In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.
Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.
When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.
©2014 Dean F. Wilson (P)2015 Dean F. Wilson
One of the main things I take into consideration when picking out an audio book is the narrator. What is his/her voice like? How does it make me feel? Do they read a script or do they actually breathe life into the written word? It has no bearing if this book is outstanding if the person reading it sounds like one of my high school English teachers. In this case, I liked out. I got a fabulous storyline AND narrative.
There are so many things that I liked that make it impossible to single out any one thing. Each chapter had a "best" moment. But I'm glad that there are sequels, that the story lives on, that the fantasy doesn't have to end when the narrator utters that last word.
A bit easier to answer, my favorite scene is actually TWO scenes. Jacob's harrowing exodus from Blackout and the decimation of the Regime's Hope factory.
YES, DEFINITELY! But unfortunately I had to settle with stolen moments. I started my day with coffee & HOPEBREAKER, snatched a spare moment or two throughout the day, and ended my day with a cup of herbal tea & HOPEBREAKER.
I had the privilege of reading HOPEBREAKER prior to listening to the audio version, so I already knew the storyline, had preconceived ideas about the characters - what they might look like, their character, etc. But actually having someone read the book to me added an almost magical element to it. The story came alive in my mind. I was able to relive every moment in more detail. And rather than two dimensional physical descriptions of the characters, my mind's eye gave them real faces. The faces of people I'd seen in film or in real life. I always saw Jacob resembling a shaggy haired Chris Pratt. Taberah looked amazingly similar to a fiery Jennifer Lawrence. And suddenly, as the narrator detailed the appearance & mannerisms of Teller, my mind envisioned my pizza delivery guy. Sometimes, everything in the world seems to come between me and my favorite books, but there's little that can keep me from listening. And that's the big bonus with narration.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson is the first in a series called The Great Iron Wars. It is a steampunk dystopian novel with a bit of science fiction mixed in. On the world of Altadas, a demon invasion led to a takeover of the human race. Instead of birthing normal human children now humans only have demon children. Jacob is a smuggler of amulets that can protect women from becoming pregnant. When Jacob is caught, he falls in with the resistance attempting to force these demons to leave Altadas. Jacob must prove his trustworthiness and help with an attempt to weaken the demons.
I think this novel had a lot of potential. The plot for the most part is interesting with a lot of highs and lows as the story develops. There is a lot of action that moves the plot forward. I really enjoyed the beginning and the friendship between the smuggler, Jacob, and child prisoner, Whistler. There was definitely a steampunk blended into the details of the story, which was nice. Unfortunately, as the story developed, I found that the characters did not. They remained flat and became inconsistent. I formed an impression of the Jacob at the beginning of the novel and he seemed to contradict that time and time again with his actions. It also felt like the middle of the novel was a bit disconnected from the beginning and the end. The relationship between Jacob and Whistler loses importances for the majority of the novel. Unfortunately, there were also numerous ideas introduced without much follow through. There are hints about a big mystery at the beginning, which is completely ignored until the end of the novel. There is a second big mystery that was implied and never revisited. Perhaps this will reappear in a future novel, but there were no hints throughout to keep the mystery alive. Personally, I didn’t find the battle scenes to be engrossing, but that is probably because I didn’t connect with the characters, personally.
The narration by T Anthony Quinn was good. He infused accents into the characters, which didn’t seem to have any basis in the story, but it was nice touch. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to someone looking for a steampunk novel about fighting against an unjust ruling party.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]
I found the premise of the book interesting,yet i had a really hard time connecting to any of the books characters.They seemed one dimensional and their relationships with each other seemed forced.I found myself not caring about their story at all .I wish the author had spent more time with world building and developing the characters.The narrator did a good job portraying the story and has a pleasant voice.I purchased an e-copy of this book,but received an audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
For pure entertainment value I would give this book 5 stars. The writing was excellent and narrator did a wonderful job; however I found myself confused and wanting more information on the world and situation created by Wilson. The main character Jacob had the right combination of humor and grit to keep me interested and rooting for him. I will probably get the next book in this series as I hope more information about Altadas will be given. I would like to find out more about the Demons and the Order as I don’t have a firm grasp of who they are. Overall I give the book 4 stars but have hopes the next one will clear the fog and be a 5 star listen.
This audiobook was provided to me free by the author or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of audiobook blast.
The story flows well, and moves quickly to establish the struggle of the 'order', and it's struggle against an unusual enemy - the dialogue is very clearly written, and easy to follow.
The story is pure action. We are not dragged off into history, we are taken to the front line of the beginnings of the struggle against a seemingly dominant enemy. The prologue sets the scene of a world twisted by this evil, and then we are thrust into the fight against it from the very bottom. The pace feels fast, but not too fast, and absorbs you.... you want to know more about what is going on, and the author feeds details in small doses - keeping you wanting more.
The interplay between Jacob and Tabarah (guessing that's how it's spelled due to it being an audiobook!) - Is funny - There's a playful tension there, and the author flips between them really well.
This is face paced, but you know fairly quickly that the story is going to be going much deeper over time.
In the land of Altadas, the Regime rules with an iron fist. Through addictive drugs, might, fear tactics, and replacing the population with demons, they are nearly unchallenged. However, the Order still resists them. Jacob, a smuggler, will get caught up in their machinations and will also get to drive the magnificent coal-powered machine Hopebreaker.
This book is a steampunk novel set in a future dystopian world. Somehow, the Regime is preventing healthy conceptions and women can now only give birth to demons. The Order, and some few others, are able to create amulets that prevent conception. Jacob was caught smuggling these amulets in a Regime controlled city and summarily tossed in a dungeon. He grumbles and gripes and has this fatalistic sense of humor throughout the book, not just when he’s in prison. There he meets a young man, Whistler, who was born into the Order. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of an innocent and doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. Luckily for him, he has friends.
Pretty soon, Taborah and crew are breaking Whistler out and they allow Jacob to tag along. Then he owes them a favor and then the Order owes him a favor and before you know it, they are so tangled up they couldn’t possibly separate. Jacob never gives over fully to the Order’s ideals, preferring to be paid in cold, hard coils (the currency of the area). Yet he keeps giving a little bit more because down deep, he really is a nice guy. He moans and complains much of the time, but you can tell he’s getting attached to at least a few of the members.
There’s plenty of tech in this story. Obviously, there is the big war machine called Hopebreaker. There’s smaller machines, such as transports, and then these kind walking war towers. There’s also a variety of cool goggles too. I definitely enjoyed the steampunk flair of the story.
I’m not sure I understood the amulets and the demon children so well. First, I can’t recall any examples of these demons; they were simply referred to. So I would have liked to have seen a demon or two to help cement this little touch of fantasy in this otherwise steampunk scifi novel. Coupled with that, is the use of the amulets – not much is given on how or why they work to prevent conception. Perhaps you don’t wear it around your neck the entire time, electing to wear it somewhere else during intimate moments?
The characters are fun, if pretty one dimensional. The bad guys are described as slimy, etc., so you can spot them early on in the story. While the good guys have a little more depth, like Jacob wrestling with some inner demons, they are still pretty predictable. This is basically just a fun story, like brain candy. It was enjoyable and I look forward to seeing what trouble Jacob gets into (and out of) in the next book.
Narration: T. Anthony Quinn has a lovely rich voice. He made a great Jacob, pulling off the humor and emotions quite nicely. His female voices were distinct and I especially liked his accent for Taborah.
Avid listener. Sometime lawyer.
If you liked Star Wars, you are going to love hearing this story. The narrator is amazing.
Dean F. Wilson is a great story teller. T. Anthony Quinn is truly remarkable in presenting the story with numerous well-developed characters and voices. I highly recommend it and look forward to hearing the next book!
I have received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Demons are conquering the world of Altadas by replacing the unborn babies. They are called the Regime, and their reign symbolizes the destruction and the power of the iron. The Resistance is trying to fight back by attempting to destroy a factory of Hope, a drug that demons need to survive. And in the middle of this, Jacob, a smuggler of contraconceptive amulets, is caught up and needs to decide if he is willing to help.
I really loved the concept, I had not read a steampunk novel for a while and I welcome this one with open arms. At first Jacob reminded me a lot of Mal Reynolds from Fireflight, and the mix of characters was quite interesting. They had a lot of potential, but remained quite two-dimensional, which kept me from really connecting to any of them, and caused their relationships not to be very interesting. I am a very curious person, and even though I don't really need a prolog explaining everything, I wanted to know more about the demons. Who are they? Where are they coming from? Do they also have human appearance in their own world? The concept remained too vague for me and I would have appreciated more development on it. Maybe they author is reserving it for future books.
Something else that I missed were detailed descriptions. It seemed we got some details here and there but the author did not go too deep. At the same time I got confused on the action parts, not knowing very well what was happening and where everybody was. I thought this was my fault, since I listened to the audiobook and I may have gotten distracted, but I read about this too in other reviews. I also felt strange about this lack of description mixed with very poetical language and the use of many metaphors, too many sometimes, which made me roll my eyes from time to time.
The story was very good though, well planned but not very well executed. The middle of the book felt disjointed compared to the beginning and the end, and the fact that I could not connect to the characters made difficult to fully enjoy it.
The narrator did a very good job changing accents to identify characters but I do not know why German accent was used for the Regime.
All in all it was an interesting read, and I would recommend it to any steampunk aficionado.
"A pleasantly surprising audiobook"
A good, well voiced audio book, very individualised characters, good underlying storyline. Well written and engaging in a nice niche between sci fi and fantasy, steam punk in a specially constructed world, rich in description and context without contrived explaining and tangents. Overall an excellent buy. Pleasantly surprised.
Report Inappropriate Content