Drones

Narrated by: Fred Filbrich
Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the near future, Emotional Transference is the drug of choice. 

Garrick is a Drone, going to ever-increasing extremes in order to sell the emotions. But he does it for a reason - because some memories are just too painful to bear. When his dealer is murdered, Garrick must search for a new way to remove his unwanted emotions but soon finds himself embroiled in a plot that threatens to go deeper than he ever imagined. 

Between terrorists bent on preserving the inner space, assassins with a debt to pay, and a social media giant with its claws in the government, can Garrick survive long enough to uncover the truth and let the world know?

©2018 Rob Hayes (P)2018 David N. Wilson
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Sci-Fi Thriller. Perfect narrator

Excellent sci-fi drama that actually could happen in the not-so-distance future. Suspenseful. Thought-provoking. And enough plot-twists to keep the action and story flowing. A real (audio) page turner.

Also, a call-out to Fred Filbrich who possessed just the right touch of drama,suspense and character believability. After a few minutes, I believed he was truly the protagonist. Good pacing as well.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic story by a fantastic author

DRONES is the latest work by Rob J. Hayes who is probably my favorite independent author today. His THE TIES THAT BIND books were what got me into grimdark storytelling and I absolutely love his BEST LAID PLANS and IT TAKES A THIEF duologies. So, when I heard he was going to do a dedicated cyberpunk novel I was absolutely there.

So, is Drones any good? Yes, yes it is. It is a big departure from his usual work but I have to say that's not a bad thing. It reminds me very strongly of the movie STRANGE DAYS starring Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett. The premise of Strange Days was about the sharing of memories as the new drug of choice in the future. Drones is a related concept about the sharing of emotions as a soon-to-be-legalized drug.

Garrick is a Drone, which in the future is basically a junkie who allows himself to be milked of emotions in order to get money as well as feel the bliss of complete oblivion. Garrick doesn't actually WANT to feel emotions but instead wants the privilege of being numbed as is the side-effect of being harvested. He goes through life in a complete daze and occasionally has sex to get his endorphins up as well as sell that emotion. Garrick used to be a soldier but he's really running away from the pain of his lost daughter. One day, Garrick finds out his dealer has been murdered and he's now irrelevant as the companies are producing their own emotions without the need of Drones.

Garrick is a complicated character as he's a pretty accurate depiction of a junkie. Despite the fact he can, when motivated, kill as well as plan with the best of them--what he wants is always just another fix. It dominates him, his morality, and his relationships to others. The need to have his emotions purged and achieve a perfect oblivion is everything to him. It doesn't make him likable but he's not supposed to be even as he manages to survive against the people against him because no one takes him seriously as a threat--and under normal circumstances, he wouldn't be.

This is an excellent cyberpunk novel and has some nice parallels to the War on Drugs, legalization argument, pharmaceutical handling of opiods, PTSD, and just being a good story itself. It's not a happy story and Garrick isn't a particularly charismatic lead given he's a degenerate burnout but it's a fascinating one and just decent sci-fi.

The narration is fantastic as well. Top marks.

9/10

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A total rush

I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
This book is exactly how sci-fi should be written. It takes place in a dystopic world that it isn't a stretch to think could be ours in the not so distant future. The main character is the kind of guy who is so utterly messed up by his past that he chooses to get rid of them. Not in the way that people in our current timeline do: drugs, alcohol, adrenaline or whatever other vice there is. He actually sells his emotions on the black market. I'm in awe with how easy it was to relate to the main character, and totally blown away by how much I hated some of his choices but understood why he did them. This book had me in tears more than once and left me completely speechless. The way it's written is borderline poetic. I could easily see the setting in my mind.

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hooked me from the start

What an amazing book! I LOVE the concept of emotion harvesting, how unique! I loved this so much I bought the physical book for my boyfriend! I really enjoyed the narrator, it seemed like he really could have been the character!

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  • MG
  • 03-31-20

Slick

*Recieved For Free*

A very slick cyberpunk thriller that packs quite a lot into 6 hours and 44 minutes. This was my first exposure to Rob Hayes, and I am suitably impressed. I always appreciate when a book manages to tell a full story, and Drones almost just about manages to pull it off (almost, because the ending has a slight Blakes 7 vibe - no one will get that referance).

With Drones you will get some very good characterisation, excellent world building, and a plot that makes sense throughout.

This was also my first time listening to Fred Filbrich - and he comes across perfectly as the protagonist. The thumbnail for Audible however states the narrator is Laura Jennings - well done Crossroad Press, you had one job.....

Give this one a go

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  • S. D. Howarth
  • 05-23-19

A slow burner and thought provoking.

A fast-paced sci-fi whodunnit with a very intriguing premise that remains with you a while. I normally read fantasy but do branch off every so often and enjoyed eating through the listen in three sessions.

I found it a slow burner, a quick read but three star story 'until' the terrorist incident where it warps away. Prior to that I didn’t feel Garrick and I felt so-do with whether I liked the narrator (albeit very well performed). Garrick has a lot to contend with and seems flat initially - but well within character for a drone (which cannot be discounted and clever writing).

He gets around Earth and the moon quickly and while some parts of the plot drop together a tad too conveniently, he has an interesting conundrum, diminishing friends and PTSD and dealing with a wealth of emotions to counter and at times. Brutal. He is a cool character, reminiscent of a Michael Marshall Smith novel and it is nifty writing in keeping the plot to emotions (and the knowledge of the process).

I'd personally have liked to have felt the sci-fi more, a richness beyond the dream tech. Feel immersed in the world and stars and comes across more as a local Altered Carbon, than Bladerunner. It is minor, and fades away when the tension, narration and stakes ramp up to a dramatic conclusion.

I have to say, while the hotel scene was cool, Kendal stole the book for me - she was an awesome character. I'd have read the book just for her, but Garrick's journey is thought provoking and scary in what the future may bring.

I recommend anyone reading this novel to pick up the rest of the authors’ collection, and look at Michael Marshall Smith.