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The Variant

Narrated by: Ryan Drean
Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)
Regular price: $14.95
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Publisher's Summary

Tyler Roydman's life has never been normal. As far back as he can remember, he has had unexplainable powers. Specifically, he has the power to prevent certain bad things from happening.

Everything changes for Tyler when his son Nathan goes missing. Everyone blames him for his disappearance, while Tyler is determined to find out what happened to him. Things quickly spiral out of control in this pulse-pounder of a thriller.

This debut novel from author Justin M. Woodward will have you asking yourself, how far would you go for the ones you love?

©2016 Justin M. Woodward (P)2018 Justin M. Woodward

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fast-paced thriller sure to satisfy!

A fun, exciting, break-neck paced sci-fi thriller with some horror elements!

Trying to describe this story to you with any hopes of telling you what's going on WITHOUT giving too much away would be much too difficult, so I won't even try. I'll just say that with THE VARIANT, nothing is what it seems.

I like a good thriller, and I like fast pacing in my novels. Justin Woodward delivers that with this story of a man desperately trying to put his life back together after his son is taken, and someone is trying to set him up. But there's much more going on here. Enough that the fate of the entire planet--and its creators and variants--is at stake!

The sci-fi in this is definitely in line with my liking. I don't like really HARD sci-fi where it gets so much into the science that you need a degree in astrophysics to understand what's happening. No, in this one we see the strange and the weird, but we don't need complex formulas to wrap our minds around it. And I like that. There are some elements of horror in the story here and there, and they are handled with an excellent sense of dread that ratchets up the tension like a chain.

And then there's the action. It's pretty much non-stop once the story gets rolling, which is pretty early on. Yet we still get to know our characters and begin to care for them a great deal. By the end, we love them so much that we can't help but grasp the sides of our chairs in terrified suspense as the action reaches its climax.

Speaking of the climax, it is satisfying. Most books I read with a sci-fi slant and strangeness going on seem to fizzle out at the end like the author didn't know how to finish it and just slapped something on the tail and called it finished. Or worse, they try to do something super existential and pretentious, and the more confused the reader is the better they feel their intellectual phallus has been stroked. Not the case here. We can see it, we can understand it, and when the reveal happens we scream, "YES!" because the climax did not let us down.

The narrator does an excellent job bringing the story to life with good voicing and inflection. Spot on.

If you like a great, fast-paced thriller with sci-fi and horror elements, replete with terrific characters and fun dialogue, don't skip this one. THE VARIANT is a winner.

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Wonderful Story!

Justin M Woodward's writing reminds me of Joe Hill's attention to detail, suspense and character development with touches of humor. I hope he keeps writing and publishing! I also hope he keeps using Ryan Drean for his narrator. Drean's voice really brings the story to life and he is excellent at portraying the different characters.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat anxious for the next twist and nervous for Tyler and the predicaments he kept stumbling into. This was a fun, unexpected and nail biter of a book.

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Great Book from a first time author

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend this book to people who like fantasy novels with lots of twists and turns.

What other book might you compare The Variant to and why?

This novel reminds me of shows like Stranger Things and Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Have you listened to any of Ryan Drean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Ryan Drean knocks it out of the park and hits all the high notes, I loved his performance!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There was, but I can't say it without giving spoilers!