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One Man's War

Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There's no good way to prepare yourself to die....

Guerro runs a kill team. They're good. Better than good. Or they were, until they walked into an ambush that wiped his team out and left Guerro for dead. 

All the evidence suggests they were betrayed, but by who, and why? 

Determined to avenge his team and settle old scores, Guerro embarks upon a one-man war, knowing that whoever put the kill order out on his people is still out there, watching for him to show his face so they can end him. 

A hard-biting SF thriller in the vein of Blade Runner, Altered Carbon, and Titanborn.

Narrated by the award-winning R.C. Bray (Galaxy's Edge, The Martian)

©2019 Steven Savile (P)2019 Aethon Audio

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Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow...that came out of nowhere

I would categorize this as a short story, but can't stress enough how sad I was when it ended. Fast paced. RC Bray was as expected...ELITE.
Highly recommend.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

By the books revenge story

This is a world in the future where megacorporations have become so large and powerful that even the governments cannot stop them, where it's actually seemingly the companies themselves acting as the government, and occasionally even fight openly with each other at times.

The one thing I want to get out of the way first: the narration. I loved it, I think it was near flawless. I thought that some of the female characters sounded a bit too similar at times, but there was also never really a moment in the story where I could directly compare them. Apart from that, I loved the narration. The male characters in particular were very well done.

The story itself was I thought pretty good, but also barebones and fairly straight forward. The book being only 5 hours means there isn't a whole lot of time for character development. But at the same time, it skips any filler, romance, or pointless side missions that you may end up seeing in other similar, longer books. It gets straight into the actions and maintains a similar pace throughout. The main character, Marco, is something of a mercenary who works for whichever corporation is paying him, but eventually gets betrayed, causing him to seek revenge. That's the gist of the story, and there isn't a whole lot in terms of twists and turns.

If I could, I would have preferred to give the story 3 and a half starts due to the simplistic nature of the plot and what a couple times throughout felt like extremely forced exposition and background storytelling. There is one particular scene(won't spoil, but it should be obvious at the time) that I thought was far too long and seemingly existed solely to inform the readers, despite it being character dialogue.

Overall, it was a fun action book with some futuristic tech and a look at a cyberpunk world dominated by megacorps. If that sounds cool and you're fine with what is essentially a "popcorn flick" of an action book, this would probably please you.

I received this book for free and voluntarily left this review.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fast paced amazing dystopian sci-fi

Can’t wait for the next one be it a sequel or pre-sequel. I love the hints of the world the story exposed
Not one word is wasted

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Breakneck Tale of a Hitman’s Revenge

Seriously, this book’s pace makes The Fast and The Furious seem like a Ken Burns documentary. Fans of sci-if action, grimdark and vengeance genres will LOVE this thrill ride. It’s chocked full of grit, wit and more attitude than a Jack Nicholson flick. Its lurid, dystopian atmosphere made me think I was reading an alternate script for Blade Runner 2049, but with twice the gore. Mind you, everyone is a murderous bad guy in the book and the horrific ending will tickle fans of Harlan Ellison. Not a story for the squeamish. Hope you Enjoy!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • BT
  • 10-02-19

Fun, fast paced, not too concerned with characters

I received a free review copy of this audio book, at my request, and am voluntarily leaving this unbiased review.

This is a fast paced and straight forward revenge story that is fun and satisfying.

At 5 hours (audiobook), there is little time for world building and character development, as the narrative is completely focused on furthering the plot. The world does get fleshed out, to some degree, but the characters remain flat. They are completely 1 dimensional and we are given little to no insight into their true nature. More time is given to naming the guns involved, then explaining the characters.

In a longer book this could be a major problem, however, this isn't the intention of this story. It is meant to be fast, and constantly on the move, and stopping to figure out character back stories and motivations would just slow it down.

The world is somewhat developed, in passing, describing the current culture and living conditions. Typical dystopian Corporate future, where companies own land and people and outsiders are eating out of the trash. There is some mention of how things became like that, but not much is expanded on. Also, for a planet of 16 billion people, they are not forced into populated areas often.

Apart from the 1 dimensional characters (which I believe was an necessary evil) my main complaint of the book is the false science, like memories and "mussle memory" being the same thing, or USB drives being used 100+ years in the future, etc. This did dome thing to take me out of the story, and I feel the author could use a bit more research to get the tech right.

The voice performance by RC Bray was top notch, as always. He always brings his A game. Passable female characters, different male voices, know who's talking before a "he said or she said". The man is a pro. Although, it was hard, at times, to not hear about Joe and Skippy, as I expect when I hear his voice.

All in all a fun, fast paced, satisfying revenge book. Short and to the point, definitely worth the time. Just don't come in with hopes of a deep story with well developed characters, that isn't this book.

There is bad music at the beginning and the end, just for a few seconds, but don't worry, it isn't present through out the story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Tightly Told Revenge Action Sci-Fi Story

I don’t always like to admit that I didn’t read the synopsis before jumping into a book – but that makes more sense when you know the author or the story. That was not the case in One Man’s War. I basically saw the publisher and narrator – coupled with the artwork and decided to take the dive.

It seems to tell the story of “Bleeders” aka what we would call Mercenaries. It’s also very much a book about revenge (hence the title). But, going into it blind did not take away from my enjoyment at all.

Savile’s writing was right up my alley – and also lent itself to Bray’s narration perfectly. He wrote a serious story about Guerro’s revenge – but he sprinkled funny parts within (especially once he really started to hatch his plan). Bray’s narration was able to add that little flair to it to turn it from a good book to a great one.

While One Man’s War is not a long book – I don’t think that Savile left anything out. It had the character building, world building, and overall storytelling that you’d expect out of a 12 hour book without the added length. I’m sure he could tell stories that lead up to this one to give some more backstory (other than the flashback they talk about at the midway point), but I didn’t feel like I was ripped off.

I did look up to see if Savile had written any other Sci-Fi stories before finishing this one. I just figured he had to have some others since this was such a tight story. He’s written other books but none seems to fit the same mold as this one. I hope he continues to write more like this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I want to keep listening to it

It's one of those books where narration and story were so good, I didn't even think about it as a sci-fi book in the beginning, but in the end it hit like a hammer, lol, I wish there was more, but I guess I can always listen to it again!

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Like an Arc Blade to your Jugular!

The only con of this book was that it was a little on the short side. I never get tired of listening to R.C. Bray through, so maybe that's a personal thing. Regardless, this book packs a lot of action and a deeper plot than you expect for an audio book that's only 5 hours long.

The book hits all the right notes as it has a good combination of action, science fiction and mystery. It leaves you wondering what happens at some moments and then there's body parts flying around in the next. Somehow this all works well when read to you by R.C. Bray though.

I really did enjoy this book and I confess that I only picked it because I had a busy week and wanted a short and light listen.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fast paced and gripping

One Man's War. ..
fast paced and gripping, lots of tech and action. A must read for fans of action books.
R.C Bray's narration is excellent as it always is.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily leave this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Narration

This was the first book I’ve read by Steven Savile. I really enjoyed the narration. The story had some interesting ideas and painted a cool futuristic time. There wasn’t much character background or development. It was a fun and quick read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. M. Clancy
  • 11-01-19

Excellent story

This book starts off great and carries on throughout the rest of the story. It melds a combination of action humour and tension effortlessly and RC Brays narration brings this brilliantly to life in his usual excellent style. It isn’t the longest book. It that doesn’t matter as you will be totally absorbed into the story and by the end want to listen to it again.

Totally recommend this for all fans of mil sci-fi

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  • Darren Matthews
  • 10-30-19

loved it

this is not my usual genre but it was unexpectedly one of the best audiobooks I have listened too.
it reads like a great action revenge movie and with R C Bray brilliant as always it makes you want it to go on longer.
The characters are great and the main guy has a sarcastic sense of humour that makes you root for him all the way.
I will definitely be looking out for more from this author and hopefully he keeps using bray to narrate as they make a great team.

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  • Jason
  • 10-30-19

Good story, excellent narration.

I really enjoyed One Man's War. It was actually nice to have a shorter book that I could listen to while waiting for the next release of one of my main series that I like. I didn't have to commit too much time to it.

I got involved in the characters, I cared what happened to them. The environments were well devised and described. It was fun! I'm not too sure about the Stealers Wheel references though!

RC was amazing as always and brought this to life in the usual way that he does.

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  • R
  • 10-28-19

For fans of Bladerunner

A cracking read, wonderfully narrated. Just the right mix of action, tension and cheese. The near future world building is deftly handled to create a piece of sci-fi to appeal to fans of Bladerunner.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MG
  • 10-23-19

Decent With Flaws

*Received for Free*
One Man's War is the like an 80s or 90s action movie - Here's the World, Here's the Hero - now quickly on to the explosions
If you want a Sci-fi epic, step away now. If you want a balls to the wall romp of violence, double crosses and some surprisingly likeable rogues, then give this a try

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  • James Scott
  • 10-23-19

interesting listen

great narrator that has introduced an new author to me. I hope this becomes a series.

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  • Phil H
  • 10-22-19

Superb to the end

Firstly a great choice of voice actor, really fits with the protagonist and the story.

Then the story itself, full of action, twists, turns and the unexpected, and keeps you gripped right to the last minute.

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  • Shane Scott
  • 10-16-19

Overrated

I have no issue with the length. quality over quantity and all that. I believe it could have been fleshed out more. I didn't care about any of the characters either good or bad.so avoid if you like full rounded stories.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 10-12-19

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down eventually.

Narrator R.C. Bray becomes the adrenaline fueled, money orientated, battle loving assassin Marco, for hire with his team. It's the 22nd Century and several corporations essentially rule the world and the population of sixteen billion. Corporate trouble shouting is often exactly that, and his team of four bleeders - Marco, Swan, Mardigan and Fate - are the best at what they do with over 50 successful missions. Then it all goes wrong, only Marco narrowly escaping with his life. They must have been betrayed. And with simple death too easy on the traitor, Marco forms a new team to revenge his crew and to pull off the con of a lifetime.

Despite it's short duration, and the near constant action, One Man's War still delivers two very memorable characters. The main protagonist in particular, by virtue of being the man recounting the story, becomes not just three dimensional but also someone the reader actually knows well. He is not a pleasant man but has a defined code of conduct, loyalty and keeping his word. The con itself is meticulously plotted and the reader is also treated to backstories of other missions completed before the crew was destroyed. All is told in a cynical, sardonic writing style, perfect for the nature of the book. It is great, especially narrated by Bray, who captures the essence of storyteller and text perfectly as well as individually voicing every protagonist to suite their personalities.

I was fortunate in being freely gifted with a complimentary copy of One Man's War, at my request, by the rights holder. Thank you so much. It is one of those occasional books that I wish could be awarded an extra super star in the ratings. Immaginative, energizing and fun to hear, it was a delight - just over too soon. A definite recommendation to all S.F.fans, as well as lovers of colourful characters, action thrillers and anyone who enjoyed the film, The Sting: it would make a truly explosive film itself.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 10-12-19

A Dash Through Dystopia

From the start I should mention that I received my copy of this book for free but wasn't told to write a positive review or anything like that. This will be spoiler free except where indicated at the end.

Summary: if you know that you like thrillers, you will find in One Man's War a familiar and well-executed story. If you're the sort that turns their nose up at a simpler plot and set of characters, you're probably better off elsewhere.

One Man's War is a punchy sci-fi (more towards near-future cyberpunk than space opera) thriller that takes the reader on a whirlwind story with heavy heist themes. Clocking in at just 5 hours, it's a much shorter book than I would normally listen to, and that does incur certain costs, but overall I found the story enjoyable.

What the author does very well here is pacing - with the exception of one notable scene, the story doesn't feel off-pace at any point in the five hour journey; very fast but not blisteringly so, and importantly not so rapid that you lose track of what's going on while walking around or driving or whatever you do while listening to books.

So let's talk about the main concern with a short book: what is sacrificed in the name of brevity? Well the good news is that depending on your expectations and preferences, the answer might be nothing at all. If you're looking for a plot-driven exciting book then this delivers thoroughly.

The trouble is in the characters: the main character is a bit of a thriller default, a sarcastic tough guy with a relatable softer side who gets dragged begrudgingly into increasingly daring capers. If this book was a film he'd be played by the rock. Of the 7 main-ish characters, only one other has more than one dimension, despite some efforts to allude to depth. This isn't necessarily a criticism - the story is all about whether the protagonist will complete his mission, the cardboard cutouts around him just need to be set dressing.

The other thing you'd expect to suffer from such a short length is the plot. The author is clever to avoid trying to stuff a sweeping plot into few pages, instead narrowing the scope and focusing on telling it well. I would still argue that the plot was still simplified more than necessary, but that's getting into spoiler territory. Overall, I don't believe that the plot is weakened by its length and is solidly executed.



MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

While I enjoyed the journey of One Man's War, the destination left me disappointed. The whole time I was waiting for the thing that would go wrong, but nothing ever did. No twists, no turns, nothing. Just a straight shot from inciting event to the finish line. Considering how smart and wily the antagonist is supposed to be, I was expecting him to put up more of a fight than he did, or any fight at all really. There's something very satisfying about a good plan coming together, but I would have appreciated a hurdle or two along the way.

A last word on the characters: their lack of depth would have been less notable if the author didn't keep hanging a lantern on it. In the worst part of the book, the Venice "flashback" (in which the narrative voice doesn't change at all from the main text and sounds like someone reciting a novel rather than someone recalling events to someone who has the exact same shared experience), the book tries to cash in on an emotional investment we are supposed to have in the old team that simply didn't exist. The book starts with them dying, how can it expect to start caring about them half way through?