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The Swift

Narrated by: Steve Castello
Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Left behind after a military evacuation and separated from their families, the people of Storm Lake must decide what to do. Technology along everything else has mysteriously ceased to function. There are no answers, only questions and many tough decisions to be made. 

As they search for help in the cornfields of rural Iowa, a deadly game of hunter and prey develops between them and the Swift. The Swift are mysterious and ruthless creatures who hunt to kill. They unexplainably appear after the event and mercilessly dispatch anyone who they encounter, while Coach Mike Larson, Levi, his pupil, and everyone else must hunt the Swift for sustenance and survival. 

Go along this dark and twisted journey with Coach Mike Larson and Levi as they do the unimaginable to survive in this apocalyptic new world, all in hopes of one day reuniting with their families.

©2018 Ricky Dragoni (P)2018 Ricky Dragoni

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

What a Ride

This book was a fantastic ride into the unknown but a story of survival at any cost. It’s not a story I would typically look for but I found it engaging and the writing so descriptive that you like you were there. I listened to the audible version the narration was so perfect for the story. The Swift is really about the fight within ourselves and the struggle to survive against all odds. Mr. Dragoni is a master storyteller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved the story

This book flowed well and I loved the ending. The narrator kept us interested the whole road trip. We can't wait to hear more from Dragoni and Castello!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great story told...

Skillfully graces the genre. A successful flow of character and plot development. The narration is addictive and well paced. Well worth the three hour investment of your time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Tantalizing

Book has a mysterious plot about monsters and perfect amount of detail. Not cheesy and is enjoyable.

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  • CM
  • 09-14-19

Satisfying Apocalyptic Survival Story

The Swift is a tale of survival that contains humor, warmth, compassion, plus adds some deadly creatures that want to end it all for our two main characters in this horror story by Ricky Dragoni.

Thoughts:
After the mysterious ‘event’ Coach Mike Larson along with Levi do whatever they can to survive. It had started randomly one day where no electronics worked, or rather, nothing modern worked. Each person begins to hear that the military is coming to evacuate and when they do come they split everyone up into two groups. However, one group is left behind with no explanation as to why or what is going on. In The Swift, we follow these two characters as they slowly make their way toward Fort Dodge where they hope to find their families as well as answers. Each new path they take sets them on a coarse that seems to only bring them closer to danger – whether it be from lack of food, injury, other survivors, or from The Swift.

Oh – I had so many questions when listening to this story. Even though to me this was a tale of survival, it was also a story about the mystery of what was going on. Part of the fun of reading a story like this is trying to figure it all out. Some of the questions I asked were to myself as I tried to sort out any clue I could find regarding what was behind it all and some were to the characters and their actions (or non-actions). Such as – How did the military really ‘miss’ them in the evacuation? If they are so hungry why aren’t they planting a vegetable garden or preparing for winter? Why do they hunt for food the way they do? And so on…

Even though I’d classify this story as mild-horror, I still found it very tense at times. I don’t read horror very often – one of the reasons being that I sometimes can get too wrapped up in the character’s story and their need to survive that I have to stop because I am getting so stressed out. I have to remind myself that these characters are not real, that there has been no ‘event’ and there has been no military evacuations. However, being stressed out also means the author is doing a good job in their story telling. The story itself was very well done as we travel along with Coach Mike and Levi and face their struggles and dangers along with them.

Audio Book Review
If you are looking for a narrator with a deep voice, then this is the book for you. When I first began listening I was immediately struck by not only the deep, rich quality of the voice, but also the conversational way the voice actor described parts within the story or spoke certain lines. It had a natural feel to it. There was more than one time he became quite animated during the narration that was engaging and lively. And although he did several voices, I suspect my favorite was when he did a six-year old girl – that particular character and the narration together had a very light-hearted touch to it and was just a lot of fun to listen to.

One of my favorite moments in the entire story comes at the very end – the last few lines in fact. The narrator acted them out with such gusto and emotion that it put a big smile on my face as the book ended. However, even though I enjoyed the story and the voice actor I did at times have struggle with the quality of the production. It wasn’t always 100% clear to me and I found I had the most difficulty while listening to it in the car. But, my headsets worked ok and that is where I ended up listening to most of the story.

All in all, I found it a great book to read/listen to and can recommend to those who enjoy horror or post-apocalyptic stories.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Thank you to the author for the review copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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  • BM Ann
  • United States
  • 09-01-19

Well-paced survival story with a worthwhile ending

This is both a review of the book and Audible audiobook. The narration is of very good quality, pronunciation is smooth, clear, and polished. Though I typically listened to this one at normal speed, I can verify that it's very possible to listen at higher speeds like 1.2x or 1.5x and still perfectly make out every detail. This book is on the shorter side, almost a novella, and about the same length as watching a longer than average film would be.

Which is fitting because (onto the book review now) the story line flows in a way that's similar to a fast-paced action flick. This is a dystopian tale about two people left behind to fend for themselves after an apocalypse wherein creatures called Swifts (similar to zombies, but different) lurk about and much of humanity has been evacuated into safe zones.

The main characters are Mike and Levi, a teacher and his student, desperate to get back to their families and traveling from place to place in search of food and fellow survivors. The story is told from the first person perspective of Mike. There is a lot of detail put toward his inner voice and reactions, putting the reader in his shoes to feel every harsh and frenzied moment of his struggle. Levi is in a fragile state and reminds Mike of his own children.

Mike's determination to protect Levi is endearing, but I was often left wishing Levi showed more personality early on and were a more interesting character. He does show more spark toward the end though. I also wish there had been more character development for other characters. Mike and Levi end up finding more groups of survivors but that's quite late into the book and the focus is still on the larger goal of just surviving from day-to-day. I do like single-character storylines or small casts of characters though, so it wasn't a big problem and Mike's death-defying journey is well-paced enough to be entertaining. Mike himself is a well-defined character.

Withing spoiling anything I'm just going to say the ending is really good. I was left startled by it. After enjoying a plethora of dystopian/survival media, I've never seen an ending quite like this one and it's a clever approach to this genre. There's some good re-read value in experiencing the story again, knowing some important details that the ending provides.

Disclaimer : I was provided a digital audiobook of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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Very captivating. Makes you wanna hear more.

I love this story and the way it's narrated. A story that makes you wonder, could it happen?

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Castello Rocks!!

Great story that puts a twist on the Zombie genre. The story as a whole is great though I felt like the ending was rushed. I would have liked a long form of this story. But. Don't allow my criticism to deter your purchase. The journey itself is worth every penny - especially when it comes to Steve Castello's narrative. The man is freaking awesome. His voice is pleasant and his narrative acting is something to truly behold. I LOVED listening to him. Buy this audiobook and all of Steve Castello's work!!

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Great new voice

This is the first book I've listened to of both Steve Castello and of Ricky Dragoni. I enjoyed both the story AND the telling. Castello's warm voice makes you feel like you're siting down next to the fire listening to his latest adventure. I'll keep him on my list of one-clicks :)

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Suspenseful and satisfying

The Swift is a relatively short suspense novel about a man and a teen boy who find themselves abandoned by civilization in a rural area infested with creatures called The Swift. They move around, meeting up with other survivors, making their way in a bloodthirsty and insane world. As you'd expect, they lose more and more of their humanity as the days and weeks go on, while they fight to stay alive in a terrifying new reality.

The ending is a not-entirely-unexpected surprise, and whoo, boy, it ties the saga of their travels together nicely. As the ending approached, I was worried I'd be faced with a cliffhanger begging me to "buy the next in the series", but I was happy to find the story quickly wrapped up in a wholly satisfying way.

For the price as an Audible sale deal, The Swift was definitely worthwhile. The narrator, Steve Castello, has an unusually deep and gravelly voice, and I'm still on the fence about whether his John Wayne-styled reading was the best choice for this novel. He did a decent job, so I'll say it worked.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle Sewell
  • 09-07-19

I love this story

I will not mention the actual storyline because I do not want to give it away.

I had read the book before listening to it so I knew what it is about.

The ending is surprising and what I thought the story was about~was not it! So I was glad to go over the book again, as listening to it and knowing what the storyline is actually about~I could see that all the subtle clues were there all along.

Ricky Dragoni’s style of writing is unique and captivating. I love his books. The narrator is absolutely brilliant especially when interpreting the emotions into his story telling.