The Final Enemy

Narrated by: Joseph Kidawski
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the face of a death-defying power, what's the "new normal"?

Like all reporters, Jack longs for a breaking story but is stuck writing obituaries for a small-town rag. As his frustration mounts, it hits him that no one has died in over three days. Jack's odd observation becomes something far stranger when he connects a meteorite to the bizarre phenomenon.

Seizing the opportunity, Jack breaks the story and after a struggle to control the meteorite's power is resolved, a swelling population begins to create havoc. With the survival of the human race hanging in the balance, politicians enact increasingly horrific measures and desperate citizens take matters into their own hands.

Jack's in a position to not just report the news, but change it, and his decisions and observations creates an epic thriller that pits the potential of human immortality against a force designed to change - or obliterate - humanity itself.

Only one man might stand in its way...the man buried in the obits department. The Final Enemy is a story of social disintegration as well as a saga of survival. Secret plans, starvation, suicide, and a series of events that spiral the human race into a desperate survival mode evolve from a seemingly singular event and leads to a fast-paced action story that delights with its penchant for the unexpected.

In the tradition of A.G. Riddle and Matthew Mather, The Final Enemy is a gripping blend of thriller and science fiction that will prove hard to put down.

©2017 Dan Petrosini (P)2018 Dan Petrosini

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It's not great!

When Jack Amato, a newly graduated reporter who writes the obituaries for his local paper, witnesses a meteor falling to earth, he thinks no more about it. That is until he realises that he hasn't had to write a single obituary since that night, not one! Thinking this is strange, he digs deeper and calls hospitals in the vicinity. He narrows it down to about a 10 mile radius that had no natural death occur since that night. He puts two and two together and gets meteor!! The meteor in question was moved and Jack finds that the route the meteor took, no natural death occurred in those places either. This is Jack's big chance and he breaks the story. It changes everyone's life forever!!!

I was drawn to this book because of the cover and the description, and I eagerly dived in when I got my copy. I have to say that I'm so bummed it didn't live up to my hopes!! I did enjoy it for the most part, but I just felt it was bogged down by some unnecessary things.

I loved the idea of the plot. A meteor falls to earth and all natural death stops. I just felt that the author didn't give us enough information on the how. The science was missing and I think if we had had more of a sense of what the meteor actually did, it would have been so much better. I also felt like the execution of the plot was lacking. I mean, once the story breaks, everyone wants exposure to the meteor and the government comply. That didn't work for me, because in my mind, I feel like the meteor would have been squirreled away by the government for testing and the public wouldn't have seen it again, or not as easy anyway.

Plus, Jack "breaks" the news that now that natural death has stopped, overpopulation is a real concern. Well, I mean, ya!! That goes without saying. There is also so much more I want to say about parts of the plot that annoyed me a little, but I can't because they are pretty big spoilers!! Suffice it to say, things happen about three quarters of the way through and people have to turn to doing something huge to survive, and there was no uproar about it at all!! There were a lot of things that the government did that got little to no reaction and it just felt unrealistic.

Now, it's not all negative, I did enjoy parts of it!! I liked that the author forwarded the time line of the story, I liked that we get to see 10 years after the meteor hit. I found the overall story compelling in a weird way, because even though I wanted to put this aside plenty of times, I was intrigued enough to keep reading!!

In all, an ok read. Very much hit or miss and I think most people will either like it or hate it!

This seems to be Joseph Kidawskis first book as a narrator and it showed. He did have a few tones and voices for the characters, but the overall enthusiasm for the book was lacking. He didn't capture the atmosphere of the story enough to truly bring it to life. I also found the quality of the production wasn't as clear as it should be.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The ladies need to step up

Imagine Jack Amato as a older, boring, arrogant Peter Parker who never got bit by a crazy spider and became a super hero. I never really warmed up to Jack and he plays center stage for the entire story. He wants to be an investigative reporter but mostly he has contacts where he wheedles info out of people, through begging or guilt trips. I also simply found him boring. I don’t have to like the main character to find them interesting and get into their story (like in Brave New World, Wuthering Heights, or Breaking Bad).

The main premise of the story held promise. A mysterious meteorite has crashed into the Earth and it has a very fascinating power: it grants immortality to most humans. You can still be murdered or die in an accident and there are a few medical conditions it can’t cure. So initially, there’s the breaking of the story and figuring this out. Then we have the sharing of the meteorite so all can benefit. Finally, what happens to the world if the population greatly increases because birth rates remain the same but death rates greatly drop off. Yet there was very little science and I do love my science in my science fiction. What little science bits were included made me cringe. As a biologist, I felt the author was just tossing some genetics terms in there without really understanding what they meant.

The setting was very one dimensional. This story takes place in the later half of the 21st century. Initially, there’s a few remarks about self-driving cars and other tech but we never have any examples. Honestly, this story could take place in the 1980s since the future tech had no role in this story.

All the decisions are made by male characters. Laura (Jack’s girlfriend) and Jack’s granma are the two recurring female characters. They are there to provide support and not much else. Laura initially has her own life but that is quickly minimized. In fact, there’s a scene where Laura is talking with Jack where she tells him she doesn’t want to be eclipsed by him. That gave me a chuckle because that happened several chapters back.

My favorite parts of the story were all the different ways the US government attempted to keep everyone fed. Some of these were pretty straight forward, like limiting the number of births, while others were more radical (and therefore more interesting). There’s also little snippets about how other countries are handling this unexpected world tragedy. I did feel that the tale left some big ideas out such as what people would grow at home to supplement their diet (anything from veggies to mushrooms to insects).

All together, the story has an interesting underlying backbone but it was clumsily executed. The characters were one dimensional and boring. I wanted more science but would have been satisfied with awesome characters had they been there. The story does leave us on a cliffhanger with possible hope hanging ready for Book 2. 3.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Joseph Kidawski was a good pick for the voice of Jack Amato. He sounds like a corn-fed midwestern reporter and he did a decent job of putting emotion into Jack’s voice. His female character voices were feminine and all his characters were distinct. There were a few times where a sentence or two were repeated. Twice I noticed a slight change in volume. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Dan Petrosini. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good premises but poor execution

Jack is a reporter in a small town, and has the opportunity of his life by witnessing the fall of a special meteorite. In charge of obituaries, Jack soon realizes that this meteorite might be related to the absence of deaths in the last days. His suspicions are soon confirmed, and the world has to adapt to this drastic change.

The premises of this story were quite interesting although, more than science-fiction, this book was about politics facing overpopulation. This made it a bit dystopian, and it was interesting to explore how far one government can go in order to keep the balance.

I found a few issues though, like the really slow buildup. The first third of the book retold again and again how the meteorite was transported here and there and how Jack followed and kept investigating deaths, or lack thereof.

I think the story would have worked better with further character development. I had difficulties connecting to the characters and, while I understood their motivations, I didn't care much for them.

I was a bit bothered by the fact that this meteorite was often mentioned as sent from God. I understand that religion is deeply ingrained in the American people but, as an atheist, I tend to dislike sci-fi and religion mixed together.

I would say that Joseph Kidawski's narration was okay. There were no great issues, but it could have been better. There was more reverberation than usual, and this is something that we mostly find among new narrators. Checking Kidawski's Audible page, I see that this is his first audiobook, and this explains it. I also had issues with the characters' voices. Some of them sounded the same (like Jack and his girlfriend, for instance), but for others I think he overdid it. I also have to mention that the first time 'Sheffield' is mentioned it is wrongly pronounced, putting the emphasis on the last syllable, while the next times it is correct. There are some noticeable audio edits and in some cases the pause between paragraphs is too short. Working on these little things will really help Kidawski in delivering a professional narration.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Dan Petrosini. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Different.

What would happen if death was no more,except for violent death. How will it impact the world? Find one idea in this thought provoking story. I received this audio book free and voluntarily reviewed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intelligent, fascinating and scary sci-fi plot

The Final Enemy is a very thought-provoking sci-fi novel. Although with most sci-fi you have to accept new ideas and sometimes implausible events, The Final Enemy was very well researched and thought-out. The idea of a meteorite that has an unknown aura and components that stop human cells from dying off if fascinating. Suddenly people were no longer dying of natural causes and the benefit was extended around the world. People rejoiced and world peace was suddenly a reality as countries cooperated to receive the benefits of the power. But over time, problems of overpopulation and resource scarcity accelerated as more and more people survived. I found the plot development to be very interesting as the government evolved in their solutions and human nature started to overwhelm the government. I do not want to spoil the plot but it was very well constructed and believable in a sad sort of way. At times it became difficult to listen to the problems of the world but it is something that we need to hear. The world is progressing towards these same problems now, but at a slower pace. This is a well-written and provocative book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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wish I could wrap my head around the logic...

Like many other reviewers, I was really intrigued by the premise of this book. Imagine a world where people don't die of natural causes, and follow the logic to uncomfortable conclusions concerning over-population and food/water scarcity. The thing is, I had so many unanswered technical questions and I wondered about the author's assumptions, so instead of "enjoying" the story, I went into geeky problem-solving mode and spun my wheels because the author wasn't providing enough information for me to move forward (Malthusian theory, aquaculture, melting ice caps/towing ice bergs for fresh water, voluntary birth control incentives, and so on).

Another reason why the science in this book didn't flow well for me was because I live in Canada and the population density here is four people per square kilometer. Our fertility rate is, like, 1.5 births per woman and something like 90% of our population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. border. Thus, I had a hard time envisioning global catastrophe in the timeline presented in the story, from my personal perspective in my corner of the world. I look out my window and I see possible solutions, not possible problems (although I acknowledge that many countries in the world don't have the abundance of natural resources that Canada has).

Along with this, I think that the author could have taken the plot in different directions to make things more interesting. For example, more tension between 'have' countries (such as Canada) versus 'have not' countries, or tensions over common resources like oceans, or actions by preppers, or people's efforts to grow home and roof gardens, breeding different kinds of food sources (that produce multiple offspring), the growth of cults/alternate religions, and so on.

And then there's the weird plot device, where the solution to the entire problem was so elegantly simple yet no government tried to implement it. And then there's the 'bad guy' who is revealed at the end of the story but we don't learn his motivations (unless we did and I missed it) - there was a huge missed opportunity here to develop his story. And there isn't much on international collaboration of research and responses, which I thought was unusual; there's lots of international collaboration and networking among researchers in educational institutions and corporations, yet I noticed that the story didn't provide much depth regarding the amount of research that was being done to deal with the problems and issues that were arising as the story progressed.

Anyway, what it boiled down to, for me, was that I found the main premise to be hugely interesting, but I was unable get past the dozens of questions and gaps that were popping into my mind as I listened to the story. There's so much potential here to develop out the story by providing more characters, more character development, and more science/research to support the plot. I know that it looks like I"m complaining a lot, but in some respects it's more frustrating to read a potentially excellent but flawed book than it is to read a completely mediocre book. With a mediocre book, you can just throw it against the wall and forget about it. But with a book like this, that has such potential, it's frustrating because you can see glimpses of how much better it could have been.

The narrator was satisfactory, although some of the character voices weren't my favourites. I increased the playback speed to match my preferences.

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great scifi read

I received this book for free for a honest review.  I loved the characters and storyline.  it flowed very well and held together.  The narrator did an excellent job of bringing the characters to life.  reccomend

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great Premise but not Smart

This premise has great potential. What happens if (almost) no one dies?

I had a long review written with examples, but I'll just summarize by saying, I'd love to see another author take on the premise and write a more mature story with mature dialog, intelligent well-developed characters and a researched story line. It had great potential.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An interesting premise

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

I was definitely intrigued by this book and its premise. The book itself is relatively good, however some of the ideas explored in the latter parts of the book get quite dark and made me want to put it down. Some of the paths that the story took made sense; other paths didn’t especially when it seemed like there were more logical paths for the story. II persevered to the end, hoping to find some redemption in the book, but I was disappointed. I love speculative sci-fi and loved parts 1 and 2, but the book just got darker and darker and never really got bright again.

I would be interested to read something else by this author, but I don’t think I’ll reread this book.

The narrator did a good job and I was able to read it at my normal speed of 2.2x.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Yikes!

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if mankind’s proverbial ‘final enemy’ (death) was defeated, Dan Petrosini explores what might happen. Very realistic and disturbing.

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  • MANI
  • 04-22-18

The final Enemy

Any additional comments?

This audiobook is a very fast read and good plot. Thought the dialogue was natural and believable. It was a thought provoking exploration of what would happen if we all lived forever.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 06-28-19

One scary enemry

This was quite a different book for me, I tend to choose murder mysteries but thought I would give this book ago as the plot sounded interesting. I enjoyed it even if it did tug on the heart strings (yes I needed a tissue) and it is a book that gets you thinking "what if?" especially with the world like it is. It is obvious the author did a lot of research before writing this book and it shows.
Jack is the first reporter to notice the strange quinces between a meteorite crashing down on earth and tha lack of deaths in the surrounding area. As he breaks the story he has no idea what this means to the planet if everybody stopped dying. First is the problem of controlling who gets to visit the rock but as the worlds population begins to grow others problems start to arise like where is everyone going to live but the biggest and by far scariest one (I hope I don't get nightmares) is what is everybody is going to eat and the solutions the Country's different grovements come up with to solve the problem.
The narrator was very good and I really liked his accents especially the Scottish one.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • C. Rowlands
  • 03-01-18

The downsides of immortality

The final enemy is the story of a meteor falling to earth that causes people to stop dying from natural causes and the unexpected downsides that come from this 'gift', it is predominantly told from the perspective of an initially young reporter called Jack Amato. He witnessed the initial impact and his role as obituary writer for a local Iowa newspaper helped him to be the first to spot the effects it was having on humanity.

The book makes frequent time jumps forwards from the initial impact, to when it was still considered to be a blessing and then onwards as the negative implications of an ever increasing population become more and more dire. Some of the stages of progression in the problems seemed quite outlandish, but others were very plausible and made those parts of the book much more compelling.

The narrator of the book did a good job with the main characters and the general narration of the story, but some of the secondary characters such as Jack's grandmother had needlessly over the top vocal performances that were a little jarring and detracted from the overall performance.

Overall this was an enjoyable premise for a book with a good performance.

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tony Bough
  • 02-27-18

Wow this was amazing whilst also terrifying!

Firstly wow. It's incredible. It starts at a really relaxed pace. Not slow but just sort of building. A curious guy in the right place putting a jigsaw together although granted a smart guy to do it. It's nice to have a story where the reporter isn't a bad guy with dodgy morals or twisted in some way.

I really enjoyed it from start to finish. Really good pace to the book and the narration is excellent.

It is however terrifying. It feels so real. Like this could be the way that the world, that the government react to the cessation of death and overpopulation. They are inept, self-serving and all corrupt. The things that happen to the characters as the story spirals out of control also feel real. Which is what's so scary because if you get this book and you should then there are some really messed up things that people get bought into.

I once read that MI5’s (Britains security agency) has a statement that society is “four meals away from anarchy”. Or to put some flesh on that they believe that Britain could be quickly reduced to large-scale disorder maybe even rioting and looting in the event that the supply of food stops. Well we certainly see that here with the morals.

I also like how everyone's morality becomes sightly more flexible once they are immortal and then with time they slip further and further. One little evil makes the next so much easier.

Really good!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rayc
  • 02-14-18

Totally Engrossing

Wow, This book grabs you and keeps you. I wanted to listen in one sitting (couldn't) so found myself plugging in whenever there was opportunity.
This is a work of fiction at present! But if a meteor with Remedies effect ever struck earth, then this book is a very accurate prediction of the results.
The writing is (I believe) a true representation of humanity or lack of it in survival situations. Public outrage then acceptance of Government new laws and rules.

Characters feel real and have depth, both heroes and villains.

I loved this book and whole heartedly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this audio book and voluntarily leave this review

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob Cooke
  • 02-09-18

A powerful story that stays with you!

This book is incredibly well written and researched.

It is a hypothetical look at the cessation of death on the planet.
A truly frank and reflective look at how humanity may deal with such a phenomenon if it were to happen.
The story has good characters that give you mind to real world figures. There struggles with the decisions that each and every individual must make in order to deal with the new reality. The government implements measures that when thought about would be logical if still questionable given the series of events.

The narration is powerful and helps lead you through the story while conveying sentiment and importance throughout.

In summation this book is a very true reflection of the world at large and the human need to survive at any cost. It is a blend of science fiction, post apocalyptic and thriller.