In Part 2 of The Synchronicity War Saga, Earth, and its 11 billion human inhabitants squeezed onto its crowded shores is now the frontline in an increasingly nasty war of annihilation against a nameless, completely depersonalized enemy that Mr. Wehr hasn't taken the time to name yet, has refused to devote a single sentence of inter-alien dialogue or physically described in any way whatsoever. Is this an intentional strategy of negation where the aliens are totally devoid of any redemptive value, as single minded agents of obliteration? Hard to say.
Maybe Mr. Wehr is saving up all of the alien's dialogue for the next installment. Who knows, those bastards might turn out to be a bunch of chatty, disgustingly superficial blowhards who can't shut up unless their blown up.
Anyways, at least Mr. Wehr had the presence of mind to include in his cast of characters everyone's favorite SS Panzer Army commander- General Sepp Dietrich. In Part 2 Sepp takes on the role of Fleet Admiral and second in command to the Big Kahuna.
As for the main character CAG Shiloh, I dig his dedication to the AI fighter fleet led by the irrepressible Iceman. They think of him, Shiloh that is, as a kind of father figure, and he is as protective of them as any father would be towards his own children. If Shiloh hears anyone talk shit about AI's behind any of the AI's virtual backs, that individual's career is quickly 86'ed. I respect the AI's ability to quickly acquire handy stock fighter pilot lingo and their growing sense of wonderment at what Iceman termed "humanity's obsession with fecal matter and procreative activities".
I am super ready for Part 3. So many questions to answer. Can humanity bounce back after that little shit sneezed into the candy jar on the spaceship? Memo to those idiots in that spaceship's bio- med lab: What the flying fuck were you MENSAS thinking when one of you placed that ubiquitous glass jar of irresistible mint candies in a stand alone location just inside the wide open, unguarded bio-medical research lab located for reasons I cannot fathom right next to the living quarters for the bunch of refugees suspected of harboring a ultra-deadly strain of some pan-death flu virus? Step back and think about it. Here comes some snot nosed little runt waltzing out of his family's quarters and within six steps is inside an authorized personnel only bio-med research lab staring at the candy jar. I don't even think he had to twist the lid off. As he starts fishing for a candy he feels that itch in the back of his nose just as he reaches deeper into the jar, his face is right over the jar's mouth, and.......... Thus begins the mother of all pandemics with humanity circling the extinction drain in ever tighter circles. And not one person asked " Why is there a jar of candies in the middle of the restricted Bio-med lab?" Or, "Do we really want to work right next to these potential vectors?" Or, "Isn't Ensign (insert last name here) supposed to be on watch down at the Bio-md lab this afternoon?" The rest is tragedy.
I know one thing - as soon as book #2 pops up on the Audible New Releases page I am snapping it up immediately. Mr. Moss's fertile mind has created a vanguard team of virtually unstoppable and ruthlessly remorseless killers tasked with ............ listen and you shall know. What I can say is 20 and some change hours of listening went by very quickly. If you listen to Fear the Sky you will encounter mole agents ready to subvert well-laid plans, several pompous asses who despise all who are below them on the social ladder, barrel-fuls of well timed rather graphic curses and threatening phrases uttered both internally and right in the face of a soon to be bloody mound of broken bones. The French character Jean Paul let loose a particularly awe inspiring ruthless stream of obscenities and threats of extreme brutality he would perpetrate on his wingman's wife and small children back home if his wingman didn't do what he wanted. Come to think of it, this audiobook took a decidedly vicious turn at about the 17hr mark as the scope of violence and general nastiness was definitely clicked up a few notches by the evil vanguard folks.
I cannot remember reading / listening to a book that had a set of more heavily armed, technologically endowed and able to walk away from being shot 450-500 times and fight another day utter invincibility than the ones found in this audiobook. Think that you would stand a chance with your Kevlar vest and banana clipped assault rifle? Think again. Before your brain could even send the nerve impulse to your trigger finger with a squeeze command one of these uber-droids would already be stepping over the assorted pieces of your once intact body; their only concern is over how to avoid getting your viscera on their shoes.
Buy this audiobook. This could be the beginning of a truly epic series.
The wonderful thing about fiction is that the author can stretch just about any limits he or she wants within the framework of the overall story.
A country's military capacity woefully underestimated? Aircraft carriers smashed from one missile hit? Ticonderoga class cruisers unable to do what they are designed to do - protect the flattops from missile strikes with their batteries of SM-3's - due to an uber-nasty system bug? For all of the above mentioned "fictitious" scenarios, one need only to take the time to read about recent developments taking place, as I type these words, in a certain western Pacific country to find out that Billions, that's with a B, are being funneled into R&D programs to make these scenarios a reality. This country I mentioned has already made operational land launched mobile anti-ship ballistic missiles capable of blasting ( if the aircraft carrier is lucky) a massive hole in its flight deck that basically renders it "hors d' combat" or (if the aircraft carrier is SOL) sending it to the bottom of the ocean along with the vast majority of its crew. The only fiction going on here is the belief that it cannot possibly happen between two modern and deadly capable maritime powers if / when they drop the gloves and start trying to beat the shit out of each other.
The listener will note that the U.S. Navy fights almost exclusively in or around western Pacific littoral areas, basically just over the fence of the aggressor nation's back yard. China, in this book's case, and the country I am writing about in this review has indeed created and continues to strengthen its western Pacific / South China Sea PLAN and PLA Second Artillery anti-access and area-denial warfare (A2/AD) capabilities with the intent of making any aggressor think not only twice but long and hard over whether it is worth the potential losses to its fleet's ships if it decides to send them close to China's strategic maritime zones.
Throughout this engagement, China is operating not more than 700 - 1000 miles from its shores operating on internal lines. They rolled the dice and tried to fustigate, emasculate and ultimately obliterate the USN's Pacific Fleet through cyber shenanigans and the expenditure of massive numbers of recently developed / deployed long range SAM's and aircraft carrier busting ASBM's. In this work of fiction and the nonfiction world where we exist, clinging through the omnipresent force of gravity onto this orbiting chunk of rock by our feet, China understands that if they were to go up against the whole of the USN, they would get the crap beat out of them and be left with maybe a coastal patrol boat or two. They know this, the U.S. knows this. What China wants to do is draw a liquid line in the western Pacific, a line that continues to expand eastwards as the PLAN increases its capabilities and numbers of surface and subsurface combatants, that represents a "military no go zone" to any and all countries who challenge their A2/AD strategy through military action. It's a strategic head game that is not overtly offensive, but cannot be said to be purely defensive either. It's a modern Chinese strategic machination through and through.
By the way, never heard of PLA Second Artillery? Well, you should, as this force would be the one that cracks USN aircraft carriers in two if for some monstrously tragic reason fecal matter starts running into fans over some disputed undersea oil field or sea/airborne invasion of Taiwan. Questioning this author's veracity? As I mentioned above, take the time, read about the situation and for Odin's sake shake off the "everything is just right because I think it is and want it to be" crap. Face it, we live in a dangerous world chock full of nuts seeking nukes, missile armed myopic mouth-breathers and various 95 pound weakling failed states with an axe to grind doing their damndest to punch way above their weight in a pathetic attempt to appear relevant.
What does all this have to do with the audiobook I just finished listening to? My job is merely to unlock the door. You, fair reader of this review, must now stride through. I recommend you drop the dime, it's worth your time. Hours of pretty well written and researched combat action scenes and a wonderfully crafted, totally intense, shamelessly graphic 20 minute long hardcore threesome sex scene that had me rewinding several times (JK - I think there was a peck on the cheek around 8hrs 34 minutes into the audiobook, sorry for the tease......).
Willful Child is a must buy. I guarantee that you will laugh more and more as the audiobook unfolds. Starts a smidge slow / awkward, but after you get into the mix the dialogue heats up and you fill find yourself cracking up at regular intervals.
After careful consideration I have assigned Willful Child a score of 9.68 on my Modified Integrated Listening Fun (MILF) Scale. And that, my friends, is a lofty score indeed!
I have been waiting for an audiobook that allows me to sit back and listen to in peace and just laugh; nothing heavy, nothing dark like 95% of tediously recycled epic whine fest where some pigeon chested orphan goes to mage school and gets bullied and then slogs off to find that chinsey magic sword blah blah blah that is being pumped out these days with monotonous plentitude. To the authors cookie cutting these 892 pg. yawners I say lighten up and put down the bag of heavily salted snack treats. Stop slouching toward looking like Comic Book Store Guy's doppelganger from that cartoon comedy show.
As to the characters: the A.S.F. Willful Child is led by the fearless Captain Hadrian Sawback. He is complimented by memorable crewmembers like the insatiably sultry Lt. Nippleback, Tammy the gender confused species switching evil A.I., the semi conscious lush that is Adjutant Tige who tirelessly attempts to fustigate Captain Sawback's self appointed mission of unrestrained mayhem, a whole bunch of other memorable individuals, and, lastly, Dr. Printlip - the gasping chief medical officer who I could not get enough of. His gasping, out of breath orations absolutely had me laughing out loud at least 18 times. His professional spraying of the Captain's arms, hands and other body parts made him an indispensable multi-armed member of the crew.
The variety of adventures the Willful Child's crew experience - low - G ping pong in the Captain's state room, the near fatal debrief between the ultra - pneumatic Marine lieutenant and Captain Sawback (word of the day: cigar), the death struggle with those saliva spewing alien miscreants, homicidal gerbils and so much more will have you sitting at the edge of your seat from the moment you press play until that guy intones "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program....."
MacLeod Andrews did a top shelf job juggling at least 8 - 10 different character voices. I was impressed with his range - especially with the Doctor's gasps - pure audiobook excellence.
In summation, I cannot say enough about the fun I had listening to Willful Child. Drop the dime, it is worth your time. I have been waiting ever since Red Dwarf for a super funny science fiction space odyssey audiobook. I have found it with this story. I want a sequel!
Imperfect Sword continues the saga of Midway's two leaders, Drakon and Iceni, as they try to lead their planet system out of the clutches of the Syndics, those conniving, backstabbing "Snakes" who would rob Santa Claus, butcher his reindeers, proceed to club poor old Saint Nick to death with the torn off legs of what once was his ride and then burn the presents in front of an orphanage just to see the looks on the children's faces. Syndics suck, period.
Drakon can't seem to get more than 4 minutes at any point to look Iceni in her eyes and explain to her his true feelings about her. Maybe he is just self conscious about explaining to her why it looks like he's always smuggling a banana in his uniform pants pocket whenever she is around. Has there ever been two people who are so right for each other, and so in desperate need of a 2 week vacation than these two?
Anyways, this book is a worthy addition to the Perilous Shield series. In these 11 and change hours there is more intrigue, more hate filled blood thirsty revenge base internal dialogue than you can shake a stick at, and then there's Morgan - the ultimate exemplar of pure badassitude who, within 40 seconds of her name first being uttered by Mr. Vietor, had already snuffed the life out of 4 Syndics and left 2 permanently disfigured and bleeding heavily. Morgan, in my humble opinion, makes black widows and male head grubbing preying mantis's look like submissive houesfraus obsessed with pleasing their man in every way he wants.
Drakon is very lucky he just got away with a drunken shoot and scoot with the obligatory bun in the oven, or at least a bun in someone's oven who is standing in as fetus nourisher, while the real mom, i.e. Morgan is off on a mission somewhere busily castrating every male syndic who strays within a 20 mile radius of her. I ask you, who wouldn't want a mother like Morgan? I know she would make a wonderful mom. Just look at what she did to protect her unborn child. The surrogate is basically wired to explode and bring down a skyscraper if Drakon even looks at Morgan wrong or tries to discover who the victim, err, surrogate mother is and mess with the kid. One wrong move and boom! splat! there goes your baby, Drakon...... As I said who wouldn't want a mother like Morgan? Drakon is a lucky man to have someone like Morgan in his life.
Iceni better step up and do what needs doing if she is to get her man. Or, Drakon should just search out an out of the way cubbyhole / hidy-ho where he and Iceni can rapidly strip, engage in a gerbilesque frantic bout of love bumping and get the hell out of there before Morgan can track down the sensor bleep ringing in her earpiece coming from the tracking device she implanted in Drakon's ball sack that night he drilled her then passed out on top of her.
In summation, buy the audiobook. It is another gem from Jack Campbell. Marc Vietor is a pro is at the top of his game. I look forward to dozens more in this series, each one ending with a variation of the theme where scores of wimpering recently gelded Syndic eunochs slowly crawl away from a demurely smiling Morgan standing there with one hand holding a bloody stiletto and the other cradling her infant as the little bundle of love softly suckles at her breast.
I have no idea as I only have the audio version. Therefore the audio version, with Christian Rummel on the mic, is at least 12.5 times better than me listening to my inner voice droning on and on inside my head as I read the book.
I forget the guy's name at the moment, as there are a bunch of separate short stories in this audiobook. He was one of the Slammers hover tank commanders in one of the Hammer's Slammer's stories. What set him apart was his cold blooded proficiency when things hotted up at that spaceport he was attacking. When his tank scuddered into a depression where four enemy armored cars were laying low he did not panic, he did not waver. He systematically turned each one of those vehicles into unrecognizable piles of smoking scrap in less time than it took me to type this sentence. And yes, cyan blooms of vaporizing titanium, a staple of Hammer's Slammer's explosion descriptions, was in the offing.
What? Didn't I just answer this question? As far as I recall, Christian Rummel didn't run out of the booth and someone else hopped in and took over. Come on Audible, work with me here!
I don't want to sound redundant, but as soon as I heard Christian Rummel begin a new story and in the middle of a sentence he said..."something something Hammer's Slammers ......" I immediately and somewhat involuntarily sat up in my chair, raised both arms over my head, clinched my fists and let out a "YES!" I loved that series, bought every audiobook and keep them on a standby transfer status. It has been a while since new audiobook material has been produced for that series, and I for one am happy that more of this series has been made available.
If you like to listen to an audiobook that gets you strapped into the commander's copula of a 22nd century armored fighting vehicle that is fully engaged in a high intensity and target rich environment on some god forsaken, sun scorched outer planet somewhere far away from here, then finish reading this review, give me a well deserved helpful review click, and purchase any and / or all of David Drake's Hammer's Slammers audiobooks. You will not be disappointed. Stefan Rudnicki's narration is masterful throughout the series.
Get this audiobook. There isn't a throw away short story in it. I bought it yesterday and just finished it. Solid action, Christian Rummel is one of the best narrators in the history of everything everywhere, especially when he is narrating a fast paced military science fiction zorchfest like this audiobook. Drop the dime, it's worth your time!
As I had previously purchased the book, I was re-familiarized with the depth of Wawro's disregard for anything and everything even remotely related to the Austro - Hungarian army's leadership before and during the First World War. After reading / listening to this litany of indictments I came away with the same persistent question, "Why would Wawro, after putting in prodigious research and formulating a central thesis for the book, really want to write it?"
Now, before hackles get raised and your eyeballs begin their arching movements in their sockets, I am very much aware that there is no written or unwritten rule that the author has to be sympathetic to his or her subject matter in order to write his or her book.
I guess the old saying "Let dead dogs decompose" or something to that effect... may be what I am weakly trying to convey. Maybe I am trying to say that Wawro's book could have expounded more on the plight of the Austro - Hungarian soldier facing the "Russian Steamroller" on the Galician front who found himself consistently outnumbered, outmaneuvered, lacking effective artillery support, exhausted after needlessly marching scores of miles from his detraining location too far in the rear and lacking adequate resupply of pretty much everything needed to sustain him in combat (food, ammunition, medical supplies, fodder for the horses, etc.).
Instead Wawro appeared to be constantly "re-amazed" that Austro-Hungarian generals, Conrad von Hotzendorf, the KUK Chief of Staff, in particular, could repeatedly conjure up unrealistic plans of maneuver against the Russians. After the eighth paragraph length version of "How could von Hotzendorf be so blind, callous and strategically naïve", I kind of said to myself, "alright, I get it, move on." Wawro did not move on in many cases.
Listening to Wawro completely rip apart any scrap of legitimacy Hungary thought it had regarding its role as ally and partner to Austria before and during the war. Wawro throws out fact after damning fact of Hungarian pre war obstructionism, dishonesty, petty paranoia about perceived yet nonexistent threats to its status as co-partner in the Empire. It made me sick all over listening to Wawro drone on about how much of a backstabbing ass Hungary turned out to be in the years leading up to the war.
For example, take this gem - Yeah, Hungary, those big bad Romanian and Croat "separatists" over there are really going to revolt against you and massacre Magyars wholesale if you allow 10% of the eligible voting population right to vote (down from 80% when Austria held the decision switch before 1870). Am I getting this straight? And you are going to withhold 70% of the already allocated military budget for all A-H armed forces not stationed in Hungary AGAIN this fiscal year if those two ethnic groups are allowed to have their 10%? What a punk move by representatives of a people who, in my humble opinion, should have been sent to bed with their goulash and barred from public office (the reps. in Budapest that is, not the group of people they represented).
The above typed scenario actually happened. Look it up if you question my veracity. Hungary was a worse enemy than Russia when it came military preparedness and armaments development, and by 1910 Austria was so sick of the crap Budapest was pulling that Operation U was on its way to becoming reality until Emperor Franz Josef ratted the plan out to a couple Budapest newspapers in a backstabbingly weak and as unpatriotic as humanly possible move designed to discredit his nephew and heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, for fuck's sake! Dear reader, this stuff is so amazing and true, that I couldn't make this up in my most creative moments. How did this ramshackle, self destructive empire last so long? Yet again, Austria - Hungary willingly seemed to want to self immolate itself with no apparent reason other than that fact that it could do so. Amazing!
Just by typing this review I seem to have caught the Wawro virus and feel the need to throw an overhead brass knuckled haymaker directly in the center of the face of the perpetrators of Austria-Hungary's defeat and downfall. I could type and type about how much Hungary was to blame for the defeats of 1914, but I fear I will lose my laser beam focus I have meticulously adhered to so far in this review.
His voice. When I read the book I used my "internal voice". So, now I get to hear his.
I began to have rather strong feelings of sympathy for that unknown Austrian Landser squatting in some shallow trench somewhere west of Lemberg in early September 1914 with two clips of rifle ammo left, a few crumbs of stale bread in one of his pockets who just saw his sergeant bleed out because the medic was 2 kilometers to the rear. To his front he can just see the next wave of Russian soldiers advancing out of the distant tree line. Where are his battalion's machine guns? Where is the supporting artillery batteries? What the fuck is he to do with what he has at hand? There are no divisional reinforcements - they are still entrained coming up from their fiasco in Serbia. There are no battalion reserves, everyone who can hold a rifle is spread out to the left and right of him and probably wondering similar thoughts. All he can do is hold out for as long as possible and pray that the commanders, whoever they are, wherever they are will decide that his situation is untenable and order a pull back 5, 10, 20 kilometers to the west, hopefully behind that river he crossed a few days earlier. It looked defendable.
The sad fact is that he has zero control over his situation and that fact saps most of this will to combat. So he looks to the east, checks to make sure his remaining clip is where it should be and then sights his rifle on one of those thousands of Russian infantry across the dusty field that looks like he might be an officer, maybe a lieutenant leading his platoon. Amid the chatter of and dust kicked up around him from the section of Russian machine guns covering the advance from their reverse slope positions to the left the Landser fires his Mannlicher and sees his target crumple face first into the Galician soil. As he clears the spent casing and slides the bolt back he temporarily forgets his own tragic situation and lets his training take hold. Just sight in, pip up the sight for range, then squeeze and eject. Just like at the firing range in Klagenfurt. Nothing else matters now.
He is a Kaisertrau soldier of the Austro-Hungarian Army fighting for his beloved Austria, his Emperor Franz Josef and, most importantly, his comrades on the firing line around him.
This is the kind of emotional response I felt when listening to Wawro's accounts of the battles around Lemberg in Eastern Galicia in September, 1914. Issues like grand strategy or the absurd decision to detrain Austrian army units at the northern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains instead of 50 - 100 miles closer to the Galician border where the actual fighting would take place somewhat faded into the background to be replaced with a sympathy for the common soldier and his daily struggle to stay alive in a truly horrible situation.
I must say a word about the Austro - Hungarian army detraining fiasco. To unload those hundreds of thousands of soldiers each weighed down with 50-60 pounds of equipment was one of the first of many truly monumental errors made by Austrian leaders when you consider it is late August, with day time temps. in the high 80's, the "roads" are nothing more than wide dirt paths that churn up choking dust that clings to the sweat soaked soldiers in the marching column, stinging eyes and swelling already parched throats shut). By the time the Austro - Hungarian armies first encountered Russian armies moving west and southwest around SE Poland and NE Galicia, they were utterly exhausted after the ridiculously long approach marches they were compelled to undertake by von Hotzendorf.
Wawro did point out that Austrian generals such as Auffenberg and Dankl made strenuous arguments to von Hotzendorf to keep the trains moving closer to the initial starting line for their planned offensives so as to not exhaust their units before combat was to begin. No dice! For reasons only von Hotzendorf felt justified, their protests came to naught and the soldiers detrained in some cases 5-6 full day's marching distance (at 15 - 20 miles marching distance daily) from where they were to BEGIN their operations. 100 miles in full packs in the Summer over sandy roads with little hope of a hot meal at the end of the day's march? And then the real action begins? Nonsense! Utter Nonsense!
That is why my heart went out to that unknown Landser stuck in his shallow scrape. His army high command had little if any real idea of the nature of the combat he was engaged in, and did not exercise an iota interest in finding out whether their pre-war presumptions about the ability of units to advance in a modern battlefield swept by modern weapons (machine guns, bolt action rifles with smokeless powder and effective ranges out to 1200 meters, high trajectory howitzer fire from up to 8-10 kilometers in the enemy's rear that can arc over defensive works and deliver high explosives or shrapnel accurately) could survive in sufficient numbers to take and hold enemy positions. There were many more just as important issues they ignored. The lack of leadership shown by the Austro - Hungarian general staff cost their army an estimated 375,000 casualties (with an estimated 250,000 Killed and wounded and 125,000 taken prisoner) BY THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER 1914 - LESS THAN ONE MONTH INTO WW1!
Max Hoffman hit the bull's eye when he described what it was like to be at war with Austria-Hungary as an ally, "It is like dancing with a corpse." Enough said.
No, I think I have bled enough in the above typed screed. Buy the audiobook. You too can experience how much, or should I say how little Mr. Wawro thinks of the Austro-Hungarian war machine.
It must be mentioned for the record that A-H was fact on the winning side against Tsarist Russia in 1917. They might have metaphorically had to be wheeled in on a medical gurney with all types of life support tubes keeping its wheezing, emaciated and otherwise chronically chronic bag of bones alive to the End of the War in the East Barbecue and Beer Fest that Germany held at Hindenburg's pad, but show they did and even brought 3 kegs!
In the interests of full disclosure, it was revealed that only one keg actually held beer and the other two empties were brought along with the hope that Germany would be able to toss the kegs in the back of its pickup and blow over to the liquor store, fork out some extra dough and fill them with at least Budweiser, and not that crappy, flat Shaeffer beer in the keg the Austrians brought. Like always, Germany manned up and came through strong. 2 kegs of pure drinking delight - Budweiser in a fat tub of ice! Nice! Ludendorff even manned the tap for the first hour until he passed out! I'll show you the pics after I get them back from Walgreens tomorrow. Lates.
Ray Chase Crushes
I really can't think of another non-Post Human series book that compares to Inhuman. Even if there was a book out there, do you really care about what I chose or why I chose it? Hopefully the answer is NO.
My virtual bookshelf is groaning under the weight of all the Ray Chase narrations I have purchased / listened to. Ray Chase is a narrator of the first water. When I scroll through newly released books and I spot his name in the narrator slot, it pretty much doesn't matter what the book is because I've already tossed the audiobook in my cart.
Inhuman.......Tune in as Oldtimer bitch slaps evil from Venus to Earth and back again.
I loved to listen to Janet's squeaky chatter as she chirped with Rich - the gravel voiced badass who had Oldtimer's back. I pressed play at 4:30 this morning and marathoned this gem straight through as I did my morning fishing trip followed immediately by the obligatory Pacificofest by the pool. This story started fast and never slowed down. Ray Chase kept the story charging ahead and made me chuckle at least 26 times just from the way he made the characters sound. No one does Super Self Important Man in Command guy like Ray Chase. It's kind of like a mix of bravado and gruff world weariness wrapped around battle-hardened confidence. Or, maybe not. Whatever.... Buy the audiobook. It's worth the dough and you will enjoy the ride.
Absolutely. In every way imaginable. And when I get around to actually buying the book I will be even more convinced of the audiobook's superiority.
Does anyone really care what I compare anything to? Hell, I'm the one typing this and couldn't give a rodent's rectum about what book I might compare with this one. For the sake of nothing in particular, how about - Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Why? Same author, main character and narrator.
Cal gets the vast majority of the time in this audiobook - as it is about him. I dig his sarcasm and jaded outlook on the lot people find themselves in through almost no fault of their own. I also liked that supervillain chick that blew around super fast and talked 1000 mph when excited. I forget her name, but I got a kick out of her part in the story.
I got kind of choked up when an important character met an extremely undeserved spot of terminal bad timing. Cal's reaction to having that backstabbing son of a bitch known as Fate reach down his throat, yank his heart out of his gullet and then chop it into tiny bite sized pieces and what he did in commemoration for the loss of the best thing that ever happened in his life bucked him up several steps on the ladder of respect. He had something really special going, something clean and totally positive that was ripped from his life that could never be replaced.
Oh, other than the above mentioned heart wrenching event that destroyed what was left of Cal's belief in the promise of a better tomorrow and all of that bullshit, there are tons of laughs throughout this audiobook. I never knew there could be so many flavors of superhero / villain. The guy who was connected with moss really made me squirm when he talked about his carnal adventures.
I wish this audiobook was available before Confessions..... came out. I don't know if it was purposely timed in this fashion, but when I listened to Confessions a couple of years ago there was a bunch of scenes that I thought needed some backstory. Well, now I know.
Good book. Worth your time and your dime. MechaniCal is a supervillain you can root for. Now I am going to press play on Confessions to keep the saga going.
Outcast scores a competitive 9.16 on my Modified Integrated Listening Fun (MILF) Scale. Why? Because it just does. Cody Riggs, Adrienne the Oxford educated fair haired rocket who also is the sister of Cody's murdered girlfriend (nice scenario B.V., you sick bastard) , the Master Sergeant and Marvin - the greatest "artificial construct" in the Milky Way Galaxy all find themselves in deep intergalactic excreta through no fault of their own. Cody told the Captain to go armed to the feast - you will know what I mean very early in the story.
Marvin. He is the driver of the action, the brains of the operation and, when all hell breaks loose as humanity is 9/10's through its collective circling of the toilet flush of extinction, the ultimate savior of Earth based sentient life.
Marvin got the word that his dreams of finally assuming command of a ship were crushed after Cody recited the "Law of Trover" pointing out that Marvin never left the ship. I had a mind camera playing that showed Marvin drooping at what you may call his waist, all of his once flagellating arms limp and his head bowed in a posture of total resignation and defeat. I felt so sad for him. However, as is always the case, Marvin found a way to circumvent the situation and through sheer force of personality and shameless manipulation persuaded Cody to brevet him as Warrant Officer thereby elevating him to de facto Captain Marvin. I felt so proud of Marvin.
I didn't cry. This wasn't really a "get the tissues ready" kind of audiobook. I did laugh a bunch of times whenever Marvin inserted his presence. As I have said before, and I will say it again, Marvin is the greatest non-human character in the history of everywhere. It doesn't matter what he says, I just start smiling and usually end up thrusting both hands in the air and shouting "Marvin!" I guess that is kind of extreme.
Get this audiobook. New characters, some old ones, conniving homicidal carnivorous panda bears and tons of laser beam firing kill vehicles. Even the smarmy Crustacean professor guy is in the mix. All I can say is thank you Mr. Larsen for keeping Marvin alive as a character. My day got a bit brighter and lighter as I listened to Outcast.
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