In 2061 a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.
A desperate plan is formed: recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.
Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.
'Mad' Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission - to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base - but he also escaped with his life.
Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man, he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue and killed all five.
Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world?
©2016 R. R. Haywood (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
I am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks.
So first the positives...
I loved the premise of this novel, Haywood isn't the first to use the idea historical extractions, hell, Bill and Ted did it to help pass a high school class, but Haywood adds enough of his own little touches to make it work. I like that he didn't use existing historical figures but created his own characters from different timelines and created them well. His characters may have been built on existing action hero tropes, but those tropes exist for a reason. Haywood's action scenes were crisp, well choreographed and highly visual. The scenes just popped in your head and kept your heart pounding. Yet, my favorite aspect of the book was the wry, subtle humor. Haywood didn't go for the easy joke, but used tricks of timing and dialogue. It lightened some of the dark moments of the book, and endeared the characters to the listener.
The biggest positive of the audiobook for me was the brilliant performance of narrator Carl Prekopp. Where other narrators would have muddled the humor of the novel, Prekopp enhanced it. His comic timing and ability to seamlessly switch from dark moodiness, intense action and witty banter kept the listener engaged even when the story itself sagged. As an American I sometimes struggle with British narrators differentiating characters but with Prekopp his characters were so vivid that this was never an issue. His pacing was fast and furious when needed to be, guiding the listener through intense actions, keeping them invested to the final resolution. It was one of my favorite performances in a while and proof that the right narrator can transform a book from ok to kick ass.
Now the negatives...
This 12 hour audiobook was 8 hours of awesome broken up by a 4 hour chunk of frustrating. I tend to love those montage scenes of units training together, bonding, becoming a cohesive group yet in Extracted the author made an interesting choice with one of the characters that while understandable and perhaps even, if executed properly, unique enough push the book beyond the typical sci-fi actioner, here it just didn't work. A large chunk of the book revolved around a character falling into a state of self doubt and depression. While the author did a good job explaining why this happened, it just seemed to get the story bogged down in the mire. I went from feeling emphathy for the character to wanting to punch him repeatedly in the face to get him to stop whining. It felt like the emotional rollercoaster that caregivers go through, symphathy followed by frustration followed by shame. This could have been effective if done differently but it seemed to just drag on, almost making me want to fling the audiobook away and spend the rest of the day listening to Korean pop music.
My other negative, and part of this is my fault. I should have known this was the first book in a trilogy, but I didn't and as I got to about hour 10 and realized we were no where close to even thinking about the ultimate resolution of the tale my heart began to sink. There are two kinds of trilogies, a large book cut into three smaller books, and three interlocking tales that have internal plot resolutions but feed into an overarching mythology. Sadly, this was more of the first kind of tale. By the end of the book, there's no true resolution and you feel no closer to understanding or resolving the underlying issue of the novel. Sure, there were resolutions between the characters, and some anticlimactic reveals but the book was mostly a 12 hour introduction to the players. Despite my issues though, I'm invested enough in these players to be willing to continue the ride.
This book was excellent and riveting from start to finish. The introduction into the 3 main characters was 3 great stories in themselves. The characters work well together and the plot is well structured with lots of suspense.
I can't wait for book 2 to come out and hope the audiobook is released in 6th June which is when the paperback of book 2 "Executed" is released.
If your looking for a book full of technical time travel jargon then you'll be disappointed. I was at first but the wonderfully breathtaking scenes imagined and described by Haywood soon had me hooked. Add to that the relationships grown and shared between three kindred
From the get go I was hooked and the characters were believable and well written.
I can't wait for the next instalment and want to read it NOW! I need a time machine to take me forward to get it :D
Great stuff - good characters and twists in the storyline and amusing exchanges and dialogue. Excellently read by Mr Prekopp. Looking forward to the next installment.
Brilliantly written with excellent character insight and dialog, excellently narrated and very interesting story. Don't expect any kind of conclusion- this truly is part one and this book doesn't get us very far into the story.
Now I need part 2, dammit!
Not a fan of time travel type stories but this hooked me from the beginning. It was the performance by the narrator Carl Prekopp that banished my skepticism. I enjoyed it and will be getting the next one. Really good start to the story.
"I double dare you!"
This book is good. Really good!
But the narration by Carl Prekopp is great. Nothing short of brilliant! 5+++++++ stars. I could listen to this man narrate books 24/7 and never get tired of listening.
I am in love with these characters. I don't know who I love more, the characters or the narrator.
I feel like chanting "Harry and Sasha and Ben! - Harry and Sasha and Ben!"
The theme runs along the lines of Dark Matter, but the plot is spun differently. Extracted moves at a fast clip, with loads of dry wit from our MCs and side characters. Each one is so individual! <--- sorry, I know I'm overdoing it with the exclamations, but I'm so happy I listened to this one and sort of sad it's over, but then also happy there's more to come. So, yeah, I'm exclaiming all over the place.
I dare you! I dare you to listen to Carl narrate this story and not fall in love with it. Go on, I double dare you. ;-)
"Fast-Food Science Fiction"
Don’t be swayed (as I was) by the glowing reviews, because this is not a five-star book. At best, it is mildly entertaining and barely worth a credit. When compared to other time travel stories like “The First 15 Lives of Harry August “or “11-23-63: A Novel”, this book barely musters 3 stars. The author tries to spin the story around the paradox of time travel and the intrigue of special operators, but there are no new perspectives or cool techno-geek deep dives on these topics. Instead, you get overly detailed descriptions of fist fights, awkward sexual harassment, and the endless manic-depressive moaning of the main protagonist (BORING). I’ve come to realize that the Audible marketing machine is hyping formulaic “Fast-Food” books that hook you into buying the first of a series. In the end, you wind up paying 3 credits for essentially one book. Unfortunately, people are buying into this hype. While we are all hungry for entertainment, Audible Reviewers need to distinguish fast-food burgers from fillet mignon. If they both cost one credit, wouldn’t you rather have fillet mignon??? So, before you give something 5 stars, please make sure it is fine dining and NOT just a Happy Meal.
"Best of the year without a doubt!"
Easily top 10. One of best all around audiobooks. Brilliant pairing of writer and performer!
Just finished it, and so it's fresh in my mind. The pacing...the rhythm...the underlying concept. It is remarkable.
Simply put, Carl, with this performance, moved to the top tier of my audio performer stars. A simply stellar piece of work. He owns these characters so profoundly it is scary. Frankly, this is one of the best audio performances I have ever heard. Done.
Yes, in so many ways.I could barely listen to the stories today while I was doing my routine with ( no spoilers ) drama that unfolds. My word but I developed a personal relationship with Ben, Harry and Safr, and all the others ( yes, including Roland ). These are living people, with all that entails.
I need to endorse this offering without any hesitations. Powerful, honest, complex and well brilliantly performed. I was moved by this book in many ways, and am awaiting the next book in the series intensely.
Highest marks, and highest recommendation!
"Leaves you wanting more, in the best possible way."
These characters are wonderfully flawed and genuine. Not the traditional GIJoe type but called to be heroes all the same. Fascinating concept that I havent explored in my reading before. Genuinely has me wanting more. Mad Harry may be my favorite and the narrator brought him to life for me. I highly recommend this trilogy. Bring on Executed. 💪
"I have a new favorite author."
The narrator was great and brought you right into the story.
I started reading R R Haywood with the Undead series. Then my wife introduced me to audible. I have listened to the full Undead series. I tried this book because it was R R Haywood. I was not disappointed. The story was great. I can't wait for the next one.
"Wished I was extracted!"
The plot underlying this story has considerable potential. Unfortunately, the author's writing fell way short of delivering on this potential. There were many times that I almost quit this book. While some of the action was OK, the dialog was often tedious and, quite frankly, juvenile.
The narrator did a decent job with the material he had to work with. However, he lacked range in conveying the emotions of the characters. A little more prosody please.
I will not be purchasing Part 2 if this series.
"Another great book!"
Another great book by RR Haywood! I want MORE! Love the characters almost as much as Howie and the gang. And the storyline was fabulous! Great narration too. Keep em coming!
"RR Haywood does it again!"
If you're a fan of The Undead then you'll love this book too!! I find this book to be awesome. The narrator puts a ton of personality to the characters. I finished it in 2 days!! You'll be happy you stepped into this world!!!
"Rough Start But Great Ending"
It was a rough start but it all comes together in the end. We are talking about time travel and it was a bit all over the place but the author tied all together in the end with a nice red bow. can't wait for the next book.
Best 3 bucks I've ever spent. This thing is amazing and can't wait for the next two. Good job RR Haywood, whoever you are! :-)
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.