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Columbus Day Audiobook

Columbus Day: Expeditionary Force, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

We were fighting on the wrong side of a war we couldn't win. And that was the good news.

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits.

When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved. The UN Expeditionary Force hitched a ride on Kristang ships to fight the Ruhar wherever our new allies thought we could be useful. So, I went from fighting with the US Army in Nigeria to fighting in space. It was lies, all of it. We shouldn't even be fighting the Ruhar; they aren't our enemy. Our allies are.

I'd better start at the beginning.

©2016 Craig Alanson (P)2016 Podium Publishing

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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 01-04-17
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 01-04-17 Member Since 2016

    My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT"

    CHEESEBURGERS
    A few months ago I VOLUNTOLD you that BOB would have legions of fans. Now I am telling you this will be the next book to hit number one in Sci-Fi Contemporary. This book has science galore, comedy galore, aliens galore and space battles. To say I love it would be an IMPLIED DUH, but than OVERKILL IS UNDER RATED.

    YOU GOT SOME SPLAINING TO DO LUCY
    The book is over 16 hours long, and Jim The Impatient listened to all 16+ hours and was entertained all the way. Alanson has great timing and knows how to keep a story from going stale. For example, just when I thought the book was going to enter a shoot-em up phase and become boring, we are introduced to SKIPPY, an A-HOLE AI, who is witty and funny. There is something here for all Sci-Fi fans. Nothing is really new, but a lot of the good old stuff is used. For instance there are ELDERS, CLIENT RACES, PATRONS, ANCIENT ARIFACTS AND THE COLLECTIVE.

    EMBRACE THE SUCK
    I am not saying this is my favorite, just that it will hit number one. My favorites in the category and in order are, The Martian, Ready Player One, Bob and than this book. Some might roll their eyes at the serendipity of finding Skippy and all that he does to get them out of trouble, but if you can get past that you will love this.

    SCREW ONE SHEEP
    I have been listening to books since the cassette days. I have heard lots of great narrators. I don't believe I have ever heard one grow in their job as well as Bray. He started out good, with his great voice, but what he has put into the last couple of books, I have listened to has just blown my mind. Based on the last two books, he read for me, I would say he has to be my favorite.

    ALPHA MIKE FOXTROT

    228 of 263 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 02-22-17
    Matthew Little Rock, AR, United States 02-22-17 Member Since 2013

    1 Star -- Terrible 2 Stars -- Bad 3 Stars -- Mediocre 4 Stars -- Great to the right person. 5 Stars -- Superb, you must pick this up.

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    "A Book to Lighten Up the Mood"
    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those shallow, entertaining on-the-rails rollercoaster books I love. The whole point is escapism and laughs. Sorry, but there isn't any real character development, giant allegories, or any of that silly "literature" stuff here.

    What we do have is one poor combat grunt that keeps ending up in the worst possible place at the worst possible times. Each time he ends up there good ol' Lady Luck comes around and beats him with a baseball bat filled with love and barbwire. Plucky plans against different enemy alien shenanigans and a fateful meeting with a uproarious lonely male (weird right?) AI ensues. The AI even admits that he's a jerk.

    So if you want a hilarious adventure romp on easy mode, pick this book up, I mean it is like Old Man's War or Willful Child. If not, go pick up I dunno, 2001 or something.

    21 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Hartmann D.C. & St. Croix 12-17-16
    C. Hartmann D.C. & St. Croix 12-17-16

    Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well...THAT was Certainly a Lot of Fun !!"

    At 16 hours, this is actually like reading two separate books -- the first is a pretty well done military "grunts in space" story. It is a notch above the usual because of the narration which is just great. But at about the halfway point, it transforms to a space opera-type of tongue-in-cheek story that is somewhere between Redshirts and Ready Player One -- inside jokes, clever asides and a much more self-aware story....and did I mention the narrator???? I'm not going to give away the story -- which is not really rocket science (sorry) -- but I think you will very much enjoy.

    72 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 12-31-16
    Boysmom Alberta, Canada 12-31-16 Member Since 2011
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    "This book is SO MUCH FUN!!i"
    Where does Columbus Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a lot of really excellent books and this book is excellent in it's category. I was totally enjoying a well written piece of entertainment, narrated by the perfect narrator for the book and bam! It got even so much better!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Columbus Day?

    I don't like this question because it's asking for spoilers, but I think I can say when Skippy and Joe got together, without giving too much away.


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

    Yes, yes, yes! And I want the next book. NOW!!!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a 100% entertaining book. Not believable, but that was no way a goal of the writers. Entertaining, fun, exciting. If you like sci-if fun, go for it. You will not be disappointed.

    34 of 44 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 05-18-17
    Russell Keswick, ON, Canada 05-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Those Aliens may be Awesome, But we have Skippy"

    I bought this book with the premise it was an epic space opera with a sense of humor. For the first half the news was depressing as humans become pawns of a long running space war between several alien races with technology that made ours look like the stone age. Our introduction to this conflict and these aliens occurs on Columbus day.

    Things pick up when our hero meets an AI who is a bit of an asshole and decides to name
    it Skippy. This occurs far from Earth on a backwater planet being fought over between a race nicknamed the hamsters and another race who resemble lizards. Humans are brought in as policemen, since they would be inept as soldiers in a high tech war. Either that or the race who is our supposed ally does not trust humans with advanced weaponry.

    Far from home our hero realizes that Earth is in deep trouble. The fun begins when an artificial intelligence built by the elders hooks up with this U.S. army man. There are a lot of good laughs and adventure that accompany the very serious mission of saving mankind. If you are patient with the first half of he book, which is not that funny, you will be rewarded with a rip roaring time in the second half.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Baker City, OR, United States 04-12-17
    Sandy Baker City, OR, United States 04-12-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Enough Story..."

    The story was pretty good, though it got a bit slow in spots. I LOVED Skippy and the interplay between him and Colonel Joe. However, there was too much foul language for my taste, so though I would like to see what happens next and hear more from Skippy, I am reluctantly NOT getting the next book.

    That being said, the narrator was OUTSTANDING!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 04-08-17
    kwdayboise (Kim Day) Boise, Idaho 04-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Give it time"

    Ever since Robert Heinlein published Starship Troopers in 1959 there has been an increasing market for “military science fiction”, particularly from the grunt’s perspective. This is different from the view of war from the perspective of governments or alien invasions, all of which have their unique models and highlights in the history of science fiction. Sadly, these are what most people think of as “science fiction” (helped not a little by Hollywood). As a result I’ve had trouble getting a Catholic friend to read A Canticle for Liebowitz, even though it was one of the books that pushed me toward joining the church, and why some authors of incredible books like The Sparrow resist the idea of their books being labeled as science fiction even though they fit the genre.

    The grunt version has devolved a bit from Heinlein and they tend to get repetitive. They’ve also multiplied quite a bit, perhaps because we’ve been generating new hot war veterans for the past 15 years. This book started out following the format: Sure we’re in the future but as far as soldiers go we may as well be shipping in to Guadalcanal. The rations are crappy, the weapons are worse than they could be, and every sergeant or chief is a cranky dad-like figure who’s tough as nails.

    It took about halfway through this book for it to transform itself into a really fun story. At the start Spc. Joe Bishop is home in Maine on leave from duties in Nigeria when, on Columbus Day, a spaceship operated by gopher-like bipeds called the Ruhar crash in his home town. It’s part of a world-wide invasion. Bishop manages to capture one. Another alien force saves the day and earth allies with them. Bishop is assigned to the UN Expeditionary Force to capture and hold a foreign planet. It eventually becomes clear that earth has bet on the wrong horse and that the Ruhar may not be as bad as thought. It’s lucky that the invasion happens on October 12, because “Independence Day” was already taken. That bad this far into the book.

    Ninety percent same-old up to the middle of the book when Bishop discovers an artificial intelligence. The AI, who comes to be called “Skippy” in the book, thinks of humans as “monkeys” but needs Bishop to help find others like him made by an ancient race, the first sentient beings in the universe.

    This transforms the book and makes it totally worth reading. The rapport between the Bishop and the AI make for fun dialogue and having the AI’s intelligence on their side makes the earthlings a suddenly formidable force.

    Other than taking so long to get to the good stuff the book is also weak on what’s happening on earth. It’s clear that bad things have happened and that the economy has collapsed but the whys of this are foggy and we only learn about it through dialogue with barely any of the story covering this.

    If you take on the book have patience, or skim until you start seeing the word Skippy. It turns a dull book into a fun read, enough so that I already have Book 2 in the queue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami 02-03-17
    Jami 02-03-17 Member Since 2013
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    "surprisingly good"

    started slow. almost lost interest. by the end I was frantically trying to find out when the next book will be on audible. turns out to be very original.

    16 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald 12-22-16
    Donald 12-22-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Wish I had a talking A**hole beer can."

    Great job by Alanson so well written, and Bray does a phenomenal job on distinguishing characters. With these two working together, it's going to be a great series, look forward to the next installment.

    20 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 12-20-16
    Dan 12-20-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I want more like this"

    Excellent story and characters. I'm beginning to develop a sense for the titles I should look for. less space battles and more character interactions. I will buy book two.

    20 of 27 people found this review helpful
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  • GiffRock
    1/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic start to what I hope is a great series"

    This was an impulse buy and I was a little worried at first. I needn't be though as it was gripping from the start. It's well written and easy to listen to, R.C Bray was as usual, a spot on choice for the narrator. The book has a great change part way through that really sent the story in another direction that was very well delivered. Overall it's a great easy listen. There's some obvious ideas liberated from other sci-fi greats, both written and televised but it works really well.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph Hill
    12/30/16
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent, original and narrated by a master"

    RC Bray is reason enough to buy an audiobook. Brilliant performance of an original and entertaining book. Need the next book now!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • ZX80
    UK
    2/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clearly I'm in a minority but..."

    Don't get this review wrong, I did generally enjoy this book but I don't think it is the 5 star gem other reviewers seem to agree on. The idea is great and the mix of humour is fairly unique given that this is not the focus of the book, this is a really difficult balance to achieve, so the author deserves kudos for the attempt. However the characters are shallow and the plot is simplistic; motivation for uber-intelligent species to be conducting a galaxy encompassing war is never explored and the aforementioned humour is school-boy at best. Coupled with a overly large dollop of American jingoism and you're left with a basic if enjoyable yarn to waste a few hours on but not a 5 star listen. I doubt I'll continue with the series.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • stig1875
    2/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I Highly Recommend this book and Author"
    What made the experience of listening to Columbus Day the most enjoyable?

    The story line, the narrator and contents of the book, Skippy and the Sergeant/ Colonel's banter backward and forward and the down to earth language between them and the rest of the high-racy in all of the armed services and government. being ex military I can relate to his moans and groans.


    What other book might you compare Columbus Day to, and why?

    Quite a few books that have the same M O the earth gets invaded, governments topple and the hero of the book once again saves the day, but this book is a fresh look at the subject.


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

    Mr Bray's contribution to making this book a great Listen, is paramount to this Authors book storytelling, he match's the character perfectly and I hope when the next book is released he is the one telling the story.


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

    first was when the rag tag band of merry troops bring down the two Elephant transport planes while they were under the plasma tube/tunnel and when they sent the Lizards battle group into the sun, I could feel through Mr Brays telling up to these points that the satisfaction the Colonel was feeling for the loss of his men and women and the whole of humanity up to that point, then again when he slammed his fist down onto the Red Button on the counsel, as they approached the earth which put and end to the occupation of the Lizards.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for a New Author to listen to, because I am running out of good books by my favourit authors and the waiting for them to be added to Audible is agonizingley slow to say the least, then I saw this book and all of the Five Star ratings so I took the plunge and now I cannot wait for the next installment, come on Audible get your finger out

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • justin ford
    1/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Blend of humor and satire !"
    Where does Columbus Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The A.I Skippy


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

    One of the best narations i have heard for an audio book.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Cant wait for the second book !!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Atticman
    UK
    12/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci-Fi with a sense of humour"

    Wonderfully humorous dialogue combined with a great story. Brought to life wonderfully by RC Bray.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • David
    3/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely loved it"

    An easy listen.. Great characters and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    3/2/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It's a hit!"

    A great sci-fi tale of daring-do and adventure. Brilliantly read (as always by RCBray) there is as much humour as there is jeopardy. Thoroughly enjoyed this and am downloading second book right now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    3/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Star Trek Spirit"

    If you're hankering for the old spirit of Star Trek, well at least the more humorous episodes, with perhaps a little Starship Troopers blended in then freshly seasoned with some Blake's 7 then this is the place to come! Alanson strikes an excellent balance between injecting plentiful humour and making the story serious enough and the action tough enough to make you care. If, on the other hand you are looking for a modern-day Heinlein then you can stop reading now, these aren't the pages you're looking for.

    There are lots of hi-lites in this book including a classic choice of vehicle early on to conduct an attack and some genuinely original sci-fi gags. There are of course some "classics" in there but what steals the show is the relationship between Joe and "Mr Skippy" (think Oracs with huge upgrades especially in the personality department) which had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion.

    The narration? Well I've Spent a lot of time in the company of Mr RC Bray recently and I love him doing his thing in books like the Arisen and Mountain Man series. He injects great tension and drama into the situations and action scenes. But who would ever have guessed from that he could really do comedy too?? Well it seems he can, he sounded like he was genuinely having a blast at times reading this one.

    I always try to avoid spoilers but this book ends by setting up a real Star Trek exploring the universe against the backdrop of warring factions scenario. I am very much looking forwards to where the remaining crew will boldly go.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • James
    5/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome! Exactly what I want in an audiobook!!"

    Loved it! Both story and performance! On to the next one then... Mom get your purse!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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