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Defiance

Thirteenth Legion Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Meral Mathews
Series: Thirteenth Legion Series, Book 1
Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Creation is crumbling around us, yet we can’t see it. War, famine, carnage - it’s just the beginning. 

Darkness is coming for us all. 

They say evil comes in many forms. For former soldier Gabriel Willis, it looks like a motorcade of SUVs storming his quiet neighborhood, shattering his hard-earned domestic bliss. His loving wife and children watch in horror as he is arrested and whisked away without explanation. 

Accused of terrorism and brutally tortured for information, Gabriel later learns that his family has been kidnapped and hidden away. The madman responsible hands him the arduous task of trekking to the mountains of Afghanistan to find famed archaeologist Othia Morgan and return with her - or his family will die. 

Othia has unearthed a secret truth hidden deep beneath the sands of an ancient Afghan village, a terrifying beginning to the end of it all. The lives of hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting souls are destined to be caught in the middle - including Gabriel and Othia. 

With the weight of the world upon him, Gabriel is left with an impossible decision: When should a devoted family man place the needs of the many above those of his precious few? 

©2016 Eric Gardner (P)2017 Eric Gardner

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A tale of Good vs. Evil

Meral Matthews brings this tale to life marvellously, I don't think it could have a better narrator.

The story starts out with Gabriel being abducted from his family home, followed by his wife and family who are to be used to blackmail him into retrieving an archaeologist from Afghanistan, I didn't really enjoy the first part of the book as it involves too much beating of Gabriel (apparently by some government agency) but it picks up pretty fast, and becomes rather interesting when we're introduced to Othia (the archaeologist to be retrieved) and starts fairly racing along once Gabriel meets up with Othia in a cave.

This is only the first book of a series, and does end rather abruptly leaving you with the urgent need to grab book 2 and listen to it now, which is what I am doing as I type.

My only complaint is that the book is too short but that's not enough for me to knock off a star.

I received my copy free of charge from the author, in exchange for a frank and honest review, which I have given above.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

"I mean, come on, Gabriel: angels. ANGELS!"

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This is not the first of a series but the opening part of a serial, basically setting the scene for further books to come.

Any additional comments?

The opening scenes to Defiance are exciting, rather mysterious. A well respected, retired army officer who fought in Afghanistan, is wrongly seized from his home and held on charges of terrorism. Shortly after, his wife and two children are kidnapped, again by an armed force, but this time it is by the group which had set up the husband. They are taken 'into protection' in an exotically furnished mansion somewhere unknown. Later, this same group rescues the ex-soldier and use the custody of his family to blackmail him into working for them. They are brutal and mean business, killing his best friend in front of him.
So Gabriel, the soldier, accepts the commission - to bring back the archaeologist who has been working on a recently discovered temple or, if this is impossible, her notebooks.

The story so far is certainly exciting with heavy supernatural elements..But, as previously mentioned, is only the first part of a serial and, therefore, incomplete. For this reason I cannot rate is more highly than three stars.

The narration by Meral Matthews is good, aiding the tension and somewhat soothing the confusion inherent in the early text. His voicing of the various protagonists is also clear and each is individual. It is his reading which, for this reader, brought the greatest realism to the story so far.

I received Defiance as a freely given gift from the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks for that. However, without having heard the rest of this on going story, I am reluctant to recommend it without fully stressing the unfinished nature of this opening section of a serial.

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 08-02-19

Really Good.

This took me a while to really get into but once I did, i really enjoyed it. It's intriguing, interesting and sets the stage nicely for what's to come.

The plot was interesting, if a little all weird at the start, but it came together and I had that aha moment where it made sense. I was a little put off at times with all the Religious content, but I also think it was needed to better understand the world the author has created. The premise of the plot is that Gabriel is taken from his house and framed for terrorism, he is given the option of helping his captures find someone, or face prison and worse. He agrees in order to keep his family safe. He heads into the mountains of Afghanistan to find an archaeologist, Othia, who is knee deep in a dig. Both of them are thrown into something they never would have believed though!!

I liked the characters. They are well written and developed and I'm interested enough to find out more about them. In all, this was a good read and had made me eager to listen to the next one.

Meral Mathews was excellent. I've never listened to him before but I must! He was clear, easy to listen to and had plenty of tones and voices for the different characters.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Spooky Mike
  • Spooky Mike
  • 14-03-19

The Start of an Epic Battle

Defiance sets up the stage for a great mystery thriller with a lot of action. This book hits the ground running and doesn’t look back. There was a little bit of clutter in the beginning getting the story off the ground but once it found its feet it was unstoppable. This story brings in a lot of different elements that makes for a fun and unique listen. I think it would appeal to a wide range of listeners.

The plot is really designed to setup the entire storyline. The series is not one that you can jump around in so each book needs to be read in order and book one ends abruptly. The plot combines a lot of different genres as it starts out a bit like an action story but then adds in mystery and thriller. I really liked the quotes that start off each chapter. A lot of them are from the bible so that could deter some people but the story is so exciting that that should be easily overlooked. The revolving settings adds to the overall mystery and suspense as the characters travel from around the world.

The characters are well written and I would say that they are the main focus of this book. Gabriel, the action star of the story, is very relatable and seems like he Jason Bourne and Indiana Jones rolled into one. Othia is a strong and likeable character as well, but is outshined by how hardcore Gabriel is. The mysterious dark ops characters add to the mystery and suspense. This is the start of an epic battle of good versus evil and I’m not quite sure which side everyone is on yet.

This was my first book narrated by Meral Mathews and that is surprising. He is a really good narrator and I am not sure why I haven’t come across him before. His voice is meant for narrating stories and was perfect for the tone of this book. The confidence and quality of his narration coupled with his spot on character voices really brought a lot of excitement and tension to the story.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Kelly Watley
  • Kelly Watley
  • 08-02-17

Action Packed !!!

If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read/listen to this book. I can’t wait to read the next book by this author. Once I started listening to this book, I didn’t want to stop until the end. 
 "I was provided this audio book at no charge by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBoom dot com".  


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for The Lone Mopper
  • The Lone Mopper
  • 05-02-17

Setting the stage for an epic clash

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

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and it has left me wanting the next book in the series, NOW.

Great mix of characters growing, developing and learning as they progress through the story line, end leaves you hanging but that's a good thing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Joe Mahoney
  • Joe Mahoney
  • 05-02-17

Thrilling Unique New Series! Well Worth Hearing!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and family. It was really a great thrill ride all the way thru. I enjoyed all the aspects of the story and found it really engaging and some of the elements of faith thought provoking.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot did keep me on the edge of my seat. You never know what was going to happen next and really who was on the right side of things and what peoples motivations were until deep into the story. It was really good.

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

This is the very first time I have heard Mr. Mathews perform but I will look for more of his work based on what I have heard in this audiobook. I believe that he gave an amazing perform that gave life and depth to these characters that made the listener get deeply invested in the story.

If you could rename Defiance, what would you call it?

Gabriel's Tribulation

Any additional comments?

This review copy audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge via Audiobook Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Bethany
  • Bethany
  • 01-02-17

Very intense

I was on the edge of my seat and didn't want to pause. This book was an exciting listen both because of the author's skill and creativity and the narrator's performance/delivery. I could follow the story line of this intricate plot and I appreciate the descriptions of the characters feelings, surroundings, and other "characters". I also enjoy well-written archaeology-related adventures, though I usually have a low tolerance for those that have "heavy-handed" religion themes. This book is balanced with religion and adventure which held my interest. I am hopeful there will be more from this author and narrator combo.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author -- which has not influenced my review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mary Karowski
  • Mary Karowski
  • 12-03-19

Religious fiction at its best

I’ll admit I was doubtful. I’m not big in things that are biblically based but the battle of good vs evil is always enough to tweak my interest. I must say this 1st book in the series was very good. It delivers on the action while not being heavy handed on the biblical. Mind you the character and ideals are there along with various quotes from passages but not in an i. Your face over the top way. Enough that it keeps one grounded in the ideal without bogging one down. Very well balanced in both action and story. Can’t wait for the next one! I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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Profile Image for Jason Begly
  • Jason Begly
  • 09-03-19

Defiance

So the book started out interesting and then I had a hard time following the plot and progression closely for some reason. Everything solidified for me about halfway through and I am looking forward to going the next book in the series even though it was difficult for me to get into it at first. The characters (if they live) are constantly advancing and I felt like I could get invested in their tales.
I am looking forward to getting further along in the series... especially how this book ended.

This story was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Randy Murphy
  • Randy Murphy
  • 21-02-19

Good start to a new series

Was very pleased and surprised by the book. Don't usually listen to horror but this may get me started. the Story was action packed and the characters took on a life of their own. Meral Mathews did an excellent job of keeping you engaged with the story. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for TU
  • TU
  • 20-02-19

A good start to a horror series

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

This was a great start to a very dark horror series. It is fast paced and full of gritty action. There is a large dose of good vs evil and some interesting perspective on angels and demons. The narration is done well. I definitely recommend this to any horror fan.