AudioBook Review – Prophets of Waaagh

Prophets of Waaagh! The story so far

Written by Guy Healy

 

61I9aQJ0NgL._SL500_.jpg

Narrated by: Tom Alexander, John Banks, Cliff Chapman, Steve Conlin, Matthew Hunt, Jonathan Keeble, David Seddon, Joe Shire

Dis is it boyz! Da Waagh iz ‘ere! Let’s ‘ere it!

WWWAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!

I’m not one for audio dramas usually, but oh man. This collection of (very) short stories is such an amazing little treat to have in your library. Let me tell you, I have been looking for a good 40k book from the ‘Orky’ perspective. This is no ‘book’ unfortunately, but the three stories so far add up to an hour of total hilarity and nerdy fanboy love.

There is a tremendous amount of individual talent in the grim dark. Guy Healy is definitely one of the more brighter shining stars among this particular universe of work. His literary prowess has been joined by not one, but several class A orator acts. Several already casted for other 40k books.

The story itself follows the view of a couple different Orks. One of which Bosgaz who finds himself stranded with a grok named Frikk. Along the way they find Talker.

“A soddin’ knows what of ’em talky talky.” (God I love Orks).

The intro to each part of the story even has a quick ‘in total Ork speak’ prologue with a ‘Humee’ translation. Not to mention full on Norwegian-metal-band-leadsinger-lower-lip head-nod theme music peppered through the entirety of all three dramas.

Overall, what an amazing hour I spent listening to these, that I had to come on and write a review for it! Check them out. If you are unfamiliar with any of this information and are totally lost, check out Black Library’s audiobooks which are now sold on audible (after 10 years, damn it).

Follow the link below to check out the first book in the series. These are just a straight buy, I think I paid less than five dollars per twenty minute drama. I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

Please like, comment, and share! If you’ve heard of a great book we should check out, let us know! We are always looking for new material to add to the meat grinder. Have a great day. And as always…

live long, and prosper.

-Gerbil

https://www.audible.com/…/Prophets-of-Waaagh-The…/B07FXRX9J9

AudioBook Review – The undying mercenaries saga

The undying mercenaries saga

By B. V. Larson

Narrated by Mark Boyett

61-W8tG4S6L.jpg

The Undying Mercenaries saga follows the life of James McGill. A young college dropout (due to inability to pay rather than life choice) who is forced to join the world’s largest export service: Galactic Federation Marines. According to B.V. Larson, the world as we know it might someday be visited by aliens who come, not to show us a better way of life; they come to tell us we need to offer up something unique or be destroyed.

The Galactic Federation runs a group called Hegemony which regulates the enterprises of each planet to ensure only one planet is responsible for producing each resource. Earth’s are marines, well mercenaries really. Alien planets hire Earthling mercenaries to arrive and do battle for them against another alien race or as protection, whatever you can think of hiring a mercenary for pretty much.

Earth’s forces are able to provide the galaxy with an unlimited number of troops by using an alien made “birthing chamber” to continually spit out frontline troops. Bored yet? I know, welcome to the world of B
V. Larson. Amazing stories, very long-winded lectures on why they exist.

The first book in the series (Steel World) and the 4th in the series (Machine World) are my personal favorites. In the first book, you meet James McGill, his sidekick Carlos, and his on-again-off-again girlfriend named Natasha. James meets all of them during the Legion Veris boot camp where they are all trained, suited and booted for their first mission….against Dinosaurs!

No joke, space-age, laser beam rifle-wielding battalions of Dinosaur infantry. What a total badass way to start a series. It is then immediately followed by the worst book in the series (Dust World), I suggest you avoid it and jump to book three. You’ll thank me later.

Machine World, or book 4 finds James McGill not only survived the other three. He is on his way to Promotion! (Read that like Neebs, if you don’t know who that is shame on you) Legion Veris is dispatched to a gas giant planet which is systematically covered in ice. The troops are trained on massive mech-warrior style battle rigs that can devastate the enemy on a whole new level. As with anything else from Larson the story only gets better as you go on.

If any of this sounds appealing, do yourself the favor and check out the series. What an amazing story and just enough politics to put you to sleep (if you have any trouble that is).

If you enjoyed reading this review please comment and let us know! Even if you didn’t like it, let us know. Believe me, I have to read stuff I don’t like sometimes either and you all hear about it!

As always, live long and prosper.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FCXPC94

AudioBook Review – Threadbare: Stuff and Nonsense

Stuff and Nonsense

 

51oHr6WTupL._SY346_.jpg

Written by – Andrew Seiple
Narrated by – Tim Gerard Reynolds

“Too many hours grinding nap and not grinding hunt.”

This quote sums up the majority of the book for me. I am one to dive into a TGR book above mostly anything else. This one, however, was interesting. That’s about it for now.

The story starts inside of a workshop hut for a tailor turned animist. His goal is to take inanimate objects and turn them into sentient golems for a particular pact made with some nefarious creatures. This introduces the main character of Threadbear. Starting life as a magically turned stuffed teddy bear, Threadbear has plenty to deal with. One threat of which deserves immediate attention by him is that of Clawsifer the cat.

This book is very tongue and cheek, well written and about as page-turningly interesting as you can expect a book about a magical stuffed teddy bear to be. That’s not to say it is without its own shining moments. Steiple does a great job of incorporating the stat modifiers and explanations of exactly what ‘1 point in strength’ or ‘2 points more in wisdom’ will do as far as a correlation to real-world views.

The rest of the novel is filled with quirky characters and interesting devices used to push the plot forward. Pro tip: if you’re ever in need of a drink in the wilderness, just soak your teddy bear in water and ring it out. I enjoyed the storytelling and the actual writing of the story. Overall, however, it is a LITRPG book about a stuffed teddy bear. If you’re short on a list of things to read then check this out. Otherwise, there are more adult themed stories that can accomplish the same thing without the need of reliving a twisted Winnie the pooh version of childhood…unless you’re looking for that sort of thing.

Overall score 5/10

If you enjoyed reading this review, let us know! Even if you didn’t enjoy it, let us know so everyone else can point and laugh. There is no bad news, after all, just news!

Thank you and have a great day!

https://www.amazon.com/Threadbare-Stuff-Nonsen…/…/B078KGS4V4

AudioBook Review – Dragon of Ash and Stars

Dragon of Ash and Stars

 

61uj-lkuz2L._SY346_.jpg

Written by – Leighton Dickson

Narrated by – John Lee

Dragons! Like, real dragons! Not just characters of someone dressed up as a dragon or having a dragon as a pet. No. This is real-deal Holifield dragons!

Stormfall is a midnight black scaled dragon. In a world where dragons appear to be a summer or autumn. Starfall is a pitch, perpetual black. Often referred to in the book as a ‘Night Dragon’, these colors are highly sought after for a variety of human (called Sticks in the novel) jobs. Beginning his life on a stoney outcropping in the middle of the ocean, Stormfall eventually finds his way to a Sticks settlement after a terrible storm. Hence his name.

The hard life of this dragon follows around the continent as he starts as a fishing drake, then is bought and sold several times to become: a farmer, a gladiator, a carriage puller, and so much more. I really loved this story. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the world perhaps through the eyes of a noble and strong dragon-ling. What really hammered the story home was the incredible voice acting by John Lee. Having been one of my favorite voice actors since I heard him first in Dune. I am always on the lookout for the next ‘Dune quality John Lee book’. Suffice it to say, this one will do for now.

Unfortunately, the story itself is so straightforward that the replayability is low unless you’re like me where you rotate all of your books every week and ‘somehow’ wind up re-reading the same ones over and over. This will be on that list. Perhaps somewhere down at the bottom, however.

Overall 4/10

If you enjoyed this review and would like to see more, SEND US BOOKS! I mean we all tell all of you all the time. You think it’s for our health! Well, it kind of is since we want to hear all the amazing stories you guys have written! Send them in!

https://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Ash-Stars-Autobi…/…/B01J4ZD684

AudioBook Review – Bill the Vampire

Bill the Vampire/The Tome of Bill – Audiobook

By – Rick Gualtieri

Narrated by – Christopher John Fetherolf

Holy crap, talk about a wild ride. I half expected Mr. Toad to show up, completely kitted out in a driving outfit to join me for the second half of this book. I loved this story. Long-winded explanations and terrible one-liner jokes aside, this was a very fresh read.

Taking on the role of a big bad vampire, computer programmer Bill is catfished into joining a group of vampires for the evening under the guise of “a wild party in Soho”. For anyone not of the tri-state area (having grown up in cape may county myself) Soho, is such a trashy gentrified neighborhood. Or as Bill would call it “where the hipsters go to die”. That’s a pretty good summary actually.

Bill and his two roommates; Ed and Tom eventually start to find out the limits in both strengths and weaknesses for Bill’s new abilities, which generally lead to a mishap and some crazy pop-culture reference. Just wait until you find out about “acts of faith” that one made me laugh.

The real kicker to this story for both positive and negatives are the narration. At first, it took me a while to get into Fetherolf’s voice. It is distinct, to say the least. Eventually, I just put the book on, went to make a sandwich and came back. During that couple of minutes, the whole thing exploded and clicked for me. What a brilliant narrator. There were a couple word trip-ups and mispronunciation which I’ll dock points for. That’s about it for the negatives, however.

One thing I love about this series is the fact that Gualtieri has decided to chop up books 1-4 then 5-8 as an omnibus. That means you get the whole story for two small payments. With the first collection running over 35 hours and the second over 55 you’re getting your money’s worth. Not to mention that’s almost 100 hours of Seinfeld meets True Blood. Who couldn’t watch 100 episodes of that?

Overall 7/10

Thank you for reading this review, come back and read more! Take care and as always, live long and prosper.

If you enjoyed this review and know of an author or narrator or you in-fact are one/both. Please send us a message to review your work also!

https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B00H8P60NQ

Audio and E-book Review – Somnia Online – Anomaly

Anomaly (Somnia Online 2) AudioBook and ebook.

 

51ZTXn292LL._SX342_.jpg

Somnia Online is developing and so are the AI! *Insert AI Overlords joke here*

With the cliffhanger Initializing left us at, Anomaly picks up right where we left off. We soon see the fallout from what was kept from Wren and how it affects everyone, in-game and real life.

Real life:
Hanna gives us more perspective to the game developers and Wren’s family’s reaction to “the event.” We see more real life interactions with the AI servers as they start developing more human characteristics. Probably the most intriguing thing to happen is Murmur being able to hear her mom, Laria, in-game while Laria is by her bedside talking to her.

In-game:
I’ll agree with most other reviews that Anomaly is much heavier on the female emotions. Yes, it may be a drawback. However, I’d like to point out that most female leads are written by male authors. It’s rare to see a strong female lead written by a strong female author.

On a plus-side, the game world is becoming more intricate and evolving. We see Murmur and her guild acquire their secondary classes and starting growing their crafting roster. Two amazing supporting characters come out of all that, Snowy and Neva. The AIs really do take into account what Murmur will do now when guildies log out. They answered with Snowy! Murmur’s secondary Druid class really is a compliment to her Psion main class. We also have more interaction with the city fountains. That’s a topic I can’t want to come to fruition further into the story.

At times it was a little hard to read, but in the end, it was an enjoyable book. Yes, Anomaly is heavier on the emotions but the story and supporting cast makes up for that. Aside from that though, the game world, characters, and story intrigue are progressing amazingly. For book three I have the hope that there will be more action and named mobs, similar to Initializing.

7/10

Review 2 –

From listening to Andrea Parsnau narrate the first book I was totally hooked in this world created by K.T. Hanna

There are several things I love about this book and more so than the first. Mostly it’s that it doesn’t go with what most writers would consider the norm. This is a deep look at the character Murmer is, and what makes her tick. Some of these insights won’t and haven’t sat well with male readers/listeners and that’s because they don’t get it and I really think they should take a long hard look as to those reasons.

The real hard-hitting books in this genre are going to be carved out by authors who really know how to not only created believable worlds but those that can and do understand characters on that level. So far there are few and far between in authors that actually do this, and I place K.T. amongst those.

What makes this book special for me, is both what goes on inside the game and out of it, and I hope I can see where K.T is taking this… I think I do, but I’m guessing at best.

This is a really good series, one that I’m really waiting for the next one on.

Narration –

As usual, Andrea is amazing with her character voices, tone and all-round performance. I can’t wait for the next book, which is soon i believe and even more so for the audio.

8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Anomaly-Somnia-Online-B…/…/B07HXBFV49

AudioBook Review – Stainless Steel Rat

The Stainless Steel Rat Series
By Harry Harrison
Narrated by Phil Gigante

I must say, I have loved this entire series, ever since I first started reading them. I was drawn to the auspicious cover art of a Hawaiian T-shirt-wearing James DiGriz and some nefarious nemesis nearby. This book, A Stainless Steel Rat is Born is #6 in the series and starts you in the middle of the story. This outlines the beginnings of “Slippery Jim” and his burgeoning crime career. Honestly, any book you pick up is pretty stand alone, with the exception being the first three or four. In those Jim gets married and has baby spies who, yes, all follow him around the universe playing Robin Hood and thwarting the plots of would-be evil-doers. Oh, did I not mention Jim is recruited directly into service among an association of fellow thieves who are placed around the galaxy just for the purposes of stopping any major criminal mastermind? Well, I did now.

Just in those two brief descriptions of books 6 and 1 respectively, you can see my pure fascination with this series. That hasn’t even scratched the surface on what is going on elsewhere in this epic saga of space-age piracy. My favorite characteristic of Jim DiGriz and his penchant for passivity. He does protect himself via martial arts if need be, but his goal is to only rob and steal – never to kill. This seems a mite bit tricky sometimes for Harry Harrison to have written into his stories; the workarounds are so incredible they boarder into the fantastic.

My favorite part of this series is just the pure written language of it. The way Harrison wrote in general was akin to reading beautiful music. This work of his outshines the rest like a bleak star collapsing unto itself; short as it may be, it remains the most glorious of spectacles. If you have need of a great sci-fi book, written and performed by two of the greatest artists this line of work has produced. I beg you, look no further.

Thank you for reading, and as always, Live Long and Prosper.

If you enjoyed this review, let us know! Even if you didn’t enjoy it, we take criticism as well. In fact, that’s exactly what we do! If you have any works in need of a review or know someone who does, let us know! We are always looking for a good time waster!

Stainless Steel Rat – Book 1

https://www.audible.com/…/The-Stainless-Steel-Ra…/B0041M5MRE?

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born – Book 6

https://www.audible.com/…/A-Stainless-Steel-Rat-…/B004LY2GLC?

AudioBook Review – Gamer for Life

Alpha World by Daniel Schinhofen is a litRPG novel about a former prison guard turned prisoner who agrees to test a long-term virtual reality system for his sentence. He begins playing the new VRMMORPG, Alpha World.

 

51zXWdLllwL._SY346_.jpg

Honestly, this book was a bit disappointing. The character interactions were entertaining and fun, the MC’s class was interesting, and I did appreciate that there was a variety to the types of people (mostly NPCs) we encountered. I have two major gripes though; one, grinding is probably the most boring aspect of any RPG, and the majority of this book was grinding. In fact, I would say the middle third of this book could be cut with nothing would be lost but a few fun character interactions and a somewhat interesting boss fight. That’s being a bit too harsh though.
The second gripe is that he was rewarded very early on for exploring, and yet does absolutely no more of it for the rest of the book. That may not seem like a big deal, but one of the main tenants to game design is teaching your players how to play your game. The protagonist does it in how he fights his enemies, why did he ignore the more tangible rewards he was given from exploration to grind?

A smaller complaint but one still important, I lost meaning for the values of the stats maybe about halfway to three quarters in, which is pretty early for a series. I also feel writing is a bit lackluster, not very much description. In contrast, the grammar is certainly good.
I was told there was sexual content in this book, and while there are some sexual jokes and a few sexually charged scenes, honestly, I was expecting (and hoping) for a bit more. I did enjoy what I got.
Despite my many complaints, I do think this is a decent opening book, if a bit bland.

The characters are fun and definitely enjoy each other’s company. 6/10

P.S. I have in fact read book 2 now, and it is /much/ better. More interesting things happen, there is a bit more description, overall superior.

Ebook – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gamer-Life-Alpha-Worl…/…/B06XC6YJSH

E-Book Reviews – Reborn 1-5

 

 

51wqxpmYf+L._SY346_.jpg

The Reborn Omnibus 1-5 by D. W. Jackson is an odd duckling. Even as I write this review I am not entirely sure the best way to go about it. First off, it is an omnibus of 5 short novellas as opposed to a book. I thought about reviewing each individually but figured that there wouldn’t be much of a point in going with the omnibus then.

 
Ok, so about the series. It is stylized as a Japanese isekai web novel; with a dense protagonist, slaves that fall in love with MC, and a womanizing combat instructor. Before I go any further, I will say I enjoyed this story, it was fun. Not much depth, but it was simple and enjoyable. MC somehow dies and then gets transported to another world with a stat system. When choosing a race, he picks random and ends up with a cheat ability.
Unfortunately, I have a laundry list of complaints to mention about it as well. First and foremost, book one is simply godawful. There were misplaced words all over the place (i.e. ‘week’ instead of ‘weak’), capitalization issues, and punctuation problems. Thankfully those were reduced significantly as I moved onto book 2 and above, though they still remained throughout. A bit strange to see a writer improve while reading a novel. The language is somewhat simplistic, which does match up with the web novel format, but one thing that really bothered me is the author’s constant overuse of the word ‘said’ for dialogue. There are so many more interesting ways of saying things, like ‘shouted’ or ‘spat’, just to name two.
There is also a moment in book two where I had to stop reading for a short while because of a thought that the MC had. Now picture for a second that the MC had just spent the last 100 or so pages dense-protagonisting his way out of learning any information that wasn’t immediately useful to him, then all of a sudden he says something to the effect of “knowledge is the key to surviving in this world.” I couldn’t handle it.
As far as story is concerned, almost all of it centers around one city with a labyrinth in it and only occasionally deviates from there. Little to no world building, even when the main character reads a history and/or geography book. The main problem though is the consistent lack of goals. Occasionally a short-term goal is given to him and he complies with it, but no long-term goals are ever discussed, and I don’t think he even considers why he needs/wants to kill things.
I found the stat system fairly unimpressive. The classes are barely gone over, the abilities are all over the place and I’m not sure I understand how the stats relate to damage and other functions. Another problem is the ability bloat, the MC picks up many abilities way too quickly, then just kind of sits on most of them without using them. I noticed that for one in particular that it had a level during one stat page but didn’t for another. Not sure which was the error.
Tl;dr: Though fun, with some formatting issues, ability bloat, a bland protagonist, and punctuation and capitalization issues, there are better options available for the Japanese web novel style story. I cannot recommend this one. Try Growth Cheat or Shield Bro. 4/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014659532

AudioBook Review – The Ritualist

The Ritualist by Dakota Krout
Narrated by Vikas Adam
(Just buy the ebook)

I have a real love/hate relationship with this book. On one hand, really enjoy Dakota Krout’s work. On the other, this book is totally boring. At least that is what I thought until I accidentally left it playing last night and woke up an hour later into it than I usually stop listening. 
After back tracking, I found a lot of what the real problem was. Initially, I had blamed it on the prologue and first couple of chapters. Mr. Krout appears to use the old “ex marine as the MC” quick cash grab kind of story. However, after some research I find out, he was actually in the army. He is a vet, ok! Well now, I feel like a smacked ass indeed.
I continue to listen to the book with as much of a non-biased view as I can manage as this creeping thought worms its way into my head: “this book is boring”. That’s when I realize the mixing for Vikas is terrible, honestly. I use a 600 watt stereo system to do my audiobook reviews with, that is less than 5 feet away from me. I could barely hear a large portion of the book as there are screen prompts Vikas decided to read as Hans from the Divine Dungeon series. This voice is usually immediately followed by some inane shouting that scares the living daylights out of me. Terrible mixing all around for the audio.
It’s a shame really, as the book opens up into this funny and action-packed world taking a completely separate but just as detailed view of the gaming universe. Since our main character is a human and uses actual stats, they come into effect as much as any regular game. Even slowing him from encumbrance due to not enough strength or stamina. If you can get over the terrible mixing job, then try the audiobook.
Me, personally, I’m going to buy the ebook instead and skip the middleman. Don’t try to catch lightning in a bottle twice. Vikas worked for Divine Dungeon, should have gotten a new voice.
Have a great day!