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Publisher's Summary

Listed in The Wall Street Journal as the number-one Bestselling Action/Adventure in their "Readers Guide to Self-Published Big Sellers" (December 9, 2011).

When terminally ill combat pilot Jake Bronson emerges from an MRI with extraordinary cognitive powers, everyone wants a piece of his talent - including Battista, one of the world's most dangerous terrorists. To save his love and her autistic child, Jake is thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, where Jake discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.

An original weave of current events bound by colorful locations and cutting-edge technology, Bard's novel is a must-listen for fans of Michael Crichton, James Rollins, Clive Cussler, and Brad Thor. A dynamic mix of fast-paced action and thought provoking soul, this book challenges the listener to keep pace with every sharp turn and shocking twist. Acclaimed by fans of action, sci-fi, and political thrillers alike, Brainrush is one of the most innovative and entertaining books of the year.

Brainrush was in the top 10 of the Amazon - USA Top-Rated List for over four months straight. The sequel, Brainrush II, The Enemy of My Enemy, was released in December 2011 to rave reviews. Within a few weeks it became the number-one Top-Rated Action/Adventure stories on Amazon.

©2009, 2011 Richard A. Bard (P)2011 Richard Bard

Critic Reviews

" Brainrush explores the bonds of friendship while pushing the boundaries of science, creating a compelling, action-packed thriller with a climax that's a knock-out!" (C.J. Lyons, New York Times best-selling author)"A terrifically entertaining thriller with three finely executed set pieces strung together with nice characterization. Especially successful is Bronson, an amiable, low-key tough guy able to rescue his princess, survive brutality, and retain a sense of humor." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Wanda
  • Pretoria, South Africa
  • 06-09-14

Watch this author!

I bought my copy of this via audible!

I knew nothing of the story going in.
This is what I found.

Extreme -- you have mad scientists. Terrorists. Hero's. One with real super powers, and yes! ALIENS!
That is alotta stuff in one book. If I read the blurb and it mentioned all this then I would have bought another in its stead.
I mean seriously...I would have made a big mistake. The author pulled it off brilliantly!

Hard to pin point within all these plot lines but I think it is the plight of autistic chldren and how they are being marginalized within "mainstream" life in general. Well, that is what I took from it.

Writing style
Amazing. Really and at this price, try it, you might not like it, you might love it as much as me.

Editing and formatting
Not applicable since I listened to it on audible

I absolutely adored this narrator. His pacing, calm and soothing voice added so much to te characters that I know I am rating this book higher due to the narrator than I would have if I read it. The narrator is absolutely a master at his craft

Over all
Get the even has a bit of romance......
Trust me. It is worth the read.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill
  • buena Park, CA, United States
  • 01-04-12

BRAINRUSH an exciting, thrilling, adventure!

This is the best thriller - science fiction I have read in ages! It has current events as well as glimpses of possible, chilling, futuristic events.
Medical anomalies, thrills, non-stop action, cool weaponry, scifi, romance, mystery and much more. Something for everyone!

I hope you don't have any other pressing matters, because you will NOT be able to put this book down! I first read this book twice, on Kindle, and was thrilled when the author released on Audiobook. R.C. Bray, did a WONDERFUL job as the narrator, capturing the characters' personalities and accents.

What a BRILLIANT debut book, by author Richard Bard! His wonderful descriptive ability, and excellent character development, make you feel like you are in the story.

This was one of the best books I've read all year! BRAINRUSH II was even better, if that's possible. It's out on eBook now and hopefully it will be out soon, (Feb.??) on Audible too.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Diagnosis: sudden onset superheroism

It is similar to Mark Greaney's the Gray Man (series) in tone, pacing and plot. I think I'd have to say that Greaney's is a bit better written. It feels like Bard "wanted" to be Jake in this book - to the point where it felt like the author was fantasizing about being a super hero. Of course, this book also has a "fantasy" component that isn't in Greaney's.

The romantic component is weak and I think the book would have been better without it. Jake's superpowers seemed to develop (i.e. appear out of nowhere) just as he needed that specific superpower. Then this superpower wasn't mentioned again... until it, or a similar one, popped up just in time to save him from the next pinch. This also happened with characters - when Jake needed X, a character with X appeared in the story, just long enough to provide his service then disappeared. (Yes, I meant "his" service - there are women characters but, at best, they are cutouts based on stereotypes, at worst, they are just cutouts).

As an action packed pseudo-military story (it doesn't start off like this but after the events in Italy, it becomes almost exclusively pseudo-military) it was not bad at all. Lots of gun descriptions, lots of fighting and lots of stuff getting blown up. Perhaps some of the fighting was a bit overdone, perhaps some of the characters were a bit too melodramatic (Carlos, for example), and perhaps the story was a bit too long for its content... but overall I kinda enjoyed it.

Some people have commented on the shift to "aliens" near the end of the story. I didn't find this any less believable than Jake's sudden onset superheroism. In fact, I think it actually fit the storyline.

The narration is good - dramatic but not overly so. The characters are distinctly voiced. There is no sex and I don't think there was much foul language. There is lots of violence, but mostly non-gory.  I will probably buy the next in the series when it comes out.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Penny
  • Pearland, TX, United States
  • 09-11-12

Best Book I've listened to in a long time!

What made the experience of listening to BRAINRUSH, a Thriller the most enjoyable?

The characters are both down to earth and unstoppable. There are plenty of twist and turns in the story line, but not so many that any of them drag or get lost in too much detail.

What was one of the most memorable moments of BRAINRUSH, a Thriller?

The black obelisk rocketing off.

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has good changes of voice for the different characters and good energy.

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

Yes, I actually stayed up all night to finish it!

Any additional comments?

This book is one of the best that I've listened to in a very long time! Totally worth the money and time to listen to. It's one that I'll be listening to again!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Knocked my socks off!

If you could sum up Brainrush, a Thriller in three words, what would they be?

I purchased this book at Audible by 1 get 2 sale. I wasn't expecting much but was very pleasantly surprised through most of it. At the end it got a little fantastical but overall a good read. It kept me entertained throughout. and I was very happy to discover it is the first of 3 books. Cant wait to continue the journey!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremiah
  • Murphysboro, IL, United States
  • 07-31-12

Paranormal Thriller with a Scifi Teaser

When you think of radical, fundamentalist terrorists I know what comes to mind...the most technologically and well trained military and scientific force in the Oops, because that's the basic premise behind Brainrush.

The Good:
1. The premise is great. A freak accident gives the hero a super-brain.
2. The first scene in which the protagonist uses his newly acquired awareness and eidetic memory. Very well written, witty, and simply fantastic.

The Not-So-Good
1. Everything after the first scene in which the protagonist uses his newly acquired powers.
2. The protagonist's powers quickly expand to telepathy and telekinesis, and the author seems to forget about the protagonist's memory and awareness advantages, because they cease to play an important part of the story.
3. The absolute cluelessness of world governments and the military
4. The inclusion of alien artifacts

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Milan
  • Redondo Beach, CA, United States
  • 01-06-12

A Roller-Coaster!

Would you consider the audio edition of BRAINRUSH, a Thriller to be better than the print version?

I loved the ebook, but I enjoyed the audio version even more. The narrator is amazing! He really brings the characters to life.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved all the twists and turns. I never knew what was going to happen next.

What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?

Mr. Bray is a true performer. The accents were spot on.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What a rush!

Any additional comments?

I can't wait or the sequel!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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depends upon what kind of mood you're in

Would you try another book from Richard Bard and/or R. C. Bray?

i might.

Did R. C. Bray do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

wow. the guy is good. he can do believable italian, american, australian, andd middle eastern accents. the narration is why my overall score is 3 stars.

Was BRAINRUSH, a Thriller worth the listening time?

in a way. i listened to it while commuting. it's not a story where you have to rewind if you miss a detail. i like that when commuting. actually found myself driving a little more aggressive than usual. lol short & a good way to pass the time.

Any additional comments?

if you're in the mood to just turn your brain off and listen to an action packed story, then brainrush may be your fix.

yes, this is formula driven: over the top bad guy with SPECTRE like world domination plans, all of the main character's friends have unique and useful skills, sweeping plot movements from california to venice to monte carlo to afghanistan.

yes, it all does seem to convenient, but i wasn't in the mood for depth just action. yes, it's kind of cheesy, but i was raised on the cheesy action films of the 1980's -> arnold schwarzenegger ruled the 80's action movie cheese. but i digress.

quick summary: dying guy gets powers from freak accident, decides to showoff his new powers, local tv crew records some of his feats, the video goes viral, bad guy wants to examine jake to incorporate how his brain manages these feats so he can improve his implants to carry out a jihad against america. any more, and i'd give it all away.

the good:

agree w/ jeremiah's 1st 2 points:
1. the premise (mri accident gives the hero mental powers)
2. great 1st scene where hero starts to discover his mental abilities
3. hero's powers are limited. adds to the believability. for instance, telekinesis is taxing mentally and physically and isn't over the top, e.g. moving small objects and not cars. this isn't the x-men! lol
4. camaraderie of the hero's friends.
5. the kid characters, sarafina and ahmed, are done pretty well and aren't forgotten as the story continues.
6. alien inclusion: ok kind of interesting, but you can tell it'll be used in future books.

not so good:
1. while i hate islamic fundamentalism, i grow tired of it being used as plot device, and the main driver behind the bad guy's motivation. imho, it was only done well in patient zero.
2. the fact that terrorists are more technologically advanced than the us gov't. where are all of those trillions of dollars going. uungghhh...i digress again! lol
3. the lack of gov't agency involvement. hey...the cia, nsa, or other secret gov't agency is usually involved in some way (good or bad), and i felt that missed in this story.
4. story written for guys. the women in the story are just sexpots. yes, there's one chick that kicks a$$, butt she's always underestimated b/c of her looks AND she seems to grow more abilities than the hero w/o any super powers.

overall, if you're looking for an action-packed and fast-paced story AND THAT'S ALL, then this will give you your fix.

it's not much of a thriller at all, more like the recent james bond films- just meh! light beach reading.

It’s a coin flip if you’ll like it. Me, it’s head’s up.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • Sandspit, British Columbia, Canada
  • 12-24-12

On the edge of your seat...a great read.

What made the experience of listening to BRAINRUSH, a Thriller the most enjoyable?

Super action and suspense...I was never sure what was coming next.

What did you like best about this story?

I was happy that it was only part 1! I have purchased part 2 already.

Which scene was your favorite?

The gambling segment was fantastic...really enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys science fiction and/or action stories.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Danville, CA, United States
  • 01-11-12

Excellent Audiobook!

Would you consider the audio edition of BRAINRUSH, a Thriller to be better than the print version?

I would say that the Audiobook is better than the print version because the narrator, R.C. Bray, does an incredible job of bringing the characters to life. It's hard to believe all of the accents came from one person.

What other book might you compare BRAINRUSH, a Thriller to and why?

It's very hard to compare BRAINRUSH to other Thrillers because it has so many elements to it. So many Thrillers these days seem to be very generic, almost like the author is following a formula. Richard Bard does a great job of breaking the mold and creating a truly original Thriller.

Have you listened to any of R.C. Bray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not heard any other audiobooks narrated by R.C. Bray.

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

BRAINRUSH definitely has both funny and sad aspects. Since one of the main themes of the book is terrorism, it is sure to elicit emotion from all who listen.

Any additional comments?

BRAINRUSH is one of the best and most original Thrillers I have read/listened to in a long time. I highly recommend it!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Janeyjane_UK
  • 12-23-12

Science 'faction'!

Jake, a terminally ill former F-16 pilot, is caught in an MRI scanner during an earthquake with some spectacular results! If you love technology-filled military-style thrillers you'll enjoy this. If you like it with an added twist of science 'faction', you'll *love* this. Think somewhere between James Rollins and Matthew Reilly. Only the very, very end of the book left me feeling a little disappointed, the '...and a miracle happened' kind of moment. Still, the rest of the book was an absolute page turner, so I very much look forward to reading the next installment!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fair & Honest!
  • 01-14-18

Excellent first novel to a series.

Where does Brainrush, a Thriller (Brainrush Series Book 1) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

in the top 10.

What did you like best about this story?

All of it! couldn't put it Down.

What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great narration, with lots of feeling!

Any additional comments?

This first novel in this series, is excellent! and only the beginning, to a fantastic 7 book series, with an end of series novel, which won't Disappoint!

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  • Hanrattyblack
  • 12-18-17

This book made me cringe

I've only read the first few chapters, but the constant cringe-worthy descriptions of how people look and the predictable story line was a great disappointment. I had such high hopes.

The narrator was good - poor chap.

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  • Craig Duncan
  • 10-29-16

...More like Brainfreeze

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those who enjoy nonsensical, cliche-ridden, formulaic tat. Although I must confess I gave up on the story less than half way through.

What was most disappointing about Richard Bard’s story?

Bard telegraphs this lumpen plot-line through a join-the-dot like use of comic-book cliche. The protagonist gains his super-powers after an MRI scan goes wrong (for Pete's sake!). The love interest is innocent, slender, beautiful and buxom, but is also a leading scientist in her field, feisty and independent. Continental Europe is a strange, dark place where secret terrorist organisations lurk on every street corner. And his friends ain't leavin' nobody behind... Pat American tat, best left the other side of the Atlantic.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

The narrator did a fair job given the quality of the script.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from BRAINRUSH, a Thriller?

Too much to leave a viable novel behind.

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  • Sandra
  • 09-11-17

Not my cup of tea

Almost didn't finish this one. Started out great but half way through went off kilter and the ending was . . . a bit out there. It's a 'boys' story, with a superhero, terrorists, guns, bombs, blood and guts, splattering of brain matter and aliens! Not a thriller under my definition, more a James bond meets Spiderman meets Indiana Jones! I can see its appeal for the audience that kind of story appeals to, but not for me thanks!