled off to a secure facility. After hours of being held Ash is informed by Dr. Littlefield that his daughter and son had fallen to the illness, but that he was immune to the virus.

The Virus being KV27A, an airborne virus that can seep into the eyes, nose, mouth, or any other open wound or orifice. Its fatality rate nearly 100%. Due to the fact that Captain Ash seems to show immunity, Dr. Littlefield plans to kill Ash and examine his body in hopes to make a vaccine. After eight weeks in the cell, Daniel Ash finds himself escaping, with the help of some new friends, from an exploding building. Though they saved his life, the strangers had Daniel drugged and tied down.

Upon waking he offered food and no longer restrained. He was introduced to a man named Matt Hamilton who runs an underground militia known as The Ranch. Matt informed him that his bloodline carried the immunity and that his children were, in fact, alive. He was also told the Virus was man-made and the name of the person responsible for the virus, and his wife’s fate, Nathaniel Karp. Doctor Karp is part of a secret government agency who has a extreme, and insane idea to “save” the human race.

Meanwhile, the virus spread farther than expected due to an oversight by the cleanup team causing the quarantine zone to expand and infect a group of students on their way home. Battles goes on to introduce you to a few characters: Paul, a teenager who tries to escape and witness something horrible instead. Tamara, a reporter trying to make her career but makes enemies instead, as well as Martina and Ben, who are among the group of stranded students. All interesting characters who seemingly have a larger role in the following books, which are already added to my “to-read” list.

This intriguing thriller is brought to life my MacLeod Andrews, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. He is actually what drew me to this book in the first place. After hearing him do STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson, I was hooked. This was no different than his other performances. If anything, he’s gotten even better and I will continue to follow him.

All in all this was a very engrossing story. Battles makes you care about the characters and unravels the tale at a great pace. There wasn’t constant action, nor was there a lot of dull dialogue. I’m extremely anxious to try more of his work, in and outside of the Project Eden series. I would suggest this techno-thriller to anyone who likes the Wayward Pines or Joe Ledger series.

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Review: Safe Havens: Shadow Masters

Safe Havens: Shadow MastersSafe Havens: Shadow Masters by J.T. Patten

 

Originally posted to Audio Book Reviewer

Wow, did this book surprise me! I had no prior knowledge of the author or narrator and chose to review it on a whim, I just liked the title, it intrigued me. I didn’t even read the summary, just jumped down the slide head first, exhilarated by every twist, turn, and drop the ride had to offer.
Sean Havens was on an assignment in the Republic of Yemen when he got word from his wife, Christina, that their daughter had been raped and the rapist was threatening to kill her for going to the police. Sean was furious, and told wife he’d be home in a few days. After getting a shady passport from his employers, he ran into some trouble heading to the States, forcing him to make a detour through Dubai. Meanwhile, as Havens tries to figure how he is getting home, Christina and Maggie are attacked at their house killing Christina and putting Maggie in a coma. Upon arriving home, Sean is told by police the attacks on his family were gang related. Sean Havens wasn’t sure about that. Is it that simple, or is there something bigger there? He didn’t know, but what he did know what whoever was responsible will pay. The Havens are not a family to be targeted or toyed with.

When it first got started I was a little put off by the narration. It read much faster than I expected. I don’t know if it was Charles Kahlenberg reading quickly or if it was an editing issue, but it was there. It got much better after the first few chapters, though there were points the performance felt a little rushed. That being said, Mr. Kahlenberg’s voice and presence were great. His resonance in the book was ear catching and held my attention. Great narration, with sub par production quality due to the speed. It won’t keep me from trying Kahlenberg’s work again though, hopefully on the next Sean Havens thriller.

Let me tell you, it does not disappoint! This was a bit darker than I expected it would be and it was all the better for it. Charles’s voice lent perfectly to the almost brooding Sean Havens character. I tried to think of a comparison or reference a couple other characters out there that might come close to Sean Havens. The fact is, he’s his own entity, unique from other protagonists in the genre and very well done. A story full of deceit, conspiracy, revenge, and surprises around every corner, this is a story for all thriller fans, do not pass on Sean Havens. J.T. Patten is new on the seen and if the adrenaline pumping Shadow Masters is any indication, he’s going to be force in the genre.

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The Fold – Another enthralling tale by Peter Clines

image

Meet Lelan “Mike” Erikson, a brilliant man with an eidetic memory who has dedicated his life to teaching high school literature. This may seem odd for a man with Mike’s gifts, but he just wants a normal life. His normal life was going pretty well, too, despite his best friend continuously trying to recruit him to DARPA. Until the day came that Reggie Magnus, the aforementioned best friend and big wig at DARPA, offered him a job on a secret project to which he could not say no.

Enter the Albuquerque Door, the secret project that is up for a renewal of funds from DARPA. It is Mike’s job to ensure Reggie the door works and is worthy of all the financing. The Albuquerque Door project uses a homemade supercomputer to run equations that opens a “fold” in dimensions, which they are using to travel instantly from one point to another. Mike was awestruck by the things he saw in his short time with the project, and everything seemed to be working as advertised, though he did suspect the group did not actually understand how it worked. Then the day came when one of the members of the team took his 85th trip through the gate. Upon stepping through the “exit”, something went terribly wrong; he was deformed and in pain, had a recent stab wound in his side, and had injuries a year old that he did not have when he entered the door. They feared the worst. They suspected that instead of you stepping through the door, you actually step into a separate reality and that reality’s you steps out. Rest assured, Mr. Clines explains that in a much more elegant way than me. Things go from bad to worse, and in a hurry. Objects are doubling, the gateway is staying open by itself, green cockroaches with an extra appendage are appearing, and a surprise visit from an old friend the group had thought “lost” forever.

This enthralling tale was made all the more engrossing with Ray Porter’s narration. The man commands attention when he reads, I willingly and gladly give it. He speaks with passion and voice that is second to none. If you haven’t experienced Mr. Porter’s exceptional skills, do yourself a favor… Listen to anything he has done, I promise you won’t be sorry you spent the time.

Between the thrilling storytelling by Peter Clines and exceptional performance by Ray Porter, I couldn’t take the earbuds out! A great audiobook that will be revisited again, at least once. An exciting story with surprising twists and quantum donuts, I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading or listening.

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The Sleep Police by Jay Bonansinga

Originally posted to Audiobookreviewr.com

The sleep police

My only previous experience from Jay Bonansinga, as many others I’m sure, is THE WALKING DEAD novels. If you read them, or heard the audio version, the work speaks for itself, it’s very good. I got offered to review this for Audiobookreviewer.com by Paul, the man behind the great site, not even knowing it was available. I snagged it up, ready to get started.

The story focuses on Frank Janus, a veteran homicide detective with a troubled passed. He grew up with a crazy mother who warned her children that the Sleep Police came for young boys who stayed up too late. Having lost their father early, Frank and his brother became accustomed to seeing a string of “uncles” come through their mother’s bedroom. One night Frank walked in on his mother sitting at the ended of the bed, mumbling to herself, with a dead body laying in her room. Mrs. Janus was committed to a psychiatric facility. This drove Frank Janus to pursue a career in law enforcement and he devoted his life to it, becoming destined to carry the badge.

Ten years ago, a young Detective Janus come across a case that would haunt his life for the following decade, The Thumb Sucker killer. The case went cold, but not before it really messed with Janus’s mind; causing blackouts and forcing him to start seeing a psychiatrist. Now in his late thirties, he’s walking into an all too familiar scene with his partner, Sully Deitz, with a woman curled in the fetal position, a thumb in her mouth. The Thumb Sucker was back, and Frank thought he might be breaking. While working the case, Janus comes across a videotape that sends his world spinning. It was the killer, confessing everything to Sully Deitz, even his name. He called himself…The Sleep Police. After a long talk with therapist, Dr. Pope, Janus starts investigating himself in hopes he’s wrong. Things get worse for Frank; he finds another tape, gets arrested, escapes, blacks-out again, and has to call his ex-wife.

The narration was great in this book, as was the audio quality. I was unfamiliar with Paul Heitsch prior to this book but, he brought the story to life. He fit the story perfectly with good voices, easily identifiable, and read at a good speed (this may seem silly but if you’ve ever heard a slow narrator, you’ll understand it can be a bit tedious). I hope I come across some more of his work soon.

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Predator One – Another winner!

Predator One

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.

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