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Gehenna Dawn

Portal Wars, Book 1
By: Jay Allan
Narrated by: Liam Owen
Series: Portal Wars, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Summary

Book One of Portal Wars, the new series by the author of the bestselling Crimson Worlds series...

Jake Taylor was a New Hampshire farm boy who wanted nothing more than to marry his girlfriend, work on the farm, and maybe one day write a great novel. But mankind was fighting the alien Tegeri and their bio-mechanical cyborg soldiers, and UN Central needed men…men to go to war on hostile worlds far from home.

Jake wasn't given a choice, not a real one. He found himself torn from home and family, conscripted for life and shipped to the planet Erastus to take his place in the battle lines, never to return. Erastus was a sweltering inferno, called Gehenna by the condemned men sent to fight there. In the blasted deserts and steamy jungles of this alien hell, Taylor and his cybernetically-enhanced comrades fight their never-ending war.

As Jake survives battle after battle, he rises steadily through the ranks, giving all to the desperate fight to save Earth. But endless combat in hell carries a cost, and Taylor feels his faith slipping away. He begins to question much of what he's been told, things he'd believed all his life, and the more he learns, the greater his disillusionment grows. He can feel the madness building inside him, slowly taking control.

But when he discovers the ultimate betrayal, a secret more horrific than anything he'd ever imagined, he must decide who is the real enemy…and how to contain the fury and lust for vengeance that threatens to consume him. How far will he go to destroy the true evil and right a horrendous wrong? And if he does what he must to prevail against overwhelming odds and win the final victory, will be become the very thing he has sworn to destroy?

©2013 Jay Allan Books (P)2014 Jay Allan Books

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Profile Image for shalte
  • shalte
  • 11-01-14

Military Sci Fi Fans Rejoice!

If you could sum up Gehenna Dawn in three words, what would they be?

A solid audiobook

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gehenna Dawn?

Jake Taylor stumbles upon a seriously wounded private. The internal and spoken dialogue was truly gut wrenching. This jaded pessimist, i.e. yours truly, stopped what he was doing and that unfocused stare kicked in, a stare that signals "this is a solid piece of narration - stop and listen!" I had another such experience later when a 12 megaton warhead of life changing realization is detonated in Taylor's lap.

Which scene was your favorite?

This audiobook is loaded with several exceptional scenes that trying to pick one does not give it justice. No joke, if you are a fan of military science fiction, and have gotten tired of trying to slog through yet another 34 hour audiobook that you thought would justify your $$$ and time spent only to suffer through hours of exhaustive backstory about some crybaby's "lost early teenage years" on some drab minor space colony; or, after 8 hours of meandering nothingness about the rather unremarkable life histories of the 14 main and secondary characters, someone finally pulls out a f....cking weapon or the enemy finally hoves into view, this book will restore your faith in the genre.

Jay Allen wrote a gem of a story. Plus, and I say this without fear of contradiction, we listeners have been set free from the tyranny of having to listen to the rather amateurish narration perpetrated on us in the author's "Crimson Worlds" series - a very well written saga but, in my humble opinion, tarnished in its narration.

Jake Taylor is a natural born 'alte hasse' veteran and a leader of men. After 10 years of heavy combat on some god-forsaken, armpit of an oven baked planet that really only looks good when it is viewed in your spaceship's rear view mirror, Jake has had enough but yet cannot sheathe his sword for fear of unspeakable horrors being exacted on everyone he holds dear by that conniving bastard Kazan and his fellow evil overlords. Put it this way, "fisting" of women is on the retribution menu - and if you don't know what that word entails, good for you and your wonderful little bubble world of ginger cakes and sweet nothings. For the rest of us, yeah fisting - something I really do not get all that fired up about to be honest, especially if some soap is not in the general area, but I digress......

I think Jake Taylor summed it up quite nicely when he referred to the above mentioned evil overlords as 'human monsters". I have a feeling that in this book's sequel, the phrase "Payback is a Bitch!" will come into play early and often.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Didn't I just answer this question 2 questions ago? How many versions "tell me how you feel" do I have to answer? For all intents and purposes, "Most memorable moment / moment that...particularly moved you" are basically the same.

Any additional comments?

Buy this audiobook! Tons of action, narrator does a solid job. There is even a good-hearted prostitute for Jake to alternately pound and then spoon with into the wee hours! Finally, throw in some misunderstood aliens who really aren't the murderous space scum they have been made out to be, and you have a welcome addition to your audiobook library. I am fired up for the next installment.

11 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for William
  • William
  • 21-04-14

Excellent Military Scifi!

I thought the story here was outstanding! Jay Allan knows how to tell a story.
Thought the narrator here was excellent, doing a great job at making the story highly entertaining and enjoyable, great performance on this one!

3 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 13-02-14

A little short.


This series has great potential but it felt like parts of the book were rushed. I felt like another 2 hours of length would of filled in a lot of gaps. I.e their upgrades and such.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 17-01-14

Amazing!! Action!, Story! Narration!!!

Where does Gehenna Dawn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have to say it is tied with Forging Zero as both stories were amazing, and the narrator is outstanding!

What other book might you compare Gehenna Dawn to and why?

Forging Zero, another great scifi military audiobook.

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

Yes, this is actually his best so far!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was moved often during the book, I was thoughtful when Jake Taylor was reflecting I was angry, I was on the edge of my seat in battles, I was moved at the solitary scene of one solider who's life was slipping away...amazing..

Any additional comments?

Seriously, the best science fiction audiobook I have heard to date! With a great story and narrator,. you can't go wrong!

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 28-05-16

good book but bad in so many ways

okay where to begin. the author spends too much time during the journal parts of each chapter basically repeating what we already know about the character and his past. it's more information that I need and I really don't care.
the story overall is a good one. the author spends way too much time being repetitive though and doesn't spend enough time focusing on points that he really does need to cover. when a major bad guy gets killed we want to hear about that because we've spent the entire book hating him. but the author glosses over it as though it was just going to the bank.
I rarely write reviews but this one needed me to say something about it. I have enjoyed J Allen's other books and I enjoyed this book to a certain degree. it was good enough for me to sit through or just outright skip the parts I didn't want to listen to to continue reading the book. I will even go so far as to get the next one in the series because the story is very good. I hope this helps you make educated choice

1 person found this helpful

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  • Natalie
  • 30-06-14

Great Action Packed Scifi!

I really enjoy military scifi and this was excellent. Great story and narration here made for a great experience, better than some movies I've watched. Can't wait for the next one!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 23-02-14

THAT'S IT! The engagement is OFF!

Let's keep this brief.

I like the work, as it's a military sci-fi effort, but in the long run, it's lacking. It doesn't have the powerful emotion and drama I expect in a military sci-fi novel. More than anything, I didn't connect with the author or the work. And THAT, dear Audible listener, is the crucible by which all good writing is tested, and either is found in abundance or lacking.

For instance, listen to "The Forever War" if you have it. This is extremely good military sci-fi action at its finest. It's gripping, decisive, disturbing, and engaging, something you can't easily put down - A roller coaster ride you never forget. You will sympathize, you will relate, you will suspend disbelief - In short, you will ENGAGE. When compared in the light of such a great work, this is lacking, and I couldn't connect. While it's good, I feel the author could have done better. The plot is a bit tired and very thin, and while I wanted to be more engaged, I wasn't.

Will I get dislikes for my opinion? You bet. Count on it. But that's why it's my opinion. It's mine, and mine alone. So if you don't agree, I understand completely. Still, I hope this helps you to get a better handle on whether you'll connect fully on this author's ride.

So, while I feel there is potential here, the engagement is off.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Julian Caesar
  • 13-02-20

Great Book

Only one negative in this book but first I must say I couldn't put it down. I read half and listened half to the audible version which was done really well. The story and everything about this book was enjoyable. A good tale. The only negative I have to offer and it is a small one is the beginning of each chapter starts out with a section from the lead characters diary/journal. While it was a genius idea, some of the content of it was repetitive philosophy in my mind. From the last four chapters I actually fast forward a bit through some of it. It reminded me a bit of the volumes of self philosophy in the book Shantaram which was amazing and the audio version was also really done well. Geheena Dawn was great buy it.

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  • Merchant Sailor
  • 08-11-19

great precursor

looking for more, need to continue the story of these guys,there sacrafices and wins. make them pay

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Profile Image for Braxl
  • Braxl
  • 16-09-19

Well worth reading and then hearing...

Great story, doesn't linger on the unnecessary, characters are unique and alive. Continuing on to the next book, having read and now hearing. Just like the masters of Sci-Fi I read back in the 1960's...