John Birmingham is the master of alternate history adventure - and now he's mastered a new genre with the volcanically fast-paced and wildly inventive Dave Hooper urban fantasy series. The series is anchored by a thrilling high concept: An oil rig opens a rift deep in the ocean that unleashes terrifying monsters into the world. But perhaps its coolest asset is its hero, Dave Hooper, a tough, bleakly funny, down-on-his luck oil rig worker with an unlikely destiny as a monster-slayer and world savior. With a memorable concept and an unforgettable new hero, the Dave Hooper series will satisfy Birmingham's large fanbase and convert a new legion of devoted fans.
©2015 John Birmingham (P)2015 Recorded Books
I wasn't sure what to make of this one when I first got it, but it was great! I like John Birmingham's alternative history books, but Urban Fantasy is a whole other ball of wax. Well, this is a home run! The story centers around Dave Hooper, the Safety Manager of an offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. After a booze, drug and hooker filled week off on vacation, he goes back to the rig on the company helicopter hungover and just wishing the day was already over. On the way out to the rig, the call comes in that theres a fire on the rig, a safety guys worst nightmare. When they get to the rig, the workers are scrambling around trying to get off the rig. The reason for this is that the fire isn't really big, but the Demons who are slaughtering people on the rig are. Dave goes looking for the source of the trouble and he finds it: a big demon 7 foot tall demon that kind of looks like an Orc. He grabs one of his coworkers splitting maul, and in a fit of rage, kills the demon, who was drunk on the blood of one of his fellow workers. Dave wakes up in the hospital, on an IV drip. Dave rips out the IV, and long story short, ends up showing he now has super strength, super senses, and an increased healing factor.The Navy Spec ops team that has been tasked with discovering whats going on recruits him on the spot to help them check out the rig. In addition to everything else, Dave has all the knowledge of the Demon he killed, kind of a monsterpedia. They discover that the rig drilled through a dimensional breach, and the demons are escaping to our world, which they were banished from when humans were still wearing animal skins and living in caves. Dave has to help stop the Demon invasion with his trusty splitting maul, which is now charmed sort of like Thor's hammer (can't be picked up by anyone else, unbreakable, has a sort of sentience and energy) Dave faces off with the Demons in New Orleans, and after a heavy duty battle in which Dave finds his limitations, the Demons are stopped, at least for the moment. What happens next? Read book 2, Resistance: Dave vs. The Monsters to find out. Mark Zeisler did a fantastic job of narration. He got all the different voices and accents right, and I felt like I was right there in the middle of the action. I definitely recommend this for fans of Simon R. Green, Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne.
This is a pretty funny cool story. Best line in a book ever, "Seriously? Well same as before, Im Dave and these are all the F***s I don't really give about who you are" Dave kind of reminds me of Sandman Slim. If you enjoy those stories, chances are you will like this one.
I really enjoyed the story, but the best part was the main character's complexity. Dave Hooper is an everyman antihero with an engineering degree, a magical weapon, money problems, a money-grubbing ex, and a chip on his shoulder. His favorite activities appear to be drinking, whoring, and dodging parental responsibility, so he's not altogether likeable. However, he does grow on you, and when the going gets rough, Dave steps up. The supporting characters are at once realistic and larger than life, and add meat to the story's bones without getting in the way.
The only complaint I have is that the narrator stumbled in a few places, but it doesn't detract very much from his overall performance, and he has a great range of voices that really help to define the characters. I definitely recommend this book.
It had lots of good twists, tons of action, good dialog, some comedy and wasn't over-the-top on any of it.
Hmm... Dave I guess, but the two marines that have to follow him around are pretty good characters as well
He seems to really nail the main characters and adds to their personalities in his own way that I wouldn't have been able to do by reading the book
Not really... I mean these three books had me up most of the night, hooked on what was going to happen next, but no tears
Buy all three, they're worth it and all three are equally good
I was not sure about this one when I first looked at it.
But after I read about some of the reviews on how much the f word was used I had to check for myself.
There was a point where I almost stopped reading, but I am glad I didn't. Midway thru the book, once it starts focusing on the invasion instead of Dave's past debauchery and Red State angst, The book gets a lot better.
Yes, I actually like John Birmingham and have read (both as paper books and audio) several of his books. True, the quality of his writing is declining, but one can have hope he will spring back.
Written a story that was a bit faster paced. The story, the dialogue, everything was too drawn out and stilted. I don't have ADD, but after reading this book I can imagine what those people must feel like. If I saw the whole world like this book was written, I would need to take amphetamines too.
Oh, and Birmingham could have written some more believable characters. I am from Louisiana. I used to work in New Orleans. I have family in the oil field industry, including one that was a rig's safety guy (the occupation of the story's protagonist). I simply can't image one of them flying two prostitutes in from Las Vegas to have a weekend of cocaine fueled fun with them. They don't make that kind of money. It would be much more believable if he flew himself to Las Vegas and picked up two prostitutes there: only have to buy one round trip ticket, only have to pay them for their working time and not travel time too. This is a recurrent plot device in the book and it doesn't make any sense. Even if the guy did get that much as a bonus, he could have used it to get another prostitute or so.
The narrator was too slow. OMG, the narrator was too slow. He didn't have much to work with, but he could have picked up the pace some, and maybe dropped the monotone.
I was serious about changing the narration speed. I had never purposely done that before while reading a book and honestly thought it was a stupid feature. We listened to this on a road trip and wanted to find out how the story ended, but if we listened to it anymore we were going to crash into something. Faced with plowing into a van load of nuns, I hit upon the idea of adjusting the narration speed and it worked! At 1.25 or 1.5 x normal speed the story line and narrator both seem to suddenly start going at normal speed. Any faster, and it gets squeaky. The narrator's lack of intonation works to an advantage at these speeds: everything is in monotone and you don't have to worry about missing inflections that would add to the story because they just aren't there.
Not sure I would have cut any scenes. I would like to rewrite them, but the scenes weren't the problem. The details, the dialogue, the characters, the plot....the big and little stuff were the problem.
Not sure that I will be finishing this series. Good chance I won't. But please don't judge all of John Birmingham's books from this. His other series are quite good.
This book can be best described as short interludes of excitement and adventure (very brief when they do occur) with the rest of the book being taken up with an unending internal monologue of the story's hero, Dave, a character I find annoying to no end because he possesses mutually exclusive characteristics. One minute he's a fearless superman, alpha male oil rig worker, but the next he's the soft, sensitive, introspective, thoughtful, guilt filled stereotypical beta male. This kind of character is all too common in modern fiction as writers try to have it both ways, having male characters which will appeal to men and women at the same time. Men that don't exist in the real world. Which is it? Is he an alpha male, or is he a beta??? I got halfway thru this train wreck of a novel before I had to add it to my list of novels I will never finish. Too bad, because I liked John Birmingham's previous series, Axis of Time.
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