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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

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3.6 (90 )
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3.6 (89 )
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3.7 (88 )
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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
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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!]

    7 of 9 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
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    "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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GrayTiger 03-16-15
    GrayTiger 03-16-15
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    "SOG true romance tales"

    Yup, I really wanted to get into this story line and maybe the next book in the series would get me there, but right now I am going to pass. Stallcup is using this book to build the world of Monster Squad, person by person and all the background and barely laid the keel of the story line. I feel, too much of the book was dealing with romantic relationships. Nice fluff, but by the half way point in the book, I really felt that the book cover should have had a shirtless Fabio Lanzoni.

    I just struggled to get through the book, hoping the opening action scenario's details would be revealed. I expected more on the coordinated world wide attack, but it was overshadowed by personalities and personal relationships. If you like heavy romance with your world domination monster stories, this would be the series I would point you to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve H. Caldwell Tacoma, WA 10-01-14
    Steve H. Caldwell Tacoma, WA 10-01-14 Member Since 2015

    Book Maniac

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    "An honest review."

    I was asked to give an honest review of the book, so here goes. I loved it! As a former soldier, I understand the difficulty of translating the military to any kind of fantasy setting without resorting to clichés and stereotypes, but I think the author really hit it on the head. He either was in the military, or researched like crazy, because it was spot on. The story is about the government's military monster hunting teams, made up of different Special Operations operators. After a teams is wiped out to almost the last man in an ambush, New recruits are brought in, "augmented" and trained to replace them. No spoilers here, but everything is not what it seems. There is a Senator that wants the teams shut down, a civil war fomenting in the supernatural world, and revelations to be made about the teams themselves. Well written and engaging, with strong world building and character development. The only aspect I was kind of leery of was a inter-team romance, that I thought would damage unit cohesion, but the author resolved the issue later in the book in a realistic way. There is not a lot of back story in the book, but the second book fleshes out the back story nicely. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy, and actually, I have recommended it to my friends and family. As far as the narration goes, Jack Voorhies is a good narrator. He does a range of voices and accents, and you can distinguish the different characters, and he keeps the story engaging, which all you can really ask from a narrator.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri Flynn Columbus, Ga. 05-02-15
    Cheri Flynn Columbus, Ga. 05-02-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost A Three Star Book"

    I liked the storyline, an elite military team formed to fight monsters. These soldiers are unknowingly turned into werewolves and are given "supplements" to help them to become faster and stronger. There's even an internal villain who is trying to have the Monster Squad shut down for personal reasons but I felt like something was missing. Maybe it's because it reminded me of a comic book.

    However, I will try the next book in the series as I bought the Kindle version a while back for $3.99 and will be able to buy second book in audio for $1.99. Otherwise I probably wound not be reading the second book in the series. I do hope the second book is better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Menard 04-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "for a book with little fighting it was great"

    without any spoilers I found this guy through mark tufo and don't regret trying it. book 1 is amazing and it's very little action but full of comedy man. if you need your spirits lifted give this a listen and u figure out the character quick enough to know what's what. anyway I hate blabbering it was a great book and you should all buy it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. smith 03-29-15
    J. smith 03-29-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Monster Squad Stage Setter"
    Would you listen to Return of the Phoenix again? Why?

    Yes. I have a feeling this will be a series I will want to run through again occasionally.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is well written and complex. It isn't just A vs B, but rather A temporarily working with B to get C unless D can stop them. I'm eager to see how it all plays out.


    What about Jack Voorhies’s performance did you like?

    The narration was pretty great. The narrator's voice for Senator Franklin is a dead ringer for Bush, so much so that he MUST be doing it on purpose. If it weren't for the fact that the Senator is a Dem I'd swear my beloved bumbler-in-chief was being mocked.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    *Disclosure - The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

    I almost avoided this book because [book:MHI|2570856] is my favorite series of all time and I was afraid it would be a little too "in the same vein". I'm very glad I didn't. The different styling and tone ensure that I can enjoy both series without feeling like one or the other is being watered down.

    This book is a little light on action and mostly serves as a stage setter for the series, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as Stallcup has done a great job of fleshing out his world and characters. I'm invested in the squad and looking forward to more.

    Um...there was an erotica level sex scene that cause me to do uncomfortable shifty eyes while listening at work. And several references to "members". Cough. Also, SPOILER there is some weirdness when Nadia shape shifts in front of Jack the first time. I was waiting for that guy to go full Furry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Ogden 02-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A romance novel hiding inside a military cover"

    Very cliche. Unoriginal and dull. Focused too much on the romance not enough action. The entire book exposition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "I really like the premise of the story."

    The book is good. The narrator needs to differentiate the voices a bit more though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Fresh Approach"
    What made the experience of listening to Return of the Phoenix the most enjoyable?

    Enjoyable Story-telling with an Excellent Delivery, Next stop, Big Screen!


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

    The Wit and Humor


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

    No, great delivery, command of the tempo.


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

    You won't stare in the Dark the same again!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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