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Ancient Echoes

Ancient Secrets Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Tim Paige
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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Publisher's Summary

Past and present collide in this spellbinding tale by USA Today best-selling author Joanne Pence.   

Over 200 years ago, a covert expedition shadowing Lewis and Clark disappeared into the wilderness of central Idaho. Now, seven anthropology students and their professor vanish in the same area. The key to finding them lies in an ancient secret, one involving alchemy, gold, and immortality...a secret that men throughout history have sought to unveil.  

Michael Rempart is a brilliant archeologist whose colorful and controversial career has earned him admiring fans and implacable foes, but he is plagued by a troubling sense of the supernatural and a mysterious spiritual intuitiveness. Joining Rempart in this adventure are a CIA consultant on paranormal phenomena, a washed-up local sheriff, and a former scholar of Egyptology. All must overcome their personal demons as they attempt to save the students and, ultimately, the world.  

From the journal of Francis Masterson, 1806 -

All hope is gone. Evil is victorious. 

In the time I have remaining I will, herewith, impart a tale so filled with Dread and Terror that my heart overflows with immeasurable Sorrow to tell it. It began with the highest of Good Will and Promise and, on my part, great Excitement. I can only trust to Providence that one day this small account which I leave in a land of unimaginable desolation and Wildness, may be discovered and that it will serve to warn others of the wickedness that may ensnare Good men. 

Ours was to be a Secret Expedition...  

Top 10 Idaho Book Award Winner

©2013 Joanne Pence (P)2018 Joanne Pence

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great first book in a promising series


Ancient Echoes is the first book in the Ancient Secrets series of adventures by award-winning and best-selling author Joanne Pence. I am a big fan of this kind of stories and, after spending a few hours daily this week with Ancient Echoes, I thought to post a review because I liked it a lot.

The book opens with a tour de force that introduces the main characters and, at the same time, moves the action swiftly from Mongolia, to Jerusalem, to Paris, back again through all locations so that in the end we stop in the United States. Here, all involved, a group of students with their teacher, two special agents, one with Immigration and US Customs Enforcement and one from the Central Inteligence Agency, a renowned archaeologist, like a younger version of Indiana Jones, a local sheriff and a group of special operators want to discover a secret buried for thousands of years. They all travel to a remote mountain range in Idaho where bad things start to happen.

The students get lost, the authorities alongside with the archaeologist are looking for them, but at the same time, the special ops team is up to no good, as their mission is very important to a powerful individual and they can use all means necessary to ensure success.

The novel is very well written, with strong characters, a vividly portrayed world and a story that manages to combine perfectly this exciting adventure with the thrilling supernatural aspect that will give you goosebumps... I won't say anything more, as I don't want to spoil any of this great plot for you, but I will add that I can't wait to listen to more audiobooks by Joanne Pence.

The audiobook version of Ancient Ecoes is narrated by Tim Paige, a voiceover artist that is relatively new to this industry, but he does an excellent job. This is the first time I experienced his narration and I can say that I liked it very much. He brings all the characters to life with ease, sounding natural, and keeps them differentiated in the listener's mind with different voices, accents and subtle tone modulations. He has a pleasant voice, reminds me of Vikas Adam, which I think is a good thing, as Vikas is a great narrator.

There are a few problems with the quality of the recording in the sense that sometimes, between chapters there are areas of white noise that can be annoying. I passed this on to the author and she assures me that it will be taken care of as soon as possible...

I hope to be able to bring you more reviews for books written by Joanne Pence and performed by Tim Paige as I enjoyed Ancient Echoes tremendously. Fans of Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Clive Cussler and James Rollins will find Ancient Echoes  very satisfying. Also, those who like the Uncharted series of video games or the Indiana Jones movies will feel right at home with this novel.

If you find this review helpful please vote below and find more of them here on audible and on theAudiobookBlog.
Thank you,

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 02-21-19

Pence is Up There With Preston & Child

4.25 out of 5 stars

Ancient Echoes was definitely a thriller from beginning to end. I thought that Joanne Pence was an excellent world-builder (utilizing Idaho as a setting is something I can say I’ve never seen before), but she was also an excellent character writer. She was able to describe the characters in a way that there was no mistaking them. You know when she would write something not good (or evil, bad, etc) just by the tones and characterizations she would use. She wasn’t sticking to a “bad guy” script per se either. She wrote these characters in flawed ways (like real humans are).

A 12-hour Audiobook is nothing to blink at (I know there are some that are much longer than this one) but being one of the only reviewers on this site (my wife and two others help me when they can) can be a struggle for me sometimes. Thankfully, Ancient Echoes was not one of those books. The 12 hours seemed to just fly by. I was intrigued by a thriller from an author I had never heard of before starting it.

The same can be said about Tim Paige – I’ve never heard or heard of him before this book but I thought he did a solid job. No voices or overacting here – he read the book in a style and cadence that I am familiar with. His narration definitely added to the story instead of distracting you from it.

Overall, a book that I enjoyed from beginning to end – one that I probably would have looked over since it was a new name to me from both the author and narrator – but by now I should know that’s a mistake. Don’t miss out on Joanne Pence. She’s the real deal. A great thriller/adventure writer who I will be checking out again! There was a definite Preston & Child feel to this book – with a little supernatural thrown in for good measure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of Deadly Earth Shaking Secrets

Lots of secrets. Deadly secrets! Covert missions in the past with Lewis and Clark combined with the same type of covert missions with men in black, domestic and international all seeking the same place, the same mysterious pillars in Idaho – yes, Idaho! Mix in some college students and renowned archaeologists, an Egyptian princess and the secret of alchemy and you have one attention holding, edge of your seat thriller!

Slightly over 12 hours, this audiobook is enthralling and intriguing! Combining the past with the present and everything in between would be confusing and distracting, however, Joanne Pence writes eloquently and thoroughly leaving nothing confusing, distracting or incomplete. Vivid descriptions along with solidly built characters and a well-executed storyline, listeners will NOT be able to shut it off.

Pence allows her readers to believe everything is going smoothly, they expect an outcome then she gives them a major twist that will leave the listener wanting more. Yes, there are some parts that are repetitive, but they are so for a reason – to drive home the point that things are not normal, and each character must experience it to come to that conclusion themselves. It also helps to add to the terror of what is really going on.

The supernatural piece of this book was well done and blended well into the past and present happenings. I have to say, she writes evil well! There was no question at all who or when the evil was present!

The narrator, Tim Paige, performed the audiobook with a smooth, flowing style. Paige gave the listener a solid reading that was captivating and easy to follow. He did not do voices which I think could have taken away from the story and lost some of the depth to the story. For a first time narrator, I give him a 5-star rating! Hope to hear more from him.

The production and quality of the audiobook were good, however, there was some electronic noise about halfway through the book when a new chapter began. It didn’t hurt the book or my enjoyment, but it was annoying.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great start to a mystery series

This is a new-to-me author and narrator. But when I was asked if I was interested in reviewing this book, I thought it looked interesting enough to give it a shot. I’m really glad that I did. This is an interesting book that I don’t know that I would’ve picked up if it was not put in front of me.

This story follows several different characters in several different parts of the world. At the beginning of the story, you don’t know how it will all tie together, but you will by the end.

Charlotte Reed is a widow and works for the Department of Homeland Security dealing with forgeries and smuggling. But when she is contacted about something her deceased husband was interested in and she starts to investigate as it could be part of the reason he was blown up by terrorist.

Then there’s Michael Rempart in Mongolia. He’s one of the world’s top archaeologist. He uncovers a mummy that is amazingly preserved. He’s there with this his assistant Li Jianjun, who is what I would call, a major secondary character.

There’s also Lionel Rempart, the estranged brother of Michael. He’s taking a group of college anthropology students to find a location in Idaho. He has a map and a guide, but people are known for going into this area and never returning.

This is a story about alchemy. There is a big search for a alchemical book. There’s a search for missing people and people dying. Things get really interesting in the last third or quarter of the book. I don’t want to go into details, so as not to have spoilers.

I will say that I liked the characters. There’s a great mix of scholars, mercenaries, thieves, cops, and just regular people to keep the story very interesting. There is suspense to keep you on your toes.

This was a great first book of a series. It’s not a fast paced story, but I was very invested in the characters and what they were going through. I’m very interested in listening to more books in this series.

Narration
This is my first time listening to Tim Page. He did a great job. Both the women and men’s voices we were done. There are a lot of names that were not widely used in the US. They were difficult for many American to pronounce them, but he said them as if he’s been saying them for years. I thought the accents were well done too. I would look forward to listening to more books with him as the narrator.

**I like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Liked it

Was hard to stop listening once I started. The writing is really good.

The narrator has done really good reading this audible.

I was provided a copy of this audible free at my request. this is my review.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Very good story

First book I have listened to by Joanne Pence and I really enjoyed it. The story line is good and the action keeps you entertained. My only complaint would be the beginning of the story, it's a little confusing but it eventually all ties in together.

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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sophisticated

okay it was a wonderful ride I like this book very much I liked the concept of the need of science to get to the point the book was written very intelligently it was very sophisticated and very interesting it drew you in to the story and it was marvelous
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A thoroughly enjoyable book!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself wanting more at the end.

The plot is well developed, unique and has a setting, Idaho, that I hadn't seen before.

The characters are believable and well developed. Each has their own distinct back story and work well together, even the "not so friendly" ones.

Another reviewer mentioned that fans of Cussler, Rollins, Preston & Child would like this book, and they are totally correct. Fans of thrillers with a blend of fact and supernatural will very much enjoy Ancient Echos.

Tim Paige did a great job of the narration, keeping a good pace and managing the separation between characters well.

I received this book free of charge in return for this nbiased review.

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captivating and a great listen

Enjoyed the book...great narration, and spell bounding. I was consumed with the book a great listen, i rate Joanne Pence talented and tim paige a good reader.

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Mystery, Murder, and Suspense

If you are the type of person who enjoys suspense, adventure, and intrigue, I believe you will find yourself appreciating “Ancient Echoes” written by bestselling author Joanne Pence. The book’s narration was performed well by Tim Paige, who appears to be a newcomer to voicing audiobooks. Yet, his performance on this book was solid. The story is a blending of “Raider of the lost Ark” meets “The Da Vinci Code”, with parts of “The Mummy” and a few B-rated horror-type college students rolled up in one tale. If this sounds at all interesting, you might want to give the book a listen. Note, this book can be enjoyed as a stand-alone piece even though it is the first book in a trilogy. At the time of this review, all three are available from Audible.

The book revolves around survival as a team searches for a group of missing college students who were out in the Idaho wilderness looking for clues to a mystery. When they suddenly disappear, much like a similar group who went missing while tailing the Louis and Clark expedition over a hundred years ago. What is required to save them demands tapping into these mysterious ancient echoes. The book takes the reader to multiple places around the globe as the mystery is revealed. I will say that at times, it was difficult to keep up with the all the places and side stories. But, once on track the story moved along at a solid pace. A good portion of the story revolves around alchemy. This is the ancient process of one transferring matter into something else. For example, turning lead, a cheap and abundant element, into gold; a priceless one. I do not want to give away too much as this is what makes the story enjoyable.

The book has a fair number of your horror survival tropes. You will find the brain, the brawn, and the beauty are all a part of this story. There are also a few more paranormal aspects to the story involving demon like creatures. Add to these some big pharam (pharmaceutical companies) and the conspiracies surrounding their drugs, and you have some good mystery needing to be solved. Throw in some CIA agents and other foreign governments and things start to get complicated. At times, I felt the author was a bit overly verbose in her storytelling, but this is manageable due to the events keeping one focused. The story was engaging, and it kept me interested from beginning to end.

Let me turn towards the book’s narration. Although Mr. Paige appears to be a newer narrator on the Audible platform, his performance did not feel that way. His ability to voice the numerous characters and their accents was smooth and professional. I would not say it was the best narration I have listened too, but it was far from the worst. I do not recall any audio issues with background noise, swallows, or other distractions. Only some slight computer sound between chapters which the author said would be corrected. I enjoy it when I find a narrator who can do a good job yet is rather new to the narration scene.

For parents and younger readers, the book was an exciting and unique journey. The book does contain some vulgar language along with aspects of graphic violence which may not be appropriate for younger audiences. If your reader is more on the mature side and is not easily offended by profanity, I think teenagers and upwards would enjoy the story. The first half of the book was rather light on vulgarity, but this increased as the story approached the end.

In summary, the book was both enjoyable and entertaining. I would have liked to have had some additional character development and maybe a bit less focus on specific scenes. There is mystery, murder, and suspense, so if this is your type of genre, I think you will enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: I was provided this book by the publisher, author, and/or narrator at no cost in exchange for an honest review.