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Summary

Stealing tea cups and saucers from the Titanic wreck site is not an easy task. Doing it without getting your feet wet is even harder. Dexter Knight and his two mismatched partners have managed to do it, but are finding it difficult to turn their acquisitions into cold hard cash. When one such sale goes horribly awry, they wind up hijacked, along with their technology. Unsure if he's now working for a government agency or a criminal conspiracy, Dexter finds his team dragged out to the oceans deepest spot, the Marianas Trench. There, beneath seven miles of sea water, lies an unknown object far more intriguing than fine china. While Dexter would prefer to get back to civilization and dry land, he finds himself pondering a more ominous question. If he leaves without solving the mystery beneath the waves, will there be any civilization to go back to?

©2014 Cosby Media Productions (P)2015 Cosby Media Productions

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • cosmitron
  • 06-04-18

Great Story very poor Audio

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

I would but not the Audio .

Would you recommend Free Dive to your friends? Why or why not?

This is an interesting creative story with a nice mixture of characters but the Audio quality was so poor that it was hard to listen to the book.

What three words best describe Austin Freeman’s performance?

Average,adequate,predictable

Did Free Dive inspire you to do anything?

Turn it off and enjoy the quiet.

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Quella
  • 16-04-18

A great book ruined by poor narration...

I am not one who enjoys writing negative reviews of audiobooks because I understand how long and hard both author and narrator work to release a piece. Yet, it is harder for me when one element of the team brings the other one down. However, this is exactly what much of this review will cover from my listening of “Free Drive”, a new deep sea contemporary science fiction story. The book is written by C. F. Waller with the audiobook narration performed by Austin Freeman. Let me say that it has been some time last I heard an audiobook with such poor audio recording. I am able to forgive a few swallows being picked up, a page turning sound here or there, but when the entire recording sounds like it was performed in a hollow tin can using a USB microphone plugged into a cassette recorder, it is hard to not point out the many flaws. I will admit there were many times I was going to simply mark the book “Did Not Finish” and move on, yet I have enjoyed and reviewed other book by Mr. Waller and knew I would be in for a fun ride. If you are one who cannot put up with poorly produced audiobooks even though there is a strong story behind it, I would recommend you skip this audiobook and pick up the physical or digital print edition instead.

As usual, Mr. Waller pulls all the pieces of the story together making for quite a complex and deep world and characters. I found the book had quite a bit of mystery and suspense, and because of this, I was able to get past the narration and focus on the story itself. As with many of Mr. Waller’s other works, this one had a strong use of technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and autonomous mini-subs. What could go wrong when you have the technology to pirate the various treasures lost at sea; including many of the artifacts from the famous Titanic vessel? Additionally, what can happen when a mysterious group of people commandeer the technology for their own purposes? This is what you will find out in “Free Dive”. Much like “The Abyss” or “The Sphere” movies, one really gets a feel for how unforgiving the sea can be. Just like with space flight, the world under the sea is unforgiving and unkind. It felt to me that the author did a good job of researching his topic, or he is already one who is skilled in underwater exploration. The machinery, environmental descriptions, and the science all was quite believable and painted with a very colorful brush.

I will say that a few of the conversations between characters felt forced at times, but it was easy to dismiss. It just seemed like a few characters acted or spoke outside of my understanding or expectations of them. Without giving anything away, I would say that you will want to ensure you listen to the book’s epilogue. There are a few things that get brought up that you will not want to miss. The book did end with a few open-ended plot lines, but overall it really is a stand-alone novel with the potential of becoming a series if the author so chooses.

I’m not going to spend much time here talking about the book’s narration as I believe I addressed most of that in the opening part of the review. Because the narrator only has four total book, at the time of this review, on Audible, I am unsure if this poor recording is more a fluke or not. I know it is difficult for an audiobook to be reuploaded to Audible, but it really should not have been rushed prior to proper editing and validation by others. It is not unusual for a male author to have difficulty with female characters, yet the tinny sound and the narrator’s voice just made it harder for me to listen to female characters. There were quite a few places where I observed the narrator duplicated his lines and did not go back and clean up the mistakes which often take me out of the story for a second. There were noticeable volume consistency issues along with some background noise at times.

For parents and younger readers, be aware that there is some light romance along with a few scenes of quite graphic violence. I will say that of the many Waller books I have listened too, there is usually very little to no profanity. It is harder and harder to find solid stories, strong characters, and interesting worlds with such little use of vulgar language. If you can get past the very poor narration, I would suggest this as a book for teenagers or older.

In summary, I can best describe this book as being a great story that is ruined by very poor narration. The world we are dropped into is unforgiving, the characters are well-developed, and the events all believable and suspenseful. If the audiobook gets re-recorded, I would say this is a good book to pick up. If not, go and get the digital or physical print versions and enjoy.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 11-07-17

good story, horrible recording

While I enjoyed the story, and the voice of the narrator, the recording itself was horrible. At times you could hear background noise, or it sounded like he was recording in a box; there were many lines repeated. Obviously the quality was poor. I deleted the book and then tried to download again in hopes the problems were due to the down load, but no such luck. If you can get past the recording problems, the book itself is good; some areas could have been better developed that weren't and others shortened that were overly developed. But I liked the concept.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • 07-05-17

Good Story- Poor Audio recording

First off I enjoyed the story, bit of a sci-fi nerd and this one hit the spot. Interesting characters and the premise was good, have seen similar stories so not new overall. But definitely kept me engaged, which was good as the recording quality was poor. Best description is watching a "B" movie where the acting is ok, cinematography is horrible, but the story still captures your attention. It has a hollow feel to it and in several spots the audio skips and a word repeats itself, kind of like listening to a scratch album. If you can get through that, it is worth making it all the way to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-03-17

Re-record please

The sound quality is horrible. Had to return, couldn't listen to it. Sounds like they recorded using laptop integrated mic. Shame, I really enjoyed Waller's Tourist of the Apocalypse.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marcie Erbes
  • 25-03-15

Of course I liked it

What did you love best about Free Dive?

Interaction between the characters. Humor and wit

Who was your favorite character and why?

Katya, what a complex gal

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

No, but he did an amazing job!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes for sure

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barry C Bryant
  • 31-07-18

Good story, terrible audio.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story but as many others have said, the audio is terrible.

I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Deedra
  • 22-06-18

Free Dive

I wanted to like this book.It moved along so slowly and awkwardly that I just didn't.The recording sounded like it was done in a can.Austin Freemans narration was hard to listen to.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert Merrill
  • 20-06-18

Hightech fun hampered by production.

Story: I liked the story. Reviews that talk about how the tech is impossible missed the point. It's about fantasy. The book kind of reminds me of the Abyss.


Structure: The book was fine. Easy to follow and linear. Also a one off book.


Narrator: Unfortunately this was a big draw back. There was a odd echo and sounded like things falling in the background. Very cheap sounding. The narrator had no range and some lines repeated. This book needs to be fixed and re-uploaded.

I received this book for free in return for a voluntarily unbiased review.

I really liked the story and gave me the feeling I had while watching the Abyss though I was distracted by the poor quality of the production. May want to buy the book instead.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B. Lane
  • 25-05-18

Great adventure at sea

I really enjoyed this one! Waller has written a great story that was overall cohesive, full of character development and story development as it went along, with a few surprising twists.
A group of 4 geniuses have come into some technology that they adapt and use to pull up cups and saucers and the like from the wreck of the Titanic. As they are selling some to a wealthy buyer, several men come in acting like the FBI/police and take them away. But one is never seen again. This was an odd point in the book. We never really learn much about him, or why he was killed. The rest are "asked" to join the "FBI" men (and a woman) to help find a mysterious thing at the bottom of the Marianus Trench - 36,000 feet below the surface. Even the Titanic is only 12,000 feet deep. They are offered close to a million dollars to help these people. They agree, knowing they could be killed if the don't do it. Not sure if the tech will actually work that far down, they adapt as the mission begins. They actually become friends with their "kidnappers", and get into the adventure. But what they find could destroy all of mankind.

I liked the narrator, Austin Freeman, a lot. He wasn't great at doing other voices, he did ok with the men, but the women's voices weren't really differentiated a lot from his own voice, except for the girl Ronnie. There is a Russian woman, and she spoke with a man's voice and a Russian accent! Once you got used to the voices, Freeman did a good job overall.
The biggest problem with this audiobook is the amateurish quality of the sound. It sounded to me like Mr. Freeman sat in front of his PC with the MIC turned on. He sounded slightly distant from the MIC and the audio was rather tinny. The editing was poor, too, as there are quite a few places where he repeats lines. Those spots should have been edited.

But overall, this was a great book. I might just have another listen to get all the nuances I missed. I look forward to more from Waller and Freeman.

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