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Publisher's Summary

The elite crew of the pirate ship UNS Flying Dutchman had a simple mission: determining whether the Thuranin are sending another starship to Earth. Along the way, they became sidetracked by securing a future for the UNEF troops on the planet Paradise. When asked whether Earth was now safe, their ancient alien AI responded "Not so much"...now they have to deal with the consequences.

©2017 Craig Alanson (P)2017 Podium Publishing

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15,379
  • 4 Stars
    3,112
  • 3 Stars
    441
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16,430
  • 4 Stars
    1,305
  • 3 Stars
    114
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    13

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13,506
  • 4 Stars
    3,448
  • 3 Stars
    724
  • 2 Stars
    89
  • 1 Stars
    35
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good as the first three

While still enjoyable, this 4th installment seemed long and overly complicated. In order to understand what was going on the explanations were long and convoluted. The banter between Skippy and Joe was not nearly as funny as before. I did gafaw out loud, but only a few times.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Still fun but losing a bit of luster

Still fun, with great narrator, but the story is losing some steam and the banter is getting stale.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Solid continuation that fizzles at the end

What I love about Craig's writing style that really shines in this book is diving into the randomness of an unpredictable universe. Exploring the minutia of various events along the story that are anywhere between game changing to inconsequential. And they can be either unfortunate or fortuitous or both. It gives the story more chance to tell a larger picture and creates a living world that, especially for a sci-fi series, feels very grounded in reality. Sometimes the story is a grind as they duck and weave through updating situations and unintended consequences because that's how combat and problem solving actually is.

Unfortunately he sticks to the style a little too well, as the book sputters at the end without a very satisfying conclusion before setting up the next book. By the end the characters are exhausted and strung out and so are we. And I appreciate that this is very likely representative of what most of real life combat is like. But the book just ends there, without excitement or satisfaction. Postponing the payoff to the next book. And since we already had to wait a little longer for this book to fit in "Trouble in Paradise", it's going to make the wait for the next story EXCRUCIATING. And not in a great way.

It hurts to say because I overall I really love the book and the series, and it's a small knock on what's otherwise a great read, unfortunately that little bit is what's going to stick with me while we wait the months for the next installment.

My suggestion, if you haven't jumped on this book as soon as it came out like I did, (and, admittedly, would likely still do even if I read my advice from the future because I am a sucker for this series,) hold off on this until it's closer to the next release, so you can jump right into the next for the payoff that we should have at least gotten a piece of in this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good listen, but should have been 5 stars

R. C. Bray's performance & Alanson's writing were both great. I don't want to spoil anything, but I didn't like the ending. Obviously there's more to come, and that is great. However, after putting that much time into this boo, to have it end on lackluster scene is depressing.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Good Middle Story Series Entry

This was a good book and RC Bray's narration was on point once again. The Skippy dilemma continues though as a beer can sized deus ex machina is used a bit much for another book. Luckily, the story is still enjoyable, but I wish this was more star trek and less star wars in the story. I find that I enjoy EF books that are more focused on the merry band on a planet and less on the spec ops side. Both sides are good, but Skippy + Bishop exploring the galaxy are fantastic to listen to.

I would probably have continued through this series if it stayed as that narrative of Joe Bishop alone. The book changed completely as soon as that beer can unlocked that first door. That was a total plottwist. Sadly, without the deus ex beercan, this series wouldn't really continue in any sensible way.

My biggest qualm this book is the freakin' non-ending cliffhanger ending. It feels like this story was either too long or too short for the narrative it was telling. Book 3 suffered from this problem as well, made even worse sense Book 3.5 should've been interwoven into that to make 1 longer-than-normal entry into the series.

Now, time to sit around and wait for book 5, which is a guaranteed pre-order for me.

As always, trust the awesome!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worth listening to for the narrator alone

If you are even mildly into to science fiction this is a great book to pick up. The story is good as with all the other books in the series, but RC Bray's narration, especially his characterization of Skippy, is worth the price of admission all by itself. Trust the awesomeness

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book was excellent.

I would recommend you wait for the next book to come so you don't get as irritated at the non-ending as i did.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More PLEASE

I got on board with the first book and have enjoyed the journey hugely. I look forward to more Joe Bishop and Skippy adventures.
NOW HURRY UP AND WRITE MORE.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another fantastic listen

another great addition to the series. Good story, funny, and RC Bray is perfect for this series. can't wait for the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Trust the awesomeness

I love this series! Craig Alanson is talented and has created a universe I care about with characters who make this book exciting & engaging! I want tye next one NOW! RC Bray is a great narrator who has been with the series from the begining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 09-27-17

Super-Skippy-Just-Fantastic-Expeditionary-Force!

Sit down strap in and get ready for another episode of one of the funniest and most inventive sci-fi series I've come across in a long time. Episode four of Alanson's Expeditionary Force sees Joe Bishop's Merry Band of Pirates careering across the galaxy, staggering from crisis to crisis only to end on another cliffhanger! Yes there will be even more to come after this one!

Earth is once again under threat so The Flying Dutchmen and her crew including Skippy, the sci-fi world's favourite beer can are once again embroiled in Alanson's heady mix of impossible situations, amazing alien politics and of course zany humour. In fact he really does go Spinal Tap on us and dial it up to eleven in this one.

I suspect that sense of humour is also being directed at his narrator here. His text has Maestro Bray doing everything from singing a high-pitched La Marseillaise of all things to a wonderfully credible Chewbacca. Being the trooper he is RC Bray rises to each and every challenge with suitable awesomeness!

I could split hairs over some of the editing including some very repetitive small passages but even I can't spectacularly miss the point of these books by quite that much. They are the Sci-Fi equivalent of a good boozy night down the pub with old friends. Good fun, warmly humorous and thoroughly satisfying until the following morning - when you realise you stayed up waaaay too late listening to it!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gavin
  • 09-30-17

Skippy the Magnificent

Another excellent installment , expertley narrated by RC Bray, believe in "The Awesomeness" of Skippy the Magnificent..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sfak107
  • 09-29-17

Trust the awesomeness

Just trust the awesomeness and keep listening to another great story and performance by RC Bray. What will be in the next book......

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CNS1995
  • 10-10-17

Incredible! Couldn’t get enough!

This book gets full marks from me! Seriously entertaining! When is the next book due to come out... I can’t wait any longer! Congratulations Craig this series is tremendous, please hurry and publish more audio books in the series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 09-28-17

More outstanding work!

Another amazing adventure with Skippy and the merry band of pirates... Cannot wait for the next installment and hope it comes soon we rather than later 😀

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • allan smith
  • 09-28-17

Oh you Bastards!

loved it
you didn't have to do that at the end... WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK!!!!!!!!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-28-17

Love it!

Not much to say other then I want more!!! If you liked the last 4 books your going to like this. The whole series is well worth a read if you haven't allready

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jamie
  • 11-05-17

Damn it

Hurry up and write the next one haha. This guy is excellent at cliff hanger endings. Though I will say the inclusion of book 3.5 made me lose track a little with the main plot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 09-28-17

#trust the awesomeness

Some things are certain in life.

Death, taxes and Craig Alanson writing wonderfully fun books.

I feel bad only giving 4*, and really it's 4.5* as I stayed up to 3am last night listening. But after 3 super previous books this one seemed to just slightly lack the originality of the first books. R C Bray is his usually genius self and in Skippy, I think I've found an audio character that will never be topped.

It's just that the jokes are now more comfortably familiar than laugh out loud (though lots of sniggering) and action scenes felt just a little flatter with plot twists even more outrageous. This is of course like criticising Usain Bolt for only running a 9.9s 100m. It's still great by any standards, but not quite the best. So overall great fun and my standout series of 2017 continues to deliver.

Get listening!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shane Scott
  • 02-16-18

Fantastic<br />

If you suffer from insomnia then this is the book for you. If you don't you may want to read up on the condition because you'll have it after this book. Great continuing story line and RC Bray brings it all together. I think I'll take a break before I listen to the next one as I need some sleep.☺

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 10-20-17

Love it

Been enjoying the series and has only got better
Can’t wait for the next one

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • shane.slape
  • 10-03-17

Trust THE AWESOME!

I love this series. I couldn't stop listening. I can't wait for the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paul
  • 10-23-17

Copy Of Previous Good Book

I am so bored listening to this book. It is a repeat of Craig's previous good books what with infamous dummy Joe coming up with all of the ideas to save the world while Mr Super Super Super Smart A.I. Skippy can't work out how to save himself!! Add in another AI, more aliens to eliminate in unbelievable circumstances and Joe repeating to us How To Suck Eggs every time he goes out and does something dangerous. Honestly Jo and Skippy need to be killed off ASAP!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 10-03-17

need more soon, very soon. is it out yet?

need more soon, very soon. is it out yet? why is it not out yet? us dumb monkeys need to bathe in the glow that is skippy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kate
  • 09-23-18

outstanding

I haven't been hooked on a book like this in years. R C Bray does an amazing job at bringing the world to life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 08-28-18

Starting to get formulaic

These books are great fun and I have just finished the first 4 within 2 weeks.

I honestly have my doubts that Craig Alanson is a 'real person', and I suspect that he is just a pen name for a group of writers. These suspicions were reinforced after looking at 'his' facebook page. It just seems far too 'constructed'.

However, I do plan to continue listening to the series as it is very entertaining.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 08-17-18

The Flying Dutchman saves Earth AGAIN!

RC Bray is excellent, and the witty dialogue and situational atmosphere of doing something monkey brain stupid is hilarious!!
Thank you Craig Alanson for creating enduring characters for us to be empathetic with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nigel
  • 08-01-18

Trust the awesomeness

2nd best in the series, this story continues straight on like it's predecessor. Looking forward to the next one

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-18

Will Nagitha be able to help?

Will Nagitha be able to help? Will Skippy ever return god I I hope so.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • marcus woodlock
  • 07-30-18

Brilliant story

It has been some time since I have had the pleasure of such a great story coupled with wit and good narration. This is Asimov shadow writing for Adams of ‘Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy ‘ in military adventure/politics mode. What a great interaction between the main character and the AI of awesomeness! The narration is spot on and commendable. Thank from Aussieland (Australia). Great series. PLEASE do more!!!