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How Not to Be a Rogue: Trials of Amaford Novella

Narrated by: Sean Duregger
Length: 3 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Amaford, a city of prosperity and trade. Merchants flock to it, sailors swear by it, but the people curse its name. For a city of such stature, its dark side runs to its core. Its people struggle to survive the harsh conditions that come with its popularity. More so, the people of its Bridge Districts, or better known as the slums. This is where we find our story, a story covered in filth and poverty. 

What started out as a typical day in Amaford becomes something more as a young urchin finds himself constantly plotted against lady luck. Jimmy, a teenager with a long streak of bad jokes and a loose tongue, is forced into a situation that could change his life forever. Armed with a handful of knives, sub-par wit, and the charm of a feral kitten, he finds himself struggling to save the day. It’s in this day that only Jimmy can show you what it’s like when s--t truly hits the fan.

©2018 Zack Brooks (P)2019 Zack Brooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Great short story

Love the main character, and the colorful world of inhabitants! The narrator really brought the talkative Jimmy alive, with all the cursing you can wish for. Hoping for a sequel soon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A basic fantasy tale.

in a world of mages magic humans and dwarfs. Hear a tale of a smartalec street urchin. with no magic and no dwarfs. I received this book for free for a review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fun Story

So this was a really fun short story, which most novellas are, it had its sorrow but Jimmy is a good smartass. I just really wanted more. The narrator did an decent job but there were times that I felt like he didnt know how to end the sentence or which lilt would be best, but over all he did a good job. I was given this book free in exchange for an honest review and I hope to have more of Jimmy's story to read soon.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

How Not to Be a Rogue

A day in the life of a street urchin, ok more than just one day, but you know what I mean. Jimmy is faced with quite a few trials and tribulations, and Lady Luck isn’t always on his side.

Zack Brooks has developed some very interesting characters. While this story can certainly be enjoyed as a stand alone, the door has been left open for the possibility of more stories to come.

The narration by Sean Duregger was well done. A great cast of voices for multiple characters.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Awesome short listen

I really enjoyed this debut novella from Zack brooks. At times the story left me wanting more, but the ending left me hoping that the sequel is released soon. I would highly recommend this to teenagers and adults who are young at heart who love a laugh. The narration style is awesome, an activated my chuckle bone from time to time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Full of wit, charm and adventure!

Jimmy is a loveable rogue who lives in the city of Amaford. A bustling city full of colorful characters, humor, violence and intrigue.

Zack Brooks has created a world and characters that I want to immediately want to go back to after blazing through this novella.

The narration fit the story perfectly and to me, Jimmy was a real person telling me his story.

I can’t wait for more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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An Entertaining Adventure

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily leaving this review and all opinions expressed herein are mine.

This is billed as a fantasy book but I would call it fantasy-light. That statement is not meant to be disparaging - it's just that there are certain expectations in fantasy books such as a lot of sorcery or use of magic or characters from another realm who have completely different worlds [world-building] - not so much here. Here, Jimmy is a pauper who steals for a living with his best friend Grumps. Sort of like an Oliver Twist or The Lies of Locke Lamora - he works for Big Brother, who takes care of the group of young thieves. When one of his plots spirals out of control, Jimmy has to deal with the consequences.

I liked that the entire story is told from Jimmy's POV, who not only tells the story but provides some humorous comments on the situation as well. This is a charming story but what distracted a bit for me, and may not bother other readers, is that while the time period is not really defined - everyone uses a plethora of curse words which are very contemporary and felt a bit out of place. Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable story with a good heart.

The narrator did a great job. He was definitely the man of a thousand voices - each character had a defined voice, which fit their persona. He definitely enhanced the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good depiction of teenage boys

The narrator is wonderful. Good vocalizations through out the story. The author uses the word f@#k frequently for all the characters. I wish there was more depth of vocabulary displayed with the characters. The author clearly knows more words as evidenced in snippets. After you get over the excessive use of this one curse word, the story is fun, draws you along and at the end you are sad it's over.

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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    3 out of 5 stars

another fantasy story

follow along the adventures of a street urchin with low self esteem, a run of bad luck and a best friend who blames him for just about everything.

this is a fun fantasy rump with an interesting main character, an okay supporting cast, and a good number of inconcistencies (which might be intentional).

the epilogue gives us the framing for who the story is told, and allows Mister Brooks some flexibility in recounting the events, but too many still felt like something missed, rather than a story telling choice.

this is clearly setup for a novel, both because of how it end and some of the things hinted at here, any I'm curious as to where that story will go.

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WOW! What a Novella!!!

Although just a novella, this is seriously a great listen. From serious to snarky, this novella will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. Set in the city of Amaford, the world is well constructed and Jimmy is a well written character who is believable in every aspect from his actions to language. Zack Brooks has created a great novella which I hope turns into one or more books (Hint, hint)! Sean Duregger gives great narration and a distinct personality to every character. Jimmy's run in with both large and small gangs gives way to an action packed story where everything does not always go as planned but Jimmy's humor (or lack thereof) will draw you in to the very end.


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

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  • Kira Adams
  • 06-30-19

A fun short story

“How Not To Be A Rogue” is an entertaining short story, set in a Dungeons and Dragons style world (for some reason, the setting particularly reminded me of the old game Baldur’s Gate). It follows the life of a boy named Jimmy, one of a group of orphans, as he tries to survive by doing odd jobs at the local inn and by stealing...neither of which he is very good at. But luckily, he has best friend Grumps watching out for him.

The story is nicely written, entertaining and humorous. I was pleased that the author avoided using cheesy “ye olde” dialog, and instead used modern language, complete with cursing, to make the characters seem much more realistic. My only criticism would be that it doesn’t feel like a complete story with beginning, middle and end, but rather just a series of events which, entertaining as they are, don’t really build up to much nor have a conclusion.

Narration by Sean Duregger was excellent. He has a very young-sounding, energetic voice which suits the teenage narrator-character of Jimmy very well, but also has a range of other voices which help to flesh out the other characters very nicely.

Overall, this book is well worth a listen.

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  • Helen
  • 06-22-19

brill

lots of charm ,funny The narrator helps the characters come alive in your imagination well written can't wait for more