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Summary

The 200 years' (and counting) peace was a time of tranquility that hasn't been seen since...well, ever. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That's the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler.

But it turns out that smuggling is hard. Like getting-arrested-for-dealing-with-pirates-and-forced-back-into-service kind of hard. It doesn't seem so bad - the military was a perpetual tiki party anyway - but when Rogers returns after only a year away, something has changed. These are soldiers - actual soldiers doing actual soldier things like preparing for a war that Rogers is sure doesn't exist. Rogers vows to put a stop to all this nonsense - even if it means doing actual work.

With an experienced ear for military doublespeak, Joe Zieja has created a remarkable and sarcastic adventure in Mechanical Failure.

©2016 Joseph Zieja (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A good laugh

I laughed out loud at work. They all stared stared at me like I was a crazy person. 10/10 would laugh again.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Patrick
  • 08-09-16

took a bit to find it's voice

What did you like best about Mechanical Failure? What did you like least?

The first third of the book was a bit clumsy and I didn't get a good feel for where it was going (not in a good way). However, as it progressed, it started hitting it's beats and ended up worth the ride. I was expecting something along the lines of Red Shirts (John Scalzi) but it headed in more of a Futurama vibe, not in a bad way. I enjoyed the secondary characters, there were some LOL moments. I won't spoil them, but you'll know.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Neil H
  • 18-08-16

Sign me up for book 2 & 3

This is one of the best first novels I've ever "read" of any genre.
The narration has the totally engrossing quality of a story being told (well), rather than one merely being read. The only other author who has had that effect on me was Nathan Lowell.
There's a character in this book who has a similar talent - you want to stop and listen intently to every single word.
[CALL FUNCTION: EXPRESS ADMIRATION AND ENJOYMENT. OUTPUT STRING: I look forward to the other two books in the series (and hopefully more). Seriously. This book is [EXPLETIVE] hilarious and very well written.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John David Akers
  • 19-07-16

This book helped save my job!

I have hard job, had had enough of the idiots at work. I was going to jump ship . I got this Sunday night ,started in ,and did not want to put it down. I went to work started it back up,and made it through the day! At the end of the shift a co-worker asked what I was laughing about all day. He said I have worked with you for three years , and I have never seen you laugh like that! Get this!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Siddiqui
  • 18-06-16

like redshirts or spacequest

always welcome an opportunity to hear a book read by the author! for better or worse, you get exactly the spirit the author was trying to convey. all in all, it was a funny lighthearted book that was a well needed break from all the serious military sci-fi i have been reading. awesome!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • gagokano
  • 13-08-16

Awesome book, had me laughing out loud in public.

What about Joe Zieja’s performance did you like?

This is the first self narrated book that I have enjoyed. I would listen to this guy read others books as well. He needs to work on using different voices for different characters but he did a great job overall.

Any additional comments?

I have bought scores of audio books on audible but have never been moved to write a review. This new author deserves it. I will be keeping my eye out for any new stuff that he writes. He has a great sense of humor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Emrah
  • 24-06-16

fun to read.

you might consider it cheezy. but definitely fun to read. i spent good time listening to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 08-07-16

hilarious and exceedingly difficult to put down .

my god this book made me laugh out loud many many times . I had such a hard time putting it down. usually authors don't make good readers but this performance was quite Good . The story was airy and made to amuse. The characters unique and we'll defined

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Keepemcoming
  • 23-11-17

What did i do? Reviews lie!

Can i get a mulligans. This has to be my worse selection ever! As for the narrator, its like listening to that person who thinks they can sing, but is so off key that you feel sorry for them. Word of advice don’t narrate what you wrote! Just hoping I don’t select the second book in the series by mistake. Its Thanksgiving, now i have to listen to my relatives, which in this case is better than this book. Epilogue: this book is not humorous!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. D. Dingwall
  • 12-11-16

The author narrates space SF - go buy it and laugh

Would you listen to Mechanical Failure again? Why?

In the early days of mass-market audio books on cassette tapes the label trumpeting that the author also narrated the audio version was a sign that even an excellent story could be screwed up, the flow and pace of the story would be complete {Male Bovine Feces}, and not worth handing over your money.

There are some excellent books out there on the market, completely {Expletive} {Expletive} screwed-up in the audio version by a narrator who has no idea what the author means or wants.

This first book in a new series from Joe Zeija is a pleasant surprise, a light SF space based romp, who knows exactly how the story reads in his mind, and has the skills to bring that fun version to the microphone himself.


Actually Joe has various axes to grind about military organizations, and the kinds of personalities that sponge, leech off, cheat colleagues, and generally take the {Expletive} in peacetime, and also how the mad roulette wheel of promotion can also {Expletive} other people's lives, especially when a war starts.


Looking forward to the next in the series

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom S.
  • 25-07-18

A Truly Ironic Series Title

I will preface by saying that this book may have been more enjoyable had I read it in the traditional manner. For a book that hinges so crucially on one-and-done jokes, the delivery was truly awful. Zieja reads like he's being forced to under thread of bodily harm, as if his only goal is to get past each sentence and on to the next as quickly as possible. I was truly astounded that he seemed to miss the timing and phrasing of his own jokes to such a huge degree. To the books credit, I truly did feel the full emotional journey of the protagonist. Unfortunately, the protagonist spends the entirety of what I was able to sit through moving from annoyed to frustrated.