We all want to believe. The truth is still out there.
The X-Files have been reopened. IDW Publishing and series creator Chris Carter have authorized new investigations into the weird, the strange, and the mysterious. New York Times best-selling author and multiple Bram Stoker Award winner Jonathan Maberry brings together some of today's top storytellers for a series of anthologies featuring all-new stories from the X-Files. Scully and Mulder continue their journey into darkness as they face aliens, monsters, shadow governments, and twisted conspiracies.
This first volume includes stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Tim Lebbon, Max Allan Collins, Heather Graham, Brian Keene, Peter Clines, Ray Garton, Stefan Petrucha, Gayle Lynds and John Sheldon, Aaron Rosenberg, Keith R. A. DeCandido, Paul Crilley, W. D. Gagliani and David Benton, Tim Deal, and Gini Koch.
©2015 Jonathan Maberry (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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"Mulder and Scully are at it again"
I am a long time fan of the X-Files, so of course when I saw this book, it was a no brainer. It's a series of short stories that take place from the early 1990's to early 2000. Very enjoyable. if you liked the X-Files, you'll love this.
It was so awesome to have a book that let me revisit my favorite dynamic duo. There were many well-written X-Files in this collection. There were a few that were duds as well, but overall, the good ones far out weighted the bad ones. A couple of them were just so poorly written that I wanted to scream at the author of it, "Have you EVER watched even one episode of the show????" In one story, Mulder and Scully keep calling each other Fox and Dana for no good reason at all. That might seem like a super small thing, but if you know the show, you know how weird it sounds for them to do that for no reason. They just don't do that, and it pulls you out of the story. But, thankfully, I think only one of the stories in the collection did that. Most feel just like Monster of the Week episodes that bring you back to the good old days of one of the best partnerships of all time. Sigh.... I want more!!!! When does Book Two come out?
"As a devout Xfiles fan, I enjoyed it immensely!"
I enjoyed narration by Pinchot, he was spot on as Mulder. Some of the stories were lacking but most were down right awesome and took me back to what I loved about the series.
Huber's narration was ok at best but tone got annoying with dry sarcasm and weird delivery. I even skipped a story because I couldn't take her annoying tone anymore.
Highly recommend for anyone who loves/misses Xfiles. I hope some of these stories even make to the new Xfiles series planned to be filmed soon 😎
"Like watching Monster of the Week style episodes!"
Some stories were much stronger than others but all were entertaining. I thought they stayed true to the series in the style they were told.. Like watching the one-off Monster of the Week episodes of the original series. Those were my favorites. Well worth a listen if you feel the same way. I hope there is another collection like this in the future. Narration by Bronson Pinchot was great as usual.
"Written to Be Heard"
This is the perfect anthology to be heard read aloud. The stories are intriguing and engaging, and the performances are spot on. Each one was the perfect length for one of my walks in the hills. Looking forward to the next X-Files anthology!
"a delightful reminder of why I fell in love with"
I’ve been a fan of The X-Files since it premiered on FOX way back in 1993. I remember, quite fondly, watching the premiere with my mother and then, later, with friends as a trio of us creeped-out teens went for a walk around the neighborhood in the dark following the initial airing (and only airing on FOX) of the episode “Home.” Wandering the quiet, moonlit streets had not felt like the best of ideas so soon after meeting the Peacock family. The X-Files was one of the few shows I found myself religiously tracking on then-young America Online message boards, and then, many years later, I found myself tweeting #XFiles3 along with many other fans, begging 20th Century Fox for a third movie to wrap things up and properly celebrate the show’s twentieth anniversary. A third movie never happened, but the TV show did get a small reboot on-air, with the promise of more to come. I found myself in a rare spot for a man schooled by The X-Files and Agents Mulder and Scully, as we appeared to be recapturing the cultural zeitgeist that gave rise to the series and suddenly had new material featuring the intrepid agents in the form of comic books from IDW, a fresh batch of TV episodes, and, now, this first book in a series of anthologies – I found myself believing and trusting that The X-Files was alive once again.
Trust No One, edited by Jonathan Maberry, presents fifteen short stories from various authors, each opening up a new X-Files case that finds our intrepid FBI’s Most Unwanted chasing after, or being on the run from, paranormal activity and black-suited government agents of ill repute, some of whom leave behind the strong odor of cigarette smoke. Tim Lebbon starts the book off in strong fashion with “Catatonia,” about a group of missing teens who have returned and are catatonic. My favorite, though, was Brian Keene’s “Non Gratum Anus Rodentum,” a Skinner-centric story that involves were-rats and his history in Vietnam. Like most other anthologies, Trust No One is a mixed bag. I didn’t love every story here, but there are a number of truly worthwhile X-Files investigations that deserve exploration. Other standouts includes “Paranormal Quest” by Ray Garton and “The House on Hickory Hill” by Max Allan Collins, a pair of haunted house stories with a welcome twist in each. Kevin J. Anderson, who wrote a number of The X-Files books back in the day, is a welcome and familiar voice to the anthology with his story “Statues.”
Tackling these stories are narrators Bronson Pinchot and Hillary Huber, whose duties are divided between Mulder’s and Scully’s points-of-view. Pinchot carries the bulk of this book’s fifteen-plus hours run-time, but the two narrators occasionally work together on a single story that shifts between Mulder and Scully, and Huber narrates the handful of Scully-centric stories solo. Both Pinchot and Huber deliver a solid enough narration, with Pinchot showing a dynamic range in character voices and regional accents. And while Pinchot handles Mulder’s deadpan dialogue well enough, it does take some time getting used to new, different actors inhabiting the roles that Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny, and supporting cast members like Mitch Pillegi and William B. Davis, have made so iconic and familiar. On the production end of things, I have no complaints. The sound quality is fine, and the audio is crisp and clean, making for an easy listen.
Trust No One may not completely capture the glory days of The X-Files, but it does provide a number of intriguing avenues for investigation. The best stories here were a delightful reminder of why I fell in love with this series and these characters way back when, and perfectly capture the tone of the series, balancing the agents’ quirkiness and skepticism, and humor and horror. Those stories alone make this worth the price of entry.
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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Any x files fan will love this anthology. The narration was on point, the characters were true to the show and the stories were exciting and suspenseful. Loved the different view points as well! 5 stars!
"Fun short stories to satisfy your craving"
Mulder and Scully are back! An enjoyable audiobook with a variety of authors.
I thought the stories were interesting and varied. The male voice was sometimes frustratingly unemotional, but I suppose the actor was channeling Mulder's character.
Overall a great audiobook!
"Even on sale, I'm not sure it's worth it"
My biggest problem with this collection was revealed in the first story, and seemed to only get worse: the narration. Especially Hillary Huber's narration. Has she ever seen the show? Did anyone coach her on her narration? In the very first story, she consistently pronounces the name of one of the Lone Gunmen as Fro-hike (accent on "hike"), not as it is correctly pronounced Fro-hickey (accent on "Fro"). Any X-Files fan, let alone fanatic, knows that. And Bronson Pinchot's narration as Mulder is too dead-pan, without any of Mulder's humour and ironic tone.
In one of the stories, one of the character's names changes from Lucy to Tracy. I listened twice to make sure. But, because it was read by Hillary Huber, I'm not sure if that was an author's mistake, or her mistaken reading or pronunciation, given her history of mispronouncing the name of one of the Gunmen. Either way, it's sloppy. And distracting.
The stories are fine, ranging from fair to good, and they'd probably work better on print, without the bad narration. If I hadn't bought this on sale, I'd probably be returning it for the lousy narration, but I might just keep it to listen to a story now and then between other audiobooks. Those other ones might sound better for the comparison.
"I Want to Believe, But..."
As great as it was to see Mulder and Scully investigating the paranormal again in the 2016 revival of the X-Files, it was maybe the most uneven season the show had experienced (and yes, I'm counting the seasons where Mulder was mostly absent). This collection of short fiction (averaging about an hour per story) has a better hit/miss ratio, but only just.
Let's start with the positives: Bronson Pinchot and Hillary Huber do an admirable job narrating the characters -- particularly Mulder and Scully who David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson brought to life. With a series this cult-ish, those are big shoes to fill -- and Pinchot in particular did a great dead-pan Mulder.
Additionally, some of the authors really enjoy playing in the X-Files basement office. Both Gini Koch and Keith R.A. DeCandido seem to be trying to out geek each other with references and Easter eggs listed in their stories. I particularly enjoyed Koch's horrific tale featuring Mulder his mentor Arthur Dales, prior to him taking over the X-Files. Several stories take place in the early years of the X-Files, such as Tim Lebbon's "Catonia," which sees Mulder and Scully investigating beside Alex Krycek. While we don't get to see the Lone Gunmen or John Doggett, Skinner does get a couple of fun solo outings. Stories by Kevin J. Anderson, Max Allan Collins, Brian Keene, and Peter Clines would have all made top-notch, monster of the week episodes. I could imagine them just as if I'd watched the stories unfold on TV.
But when the collection misses, it really misses. A lot of this can be laid on the editors, unfortunately. I found Tim Deal's "King of the Watery Deep," in which Mulder and Scully travel to the Middle East, to be a text book example of how to write offensive, culturally exploitative appropriation. (When you have two Saudi police officers, it's poor choices to make one a womanizer and the other a man who wants to see all foreigners killed by an ancient monster). "Time and Tide" had some ambitious ideas -- so much so that they drown out the story (and it felt like a story Mulder and Scully were shoehorned in to). I struggled buying the overall premise and climax of Heather Graham's "It's all in the Eyes," and the punchline at the end was a turn off. Additionally, in several stories, there were errors regarding which character was speaking as well as general continuity areas. Some of these are forgivable, others are just bad storytelling.
In the end, this one is really only for dedicated X-Files fans looking to wash the bitter of taste of season 10 from their mouths. I know there are a couple more of these anthologies, but I don't recognize as many of the author names in them, and I'll probably pass on them unless they go up for sale.
Table of Contents:
Catatonia, by Tim Lebbon
The Beast of Little Hill, by Peter Clines
Oversight, by Aaron Rosenberg
Dusk, by Paul Crilley
Loving the Alien, by Stefan Petrucha
Non Gratum Anus Rodentum, by Brian Keene
Back in El Paso my Life Will be Worthless, by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Paranormal Quest, by Ray Garton
King of the Watery Deep, by Timothy Deal
Sewers, by Gini Koch
Clair De Lune, by W.D. Gagliana and David Benton
It's All in the Eyes, by Heather Graham
The House on Hickory Hill, by Max Allan Collins
Time and Tide, by Gayle Lynds and John C. Sheldon
Statues, by Kevin J. Anderson
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