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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 listeners say about How Not to Be a Rogue: Trials of Amaford Novella

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Audible review

The story centres around Jimmy the street urchin and the good and bad that happens to him. While the street language is part of the story, the swearing put me off somewhat and I struggled to get past the first chapters, but ended up enjoying the story. The street and city life is well portrayed.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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Hilarious!

Started kind of slow but showed early humor and just got more interesting and funny as it went along.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun low fantasy novella

I received a review copy of this audiobook.

The story has a little magic, but not much. The protagonist is witty, but not as much as he thinks. There are a number of small plotholes. The various plotlines are slightly disjointed.

For all that, the story was entertaining, and it's less than four hours to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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Great listen

This is a delightful tale that is so well narrated that it has become a firm favorite for me. The characters are so different and well executed that you forget that only one person is narrating. Well done.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Listen

Really enjoyed the story and the characters. Not to long not to short. Well worth the listen. Narration was fantastic really enjoy Sean’s work.

2 people found this helpful

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Fun Story

This was a fun little story. the language was stronger for most Fantasy. The characters make this one for me. The Narrator did a great job, as usual. I would like to see this fleshed out to full novel size to make the story a bit stronger.

2 people found this helpful

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Adult Comedy Entertainment


Entertaining although gratuitous language is peppered throughout. Definitely not for younger listeners within earshot.

The writing was colorful - not just for the language, but the perspective. I think it would lose the comedic appeal if it was written in third person; but parts of it - if Jimmy can’t see it - how would he know? (Like when he was hiding under the bed).

The characters were given unique voices by the narrator. It’s apparent he became familiar with the book to create and set the appropriate tone.

It’s a cruel world and Brooks dragged us through the shyt with Jimmy. It’d be interesting to see the rest of the world.

This is my voluntary review of an audiobook received for free.

2 people found this helpful

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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 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Ryan Pascall
  • Ryan Pascall
  • 03-07-20

A tightly written and thoroughly enjoyable romp.

As someone who tends to gravitate towards huge, epic tales that last 20+ hours, I was dubious about a short, compact story such as this but the cover really drew me in.

What we have here though is a tightly written story which doesn't waste a word with pointless wandering and everything, from the way things look to the conversations characters have, add colour and life to the world the author has created.
Within 10 minutes the fantastic narration of Sean Duregger had me wrapped up in this grimy world and colourful characters who's dirty clothes are only slightly overshadowed by their mouths but quickly I saw past the rough exteriors and found a group of very likeable and caring characters.

The story also is straightforward and doesn't miss a beat in drawing you in, making you care about the main characters and then, when you think everything is ok, kick you right in the feels.
It is also rare that a book can bring a physical reaction out of me hut the final few lines of the book did make me laugh audibly on a bus full of people..

All in all, for one of my first forays into a shorter 'novella'  this was a real success and I am looking forward to experiencing more works of both Zack Brooks and Sean Duregger.

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-18-19

How Not to Be a Rogue: Trials of Amaford Novella

I really enjoyed the narrator Sean Duregger's ability in giving each character its own voice, it made the story come to life and made it easy to visualise Amaford and all the people in it. I enjoyed the main character Jim, his loyalty and love for his friends and how his loose tongue constantly lands him in trouble and he just never seems to learn...
I did however not enjoy all the swearing that is commonplace in the story, if I had been reading this book in written format it would have been possible to 'ignore' the bad language but in audible format it is everywhere. I do however realise that the setting of the book and the type of characters involved could justify the language.

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Profile Image for Kira Adams
  • 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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Profile Image for Helen
  • 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