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Damnation Robot

Galactic Demon Hunters, Book 1
Narrated by: Bob Dunsworth
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
2.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Regular price: £22.89
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Summary

In an infinite universe, evil knows no limits....

When a black hole exploded, killing Blaze and Elle’s father and opening the demonic Onyx Gate, they had no idea how much their lives would change. 

Now, 30 years later, Blaze is a highly trained astral Marine, and Elle is a powerful Onyx witch. Together, the siblings have formed an uneasy alliance with a misfit crew of aliens and monsters to track down demons, snare ghosts, and destroy hellish creatures bent on murder - all to discover how to close the Onyx Gate for good. 

There’s just one problem. A demon-possessed robot has infiltrated their starship, the Lizzie Borden, and a vicious coven of stellar vampires have stranded them in a graveyard of ships at the edge of known space. All the while, an unimaginable evil is brewing - one they cannot possibly destroy.

Damnation Robot is the Dresden Files meets Firefly in a fast-paced, shoot-‘em-up, thrill ride that will leave you reading late into the night.” (James A. Hunter, author of the Yancy Lazarus series and Viridian Gate Online series)

©2018 Shadow Alley Press Inc. (P)2018 Shadow Alley Press Inc

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Bergstrom
  • 03-01-19

A Glorious Train Wreck of an Audiobook

Alright, so first off this review is going to be in two parts. First, we'll cover the story and style of the book (because I believe that is the most important and pretty much why we're all here). Second, we'll go through the performance of the narrator.

The Story: If you're reading this review, then you're probably like me in that you enjoy sci-fi, the paranormal, thinly veiled mystery, a dash of existential dread, and have a general desire for bizarre combinations thereof. This book combines pretty much all of that, plus flavors of Supernatural, Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dead Space, and I think there's even some hints of Asimov drifting around. The story is pretty similar to a pulp scifi novel, definitely fitting of its "Space Opera" self-descriptor and the description that James A. Hunter gave it. "A phenomenal mashup of Dresden Files, Firefly, and Warhammer 40K" is spot on, and if you enjoy any combination of what I've listed so far in this review you'll probably also enjoy this book. The approach is simple enough to understand, yet well-thought out enough that there is so much potential in the Unknown (which I think is what draws most scifi fans to the genre). The magic that Crash has worked out is easy to understand and simplified to not break the action, yet it isn't an end-all solution to everything (very similar to Dresden). This world is, in my opinion, incredibly unique in presentation and in design, and I'm definitely going to continue on in the series.

The Narration: Oh boy. From this point forward I'm tempted to write in the way that the book is read, but I'm not sure I can adequately describe how distracting and disappointing this audiobook is to listen to. In the sample, the narrator sounds like he's very action-oriented, almost identical to a movie preview announcer. You know, with the deep voice and suspenseful approach? "One man. A seasoned space marine. *insert charismatic image of a scarred man in uniform*. Captain of a haunted ship. *cinematic flyby* His twin sister. *scene of a boy and girl playing together at a young age* A witch wielding demonic power. *incredible displays of power* Together. They fight the forces of evil. *demons and hellspawn emerge from a dark portal* Until they find an evil. They can't stop. *eyes glowing in the darkness* This summer. Can these two come together? *title display* DAMNATION ROBOT! *music blasts indiscriminately*"

Seriously. That's how the novel is read. There is inflection and emotion, sure, but it is so predictable and regular that instead of the roller coaster of reading that comes from narrators like Ray Porter, R.C. Bray, Nick Podehl, or even Wil Wheaton, where the pace goes up, down, side to side, faster, slower, and follows the punctuation of the story we get the equivalent of sledding down a hill. Each sentence starts high, then ends at the bottom. High again, then back at the bottom...and repeat for ten hours. The main characters are supposed to be Hispanic (judging from the full names of the main characters and use of various Spanish profanity), but the way the book is read is like a upper-middle class white dad trying to impress his daughter's Hispanic boyfriend and be "hip" and "cool." It's actually made me cringe more than several times. The narrator also inserts much of his own punctuation at the most inopportune times, which makes characters in the middle of emotional or stressful scenes seem robotic and stereotypical. One scene, with the vampires mentioned in the description of the book, one vampire begins to ramble as they "give in to the madness" about needing blood. Instead of a frenzied, hunger-driven madness, however, we the listeners are presented with a high school pre-dress rehearsal reading of a script; the role of "Vampire #3" being handled by Google Translate because the actor/actress couldn't make it to the session. I actually had to pull the book up on my Kindle and read along to make sure it wasn't just poorly written lines that were the issue (by the way, it was written fine). It reminded me of a reading of The Eye of Argon by Yahtzee Croshaw (it's on YouTube, and it's hilarious).

All in all, FANTASTIC story thus far. It's interesting, the chemistry between characters is wonderfully different and unique per character, there's drama and all kinds of action that will scratch pretty much any itch you may have, assuming you're interested enough in the descriptor to read this review. However, I highly advise reading the book yourself over listening to this audiobook, because the narration is terrible. I'm only continuing to listen because I don't have much free time to read, but all kinds of time to listen on my long drives to and from work. Maybe I've been spoiled by narrators of high caliber, but my goodness I'm pretty sure my dyslexic gaming buddy would put on a better performance. I hate to say it, but there it is.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 27-11-18

I rather enjoyed this book

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I'm not really sure what other reviewers are hearing, because I thought the narration was decent. I mean, it's not the best I've heard, but his voice was interesting and he put plenty of inflection into his voice. The story was great too. All in all, I really enjoyed it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dragonis
  • 24-11-18

Read, don't listen

The story was pretty good but the narrator was not. The voicing was totally off on almost all the characters which made it hard to listen to. The hardest parts were with the bits of Spanish that were not pronounced properly. It drove me nuts.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 14-11-18

Good story, terrible narrator.

The story was OK. The narrator was robotic. Had a hard time getting through the whole book.

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