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Powered Audiobook

Powered: Mech Wars Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Humanity is tired of losing. Enter the mech.

After the mysterious discovery of an alien mech inside a comet, Darkstream Security has finally completed its own design. They assign Chief Gabriel Roach with the task of whittling down hundreds of bright young recruits to form a team of elite mech pilots, which he will command.

Their mission: protect human colonies from the almighty Quatro.

A single Quatro can take down an entire squad of traditional soldiers. Bigger than a draft horse, more muscular than a grizzly, with jaws that splinter bone. And zero fear. They almost defeated humanity before, and now they're back - in numbers we didn't know they had.

But Roach is the perfect one for the job. Almost too perfect. The Quatro took from him the only woman he ever loved, and now, he's determined to make one thing clear: It's them or him.

©2017 Scott Bartlett (P)2017 Scott Bartlett

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (45 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (44 )
5 star
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2 star
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Story
4.6 (45 )
5 star
 (34)
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 (7)
3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David L. Johnston 08-02-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "What will I do with myself until the next book comes out?!"

    I got this book three days ago and spent every free waking moment listening to it. I could not put it down. Following one of our main characters from a his work to save his sister by developing land for colonization, to his run at piloting a mech in the attempts to save entire cities keeps you rooting for him. The twists in this story will keep you listening for more. I cannot wait to see what the next installment will bring and what alliances may be formed, if any. If you enjoy mech based novels, this exiting take will have you begging for more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jas P 07-31-17
    Jas P 07-31-17 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
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    19
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    "Mech’s, Monster’s and an Exceptional Storyline"
    If you could sum up Powered in three words, what would they be?

    Mech's and Monsters


    What did you like best about this story?

    Powered is in the same Universe as The Ixan Prophecies, but is not a direct sequel to it as such. It follows the Darkstream Tech Users who fled the galaxy after being defeated by Captain Keyes, and what happened to them.
    They have settled a system that they have named the Steele System with a couple of planets. One of them is almost Earth like, and is very pleasant. The other is not and requires that you are in an environment suit, or that you live in one of the Habitats.
    Unfortunately on the nicer planet, there are large creatures called Quatro that appear to be sentient, but are also very aggressive at times, attacking villages and slaughtering everyone.
    There are 2 main storylines in this book, one following those on Eresos, the nicer planet, and the other following those on Alex, the one needing life support. On Eresos, the main Characters include Gabe Roach a man with a rather interesting morale background and history, now driven by utter rage and vengeance by a particular event in his life, and Jake Price, a younger guy who has joined the team from an asteroid converting family, when they find an ancient Mech and sell it to try and help his gravely ill sister.
    On Alex, the main characters are Lisa, Tessa and Andy. Tessa is an ex-soldier with a past who is now tied to the seedier side of the habitats. Lisa is Security for Darkstream at the Habitat, but is totally idealistic, and Andy is a bit creepy and a bit stupid.
    The interesting thing is the Quatro, an alien race that are not what they seem. But then again, most things aren’t in a Scott Bartlett novel, and that is what makes them so good. The Quatro are incredibly powerful, bear like, and the one thing Darkstream needs to control them is a Mech, which they have been working on. However, in a stroke of luck, Jake’s family find one in an asteroid (which is how he gets involved with the team), and this leads to the creation of the Mechs of Eresos.
    And this is where things get really interesting. Bartlett has created this fascinating concept of ‘lucid’, in which you can enter a REM state of sleep, and instead of just sleeping, you can actually (with the correct input) plug yourself in and either train, or in the case with the Mech, control them. The entire concept of Lucid is brilliant and really adds an amazing element to this story.
    Powered is an intriguing story, looking at not just the two main planets and their characters, but the interplay between the humans and aliens. Powered refers to the power of the Mechs as well as to the Political and Strategic power that is evident in the story.
    This is a totally standalone series, and although it is related to the Ixan Prophecies, you do not need to read these to enjoy this series. However, you will get a bit more out of the book if you read them first of course.
    As with his other books, Bartlett’s Characters are wonderfully written, with a lot of depth, some great back stories and details. The planets are also beautifully detailed, giving the characters a wonderful background in which to tell their stories. As mentioned, the Quatro are also outstanding creatures, with an incredible design that is both exquisite and terrifying.
    This is a fantastic first part to what is going to be a captivating and compelling trilogy.


    What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

    I have listened to many of Mark Boyett's performances, he is a brilliant Narrator, with a very clear and concise Narration, using a great selection of both Male and Female voices, all with a fantastic emotional range to really bring the story alive.
    I will happily buy any story that Mark Boyett has narrated.


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

    Yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe 08-12-17
    Joe 08-12-17
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    14
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    "cookie cutter. Not a lot of depth here."

    same old same old. not a lot of depth to the characters. switching story lines and killing bad guys...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rayc 08-09-17
    Rayc 08-09-17
    ratings
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    17
    3
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    Story
    "Good solid Sci-Fi"
    Where does Powered rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Really highly rated amongst the sci-fi books I've listened to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Good solid believable science.


    Any additional comments?

    A good read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Aitkin 08-07-17 Listener Since 2009
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    "Fast paced action SciFi"
    Did Mark Boyett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Mark Boyer did a good job distinguishing between characters. I had no trouble following his narration.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is set in the same universe as The Ixan Prophecies books but, not having read any of these or any of Scott Bartlett's other books, I was at a slight disadvantage in understanding the politics involved. The previous books would have helped me to understand what was driving the main characters too. I would suggest even reading some of the comprehensive reviews before starting on the recording. It's not like a book where there is lots of information giving settings etc on the cover. It took me a while to warm to the main characters, Gabe, Jake, and Lisa. I think there could be more finesse with rendering these characters. E.g. Gabe was too dark, Jake was too gung-ho, Lisa was too naive.

    That said, I finally got on board with them as the storyline progressed and wanted to know how everything would go for them. The jumping between the Gabe-Jake story on Eresos and the Lisa-Tessa-Andy story on Alex gives a break from the violent fighting by introducing an intriguing involvement with a different type of quarto. Not quite friendly aliens but certainly not the same as the Eresos variety. So, where will this go? Certainly plenty of action and I am waiting for what happens next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie 08-04-17
    Melanie 08-04-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "A very large 'But'"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Powered to be better than the print version?

    I'm unsure, as I never read the print version. I was very happy that this book was my first audiobook, though, and I look forward to listening to many more in the future.


    What other book might you compare Powered to and why?

    I'm not really sure what other book I would compare it to, as I don't have a lot of experience reading the miltiary/sci-fi genre.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Boyett – was your favorite?

    I appreciated Tess as a character, I tend to identify with older female characters more because they've essentially already lived through the trope-y things that tend to happen to a lot of younger female characters in writing.


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

    Overall, I enjoyed the book, but there was a certain thing that made me a little annoyed- I guess that would be the right word for it- that I'll explain at length in the additional comments section, as the Audible mobile app kept crashing when I attempted to submit my review on there.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll try to keep this as brief as I can while still being constructive, I really did thoroughly enjoy this book overall. I am excited to listen to the future installments, as well.

    The performance was fantastic. This was my first time listening to an audiobook, and it has done nothing but make me realize I should've listened to many more, much sooner. The only critique I have of it is that the accents of some characters seemed to waver or shift occasionally. It didn't cause much confusion, and I only really bring it up in the specific case of Black. His accent went from a Spanish accent to a more Russian sounding one and then a little back into an unsteady meld, which was unique and interesting to listen to. My only real issue with it, I guess, is that Mark Boyett's Spanish accent was incredibly attractive and I missed it and very much noticed it's absense.

    As I said above, I really did enjoy the story. There is, however, a 'but', and this is where I will get lengthy.

    I was incredibly disappointed by Gabe. His character relied on so, so many of the worst, most tired tropes, and the rest of the book is written in such a way that I -know- it didn't have to be like this.

    His most driving motivation is his "love"- more of an obsession- with Jess, whose name I've decided against just replacing with 'PlotCorpse' for the remainder of the review because despite how much I haaaate the tropes surrounding this, the book does it's best to try and make up for it in the non-Gabe chapters. Jess, who has- even if I count the flashbacks- maybe 4 lines of dialogue total, is killed essentially off-screen after the first chapter she's mentioned in, and it's entirely to motivate Gabe. I have so many problems with this, and just this.

    It's established quickly that Gabe is significantly older than Jess, and that they've wound up sleeping together (one and only time), after a while of established flirting. I am fine with this. This is super ok. Older people become romantically or intimately involved with much younger adults all the time. It's ok for Gabe to feel guilty about this because of lingering social stigmas (but seriously society, get over it a bit), and it's ok for him to feel guilty because she's the daughter of the Mayor of the town that Gabe is completely in charge of protecting and keeping safe.

    It's not ok to then have a droning inner monologue by Gabe that he has been with many other women, but that this super young one is 'different' than all the rest. It really honestly comes off as just a trope-y way to hide from criticism that a man wound up with a younger (legal adult) female. He's an older guy, it's impossible to believe that in his life he met no one, slept with no one, that made him feel even remotely attached. "So-and-So was... different" is ok for people new to romantic feelings, and the idea of relationships. Once you're past 20-23 and your first ~4 romantic/intimate connections with other people, saying that kind of thing just seems like a creepy way to justify doing something the character (or the author) sees as 'wrong'. Jess was a hot chick and he banged her, it really doesn't need to be justified. He's still allowed to feel guilty. Just don't feed me that 'she was super duper special' kind of narrative for a character that straight-up wasn't written.

    Her death, which practically happens in what I'd compare to the first commercial break of a TV episode, is used to motivate Gabe. That was her entire purpose. So he could just repeat 'Jess...' over and over again in his head and be pushed to do the things he does out of guilt and revenge. But ALL of those motivations could come from the same situation that killed Jess, without it having to be about her. He was the man put in charge of protecting that town and it's inhabitants. Failing to keep them safe from attack is enough cause for heavy guilt. He knew way more people in that town then Jess; he was close to the Mayor and certainly a handful of others at least. He let all of them down. He could mourn and feel extreme guilt for the loss of the whole town, for failing at his job. The town could be the character that 'died', not white-summer-dress-used-to-flick-her-hair-thats-about-it-for-notable-character-traits Jess. He'd even still have motivation to be so hard on Ash, because she's from the town and placing herself in a position where she'd potentially be in much more danger but still be technically under his protection. "Will I fail again? Is she doing this because she thinks she could do better than me? Does she blame me for the loss of her sister and father?" are valid questions that could drive his behaviour.

    In short, Jess was not an underwritten character- she was practically a non-written one. She existed only to have a vagina and die to give Gabe an excuse to be who Gabe is. Gabe can be who he is without having to dangle a girl like a set of keys really quickly infront of us and then throw her away, then bring them back to jangle whenever we need to establish that/why Gabe is doing something. She wasn't defined, we're given no reason to believe she mattered beyond that Gabe kind of remembers her maybe saying things and being pretty. That said, this isn't an issue that'd be fixed by writing her retroactively into the story later, either. It would just kind of feel like trying to justify Fridging another female character just to get a dude to do -anything-.

    Sorry for rambling as long as I did about this. The story is great! But everytime Gabe thought of Jess I literally rolled my eyes far enough back into my skull that I could diagnose a risk for an aneurysm later in my life. It's just the one thing about this book that gets me going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazonian God 08-03-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Mechanized Badassness"

    If you like mech badassery, buy this book. If you love explosive combat and an immersive read, but this book. Basically, buy this mother fricken book!! And the audiobook is pretty wicked awesome too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-02-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    75
    5
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    "i loved it cant wait for more"

    wonderful story narrator was outstanding. cant wait for the next book hope it is not long wait

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-06-17

    darknessdreaming

    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    95
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    "Pretty solid start to a new series."

    Powered is the first book in the Mech Wars series and overall I would say it was a pretty solid book for the genre, but I dinged it a bit because there were too many stories line that never came together. I don't mind having a complex story, with several stories being told, but the problem was they never came together. I don't know, maybe the stories intersect in book two. The problem for me was the stories felt quite different, almost as if you were reading two different books that only had a few passing similarities not two connected stories. That being said, I enjoyed it enough that I am interested to know what happens next.

    I enjoyed mark Boyett's narration quite a bit and I see he has done quite a few narration jobs in the sci0fi genre so I am quite certain I'll be listening to more of his work in the future.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kenneth cloutier 07-30-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    16
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    "A little boring, and repetitive."

    Hoping it would be more like the series that set it up, this left quite a bit to be desired. The mech program setup could have been great, however the broad strokes of everything made it boring. Very cheesy.

    As always Mark Boyett did extremely well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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