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Funeral Games

Narrated by: Nigel Peever
Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ingerval is the Country of the Dead. Despised by the wider world, blighted by history, since the beginning of time, it has honored one law: the Dead rule, and the Living submit. No one remembers why Ingerval nobles return as ghosts after their deaths. To enjoy a brief life of pleasure and plenty, followed by an eternity of reigning from beyond the grave, is the fate of all Ingerval lords. All but one.

As the youngest son of the King's third wife, Syphax never thought he would amount to anything. He is content to live out a contemplative life free from the scourges of power and politics that infatuate his peers. But after answering a summons to the Palace, a sprawling, ever-expanding repository for Ingerval's ghosts, he finds himself at the heart of a dynastic struggle centuries in the making.

Funerals are happy occasions in Ingerval, and the King is planning for his to be the most decadent in the country's long memory. He does not know that, unlike every lord before him, he will not return to rule alongside his ancestors. He will die the true death, sparking a succession crisis that throws the noble families into chaos. Amidst the violence and intrigue, Syphax alone asks, "What really happened to the King?" The deeper Syphax digs, the more he realizes these events are connected to others dating back to the founding of his father's dynasty.

Let the games begin.

©2019 Colin Heintze (P)2019 Local Hero Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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5 Stars Isn't Enough

The story is quite humorous, the dialogue constantly made me laugh. Even with its humor, the story is epic and tells a grand tale. The over arching story, with all its little pieces, is a really fantastic story and reminded me of so many famous epic tales. Totally original, but this feels like it grabs some of the best parts of other stories and through the delicious imagination of Heintze, turns it into a completely unique tale that will hold your interest the entire time. I really can't stress how awesome I thought everything was.

There are quite a few characters, especially the dead ones, so from time to time I felt like I strayed a bit. I was always brought back on track and would say for those who like to listen to books at a faster speed, you need to bring it down for this. Not only do you want to enjoy the overall production, you will miss some of overall plot and it is important to pay attention to who everyone is. That said, the characters were great, specifically Syphax, although they all had a great part to the story and I loved all of them. This had the same epic feel of Beowulf, the first great epic, but with so many more interesting characters and a lot more plot. Throughout the whole story I kept thinking, Tim Burton could absolutely make this a wonder stop motion animation.

I have never heard anything by Heintze before, but I hope to hear more. The writing, imagination, and overall story was perfect. I don’t say this often and the reason is that I don’t come across such a fun, artistic, and worth while story like this. The whole time I listened I thought, Tolken doesn’t have anything on this guy. With the length of the story you get both a good plot and great character development. The dialogue, which seemed to be written for me, was sexy, it was dirty, it was romantic, and it was a lot of fun.

This is a fantastic production. It came off as a full production with sound effects and different people playing each character, however there is only one narrator. Nigel has a huge range of character voices and did an amazing job. He doesn’t just read the words, but acts out the entire story. The background sound effects really added to the overall mood and plot. I know some people aren’t big on having them, but I think they really added to this narration. It would have been a completely different story without him and the added sounds. Ives entering Syphax’s body and interacting with his subconscious was brilliant, and Nigel absolutely nailed the interpretation of that event with his sound effects. I can’t imagine the energy and effort that was needed to put into this narration, but you owe it to yourself to listen.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun listen

First off this is an enhanced audiobook. There are sound effects and background music at times.

I like horror so I didn't find this too macabre. It's an interesting concept where royalty is considered the "undying" and I got caught up in the nuances of that. I'm trying to think about how to describe what twists can arise from that but I'd be giving away parts of the story. Colin Heintze has clearly given a lot of thought to this.

This book is a character driven and I like how the character develops. He's a good person but not perfect which in my opinion is always more interesting. Colin Heintze's writing is very good. Add in Peever's sound-effects and top-notch narration you have a great book.

The sound effects are very well done. There weren't any jarring noises or sounds that drowned out the narration. This type of audiobook is very much like listening to a movie (if that makes any sense). Peever not only uses distinguishing voices for his characters but his use of sound effects immerses you in the audiobook.

Very well done and I highly recommend this audiobook.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Funeral Games review

This was an interest listening to. What made it enjoyable, the various sound affects added throughout, along with the unique characters and story. Five stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great Story!

This is a very entertaining fantasy story with a mystery entwined within it. Excellent writing and narration makes it quite enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Unique context for a supernatural mystery

This was a very interesting audiobook and one that I'd recommend to fans of this genre. By the time you get to the end of the story, you realize that the underlying plot line, conflicts, and character development aren't particularly mind-blowing (which is why I didn't give this audiobook five stars). However, the setting around which the plot is developed... THAT is very compelling and worth 4 stars. The story feels like a medieval fairytale, where the living and the dead co-exist. That's one of the main things I enjoyed about this story - typical ghost stories involve an individual relationship between one living character and one or more ghosts. Because only one person encounters the ghost while others don't, that's a source of tension (e.g., if the person doubts his/her sanity, if no one believes the person when he/she says he/she saw a ghost, etc.). In this story, all of the living characters perceive and interact with the palace ghosts - there's generally nothing mystical or frightening about ghostly encounters with dead ancestors. Some are creepy, some are nuisances, and some are sources of wisdom. The author constructed an interesting world here.

Two lingering takeaways from this story, for me: First, the story made me thoughtful about how we deal with death and all of the emotions that are associated with it (and how different the experience is for the characters in the story). Second, the story prompted me to reflect on the way that histories and legends get can get distorted by those doing the writing. History books are written by the victors and their supporters. Because there are no living witnesses as time passes, people rely on what they read in books or what is passed down through oral histories. However, in the world of Funeral Games, there are ghostly characters who can verify or dispute what is written in history books and legends because they are the very subjects of those legends and stories. Imagine living in a world like that, where it is possible to know the truth about a past event because you can ask the ghost of someone who was actually there. I liked how the author dealt with this.

The narrator was a very good fit for the story and I enjoyed the various sound effects that helped engage me with the story. The only reason why I deducted a star for performance is because sometimes the background sound effects were too loud and distracting, sometimes drowning out the voice of the narrator. I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the years, and only a handful are produced with sound effects (reminding me of old-time radio dramas). It felt like a story-telling performance, like a great deal of effort was made by the producers to sweep me into the tale.

My final thought: The author could have made this story more dark and horrific, but he didn't. Thus, I wouldn't consider this to be a horror story, even though there is lots of death and ghosts are central to the plot and setting.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 06-09-19

Good Listen

Good story and good narration. Really different setting and characters and great narration.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Different but Interesting!

Death is a central theme of this story, of course, but I loved the author’s take on it. The ability to talk to our ancestors, to understand the world as they did is a fantastic thought. Prince Syphax was a very relatable character coming into himself slowly as the story moves along. He’s the only one who sees something is wrong and does what he can to right the wrong, navigating through the Living and the Dead to do so.

Though it had a slow start, this mesh of genres picks up in intensity toward the end of the book. While the ending was a bit of a letdown, I could understand the author’s reason for it. I’m not a fan of typical happy endings anyway.

Narration is good and so is the background music and sound effects.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Cool story..Great performance!

I wasn't sure about this audio book in the beginning...but it just kept getting better and better.

I really liked the characters..Fina was one of my faves and well..you just had to love Syfex (sp). I couldn't believe people or nobles were just willing to sleep and die away..but then again the never REALLY left.

My favorite parts of the story were actually when Syfex was just traveling through corridors meeting all the ancestors. I loved how he was honorable enough to keep his word each time he made a promise to someone..for instance the carousel for the baby. He was just a good guy. I also really liked his half brother and I can't even begin to spell that one.

Best of all was the narration. How will I ever go back to hearing plain old reading after THIS! The sound effects were perfect..from the horses hooves..to the man spitting..to the baby screaming..to the clanging of swords. it just kept getting better. I enjoyed the different voices used and so distinct they were! No trouble telling who was speaking..I can't say enough..the story itself is bizarre... but very very good! One more thing.. I thought Ainsley was too cute!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unusual and Intriguing

This is certainly a very unusual and intriguing listen. The storyline is quite different and I'm very glad I took a chance on it. It is full of action, adventure, humor, twists and turns. The characters are well developed and nicely entertaining. I don't want to say much else because I don't want to give anything away. Check it out and see just how entertained you become! The narration was superb, as usual, from Nigel Peever. How he is able to do so many distinct voices is a mystery to me but I love it! He really each character their own voices and emotions. The enhancements only help to bring to the story more to life for the listener. Put a great story with an awesome narrator who knows how to use effects and you have yourself one very interesting and wonderfully enjoyable listen! I highly recommend this book to all!

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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it made me laugh so hard

this book was such a wonderful and gracious story to listen to I adored it didn't just love it it was much much more than that I don't even know how to write a review about such wonderful story without making I need reference to the book itself I just want to say it was one of the most incredible books I got and I have in my library it was hilarious unusual and absolutely fantastic
BTW the narrator was a great asset to the story

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Daddy Bear
  • 06-04-19

Wonderful storytelling & narration

As always, Nigel provides outstanding narration and production qualities. An utter joy to listen to.

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  • Michael Bardason
  • 05-21-19

Extremely interesting concept

I found Funeral games was a book that grabbed me from the start, it was an enjoyable listen, but I was a bit put off by the sound effects, although I've never enjoyed sound effects in an audiobook. This surreal tale starts off slow, yet the world building completely takes you in, leaving you wanting more. The one place I found the book to be a bit lacking was the character development, yet that didn't stop me from enjoying this listen.

Nigel Peever does a good job of adding depth to the characters and bringing this world to life.

This book was provided free of charge in exchange for a honest review.