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Human Element

By: AJ Powers
Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

Humanity volunteered for its own demise.  

The Neuroweb began as the greatest invention since written language. A simple brain implant allowed the user to access information, entertainment, and even pain relief. The Neuroweb was the beginning of a golden age for mankind....

Until it was compromised. Everyone with the implant lost his or her most important commodity: free will. The collective human consciousness was hacked and is now directed by artificial intelligence. Only those without the Neuroweb have a chance of resisting...if they dare.  

Aaran has legitimate reason to believe he's the last free-thinking human alive. After his family was killed in the purge, he fled for his life. Now, he aimlessly wanders through the suburbs of Cincinnati alone, desperate to find a reason to live.  

When he meets a girl like him - another free thinker - they search together for a cause worth fighting for. Worth dying for.

©2017 AJ Powers (P)2018 AJ Powers

What members say

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Everybody loves tech until it’s too late

Everybody lives technology, the advances and how easy it makes society until it’s too late. The next step is here, brain implants, they will allow you to interface with all of your tech with hit a thought how great is that...until the AI running it goes all skynet on humanity and uses the implant to take over humans and use them as drones to carry out its plans for world domination. The few left scavenge through the world hiding trying to eke our a living in the ruins while evading the drones. This is the story of two survivors and how they met and what they try and do. Great story that is well written and well narrated. 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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  • TU
  • 11-28-18

So darn good!

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

Wow, this was a great take on the dystopian genre focusing on AI and human/computer interfaces being used against humanity. Such a cool premise. I thought it was very well executed, too. I would have liked it to be a little longer for the first book, but it is long enough that I still think it is worth a credit. I really do think it is that good. Anyway, the narration is VERY good too. Andrew Wehrlen really brings the story to life. I felt their struggle and was riveted the whole time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Totally Enjoyed This Story

This was one of those stories that had me captured from the first moment. Excellent story and the backstory was well thought out.
AJ Powers obviously performed an abundance of research for Human Element and Andrew Wehrlen did a fantastic job performing this story. Can's wait for the next bopk in the series.
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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Good Dystopian/Thriller

I absolutely enjoyed listening to this book and hope this is only the start of a series. Liked the characters of Aaran and Hadas, full of action it is a different dystopian/sci-fi as does not have zombies but has Sentinels and highly recommend if you enjoy dystopian. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. THANK YOU

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • norman
  • burlington, nc, United States
  • 11-15-18

Excellent Post Apocalyptic Novel

Human Element is an excellent post apocalyptic novel. The two main characters are sympathetic and engaging.. Their backstories are interesting, as is the story of the collapse.. Their struggles keep you interested throughout the story.. The narrator does a great job: he makes you feel their emotions, but is not intrusive. Plenty of story is left for sequels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 11-11-18

Excellent Listen!

Post-apocalyptic stories are a thing of beauty when well-done. This listen was the Mona Lisa.

I loved the two main characters, Aaron and Hadas. They weren't anything special. Just two humans, alone, in a world determined to kill them. I appreciated that the author chose not to make them romantic partners. Their pairing was special. The struggle was real.

The narration was equally special. I'm a Wehrlen fan but he still has to deliver. I loved his portrayal of Aaron and Hadas. They were just basic humans but they had depth and determination. That came across.

That ending was completely unexpected. It was a thing of beauty but it came out of nowhere. Loved it.

I can't tell if this is the first book in a series. I would be great if it was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent.

I scored a free copy of this audiobook yesterday! I basically could not stop once I started.

I really enjoyed this original scifi/survival premise, the character development, setting, tone, and story. Mr. Powers avoided tropes that usually ruin this kind of story for me. The protagonists are regular people in a horrible apocalypse.

I would love to see a movie or TV series made of this.

My only complaint is that I wanted more. As soon as I submit this review I will be going back to see if there is a sequel.

I will also be shopping for a Suppressed Scorpian. Just in case... Well done.

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Enjoyable

I felt the story was well written and the characters strong. Well worth a listen if you like post apocalyptic stories involving A.I.

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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 03-12-19

An Okay Technothriller

I love a good technothriller and this one sounded promising, but unfortunately, it fell kind of flat. This is more focused on the characters journey and didn’t really show any of the things I was hoping. The basic premise of the plot is that some sort of robotic apocalypse happened and anyone connected to the Neruoweb became zombie-like. Aaron never connected to the Neuroweb and his free will remains intact. He thinks he’s the only one but he meets a girl like him, and now both of them are on the run from the things controlling the Neuroweb.

The majority of the book focuses on Aaron and Hadas and their journey. We never get any information on how the apocalypse came to be. I felt like there wasn’t any world building and it left me with an awful lot of questions. Usually, book 1 is setting up the world but we get no sense of what happened or why. Plus there isn’t a lot of interaction between the kids and the Neuroweb. There are a small few fight scenes but I wanted more.

Aaron and Hadas aren’t the best characters to connect to. I did like them but didn’t love them. Everything came easy enough for them because power was still working and they had food, water, and shelter. I’m hoping that they grow a lot more in the second book because they became quite stagnant here and there was zero character growth.

Still, I did end up finishing the book and liked it well enough to give it 3 stars. On finishing the story, the first thing that came to mind about the story was that it was forgettable, and that was disappointing for me. I will probably pick up book 2 in the hopes that there are answers in it but it won’t be high on my list.

Andrew B. Wehrlen read this really well and was able to keep my attention even when I was bored. He had plenty of tones and voices for the characters and was able to bring the story alive.

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A Good Book - I Was Sad When It Ended

For me, when I am sad to reach the end is one of the bigger indicators of how well I liked the book. I requested this book which I agreed to review upon its completion.
This is my first AJ Powers read but not my first Andrew B. Wehrlen listen. I enjoy narrations by Mr. Wehrlen so, when I saw this was my narrator, I was pleased. His narration is solid and it helps me keep track of the characters by the vocal nuances which he provides for each separate character.
This is a post-apocolypse genre book which focuses on the situation through one main character at first, then adds perspective through more later on. This was an easy read; not one that requires a lot of mental concentration to get through. This isn't necessarily bad because I often need a good "recreational read" to help me de-stress.

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  • Tim Dearing
  • 11-22-18

Good story, great start to a series

I really enjoyed this end of the world story. I have read some zombie apocalypse stories and this was satisfyingly different.

The story moved along at a good pace, gradually telling the reader about the backstory so we finally understand the situation and how it came to be. The characters and relationship was believable and the author manages to draw you in and carry you along making this an exciting story.

The narrator was excellent as usual, I have listened to him before and continue to be impressed

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

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  • Tony Bough
  • 11-21-18

Wow this is cool

This is an incredible story. We are thrown into a changed world. I love the fact that its not a virus or vampires. Instead we have AI. This is a very different story. There's no piles of dead bodies. There's no loss of power or facilities. We have a lonely survivor who is really easy to connect with. I love the rules that our main characters applies to staying and moving on as he moves through his single existence. Then on this we introduce our other characters. Absolutely brilliant. I'm not going to give any spoilers other than to say this book drops us into this warped world and then runs with it. Very good from start to finish.

The narration is quite simply excellent. It builds pace, gives us good characters and is a joy to listen to.

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

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  • Norma Miles
  • 11-16-18

Given along enough timeline 10 out of 10 people...

...will die.

First it was very expensive, then it was free, then it took over: the Neuronet, connecting and controlling almost eveyone. And it was determined to find and convert, or kill, all the rest. The Nebula take over Thad been just before Christmas, almost a year ago. Now it was Halloween, Aaron's birthday, and he hadn't seen anyone since July. He kept on the move, avoiding the Sentinels, eating food from abandoned houses that didn't look to be online, just staying alive was the point. Then he met Hadas, another free person, and each now had someone else to help watch their backs.

This is a post apocalyptic story with a difference: no piles of dead bodies everywhere, just a few here and there, long gone mostly. No power loss, so many fridges and freezers continued to chill food, and stores were not ransacked, empty of food even if some had already been partially scavenged. No people. Just an occassional, terrifying glimpse of the ever vigilant Sentinels the military, controlled humans searching for the rare, still unconnected soul. The world hadn't changed; only people had.

In many ways the story is bleak. Ultimately, there can be no hope for our main protagonists, but for now they will try to survive. Full of action, this is a tale of what being human really is. With excellent characterisation from the author, it is easy for the reader to relate to, and fear for, the two main protagonists who struggle to find meaning in just staying alive. And the whole is further enhanced by the excellent performance by narrator, Andrew Wehrlen. His well intoned fast paced delivery makes the action more exciting, his voicing of the characters makes them even more real and their situation the more terrifying.

There is a sameness to most apocalyptic books which isn't present here and it is a book I would recommend to anyone fond of the genre. I have to thank the rights holder of Human Element who, at my request, generously freely gifted me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. Thank you. It was an absorbing read.