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Publisher's Summary

The elite crew of the pirate ship UNS Flying Dutchman had a simple mission: determining whether the Thuranin are sending another starship to Earth. Along the way, they became sidetracked by securing a future for the UNEF troops on the planet Paradise. When asked whether Earth was now safe, their ancient alien AI responded "Not so much"...now they have to deal with the consequences.

©2017 Craig Alanson (P)2017 Podium Publishing

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    9,758
  • 4 Stars
    1,882
  • 3 Stars
    263
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.9 out of 5.0
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    10,394
  • 4 Stars
    800
  • 3 Stars
    75
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    11

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    8,633
  • 4 Stars
    2,086
  • 3 Stars
    434
  • 2 Stars
    66
  • 1 Stars
    27
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Good listen, but should have been 5 stars

R. C. Bray's performance & Alanson's writing were both great. I don't want to spoil anything, but I didn't like the ending. Obviously there's more to come, and that is great. However, after putting that much time into this boo, to have it end on lackluster scene is depressing.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Not as good as the first three

While still enjoyable, this 4th installment seemed long and overly complicated. In order to understand what was going on the explanations were long and convoluted. The banter between Skippy and Joe was not nearly as funny as before. I did gafaw out loud, but only a few times.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Still fun but losing a bit of luster

Still fun, with great narrator, but the story is losing some steam and the banter is getting stale.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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A Good Middle Story Series Entry

This was a good book and RC Bray's narration was on point once again. The Skippy dilemma continues though as a beer can sized deus ex machina is used a bit much for another book. Luckily, the story is still enjoyable, but I wish this was more star trek and less star wars in the story. I find that I enjoy EF books that are more focused on the merry band on a planet and less on the spec ops side. Both sides are good, but Skippy + Bishop exploring the galaxy are fantastic to listen to.

I would probably have continued through this series if it stayed as that narrative of Joe Bishop alone. The book changed completely as soon as that beer can unlocked that first door. That was a total plottwist. Sadly, without the deus ex beercan, this series wouldn't really continue in any sensible way.

My biggest qualm this book is the freakin' non-ending cliffhanger ending. It feels like this story was either too long or too short for the narrative it was telling. Book 3 suffered from this problem as well, made even worse sense Book 3.5 should've been interwoven into that to make 1 longer-than-normal entry into the series.

Now, time to sit around and wait for book 5, which is a guaranteed pre-order for me.

As always, trust the awesome!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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More PLEASE

I got on board with the first book and have enjoyed the journey hugely. I look forward to more Joe Bishop and Skippy adventures.
NOW HURRY UP AND WRITE MORE.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worth listening to for the narrator alone

If you are even mildly into to science fiction this is a great book to pick up. The story is good as with all the other books in the series, but RC Bray's narration, especially his characterization of Skippy, is worth the price of admission all by itself. Trust the awesomeness

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another fantastic listen

another great addition to the series. Good story, funny, and RC Bray is perfect for this series. can't wait for the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Trust the awesomeness

I love this series! Craig Alanson is talented and has created a universe I care about with characters who make this book exciting & engaging! I want tye next one NOW! RC Bray is a great narrator who has been with the series from the begining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Ex Force has become my favorite series

Black ops is incredible. Alanson's vision for a galactic band of merry pirates has me pulled in and asking for more. R.C. Bray is the best narrator I have heard since I started using audible a few years back. This was the best book so far in the series. I wish it didn't take so long for the next one to come out! 10/10

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Just 4 star, sadly<br />

Book 4 should have been combined with Book 3.5 . There are some new twists, but basically same tactics.
I hope that Book 5 will have a better resolution and get the humans back from Paradise.
RC Bray is brilliant as always!.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 09-27-17

Super-Skippy-Just-Fantastic-Expeditionary-Force!

Sit down strap in and get ready for another episode of one of the funniest and most inventive sci-fi series I've come across in a long time. Episode four of Alanson's Expeditionary Force sees Joe Bishop's Merry Band of Pirates careering across the galaxy, staggering from crisis to crisis only to end on another cliffhanger! Yes there will be even more to come after this one!

Earth is once again under threat so The Flying Dutchmen and her crew including Skippy, the sci-fi world's favourite beer can are once again embroiled in Alanson's heady mix of impossible situations, amazing alien politics and of course zany humour. In fact he really does go Spinal Tap on us and dial it up to eleven in this one.

I suspect that sense of humour is also being directed at his narrator here. His text has Maestro Bray doing everything from singing a high-pitched La Marseillaise of all things to a wonderfully credible Chewbacca. Being the trooper he is RC Bray rises to each and every challenge with suitable awesomeness!

I could split hairs over some of the editing including some very repetitive small passages but even I can't spectacularly miss the point of these books by quite that much. They are the Sci-Fi equivalent of a good boozy night down the pub with old friends. Good fun, warmly humorous and thoroughly satisfying until the following morning - when you realise you stayed up waaaay too late listening to it!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Gavin
  • 09-30-17

Skippy the Magnificent

Another excellent installment , expertley narrated by RC Bray, believe in "The Awesomeness" of Skippy the Magnificent..

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • sfak107
  • 09-29-17

Trust the awesomeness

Just trust the awesomeness and keep listening to another great story and performance by RC Bray. What will be in the next book......

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • CNS1995
  • 10-10-17

Incredible! Couldn’t get enough!

This book gets full marks from me! Seriously entertaining! When is the next book due to come out... I can’t wait any longer! Congratulations Craig this series is tremendous, please hurry and publish more audio books in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • allan smith
  • 09-28-17

Oh you Bastards!

loved it
you didn't have to do that at the end... WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK!!!!!!!!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 09-28-17

More outstanding work!

Another amazing adventure with Skippy and the merry band of pirates... Cannot wait for the next installment and hope it comes soon we rather than later 😀

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-28-17

Love it!

Not much to say other then I want more!!! If you liked the last 4 books your going to like this. The whole series is well worth a read if you haven't allready

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • 09-28-17

#trust the awesomeness

Some things are certain in life.

Death, taxes and Craig Alanson writing wonderfully fun books.

I feel bad only giving 4*, and really it's 4.5* as I stayed up to 3am last night listening. But after 3 super previous books this one seemed to just slightly lack the originality of the first books. R C Bray is his usually genius self and in Skippy, I think I've found an audio character that will never be topped.

It's just that the jokes are now more comfortably familiar than laugh out loud (though lots of sniggering) and action scenes felt just a little flatter with plot twists even more outrageous. This is of course like criticising Usain Bolt for only running a 9.9s 100m. It's still great by any standards, but not quite the best. So overall great fun and my standout series of 2017 continues to deliver.

Get listening!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Shane Scott
  • 02-16-18

Fantastic<br />

If you suffer from insomnia then this is the book for you. If you don't you may want to read up on the condition because you'll have it after this book. Great continuing story line and RC Bray brings it all together. I think I'll take a break before I listen to the next one as I need some sleep.☺

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry in Hull
  • 11-10-17

Easily the best book of the series

I didn't think this saga could continue much longer but this dumb monkey was sorely mistaken. In skippys own words this was simply awesome. I would so much like the merry band of pirates to return very soon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 10-20-17

Love it

Been enjoying the series and has only got better
Can’t wait for the next one

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • shane.slape
  • 10-03-17

Trust THE AWESOME!

I love this series. I couldn't stop listening. I can't wait for the next book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 10-03-17

need more soon, very soon. is it out yet?

need more soon, very soon. is it out yet? why is it not out yet? us dumb monkeys need to bathe in the glow that is skippy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bart
  • 01-30-18

The best series i have come across for a long time

wow what an awesome series with some seriously funny parts. Skippy is the, best bring on the next book.

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  • Callum Tyler
  • 01-27-18

More Alanson Goodness, for Better or Worse

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

Cheeky, predictable, fun.

Would you recommend Black Ops to your friends? Why or why not?

If you enjoyed Alanson's previous works, you'll enjoy this one. The main problem (keeping Earth safe) has been dragged out too long but otherwise it retains the trademark humour and Skippy we all know and love.

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  • James
  • 01-19-18

great books

awesome book. loving the whole series. can't wait for the next book. thank you. skippy is awesome.

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  • Matthew
  • 01-07-18

So enjoy books

I love RC Bray and this book series. well done can't wait for book 5.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-28-17

good story

good story easy to listen. enjoying the story line humour and action as well characters and theie interactions

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  • Robert
  • 11-30-17

Is the rumour true?

Tell me its true, that the rumour is true. Skippy is releasing an ablum of his twenty greatest showtunes what he did write, or tweak a bit. I what that album. I need that album, so I can play it the car when I run my teenage daughters to school. RCB, as usual, knocks it out of the park as he does with MM, Arisen, Expeditionary Force.

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  • cathy
  • 11-27-17

One for the boys

Well read and the characters are developing this one is all about the fighting not much interaction between the crew but overall I enjoyed it and will get the next volume