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Return of the Phoenix: Monster Squad, Book 1 | [Heath Stallcup]

Return of the Phoenix: Monster Squad, Book 1

Humanity has spent its time enjoying the peace that can only be had through blissful ignorance. For centuries, stories of things that go "bump" in the night have been passed down and shared. When creatures of the night proved to be real, the best of America 's military came together to form an elite band of rapid-response teams. Their mission: To face the challenge and keep the civilian populace safe from those threats and hide all evidence of their existence.
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Publisher's Summary

Humanity has spent its time enjoying the peace that can only be had through blissful ignorance. For centuries, stories of things that go "bump" in the night have been passed down and shared. When creatures of the night proved to be real, the best of America 's military came together to form an elite band of rapid-response teams. Their mission: To face the challenge and keep the civilian populace safe from those threats and hide all evidence of their existence. But during a routine mission, when things go horribly wrong, the Monster Squad finds themselves having to rebuild from the ashes of what they once were.

This time, they face not only the monsters that threaten the peaceful lives of the citizens they are sworn to protect, but their own government, as a dark storm brews on the horizon. A storm that will threaten not just the squad and their existence, but the lives of every human on Earth.…

©2012 May December Publications LLC (P)2014 Heath Stallcup

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (46 )
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  •  
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 09-29-14
    AudioBookReviewer Madison, WI, United States 09-29-14 Member Since 2011

    All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

    HELPFUL VOTES
    472
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    "Fun military story about fighting monsters"

    I am fully expecting some sort of a reinventing of one of my favorite audiobook series, Monster Hunter International. A secret agency battling monsters in real life and protecting us regular people.

    I want action, blood and gore, ridiculous monsters with plans to take over the world. I want a solid story that will help define this monster story sub-genre.

    What I got was an epic tale of a secret military team that is trained to fight the horrors of the night. They are all given secret injection to help keep them safe from the “contagious” variety of monsters.

    What I really liked was the hard core military action scenes, procedures and personalities. Full of subtle and not so subtle humor throughout. Instead of having the monsters be just monsters. Stallcup was able to give them all interesting back stories and agendas.

    Where my interest started to wonder was in the love story between a monster and one of the military team. I always find myself becoming very uncomfortable when erotica pops unknowingly in a story. Sitting at my desk at work, hoping that no one will hear what I hear. Constantly looking over my shoulders to make sure that no one gets too close.

    All in all this was a fun military story about fighting monsters. With several good plot twists that I didn’t see coming. I think for a first novel that Stallcup did very well and I look forward to hearing how his style progresses with future stories.

    In the beginning I found the performance by Jack Voorhies to be a bit soft-spoken for my taste. This changed slowly as the story progressed. By the end I was not able to think of another narrator that would be able to give the story such a unique voice.

    I didn’t care for the obnoxious blast of sound for the indicator of story switch. At first I thought there was something wrong with the recording and soon I realized that this was an intentional signal to the listener.

    Audiobook provided for review by the Author.

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

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lara 07-11-14
    Lara 07-11-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Good start in the series!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Wish it were longer. It was an engaging listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Good start to the series so far. Read the rest of them and will buy the audiobooks as they come out. Suspenseful and lots of nice plot twists.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Pretty much, Exxept he needs to practice more of a French accent. His Russian one is good though.


    Do you think Return of the Phoenix needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Heck yeah! It's just the first in the series and it ends at a cliffhanger, so if you were like me and listened to it while on a long road trip with no wifi around to download another book to keep your mind off all the what-will-happen-next, you'll go crazy.


    Any additional comments?

    Underrated author. Pretty good stuff. Not the same writing style as Larry Correia but everyone who lives a good underdog story and propaganda, give it a shot. Not to mention the action scenes and a bit of everything in there for the people who like other genres too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Palmyra, VA, United States 07-01-14
    William Palmyra, VA, United States 07-01-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Where is the rest?"
    Where does Return of the Phoenix rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the better "monsters that live among us" books


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Return of the Phoenix?

    The phoenix finding out why he is the way he is.


    Have you listened to any of Jack Voorhies’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    there are other Stallcup books out there in this series, why are none of them in audible.com?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Putnam CT 06-29-14
    Mike Putnam CT 06-29-14 Member Since 2012

    I drive a truck so I listen to a lot of books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
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    16
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    Story
    "Is more like the Twilight series then anything"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This was more of a romance book then a Vampire/ Werewolf battle saga. Post this in the "young romance" section rather then the thriller section.


    Has Return of the Phoenix turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I really enjoy a good werewolf story, so no, I will continue to look for them. I thought combining the undead with spec ops was a great idea for a book, what I got instead was your basic sappy romance crap like the Twilight series.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator did a fine job, had many accents and did a satisfactory job, it was the book itself that was misleading.


    What character would you cut from Return of the Phoenix?

    Damian, Senator Franklin's son.


    Any additional comments?

    How do you have a Vampire/ Werewolf book and no one gets killed? Well, almost no-one. Chapter 1 starts out with a battle that seems to set the whole book up, and then no one dies or there isn't another battle for the next 20 chapters.
    How many times can the author use the same romantic phrases over and over in a spec ops book? Seeing the pain or sadness in their eyes, or could feel her tremble beneath him crap. if your going to post that it is a battle book between special forces and the undead, then how about having a few fights of exactly that, instead of everyone falling in love.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhys Perth, Australia 08-07-14
    Rhys Perth, Australia 08-07-14 Member Since 2013

    I guess I'm just a book fan, always have been. Anything with a dry sense of humour, an epic sprawling story but in Particular- anything Cthulhu...What can I say; I love my horror. From Lovecraft and Poe to modern classics and pulpy fun... I also don't read as much as I should

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Give it a miss...."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I wouldn't really encourage anyone to read it - but I suppose if you drooled over the Monster Hunter series and their likes, and were desperate for something to fill the gap between books then this may be just passable ? mostly not though.
    Go read something by Jim Butcher instead.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Heath Stallcup again?

    If this is an example of his typical writing, then no.


    Did Jack Voorhies do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    More or less, His narration was mostly fine though he did seem to struggle with keeping several character voices consistent. Voorhies is generally a solid narrator


    What character would you cut from Return of the Phoenix?

    The senators son is terribly written though his existence was purely for the motivations of other characters...


    Any additional comments?

    Look, in short- its a bad book : pacing is off, dialogue is often clunky or sophmoric and it's overly long and incredibly boring.

    The focus jumps between juvenile military training sequences and locker room antics, awfully written romance sub-plots and something that might be comparable to a political thriller if it were written by a teenager with no political knowledge.

    It's also incredibly heavy handed, full of forgettable characters and with a length of about 10 hours it barely manages to include 2 combat sequences (3 if you count a play fight that involves a joke about werewolf boobs).

    For a book sub titled Monster squad that includes an opening narration about the struggles of the people who fight in the shadows to keep us safe from things that go bump in the night there is very little bumping (though there is a fair amount of sex,sex-talk and sex jokes if that's what you look for in a horror/military thriller). What there actually is of monsters and their like is for the most part poorly imagined cliché's of the usual suspects of recent monster movie history.

    It also doesn't actually end: its closing pages are merely there to set up the continuing storyline of the on-going series so don't expect a nice resolution to what little plot there is.

    Once again, its just a bad book. honestly give it a miss

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 06-30-14
    Donald 06-30-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Slow pacing,bad narrator"
    What would have made Return of the Phoenix better?

    The narrator dull and boring.The story's pacing was slow, predictable and with uneven pacing. It also was to close to the storyline in the Joe Ledger series by Jonathan Maberry, which are much better.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Heath Stallcup again?

    Not at this time


    How could the performance have been better?

    More animated voice characterizations.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 06-19-14
    Amazon Customer USA 06-19-14 Member Since 2011

    Mother of 8, grandmother of 7, RN and book nerd

    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    32
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    "Good story"

    I did enjoy this story & I will download the next once it's available. It reminds me of the Monster Hunters series, which I really enjoy, also. I have one complaint which is about the sound effects in between each section. I felt it was distracting and disrupted the flow of the story & narration. I'm really hoping the next book will leave that out. Other than that, I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes :)

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne PA 08-14-14
    Wayne PA 08-14-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    301
    3
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    0
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    "Cliche start, zero interest in the finish"
    Any additional comments?

    I love military sci-fi, and action fantasy but this book was just clumsy. Never-mind about the old go to of "liberal" politicians mucking up the works (all politicians suck), the characters are flat, the action is absent and the dialogue sophomoric and boring. I couldn't bring myself to finish it. I didn't expect George R.R. Martin or early David Weber in terms of character development but some interesting storyline would have kept me going. It wasn't there. Give this a pass.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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