Cyclops Road

Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Evan Portin is at a sad, scary place in his life. While taking a long walk to compose himself and figure out where to go from here, he encounters a young woman being mugged in a park.

When he tries to intervene, he discovers that she doesn't need his help. At all.

Her name is Harriett. She is very, very good at defending herself. Everything she owns is in a large backpack. She's never seen a cell phone. She's never been in a car. She's never really ventured into the outside world.

And she says she's traveling across the country to slay a Cyclops.

She's crazy, right? Evan is not in the habit of hanging out with delusional women he's just met. On the other hand, it can't hurt to offer her a ride out of town. And maybe this insane journey is exactly what he needs...

A brand new adventure from the four-time Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of Blister, Dweller, and Wolf Hunt.

©2016 Jeff Strand (P)2017 Jeff Strand

What listeners say about Cyclops Road

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AMAZING!!!!

This book was ah-bloody-mazing!!! Seriously. I've read a few books by this author and he never fails to impress and amaze me with his imagination. Where does he come up with his ideas?? Lol. Anyway, it's going to be so hard to say all I want to say about this because I will end up spoiling it. This is the story of Evan, who lost his wife and child not too long ago. He is having a hard time with life and ends up kind of getting the boot from his job too. He decides to take a walk through the park, which ends up changing his life forever!!!

Evan, oh god, my heart broke for him!! He is so sad and I just wanted to hug him. He is at rock bottom when he sees Harriet being mugged in the park. Evan is a nice guy, and decides to step in, but Harriet doesn't need help, in fact she is like a ninja!! She gets hurt and he offers to help. Little does he know that this will change his life and himself irrevocably!

Harriet is such a mystery. At the start, when she tells Evan that she is on a trip to kill a cyclops because the prophecy said so, you think, what a nut job. But her story unfolds and you find yourself eagerly waiting to see exactly who she is and where she is going?

The plot of this was unique, quirky and absolutely gripping. I had no clue where the author was going with the story, nor how he would get there. But get there he did, and let me tell you, it was an absolute rollercoaster of a road trip. I mean, who wouldn't want to go on a road trip to kill a Cyclops??

That is all I can say about the book itself because it is one better experienced. I'd advise you not to read any review (well apart from this one ;)) and just go read the book. I didn't read any and boy did I devour this one. It captivated me and stunned me.Right from the first page the author gripped me and made me become invested in the characters and the story. After finishing, I wanted to dive back in and read it slower, just to savour it. Brilliantly written and executed, this is one book I can highly, highly recommend.

Joe Hempel was simply amazing. He brought this book alive and really made it easy to visualise. He has a clear, clean voice and gave each character their own tone and personality. He also reads and performs brilliantly. It was effortless to listen to because of him!

I was voluntarily provided this free copy by the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

12 people found this helpful

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Fantasy At Its Finest

Evan Portin has just lost his wife to cancer, still grieving, he quits the job he hates. What more could possibly go wrong? How about walking up on a mugging in the process! Evan goes against his better judgment and wades in to help a damsel in distress. How embarrassing that this damsel named Harriet ends up kicking ass all by herself.

Life changes completely when a skeptical Evan decides to help Harriet, as she heads to Arizona to kill a Cyclops terrorizing a small town. Along the way Evan and Harriet slowly pull together a rather reluctant ragtag team of fellow Cyclops hunters.

Magnificent! That's all I can say… well, maybe I can say more like, what a wonderful audiobook!
It’s mainly fantasy and but it has humor, suspense, heartbreak all mixed up together and what you end up with is a story you’re sad to see the end.

Joe Hempel narrates and his winning streak continues with this nearly 8-hour audiobook. I’ve only listened to Joe Hempel read fantasy/sci-fi and he is one of the best narrators in this genre, especially when there’s humor involved. He is so expressive and does well, voicing both genders. I often wonder if he just picks the type of books I like or if I like whatever Joe reads… hmm... The old chicken or the egg quandary. Either way, Joe is the rare narrator that I search for when I’m looking for a good audiobook. I know I'm guaranteed a good listen.

This audiobook was gifted to me in exchange for an unbiased review!

6 people found this helpful

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Such a Fantastic Epic Story; 5 Stars Plus

Huge fan of Jeff Strand’s horror stories, have to say I may be even a bigger fan of his fantasy. This story takes you all over the place and has the speed and energy of a classic car chase movie. Once I started listening, I dreaded having to actually go to bed and wait to finish it in the morning. Won’t lie, I fell asleep listening to it, woke up and rewound to where I dozed off, and drifted off listening to all over again. If you are not a big horror fan, but want to ease into some great horror with a great author, this is an excellent book to get into Jeff Strand.

Not sure if I liked the plot or the characters more. The plot was a mix of classic epic stories such as Beowulf, updated to be a more modern version with cell phones and cars. Strand was really able to tap into the emotions you felt watching some of those great classic fantasy epics, and put a great modern day spin on it. In so many ways it felt like just a modern fantasy story, but every now and then there was some aspect that just hit me as this is just a classic sword and sorcery story. I also really enjoyed how a lot of the story took place in a car as I love the classic car chase story lines. Not to mention there was what you would expect, tragedy, comedy, romance, sacrifice, and epic battles and quests.

I really enjoyed the characters as well. I honestly wasn’t able to classify each trope they were fulfilling, but they definitely felt like they all belonged in a battle clan and all brought something unique to the crew. I really enjoyed how Stand was able to bring members into the crew who exemplified in their current state the archetype that you would expect from a swords and sorcery story. I loved all the characters equally, as if they were my own children, but Seth was my favorite as he added the comic relief and was a perfect too chatty character that you totally hate but love even more.

I have immensely enjoyed all of Strand’s books, but this one really knocks it out of the park. The storyline was perfect and the writing was just amazing. The dialogue between the characters was so great that I really wanted to be with them on their journey. I wanted to be their friend and join in on their conversations. This is definitely a book I will have to revisit in the future.

Have been a long-time fan of Joe Hempel’s narration and coupiled with the great story telling of Jeff Strand, you get a book that you stand to pull out your earbuds. Hempel provided, as always, a narration that brings you into the story and provides the right amount of emotion and personality to each character.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 person found this helpful

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Hooked me from the first sentence

Any additional comments?

Have you ever listened to a song for the first time and knew immediately when the words and melody began that you would like it? That's this book!!

The narrator and the author were a perfect duo. The story started off with a death that was so masterfully written that you know you are in for a literary treat. And boy, does this book deliver.

Yes, the band of would-be slayers are ultimately going to kill a cyclops, but with tongue firmly planted in cheek, the author and the narrator took us on a wonderful journey that I hated to see end.

I loved every minute of this book. I wish Evan and Harriet had gone back to the fight club (did I mention the fight club?) and got their money back but other than that, my sci-fi oriented, mystery loving heart was happy.

5 people found this helpful

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Cyclops Road

What did you love best about Cyclops Road?

I was fully entertained, and hard to put it down. This book is not the usual horror themes from Jeff, but there is some horror in it. It's more of a road trip adventure tale. And full of twisted humor

8 people found this helpful

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A Fresh Take on an Old Monster Story

I had a lot of fun listening to this story. Harriet is a very interesting character from the first moment we meet her. She is a very well-written female character. As was said by George R. R. Martin, it seems like the author considers women to be people, and writes Harriet as such. The camaraderie that she and Evan share really helps define and shape the story. It shifts with each addition, but it is still the framework. When they finally reach their goal, I was satisfied with the intrigue and developments we found. Jeff Strand really nailed it. A classic cyclops hunt reminiscent of the Odyssey for me took on new life and context journeying through the United States.

The story was narrated by Joe Hempel's welcome voice. My own issue, and the -1 star, is that I did not feel Joe differentiated the characters' voices well enough. I following along fine, didn't find any distracting quirks, and enjoyed the overall tone and reading. I would listen to Joe again happily.

I volunteered to receive a free copy of this audiobook and have volunteered my review with no influences other than my own listening experience. I recommend this book!

6 people found this helpful

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I wish there were a sequel!

I was so impressed by this book. I'll read just about anything by Jeff Strand, and listen to almost anything by Joe Hempel, so when you combine the two, you know it's going to be a winner.

It starts with some witty banter between two people, in a way that made me invested in them from the beginning. I thought, wow, these people are a little nuts . . . but in a good way.

From there the story soon becomes a mix of comedy and suspense, with a bit of Twilight Zone thrown in. It's basically a really long, strange road trip where you have absolutely no idea what to expect. Crazy things happen out of nowhere. I laughed--a lot.

In the end I liked this even better than the Wolf Hunt books. Those were also funny and suspenseful in Strand's hallmark way, but this one has an off the cuff weirdness the others lacked. I really wish Strand would do a sequel--and have Joe Hempel narrate again, of course. As usual, Mr. Hempel gave life to the characters and his delivery was flawless. Even the female characters were perfect. It was much better and more fun than reading this in print.

I received this audiobook for free at my request, and have voluntarily left this review. I bought the Kindle version to go with the audio, even though I didn't read it because the narration was so great. The book is totally worth the money or the credit.

7 people found this helpful

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A terrific read... er, listen...

This is a really fun stand-alone urban fantasy, and a terrific read... er, listen.
Evan, still mourning the loss of his wife, absolutely loses any sense of good judgement and torpedoes what's left of his normal life by fighting with his boss, and of course, losing his job. Evan is adrift, and a bit hazy about the future, when things suddenly come into perfect clarity as he stumbles across a woman being mugged. At least for the moment, he knows what to do... Get beat up! LOL... and that, my friends is how this rollicking adventure/quest starts down the Cyclops Road.
Joe Hempel's performance is perfect for this wonderfully fun tale!
This is the first book I've read by Jeff Strand, but I guarantee that it won't be the last... Get the book and sit back and enjoy...

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed but not what I expected from this writer.

Not sure what I expected but I was not expecting a feel good story about a group of misfits who come to gather in a friendly camaraderie to look after each other, while on a road trip, all on the way how to defeat a cyclops. With twists and turns, feel good moments, first discoveries, and action this is an enjoyable story that could be listened to with the family on a road trip. I would definitely say that you could listen to this with kids 11 and up and I think they would get a real kick out of the story. It is seemed to give off the impression of being more of a young adult or teen book in my opinion. I did like that this seems to be a clean book without swearing etc. much.

2 people found this helpful

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Lots of fun....a light listen...

Really enjoyed this book....the writers style is humorous and direct....no long drawn out boring dialog. He finds the good in his characters and delivers a good story. Thank you!

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Mark Jenkins
  • Mark Jenkins
  • 04-01-19

Really Disappointed. Really Sorry to say that.

I discovered Jeff Strand a few weeks ago with Wolf Hunt 1 & 2. Fantastic books, great and well written stories, narration and humour. I have my friends onto them. I thought I had discovered a brilliant author with a joyous back log to read. I read The Haunted Forest next. Mediocre at best. Then this. I really wanted to like this out of loyalty for the author of wolf hunt. With regret, this story, was poor. The story was uneventful, immature and predictably dull. I only finished it to see if the was a grand finale twist. There wasn't. I know any book with a Cyclops is going to be fictional sci fi / fantasy, but this was just plain pointless and just childish. Sorry. The writing style was like it was written for a 12 year old. Gutted to say this. I was hoping the Haunted Forest was one poor book from a good author. A one off, but this was really poor. I don't wish to disrespect the author. I will try one more of his books and I really want to like it. Wolf Hunt was the most unexpected and enjoyable books ever. I hope to get something close to that and I want to enjoy Jeff Strands others books, but after these last two, I have my doubts, so one more try.

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Profile Image for C. Rowlands
  • C. Rowlands
  • 04-14-18

An urban fantasy road-trip

I haven't read or listened to anything by this author before, but the premise of the book is an interesting one with a mysterious woman going on a quest to kill a cyclops in a modern setting, she is joined on her quest by Evan Portin who finds himself in a dark place having recently lost his wife and telling off his boss enough to lose his job too.

Harriet is an unusual one as she seems to have led a very sheltered life, being unused to common elements of modern technology such as cars and phones, she also takes on the more traditional warrior role of their party as she so ably demonstrates at numerous points along their journey.

Evan, by contrast has had a much more conventional life, but grows greatly over the course of an unusual road-trip that is recounted with a subtlety to the humour that doesn't undercut the more serious moments.

The cast expands beyond these two initial characters, but this book is as much about the journey as the titular cyclops, so it is probably best for people to meet them for themselves as they read this book.

By contrast to the author, I have listened to a number of books done by this narrator and he again gives a strong performance, moving the story along at the appropriate pace in a clear manner, while giving nicely distinctive performances for all the main characters that help to further enhance an enjoyable story.

Overall, I found this to be an interesting and enjoyable listen and will keep an eye out for more from this author in the future.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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Profile Image for Rob Cooke
  • Rob Cooke
  • 04-12-18

What an awesome story from start to finish!

I started this book and it had me so confused, I was sure I had signed on for a fantasy road trip epic and that is exactly what it delivered the literary slight of hand at the start is so worth it as it sets the tone for the rest of the book.

It is a tongue in cheek fantasy road trip to kill a mythical monster and the journey is anything but straight forward.
The story misdirects you whilst never feeling like any of it is out of place. You move through increasingly bizarre and incredible situations and all the while you just keep going with it as it is so well written and narrated.

The narrator Joe Hempel has definitely matched the tone and feel perfectly allowing for a listening experience which is up there with the best. All of the characters feel real and unique. I never once had any confusion as to who was speaking. All of the voices seemed tospeak of the characters essence and I absolutely could not put this book down once I got started. (I even checked if there was a follow up book).

In summation this is a must read for anyone who enjoys an adventure story whether you like fantasy or not you will love this book it is so well written and narrated that I urge you to give it a try.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily provided this impartial review.

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Profile Image for Raven
  • Raven
  • 04-05-18

Entertaining from start to finish

I really enjoyed this story and the characters in it. The narration and production were very well done. Well worth a listen.
I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.