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Publisher's Summary

A pandemic is spreading through the streets of Seattle. Drugs run rampant through its population, and no one knows this better than Carter, an ex-heroin junkie and lifetime User. Born with a superheated heart, Carter can unleash fire through his pores, igniting anything he touches.

After his girlfriend leaves him, Carter's five years of sobriety are put to the test. When a drug deal goes bad, he finds himself in a pickle with the police. After telling a little white lie that leaves him going head to head with one of the biggest drug cartels in the country, Carter must fight for his life. Will his powers be enough to save him? And will he maintain his sanity and sobriety?

Find out in this first issue of Users.

©2014 Stacy Buck (P)2015 Stacy Buck

What members say

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

I finished it.

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

I finished it. I wanted to love it, but I couldn't get there. I don't know where exactly I would rate it... Maybe 3 /5 .... 3 on story, 3 on narrator. It had some really cool themes, but then there were moments I found too cliche, and others that just had me like huh? One that stuck out for me was the first encounter with Barber. I couldn't fall in line with the story - just too far out of what I would expect or consider. That's kind of a big deal, done like it was nothing. It just seemed out of place to me. Also, I get that this was dark and gritty, but I didn't understand beatings so bad that a guy is down for 3 days. Frankly, I'd have probably been more on board if there was some para-healing power to patch people up. Sure, then I can buy that people will mostly kill someone just sparring. I felt like details were missing or something in the story just was not defined well. Some moments when things happened too conveniently...

The narrator, Rich, had a great gravelly voice for Carter, but I found he lacked in actually narrating. His reading of events and actions, and his intonations, like ascribing emotion to some moments, clashed at times with how I had to interpret the book's happenings and ultimately took away from the story for me, in parts. Others, where Carter is engaged in something and his voice could come through were great.

Also, I never understood why all the para-humans, or so many, were all into drugs. They just ... were. I can accept Carter may have been. There were enough (*well done*) allusions to maybe some torture in his past that I can buy his hard life and bad choices bit, but how about some of these others? This version of America wasn't ever shown to be anti-mutant, a la X Men or anything, so why were these people all driven down the dark path of Using? Other questions are also about how this whole thing got into the population? When? Any alternate history?

I also remember now that I didn't understand the leap from Carter being interrogated by the police to suddenly being front page news. I get that cops can leak to the press, but I felt like some needed content was missing when going from police interrogation to front page news, and again on to the bounty from the cartel.

I don't regret the read but I am lukewarm about book 2. I may give it a shot anyhow. I'm still intrigued by the world. I would like to say, also, that I do seriously appreciate the opportunity. I really tried to frame this as constructive, so please think of my words in that light. I think that the ultimate story was great, and the world is interesting. I hope that this helps. I'm really sorry I can't give a warmer review.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Like the movie Hancock? This is better.

What made the experience of listening to Users the most enjoyable?

Users is not a story with the classic sense of super power heroes. Decisions are not "I will destroy them all, it is for their own good, no one can stop me ... muhaha".These are flawed humans trying to figure things out. Nearly every character has redeeming qualities. I really liked that as it felt more realistic.

I wasn't a fan of all the Seattle references, because I am not sure they added to the story. Perhaps it is because I am from Seattle and hearing those references made me think about my own experiences. I also wasn't too hot on the cursing. I am used to fake cursing myself. (By Zeus's beard! / Blood and Ashes! / Nerf herder)

Overall, it was a fantastic story and I am going to have to pick up the next few in this series. If they are as good as this, I'll end up branching out and seeing what else Stacy/Jennifer Buck have to buy.

What other book might you compare Users to and why?

I am looking forward to reading the next one.

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

I have not.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Maybe 2-3 sittings. 5 hours is a long time to sit in one spot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

amateurish

the whole time reading this book, I couldn't decide if it was falling flat because of poor writing or reading or just poor production and I think the answer is all three. It wasn't unreadable. I was able to make it to the end, but I can't recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great plot, interesting characters...

This completely caught my attention from the first word. It sort of reminded me of that movie Push, where people have extraordinary abilities but do not always use them for good. The main character, Carter, is a complete mess, even with his abilities.

Carter’s girlfriend leaves him and even though he has been sober for five years, that’s the first thing he decides to go get; drugs. And because of that decision all hell breaks loose! He also always decides to go to the absolutely wrong people at the worst times.

The narrator, Rich Camillucci, matched the persona of Carter perfectly. His voice allowed me to get into the story faster than I may have otherwise. The only slight criticism I have is that it seemed like he was hesitating at times. It sounded like he was hesitating. Not even for a full second but a split second that seemed to slow a sentence a fraction. Maybe it was how he felt that Carter would react and feel about all the crap that happens to him. The hesitating spots were not so many that it stopped me being able to enjoy the story though.

And as good as Rich Camillucci was with Carter, he was that great with inflection and allowing the anticipation of the story to build. This is told as a story while Carter is talking to his (well needed) therapist. It jumps back and forth from speaking with the therapist to his actual story and I loved it! I thought it was a very neat way to set up a story and to give us an insight into Carter’s messed up life. I normally do not prefer to jump back and forth in time but it was done seamlessly.

The whole portion of the later parts of the story when Carter has to go into hiding did not make sense at first and had me questioning the characters motives. All this pans out in the end. It winds up making perfect sense, even if it does not at first. It actually helps the story flow. Although I would not have guessed things were going to happen they way they do. But Carter knows the other characters and he obviously knows them well enough to anticipate their next actions.

Great plot, interesting characters, and fascinating story telling makes for one very dramatic story. The only thing that I did not like was Carter’s whining about halfway through. Man, this guy can whine! My hubby and I listened to the middle of this story and sadly that was all he wanted to listen to. Had he listened more I think he would have enjoyed how it ended. Do not stop halfway! Get through Carter’s whining and move along!

Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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7 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I wanted to like it, but...

I listened to the audible version of this book, so I'll start with a critique of the narrator.

Narration:

While the narrator's normal speaking voice sounds a lot like how I imagine the voice of the protagonist, the acting was way off. Several times during this short book I found myself laughing due to unintentional humor as a result of awkward acting at presumably tense moments.

The story:

I really wanted to like this book. I'm a fan of superhero novels and don't shy away from darker subject matters like addiction, etc. I should have been all over this. Unfortunately, this book, in spite of it's short length, was a struggle to finish. The organization was a mess. Two to three hours into a recording that is less than six hours long, the author suddenly announces things like "Prologue" and "Epilogue." Then at the end of of the book we get "Epilogue #2." This kinda made me feel like "I don't think these words mean what you think they mean."

Law enforcement weren't portrayed believably (paraphrased "Let's keep this off the record... I'm also law enforcement... undercover" a lie. They just say okay and don't ask for identification or anything.), and as a person who lived half their life in Seattle, the description of the setting didn't resonate with my experience there. It sounded more like descriptions of bad neighborhoods in Chicago (a city I've also lived in). On top of that, the descriptions were mostly cliche and overused within the text. This might have been tolerable with a different narrator, but the combination of bad acting and tired descriptive text made this a challenge to work through.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful