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Prepare to Die! | [Paul Tobin]

Prepare to Die!

Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy’s life. Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his archnemesis, Octagon, and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs - and prepare to die. Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world’s greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was...and the girl he never forgot.
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Audible Editor Reviews

When Reaver is captured by his nemesis Octagon, he is allowed a two-week stay of execution to get his life in order before he is to be killed. He decides to return to his old life - before the chemical spill that turned him into a superhero - as Steve Clarke, and back to the girl he has always loved. Paul Tobin creates a moving meditation on mortality and regret in Prepare to Die!, a powerful demystification of superhero myth. Ray Chase gives an indelible performance, augmenting the broken, yearning, and rueful emotion behind Steve Clarke's final days.

Publisher's Summary

Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy’s life. Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his archnemesis, Octagon, and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs - and prepare to die. Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world’s greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was...and the girl he never forgot.

Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Prepare to Die! is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.

©2012 Paul Tobin (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is something of a comic book without drawings, and Chase brings his A-game, further energizing the action scenes and making for a guilty pleasure of a listen." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (67 )
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4.3 (65 )
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4.4 (64 )
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  •  
    Michael C Santa Rosa, CA 05-06-13
    Michael C Santa Rosa, CA 05-06-13 Member Since 2009

    Cross-genre tastes, but a soft spot for great Science Fiction and Fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Superhero's "Behind the Music""

    Imagine if Wolverine from the X-Men had written a tell-all autobiography á la Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends or _The Kid Stays in the Picture_ by Robert Evans. You'll be pretty close to the overall flavor of _Prepare to Die!_. It dishes up action, existential ruminations, feel-good nostalgia, adolescent angst, and a few genuine surprises along the way.

    Prepare to Die! imagines a superhero universe from the ground-up, replete with the internecine conflicts, epic battles, and agonizing betrayals that normally unfold over the run of a comic book series. The book is written in an in-universe, autobiographical voice. Its "author" is a superhero known as Reaver -- so-called because he can take a year off a person's life with each of his punches. Reaver is writing for an audience that already reads about superheroes in tabloids and watches them on TMZ. Superheroes are are as much a target of the paparazzi as they are of supervillains. The in-universe audience already knows the characters. They know their stories, but they don't know the _whole_ story.

    The story starts off with our hero, Reaver, facing down his arch-nemesis Octagon. Reaver is losing badly. He's cornered, out of options, and has literally no fight left in him. As Octagon prepares to administer the coup de grâce, he delivers the bad guy boilerplate: "Prepare to Die!" Reaver ponders this and responds: "Ok. How long do I have to prepare?" Surprisingly, Octagon agrees to give him some time to prepare to die. This sets off an existential journey through Reaver's past. He examines the genesis of his superhero powers and persona. He takes a trip back to his childhood hometown to see the love he lost when he took up the superhero-ing life.

    I'm not a comic book afficionado by any means. Case in point: I was completely unaware that Paul Tobin has a day job as a comic book writer, writing storylines for Spidey, the Fantastic Four, etc. He may be sticking to the writer's adage of "write what you know", but the book is much better for it. Tobin writes well, and uses the novel format to meander seamlessly from the present-day story through Reaver's past triumphs and tragedies.

    Ray Chase's gravelly narration is a perfect fit for the world-weary Reaver. Great casting, and a great example of a book that should be listened to rather than read. Next story Chase narrates, I'm going to have a hard time separating him from the Reaver.

    Criticisms? Well, the female characters tend towards the one-dimensional. Not entirely, and not in all cases, but more often than not. Also, the ending doesn't entirely make sense when you think about the book's intended in-universe audience. But, what the heck. This is a really, really fun book. By turns, it's thrilling, heartbreaking, and, above all, genuinely surprising. I came to it with no expectations, was hooked within a few chapters. By the end I was completely won over, and can't wait for Tobin's next book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bags Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-13-13
    Bags Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-13-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Captivating, Right Up To The Last Word"
    Would you listen to Prepare to Die! again? Why?

    Yes. I would like to focus on some of the conversations between the main characters to see if I missed any clues that might have been given. There is so much revealed in the last two chapters that I found myself wondering if I had missed any hint of what was to come.


    What other book might you compare Prepare to Die! to and why?

    Rather than compare it to another book, I would compare the author to another author and that would be Ray Bradbury. Bradbury had the gift of making the unbelievable, believable, and that's the way I feel about Tobin's work.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Chase – was your favorite?

    Reaver. I finished the book about a week ago, and I have found myself missing his character. He is an endearing and complex hero.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Many times, while listening to this book, I thought to myself "This would be a fantastic movie!" So, while not terribly creative nor imaginative, my tag line would be "A Fantastic Movie!"


    Any additional comments?

    When will another book by Paul Tobin be available?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Newport Beach, CA, United States 09-05-13
    Jeffrey Newport Beach, CA, United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "TAKE SOME TIME OFF!!! ...and listen to this book!"
    What did you love best about Prepare to Die!?

    Story is very adult oriented for a super-hero theme. Almost tempted to say that it's more of a comedic drama with super-human elements. It's very grounded, in that some superhero themes are perceived as stupid by the characters, but they're forced to accept them since its reality for them.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Prepare to Die!?

    This book has a lot of juvenile humor and adult themes. The main character, being a superhero, discovers online porn based on his super hero persona.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration is great. A little growly at first, but it really grows on you.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fox Houston, TX 06-28-13
    Fox Houston, TX 06-28-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simple and fun, while not childish or campy"
    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It wasn't particularly moving or dramatic, but overall it was an enjoyable and engaging read.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 02-24-14
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 02-24-14 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superheroes are people with issues too"

    So within the first hour I was hooked and hate to admit this but there was a line that really rang true to me and, hopefully, many other guys.

    "I allowed myself a shower piss, one of man's greatest pleasures, if women could see us pissing in the showers the way we're not bothered by it running down our legs, I'm not sure if they'd ever sleep with us again."

    After that line I was all in and had to find out more about Reaver and the circumstances of his impending death or execution. Also this line really sets the tone for the rest of the audiobook. Reaver is an "invincible" hero, many would say that isn't true and that he simply heals extremely fast, who has met his match. All of the other "good" supers have been killed off by the "bad" supers and he is the last one, a very heavy weight to carry. Finding himself caught by his nemesis Octagon, as a gun was being held to Reaver he was told "Prepare to Die", with the great response of "How long do I have?" Ultimately settling on two weeks before Reaver has to submit to execution he finds it necessary to finally do somethings he has been meaning to do yet couldn't find the time, being needed to save the population all the time. Prepare to Die was a very dark, gritty and melancholy story, defiantly not for the those who are looking for a PG Superman vs. Lex Luthor, please look elsewhere, as this audiobook is full of foul language, sexual situation and stories, love and loss, brutal graphic gore and violence. With much of the story telling back story of how Reaver became a super and what he has done with his power and the internal struggle of doing what he wants or doing the hero thing torments him to no end, almost to the point where I wanted to grab Reaver and shake and slap him to stop whining. Paul Tobin was able to create relatable characters that brought the heroes down to earth ans human beings that are full of their own issues that when left undealt with, starts to eat them up inside until they can find closure. With a few plot twists and turns I was left smiling in my cubicle while the end credits were being read and thinking to myself how much Reaver was like me and how I have to tell and show my wife how much I truly love her.

    Audiobook provided for review by Audible.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Engineer New Hampshire 07-01-14
    The Engineer New Hampshire 07-01-14 Member Since 2000

    Educated Redneck

    ratings
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    "better than average"
    If you could sum up Prepare to Die! in three words, what would they be?

    Better than average


    What other book might you compare Prepare to Die! to and why?

    Emperor mollusk vs the sinister brain


    What does Ray Chase bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    inflection and tone that promotes the proper mood


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    it was ok not top notch but it kept me listening

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Atwater, CA, United States 02-10-14
    Jon Atwater, CA, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It a great NC-17 rated Escape!"
    Where does Prepare to Die! rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book was the love child of Beat the Reaper and Soon I Will Be Invincible-- terrific fun, terribly naughty, total escape!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Our hero, the Reaver, was the flawed Super Hero that most of us would be . . .


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many great scenes, but the fight between Reaver and Laser Beast in the strip club was worth a listen.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen before and after work and when I'm working out-- instead, I wanted to keep going to work . . .and I even worked out more often . . . so that I could have another excuse to listen. That's a pretty good endorsement right there!


    Any additional comments?

    If you're easily offended, don't bother. If you look at life with an (oft-inappropriate) sense of humor-- download and Prepare to Laugh!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GREPDOGG AZ, USA 02-06-14
    GREPDOGG AZ, USA 02-06-14 Member Since 2013

    GREP

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Take some time off"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    What did you love best about Prepare to Die!?

    An R rated super hero story with some unique characters, made me laugh numerous times. This book was meant for an audio book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • A User
    4/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "nice book"

    I really enjoyed the book and when I heard that last sentence, I wondered if it was leaving a door open for a sequel and immediately checked back here. Now I just have to wait for the rest of the trilogy and hope they are as engaging and entertaining!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • emil
    kristiansund, Norway
    1/18/13
    Overall
    "This was great!"

    I was hesitant at first since i saw it had no rating and no reviews, but this audiobook is something i recommend to everyone. it will suck you inn and leave you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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