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Publisher's Summary

In tomorrow's America, belief is the new enemy. Even a silent prayer can get you black-bagged.

In the Citizen's Republic of America, religion is outlawed. Historian Rafael Ward is a good citizen, teaching students the government approved narrative of the nation's history. But when he is tasked by Relic Enforcement Command with destroying the artifacts he cherishes, he begins to question the regime's motives and soon finds himself caught up in a secret revolution. It will take the uncompromising faith of an outlaw Believer as an ally, and the acceptance of his guilt for his mother's death, to help Ward break free of the government's yoke. If he's lucky, he might also prevent an apocalyptic future for which his secular world is completely unprepared.

The Spider in the Laurel has been called "a super-cool, bad-ass book" that is "like a darker, more developed Indiana Jones".

©2015 Michael Pogach (P)2017 Michael Pogach

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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The Spider in the Laurel

I was very impressed by this book.It is a take on a possible America that puts christians in the spotlight being oppressed.If you are reported for praying,say goodbye to your family.A man tasked with going undercover to bring tresspassers to light ultimately starts to see things differently.Terry F.Self was a fine narrator.I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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Surprising story with a great ending!

I really enjoy books that stretch the imagination and give you different possibilities for our future. This book takes the path of a society in which the United States has turned secular, religion is banned and people are sent to work camps or killed for their profession of any religious beliefs. It centers around religious artifacts and delves a bit into the supernatural, but it's not done so overwhelmingly that it's completely implausible. There's quite a bit of religious speak, history of religion and how some people believe that religion came about.

There's also quite a bit of action as the main character travels from the US where the narrative is controlled very tightly and the citizens are unaware of life outside it's borders to other places where they learn the truth.

I really got into the characters, both good guys and bad guys.

The narration was wonderful and kept a great pace and tone throughout.

Overall, great book.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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definitely worth a listen

I received this book free from ebalst, and the author, and this is my unbiased opion. I enjoyed the story. Good characters, good plot. I will definitely listen to the next book.

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Fast Paced Adventure

Any additional comments?

This book moves quickly through a Big Brother type future world. It really never came together for me in a way I cared about the characters or the plot. I did finish it, but it left me feeling pretty blah. Reminiscent of Dan Brown or other similar works.
The narrator does a good job and delivers an enjoyable performance.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Big Brother future where art and belief are banned

What made the experience of listening to The Spider in the Laurel the most enjoyable?

It has shades of Indiana Jones and is a globe trotting thriller, what is not to like. I liked the melding of the Big Brother ideas, the Indiana Jones basis, and the large stakes at play.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Spider in the Laurel?

The plane ride with Ward and MacKenzie, it isn't a huge action set piece, but a good character developing moment. I thought it was a good moment for building the relationship for these two characters.

Have you listened to any of Terry F. Self’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't ever heard anything from him before, but I thought he did a great job. All of the voices were unique and interacted well together. Look forward to hearing more from him.

Any additional comments?

A dystopian future Indiana Jones like story, that is a lot of fun. For being the start of a series this book goes all out, and is fairly self contained. I am excited to see what happens next in the series.


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

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Must Listen.

What did you like about this audiobook?

As much as I enjoyed listening to the book once, I won't be listening to it again because I just don't have the time to listen to something twice. I have a long list of pending books that I need to finish.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

This was the first time I've listened to a book narrated by Terry and I'm satisfied. The narration was top notch and drew me into the story. It felt like I was watching a movie. Each character was distinguishable and had unique voice.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Definitely.

Do you have any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Dystopian Indiana Jones

I really enjoyed this book which kept my interest with its action and twists. It's about a new world where any kind of faith is illegal and punishable by death. The "agents" are the enforcers of this law and the main character Rafe is one of these agents and is pulled into an adventure on his first solo mission. He begins to question all he has been told and with the help of a "believer" chases relics across the world. I really enjoyed the characters and look forward to more by this author and narrator. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you!

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  • TU
  • 08-07-17

A fun and exciting adventure

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

An intriguing, post-apocalyptic, adventure story. I found the anti-religion thing interesting. Kind of like a dystopian Laura Croft or Indiana Jones tale. I actually really enjoyed this book and hope there are more to come.

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A mid-apocoliptic, reluctant Indiana Jones tale

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Spider in the Laurel?

The beginning. It grabbed me and really brought the book to life from the beginning. Unfortunately it sort of prepped me for a sci-fi, post apocalyptic police story, and the book ended up being something totally different. More an Indiana Jones type adventure.However, I did end up liking both parts of the book. But the first half and the second half didn't feel like they belonged together perfectly.

What does Terry F. Self bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He was a wonderful narrator. His tone matched the book well.

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

Indiana Jones, mid-apocalypse

Any additional comments?

This book was really fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a self contained tail, so I don't need to finish the series which was really nice. I LOVED the relevant and close sci-fi elements of it, and I loved the Indiana Jones type adventure. I would have loved if those two had meshed more thoughtfully together. Like the new sci-fi tech could have really helped the search for the artifact that couldn't have been found without it. It sort of popped up here and there with the pocket computers, but after being such an important element in the beginning, it sort of just hung around and didn't do anything the latter half. All in all, I REALLY did enjoy this book.4 stars.

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 07-30-17

Great Indiana Jones vibe

Any additional comments?

I started and stopped this listen a few times. It dealt with religion and the abuses thereof/therein so I had to take it one chapter at a time.

The listen was vast and involved and evolved and head-scratching and well, unnerving. It was full of adventure, Indiana Jones style, and the continent jumping hero was constantly in motion - in body and in mind.

I found the narration to be well-suited to the subject and will look for more titles by him.

All in all, if you are ready to have your beliefs challenged, get ready to jump into the deep end.