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The Tower of Zhaal Audiobook

The Tower of Zhaal: Cthulhu Armageddon, Book 2

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Publisher's Summary

It has been a year since John Henry Booth's exile from New America and the fall of the Black Cathedral. Cursed with a slow transformation into a monster, he has begun a doomed relationship with fellow escapee Mercury Halsey as they seek some way to arrest his transformation.

Dubious hope arrives in the form of the University, the deranged scientists and cultists descended from the staff of Miskatonic University. Except their offer of help comes at a price. Having sold themselves to ancient aliens called the Yith, they wish John and Mercury to join a group of rogues in hunting down a wayward member of their faculty: a man who intends to release the last of the sleeping Great Old Ones on an already ravaged planet. If they're telling the truth, John and Mercury will be heroes. If.

The Tower of Zhaal is the second novel of the Cthulhu Armageddon series, a post-apocalyptic continuation of H.P. Lovecraft's popular Cthulhu Mythos.

©2017 Charles Phipps (P)2017 David N. Wilson

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  •  
    erobbins33 05-09-17
    erobbins33 05-09-17 Member Since 2017

    I love audiobooks!!!

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    "Excellent and legitimate"

    As a fan of the Lovecraftian Cthulhu, and all of the mythos and pantheon that entails, I was surprised by the level of dedication here. Not only did Phipps capitalize on the pre-existing characters, but he created plausible NEW Elder Gods, which made me question whether or not they were also pre-existing! Kafer is, as always, an awesome voice-actor, so there was no problem with listening vs. reading. I'll actually admit, I trust his pronunciations more than the ones my brain conjures up (not a hardship, though, as my brain tends toward pronouncing words phonetically, like: epitome...) Anyway, this was a very enjoyable read, with a really good balance of history, fiction, and fantasy!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 04-25-17
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 04-25-17 Member Since 2015

    Check out BriansBookBlog DOT com for more reviews.

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    "Buckle Your Seatbelts, This Is Action Packed"

    I don't know why I didn't see a sequel coming from the first book, but I'm really glad that Phipps wrote one. The benefit of a sequel is that you've already had time to explain out certain characters and their characteristics, but it also allows you to explain the world a little bit allowing you to jump right into the continuation of a story.

    Well, Phipps did that for sure. I thought that Cthulhu Armageddon was non-stop action. I would be wrong compared to Tower of Zhaal. Holy cow, I need to catch my breath from this one. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the addition of new characters. Phipps was able to weave new people into the story without them feeling like complete outsiders.

    The story itself from the first book wasn't normally my cup of tea, but darn it did I still enjoy it. The Tower of Zhaal was the same way. I went into it with an open mind and having read the first book. I wasn't sure what was going to happen in this book, but I was bucked up for the ride. I'm glad that I was buckled up though because this one too me for a ride.

    Anytime you can get the amazing Jeffrey Kafer to narrator your books, you already have an edge up on the competition. But when you combine Kafer's great narration of this book with Phipps great writing you have a winner.

    The Tower of Zhaal was even more enjoyable than Cthulhu Armageddon and took me on a roller coaster ride that I wasn't sure I was coming back from. a

    I was given a free copy of this audiobook, it has not affected my review in any way.

    If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! If you'd like to see more like this, you can check out BriansBookBlog DOT com

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maximilia 06-09-17
    Maximilia 06-09-17
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    "Sequel Stands Up to the First"

    I loved the first book in this series, and the sequel did not disappoint. I admit, I squeed like a fangirl when I saw this one published. It picks up a little bit after the end of the first, and we're back again with the hero, John Henry Booth. He's somewhat more than human now, and he and his lover Mercury are recruited to kill someone to prevent the end of the world.

    The plot is not quite that simple, and the author really throws a lot of philosophy in there, many questionable choices, the whole Lovecraftian pantheon, and just so much more. It's an enjoyable listen, made even more so by the talented narrator Jeffrey Kafer. Kafer's deep, gravelly voice matches the lead character so perfectly that even when the prose did get a little overwrought and might have sounded silly, Kafer's deep voice brings a seriousness and poignancy to the narration which really makes you feel for the lead, bringing the stark reality of the world to life.

    If you haven't listened to the first one, do so, but I think this sequel could probably stand on its own as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 05-31-17
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 05-31-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Chitinous claws! Tentacled faces! Oh, the horror!"

    Note: This is Book 2 and works OK as a stand alone. It would definitely be enhanced by having previously read Book 1.

    Set in and around a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts, John Henry Booth and Mercury Halsey now work as security for merchant caravans. The world was reformed some decades back when the Old Ones and aliens took up residence on Earth, nearly wiping out humans. Unfortunately, most of these new arrivals found humans useful in some way or another, such as interbreeding or as a food source. John is undergoing a transformation into an unknown something he fears and perhaps the University can cure him. However, their assistance comes at a price. They must hunt down and kill a powerful sorcerer (wizard? magician?) Marcus Whatley, who is determined to released the last of the Old Ones, potentially dooming both humanity and Earth.

    Yeah. John and Mercury have their work cut out for them.

    The end of Book 1, Cthulhu Armageddon, saw the death of much of the cast. Here, we get several fresh faces and, yes, many of them perish in interesting ways before the end of the book. In fact, several folks from the merchant train John & Mercury are guarding die right away when the cultists of Yith show up unexpectedly. Professor Harvey Armitage of the Miskatonic University wanted a word with John & Mercury and this was his douchey way to getting their attention. Right off the bat, I didn’t care for Armitage and I hoped that John & Mercury found an interesting way to kill him off. And yet…. yet Armitage does has a wealth of knowledge and some healing powers. Perhaps this messed up world needs him… for now.

    Mercury used to be a professional torturer and she’s an expert on EBEs, these extra biological entities. So she’s a pretty interesting character that has had an intense career path. In this book, she continues to grow with some training in the magical arts. She’s done all she can for John as a doctor (of sorts) short of killing him (if that’s possible). Perhaps the magical arts are the only way to assist John in controlling or containing his mutation.

    I’m interested in seeing how things turn out for the side character Jackie Howard. She’s the teen-aged adopted daughter of John and Mercury and she’s half ghoul. Yes, ghoul. Like Richard Jameson from Book 1, she likes human flesh. But she’s cool. Don’t worry. Donated meat only. There’s this great scene between her and John where John is explaining why they are leaving her behind instead of taking her on this insanely dangerous mission. Lots of great lines in that scene where Jackie acknowledges that John & Mercury care while also calling them on their BS.

    Jessica O’Reilly, John’s previous girlfriend, shows up later in the book, as well as his ex-wife. As if that doesn’t make his life complicated enough, his ex-wife is a psychic and she can tell that John is hiding his true nature from all but his closest companions. John also has a bit of a crisis of conscious when he and his team end up in a kind of paradise that relies on slave labor. John was a slave for about a year previously, so he has some strong feelings on the subject. Yet this labor pool is made up of these squid faced entities that could happily slaughter all humans planet wide if they were inclined to… and weren’t being held in slavery. So he’s got 99 problems along with his love life.

    The ending was complete with great imagery and phrases like, ‘We must summon Cthulhu!’. There’s plenty of drama and yet things work out. I hope we get another book in this series because there’s plenty more for John to explore even as he goes through his own evolution.

    I received a free copy of this book.

    The Narration: Jeffrey Kafer really shows off his skills with this book. This story is full of lots of nearly unpronounceable names such as Nyarlathotep and Shak’ta’hadron and Kafer has to pronounce them all with consistency and accuracy throughout the book. There’s also plenty of crazy cult ramblings in a nearly unpronounceable language, which Kafer makes the characters sound fluent in. I was impressed by the dexterity of this tongue multiple times throughout this book. He’s great at keeping the characters distinct and also imbuing the text with emotion as needed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Epping, NH, United States 05-24-17
    Christopher Epping, NH, United States 05-24-17 Member Since 2008
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    "The Man with the Teratoid Arm"

    This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
    This was a great story. I actually had to revisit some old Lovecraft and listen to this again to get the full depth of the novel. The narration was great, to have to pronounce all these crazy words must be hard. If you were my friend and liked the Lovecraft mythos, I would recommend this to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tiffany 05-23-17
    Tiffany 05-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "No sequel blues here"
    Any additional comments?

    I love this action-packed follow-up to Cthulhu Armageddon. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler U. 05-18-17
    Tyler U. 05-18-17
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    "Wow, now THAT was an experience!"

    I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

    I didn't read, or listen to, the first book. So, it was hard to get into this book at first. However, it didn't take long to get drawn deeply into it. This book is equally fascinating and disturbing. I really enjoyed the experience and would definitely seek our more in this series.

    The narrator was also really good. He had a gritty and interesting voice that made the story gripping and fun.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Karowski 05-18-17
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    "The apocalypse has never been better"

    Welcome to an apocalypse that's filled, not with zombies, vampires, demons, etc. this apocalypse is populated by the old ones. Everything that came from te imagination of HP Lovecraft now walks the earth and man kind is the bottom of the food chain. This is the 2nd book on the series i have listened to and I love it. The author and narrator take you down a road not previously traveled by the old ones. Enjoy the walk before you go mad. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kanundra 05-09-17
    kanundra 05-09-17 Member Since 2017

    Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!

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    "Better and Better!"

    I was glad that I had this one to listen to after the first ended. Of course, it's a stand alone book and felt very organic. But I wanted more from this world. Glad CT Phipps delivered with this, I also believe there's a third coming sometime soon. :)

    I am not very up with Cthulhu and their myths and legends, of course, this just made me want to dig into this very weird and terrifying world.

    The Tower of Zhaal kicks off with just as much action as the first. Where Booth and Mercury are kidnapped and taken to save the world. A Very weird way of asking, but I can also see why the society might need to do it this way.

    What I really enjoyed about this, was that even though we thought Booth and Mercury couldn't get more involved, the character development around these two was still exemplary. So deep and emotional that I felt for their relationship as odd as it was, and as loving as it seemed.

    I still think every woman Booth comes across is one he's been in love with at some point, and the re-introduction of his wife made this much more interesting. So many things to go wrong, so much to lose.

    This book will defo have you on the edge of your seat, high action, high horror. Booth changes a lot, not just physically as he embraces the person he really is, or the alien that he is, but also on a mental level. And I really liked this about him. There was a great strength in him and it showed in his decision and of course, some non-decision as life just seemed to roll on around him.

    I admit getting to know these characters made a better impact on me storywise, it flowed on from the first, kept me hanging and engage, and emotionally invested. The monsters were terrifying, the world so detailed I thought I was there...

    When's the next one out! I'm having a book hangover... Although I am starting on the super villainy books, it won't be the same. : (

    Great, great job. Thank you for the entertainment guys!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael K. Gibson 05-06-17
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    "A Strong Follow Up to Cthulhu Armageddon"

    Up front, I was given an audiobook copy by CT Phipps for an honest review
     
    The follow-up novel to Cthulhu Armageddon, Tower of Zhaal, greatly expands on an already impressive world building. 
    John Henry Booth (JHB), the protagonist from book one, is continuing his adventures thought the apocalyptic cosmic-horror hellscape roughly a year later, following the events of book one. 
     
    JHB and Mercury have been kidnapped by a secretive society who represent a surviving academy of mind and science. Led by a Yithian being, the academy tasks JHB and Mercury to team up with a rag-tag band of badasses to go in search for an academy outcast who is seeking to find the titular Tower of Zhaal and release a cosmic horror. Along the way, JHB comes to grips with the monstrous presence growing inside him while simultaneously dealing with the elder god Nyerlathotep whispering in his ear the whole time.
     
    Still with me so far? If you’ve read book one, then all of this should be making sense. If not, I highly recommend picking up book one first and giving it a read. 
     
    Naturally the team does as teams do in these types of stories and suffers through attacks, murderous hordes, ghouls, genocide and pain to accomplish their mission. 
     
    Now, I did have an issue or two with the story and its structure. We are introduced to several supporting characters who are very surface level and despite CT’s hard work, some of them are nothing more than filler. As well, the forward momentum of the story sometimes slows, or halts, for world building. As well, events of the missing year between book 1 and 2 play heavily, and you as the reader must march onward. Lastly, the final conflict I felt was a touch too short. 
     
    Now, if you’re a fan of the Cthulhu mythos, or just a rough and tumble type who enjoys horror and/or films like Seven Samurai, Magnificent Seven, the Dirty Dozen, or the recent Rogue One, then you’ll have no problem with this story. 
     
    In summation, I like it. Sadly, I didn’t like it as much as I did the first novel, but Tower of Zhaal IS a strong follow-up to Cthulhu Armageddon and I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of CT’s writing. 

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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