The Enigma Strain

Harvey Bennett Thrillers, Book 1
Narrated by: Mike Vendetti
Series: Harvey Bennett Thrillers, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (273 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a bomb goes off at Yellowstone National Park, threatening the stability of the world's largest active volcano, the reclusive park ranger Harvey "Ben" Bennett is startled to realize that the blast itself wasn't the only threat: the bomb released a virus into the air, and the outbreak is beginning to infect and kill more and more people.

Ben teams up with Juliette Richardson, a driven CDC agent working inside the newly-formed BTR (Biological Threat Research) team, to find the people behind the act of terrorism.

When the attacks get personal, Ben and Julie take it upon themselves to seek out and destroy the threat before it's too late.

A race across the United States, chasing terrorists, dodging bullets, and escaping the threat of a deadly virus outbreak and military apocalypse.

©2015 Turtleshell Press, Nick Thacker (P)2015 Turtleshell Press, Nick Thacker
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An entertaining read.

Any additional comments?

With Post Apocalyptic fiction being one of my favourite genres this appealed to me from the start and I was delighted to get the chance to listen to it.

In this we follow Ben, A Yellowstone ranger and Julie, who is from the CDC. First off Ben is returning a wayward Grizzly back to where he belongs when an earthquake happens. His partner is sucked into the earth when a fissure appears and Ben is left hanging on for his life. When he gets back to the park it's to find that a bomb caused the earthquake and the place has to be evacuated. Ben finds out that at the site of the blast, an airborne virus was released and all who were there died. He partners up with Julie to see can they create an antidote for what looks like a terrorist made virus.

This was such a fast paced and intense listen. I found myself on the edge of my seat a lot waiting to see what would happen. Ben and Julie were both great characters and were easily likable. The plot flowed along and was quite scary because it could happen. We all have fear that a virus could be released so it was scary reading this.

The setting is another plus, for me anyway. I've always loved reading books set in Yellowstone both because of the stunning scenery it portrays and the fact that there is a super volcano there. It made the scenario that much more believable.

Anyway, this was awesome and I can't wait for more from these characters. It grabbed me from the start and kept my attention the whole way through. I thoroughly enjoyed the read!!

Mike Vendetti was amazing. He drew the tension of the book out and made it come alive. He had a lot of characters to portray and did a great job of distinguishing each. It came across that he enjoyed recording the story and it showed. I will definitely check out more by him.

* I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review from Audio Book Blast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Holes you could drive a truck through...

Oh, where to begin. The plot was interesting but there were so many holes in this story it almost became funny. And the narration? I kept thinking this guy must have a thick tongue because he can’t wrap his mouth around what he’s reading. Yikes. I have been too spoiled by the likes of “Boys in the Boat.” This is very cheesy fiction with the added bonus of a poor narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The narration ruined it for me

The narration was terrible in all ways. I really didn't have any emotional connection with the characters. They all sounded like a middle aged man after a couple of whiskeys to me. The voice of the female lead character was so uninteresting, rather slurred and dull. I am normally able to suspend disbelief and overlook plot holes in these kinds of stories, but I couldn't overcome the narration.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bad narration and weak plot.

The narration is really bad. Most of the time it felt like the narrator was bored reading the book. The storyline sounded good, but I lost interest half way through reading the book, it just wasn't captivating enough to continue.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not worth your time

Author jumped around alot. Characters didn't make logical decisions. Science had many holes in it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • MJ
  • 05-03-18

Tough flow...

The story isn’t a bad one but i listened to most of it and the narration was just horrendous. Mike has a cool voice but it seemed like it wasn’t edited. I would be interested in more by the author if it was narrated by someone else. Overall the flow of the story was tough to track.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narration

I have struggled with narrators in the past and never felt the need to write a review. This is the exception. The narrator is simply terrible. It’s like he’s given words in an unexpected stream so his pauses and emphasis are wonky. But that’s not the worst part - his terrible attempt at accents really makes it unlistenable for me. I suggest you stay away from this one!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow moving, boring.

Very slow start, characters single dimensional, boring. Too bad because the story's premise was promising.

1 person found this helpful

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Not too good

I think this is the worst book by this author. Plot was laughable as were the actions of the characters

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Nice vacation read for summer time!

Great vacation read especially when visiting a National Park with hot spots like Yellow Stone!

1 person found this helpful

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  • MommaBear
  • 02-25-20

A Great Adventure Series

I have up to now read 4 out of the 5 available books in the series and nearly finished book 5. I maybe should wait until I finish book 5 but have the time to write up my review now so here it is.

It is written in the style of the great adventure writers such as Clive Cussler but by no means a copy. Nick Thacker has his own unique and very enjoyable style. Each book can be read as a stand-alone as he includes without taking up to much time/space enough back story for you to understand what has gone on in the past and how it affects the present.

I love all the main characters even though Ben (Harvey Bennet) is not your usual hero.

I love the stories, have read them all back to back so can really see how well the story hangs together throughout the series yet each is fine on its own.

If you want a new adventure series with an ordinary everyday hero - but not one who always wins all, more believable for me. A hero that we as ordinary every day people can empathise with as you feel if they can do all this why not you.

I did receive the first book free and admit did not listen to it for a while - as did not realise what a treat I was missing out on - but once I read halfway through it I had to have the others and have listened to them even though pre-orders of long-awaited books by favourite authors have come out, they are still waiting for me to listen to as I have to finish the series - as I type I am listening to chapter 56 of The Paradise Key - Book 5.

I had not come across either author Nick Thacker nor the wonderful Mike Vendetti, whose voice was perfect for the series. He gave life to each character be they male or female and has a voice I could listen to for hours - and have done.

So if you are looking for a new adventure hero then Ben ( Harvey Bennett) novels is a must-read. A series that should be in the library of anyone who loves adventure/thrillers. Enjoy

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 05-11-20

Very good

This is uncomfortably close to what’s happening now but still a very good book. Mike’s narration is first class and this is a very good author. One that I have added to my must read/listen list. It keep you intrigued right to an end you don’t see coming. Recommended.