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Hellbender

Narrated by: Austin Rising
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Fiction, Humor
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Doug wasn’t sure whether he should trust Satan. 

The red flag was that he said he was Satan. But the deal was good: Listen to Satan’s story in exchange for some donuts. And Doug only half-fulfilled his part of the bargain. 

But maybe he should have listened better, because during his friend Bryce’s next scheme (theft with light to moderate treason - the usual), Doug and the rest of his friends - Lulu (the fun one) and Charlene (the not fun one) - end up with a powerful artifact, a small metal cube with world-ending power that Lulu decorated with bunnies. And now everyone wants the bunny cube, which means Doug, Bruce, Lulu, and Charlene are being pursued by a insane supermodel general, an army of sadists, a vast criminal organization, a smaller, more-in-startup-mode criminal organization, and an unstoppable killing machine - the worst kind of killing machine. 

Doug and his friends may be a bunch of losers who aren’t particularly smart or good at anything, but they have one thing going for them: a really cool name for their mercenary group. And now it’s up to Hellbender to save the world - well, what’s left of it. It’s pretty ruined and war-torn already. But, you know, they live there, so they kind of need it. 

It’s a mess, but that’s what you get for listening to Satan. Or half-listening.

©2019 Frank J. Fleming (P)2019 Frank J. Fleming

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  • James
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 10-22-19

"Hey, listen to this..."

While listening to Hellbender, I found myself stopping family members and saying, "Listen to this bit - this is really funny!" And, they get a laugh because the author, Frank Fleming, does comedy well, but he does physical comedy really well. And, he does action really well. This book starts at a run and just accelerates from there.

The book's universe is a not-too-distant future sci-fi with strong supernatural elements. The story follows four orphans who have become family to each other. They immediately get into trouble that spirals into ever-greater conflict, alternating between calamity and triumph. Fleming does a great job of world-building so that the pieces fit together and revelations build on one another finally to expose the true stakes. And, the protagonist is the most unlikely hero, but a heartwarming one to root for.

I don't want to steal the jokes or give away too much. Intelligent action and quick wit - what more can you ask for?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great, funny and compelling story

I really enjoyed this audiobook! It was laugh out loud funny and I would definitely recommend as a purchase. Five stars!!!

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LoL funny

Hellbender is a fun ride with plenty of laugh out loud moments. Fleming is masterful at juxtaposition and character development.

If you enjoy stories set in a dystopian future, combined with a team of dysfunctional spies where things never go their way, in a way, that leads them to success, plus a dash of pop culture references and just a pinch of religious seasoning, then Hellbender is for you. Oh yeah, I forgot, and Robots.

I recommend the audio book. Really great for those with long commutes. Narrator Austin Rising is brilliant at creating distinct voices giving full color to each character.

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Great story & characters

Great characters, that made me laugh out loud, traversing an interesting story. . The performance was def. one of the better audiobooks I've experienced.

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  • Jumpin' Bean
  • 10-08-19

Surprisingly good

Well written characters, nicely layered plot, satisfying goodies, baddies and a few in-betweenies and immersive character acting.

I hope there is more to come.