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Darkin: A Journey East audiobook cover art

Slow start, Good Story.

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-15

I won Darkin a while back in some contest on Facebook. I am not even sure which one it was, or why I was in it. I just got an email from some stranger saying I had won this book. I did not even know what genre the book was at that time. I will have to go back and find the email and thank them now though.

Back then I started to listen to it, but the opening to this book is slow, the language is a bit odd, and the narrator's accent meant I had to listen extra carefully as he pronounces certain words in a way I am not used to hearing. Well I gave up on it and set it aside.

Just recently I came across this again and decided to give it another go. I am glad I did. The story was a joy to listen to once I got used the manner in which it is told.

If you like epic fantasy, this is would be a good option to check out. The only complaint I have is that the ending of the book makes it feel like it is only 1/2 a book, instead of a part 1 of 2. Without giving away any spoilers, I will just say that if the last 1-2 minutes were done differently it could have still hooked you for book two and felt more like a whole book.

I have already purchased book two, I did that long before I reached the end but I have not started it yet. I am concerned about the talk of aliens, but I will reserve judgement until I see how it is handled.

Overall definitely a worthy listen!

Hard Duty audiobook cover art

Great war story

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-20-14

Where does Hard Duty rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is my first ever experience with this media so that makes it the best one ever! :)

Any additional comments?

The Merkiaari Wars is a military science fiction series by Mark E. Cooper. It centers on humanities war for survival against the Merkiaari. For a change of pace I have been listening to the audiobook version instead of reading it making this my first audiobook review and recommendation.

The series starts out as a group of explorers come across a new alien race called the Shan. Book one follows the team as they do their best not to blunder first contact and recover from the blunders they made along the way. Later books cover the on going relationship with the Shan, and the new Merkiaari war (as evident in the title).

I am currently most of the way through book two and have heard by mistake several hours of book three. I can say that the story is very enjoyable and is a good mix of action and character development. Mr. Cooper gives enough backstory to give you the sense that the characters are real people without distracting from the primary plot line. The story has good depth and is easy to sit back and just listen.

Mikael Naramore, the narrator, did a marvelous job reading. His diction is clear, and his range of voices is more than sufficient to cover the cast of characters. I was thrown a bit off when he read “beep beep” and other sound effects instead of using special effects, but those are so few and far between that it does not detract from the story at all.

The books do have a scattering of curses through them, and at least one fade to black love scene. There are some adult conversations about relationships and sex and there is plenty of violence with some gore (it is a war story at its core). As such I would recommend this only to mature readers (listeners?).

Over all this has been a fun listen and I plan to read (hear?) the whole series.