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Publisher's Summary

Book 2 of the Koban Series

Already faster and more powerful than the last 17 species that they have destroyed or subjugated, the Krall have set their sights on humankind. Aftertesting humans on their future home world of Koban and finding them worthy opponents, the Krall start a war of slow extermination with the rest of humanity. The war is intended to last generations as they apply their own version of "natural selection" to cull their weaker warriors in combat, purifying the Krall gene pool with their finest warriors for breeding. Why? The Krall desire to rule the galaxy someday, from their future home world of Koban, where the impossibly fast and powerful animals have proven to be too fast and strong for them to match. Only through the attrition of war will the Krall perfect their bloodline to become the masters of Koban. When the Krall departed Koban to start their war with humanity, they destroyed the protections that kept their prisoners safe. They left the human test subjects to fall victim to high gravity, and the deadly predators. Big mistake. The bio scientist left behind enhanced the human genome with Koban genes, forming the next generations of humans. They are becoming what the Krall sought to be. The fastest, most powerful species in the galaxy. The men and women trapped on Koban, locked in a struggle for their own survival for twenty years, return to the stars to help defend Human Space. The Krall have had their way with human worlds, killing when and where they wish. Outnumbered, the new Kobani will now take the war to the Krall.

©2013 Stephen W Bennett (P)2014 Stephen W Bennett

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

One of the best stories in a long time

I was intrigued by the first volume of the series although I felt that it dragged in places. The second volume doesn't have that problem at. This is one of the most interesting, imaginative stories I have listened to in a long time. The plot line is pretty standard: bad-ass aliens kick human ass. Humans figure out how to dish it back. Bennett has just made the standard story so interesting. Characterizations are strong too. I really had a hard time stopping to do more constructive things in my life, like work. I strongly recommend this one and can hardly wait for the installment.

7 of 7 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

Great story. Much better narration!

I'm glad I stuck with this series. Although the writing isn't extraordinary, the story was a lot of fun. There could be better character development, and the characters' reactions could be more realistic. Overall, the plot kept my interest, and I look forward to the next installment. The new narrator gave a much better performance. Plus, no more horribly disruptive growling/chortling snorts!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent sequel, totally engaging

Best SF book I've read in a long time. It is original yet familiar, predictable but riveting and oh so satisfying. Bennett has clearly read all the masters from the golden age of science fiction to the present. He has learned their lessons well.

The narration is light years ahead of the first book. Audible and the author would sell many more Koban books if Eric narrated book 1. Maybe a do-over is in order. The first book's narration is so badly off-putting that many people give up on it. I thought about chucking it in several times until the story grabbed me by the neck. It's terrible that many miss out on this book because of the first book's whacked out narration.

It is difficult to believe that the creator of this masterful epic spent decades in the soul rending competency and creativity desert known as the Federal Aviation Authority. I lament the loss of that body of literature the world lost while Mr. Bennett was not spinning yarns. Thank goodness he's writing now! Where is book 3 Audible???

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

When the bad alien get his due I laugh out loud.

If you could sum up Koban: The Mark of Koban, Book 2 in three words, what would they be?

Awesome story telling.

What did you like best about this story?

How our hero and mankind overcame the physically stronger alien with strategy that I did not see coming. His detail and plot twist surprised me. It was a long book and I kept wanting to get to the action, and every word built the characters in my mind.

Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I am sure I did and he did such good job he was the story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the the boys and the rippers exceeded everyone expectations to save mankind.
Telling the story from the alien points of view.
I loved the darkness of the rippers mixed with the higher purpose of saving their pride/ all of mankind as they know it.

Any additional comments?

The combo of Summerers and the attention to detail gave this book real value.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Book 2 more Kobani goodness

I really enjoyed book 1 but I love how the story has gone in this second helping of Koban. If you enjoyed book one you'll like this even better. Just make sure to get book one first, the description doesn't make it clear that this is the second book. Also the Narration of book 2 is a great improvement over book ones but book one is still a good book and should defiantly be one you pick up. Can't wait for book 3 and 4!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

A light read

What made the experience of listening to Koban the most enjoyable?

The story moved at a good pace and held my interest.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is the part where I say that none of the characters were that well developed, at least not enough for me to really identify with anyone that much. Character development was not bad, just not excellent either; it's well enough done to move the story forward.

Which scene was your favorite?

Driving the trucks full of explosives into the Koban ship.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

Any additional comments?

The meme of aliens glorying in combat and using the human race to cull the species into greater strength is handled well, though the plot is a bit predictable. The writing was decent, the narration was quite good. All in all, I enjoyed the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Everything that crawls, flies or grows on a bush!

I LOVE this series -- but, I haven't reviewed all the books! Why you may ask . . .

Because I'm too busy listening to them!

Every summer I re-listening to this series, and once I start, I’m hooked until the last word is spoken — and I don’t touch any another books during that time. Why would I? It’s Koban all day, every day, until I’m done. Nothing else compares to the gorgeous mind movies these books create for me. NOTHING.

This year marks my 4th listen, and Book Six is out on Kindle, and will be released on audio in time for Xmas! (Oh, rapturous joy!) Having just finished The Mark, again, I decided to check out my review for it — only I never reviewed it!

The problem is, I hate to give spoilers when I review a book I love, so reviewing this series is very hard for me to do. Books are a journey, yada yada -- and I don't want to spoil anyone's trip — but I can’t keep this great series to myself! You deserve to know!

So . . .

Spoiler Alert——- Spoiler Alert ——-Spoiler Alert ——- Spoiler Alert——-Spoiler Alert


Book Two: The Mark of Koban

In 600 years, humans have colonized over 700 worlds in the Milky Way Galaxy, and they’ve never met an alien race in all that time. They also haven’t had a war in 300 years. They’re peace-loving, civilized, and very, very polite.

But now the Krall have left Koban, and their gunning for humanity.

The humans have no idea that a completely savage, technologically advanced, 7 ft tall, 600 lb reptile analogue ARMY is coming for them, so when the Krall start attacking the unprotected and minimally populated outer Rim worlds, it’s a slaughter. Fortunately, humans don’t taste good to the Krall, or they’d eat us as well as fight us. (Yea us! We’re ‘bland!’)

Unfortunately --- the only thing most humans know about fighting a war is what they’ve see in old war movies. (Doh!) The Krall know this, so they decide to go slow, attacking a few human worlds just to get the humans started in re-learning their lost skills. And they do.

Meanwhile, back on Koban: The human captives are in a struggle to survive the harsh and dangerous planet’s heavy gravity, deadly insects, giant predators, and 20 lb killer bats -- just to name a few. It’s going to take a miracle for them to survive on Koban, because everything that crawls, flies or grows on a bush can and WILL eat them.

They do survive, of course, but it’s HOW they survive that makes the series so amazing and compelling to read. So, I’ll say it again:

DO NOT MISS THIS SERIES. If this is the ONLY Sci fi book you ever read, START WITH BOOK ONE! I guarantee you're going to love it, and this book, Book Two, is even better, with a better narrator!

I envy you the journey because you can only ever read a great book for the first time, once -- but even the 4th time with this series is FANTASTIC!

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
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    4 out of 5 stars

Much better listen!

Now, the audio production and narration match the excellence of the story. I look forward to picking up the next audio book in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • SAINT PAUL, MN, United States
  • 08-16-14

Very Good Space Saga

Any additional comments?

The author needs to work on his characters banter it seems to always degrade into teenage level potty or sexual jokes. Not sure what the authors age is, but this could use a little work. Otherwise the plot and details are original and well constructed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic story!

Would you consider the audio edition of Koban to be better than the print version?

I didn't read it I just listened. Tough i generaly prefer the Audiobook versions so i can listen while im doing errands at home or at work.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Koban?

When Carson? (I forget the names) fought the duel against a krall. But that is just one of many.

Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

None that comes too mind. However he is an excellent narrator, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed out loud several times. And at occasions i got quite anxious / nervous about what was about too happen.

Any additional comments?

For some reasons I didn't get very attached too the characters, but nonetheless i loved the story. Which is wierd for me, because i usualy "Bond" too the main character and absolutely hate when the narrative is switched about. However Bennett made it so it was a story I wasnt seeing trough the main characters side but rather like i was standing at the sidelines and thus while loving the story and not the characters i didnt mind all the switching about and was looking forward too what happened next. This is absolutely new for me. I would have given it a 4.5 / 5 stars.

I am anxiously awaiting the next book.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • paul
  • 06-22-14

just brilliant

Where does Koban: The Mark of Koban, Book 2 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

one of the best

Who was your favorite character and why?

love the captin very cool guy

What does Eric Michael Summerer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

exallent naration with good very belivable

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

yes i started to cry when i saw no book 3 on audiable but you can get in book form sort this out need to listen to book 3

Any additional comments?

a must listen for any one that loves sci fi

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel Norton
  • 05-19-14

Brilliant! Can't wait for the next book!

If you could sum up Koban in three words, what would they be?

Absolutely fantastic sci-fi

What did you like best about this story?

The thing I liked best was the next generation and the exploits of Carson and Ethan.

Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I haven't listened to Eric Michael's performance before, but I liked his performance in this book, His voice was clear and easy to understand, and voices where good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dave h
  • 04-07-18

gripping! thrilling! syfy bliss!

I was a little unhappy when I seen that the narrator had changed. however, the new narrator was an improvement which was a great surprise. This instalment of the series cleverly carried on a story that I just can't stop listening too! AMAZING!!!

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  • Lars
  • 05-03-17

Entertaining, but brings little new to the genre

Overall I have found the Koban series to be entertaining and well worth my time. There was some rather serious issues with the narrator in the first book, but fortunately the following books have a new narrator who does a good job.

There is a good mix of character building and action bundled with the usual sci-fi technobabble to describe faster than light travel and other elements that seem necessary to a good sci-fi yarn. We follow a rather broad group of people who often learn about the world, the situation and the alien invaders as we do.

I had a bit of a problem due to the fact that I have been listening to the Merkiaari wars series recently. And the two series share a large number of similarities, such as:

1. A widespread human empire is faced with an invasion from a race completely dedicated to war.

2. This aggressive race is physically larger and stronger than humans.

3. The aggressive race was earlier a sort of slave-race to a now extinct alien race (who as killed off by our invaders)

4. The only way to level the playing field is to enhance normal humans so they can stand up to the much stronger aliens. This is very controversial in both series, but the authors present it as the only logical step to take.

5. Both series involve humans befriending large feline aliens who are also opposed to the invading aliens.

etc. etc.

These things dont really disqualify either series of books, but the similarities are so striking in many cases that I struggled to keep the storylines apart.

Koban is likely not getting a Hugo award, and I have yet to find anything new it brings to the genre. That is ok. I don't need to have my worldview shaken with every book I read. Sometimes it is ok to be entertained.

So, if you (like I do) spend large amounts of time in your car, you can spend your credits a lot worse than on the Koban series.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bettyandjohn
  • 08-31-15

Great Read Great audio Book

If you could sum up Koban: The Mark of Koban, Book 2 in three words, what would they be?

I loved it

Who was your favorite character and why?

maggie, her part amused me

Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

not yet but certainly will

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the cats actions on the return of dillio

Any additional comments?

possibly the most enjoyable book or books i have listeners to

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 05-08-15

Big Improvement

the different narrator is a huge improvement on the previous performance. Story is gripping and a real page turner if there is such a thing in audio books !

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 08-06-14

Still a good story but better narration

The captives on Koban have split into two camps with the first embracing genetic modification to be able to better handle the gravity, heat and atmosphere and those that haven't. The story continues around the same characters from the first novel and expands the relationships and character development. It is easy to root for the intrepid pioneers and be disdainful of the fearful slackers.

The author had a choice to continue with all the animal and plant life being extremely dangerous or to have the inhabitants come to term with some elements. He chose the later and while these elements add new aspects to the story that are worthwhile you do wonder if the story might have been better served with a continued struggle with the world of Koban.

But that is a minor issue and the story moves along at a good pace and expands on the interplanetary war that Krall are waging to improve their bloodlines.

The narrator has changed for this edition and the new narrator does a very good job and there is more bounce and pace in the reading especially in the narrative parts. The character vocals are well done with the voices of the women being less disruptive than in the previous edition.

Overall a good read/listen and is recommended. Only shame is that volume three is not out.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • stig1875
  • 08-01-14

A good Listen

The storey continues as good as the first book, and I hope the rest of the series isn't long in being published onto Audio.