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Summary

This collection is packed with deceit, paranormal, and deadly thrills.

This boxed set includes The Man Behind the Monster, God's Little Monster, The Monster Inside the Monster, The Monster's Adventure, and The Monster's Death.

©2017 Sarah Noffke (P)2017 Sarah Noffke

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katy W
  • 06-08-18

absolutely amazing!

the whole box set was outstanding! seeing the evolution of the characters, especially Ren kept me completely enthralled in the stories. the voice acting brought the stories to life, but the writting was awesome and the story makes me excited to read the rest of Sarah's stories!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Margaret
  • 02-07-18

This guy’s complex

This is the second series (I previously listened to the Olento Series) I’ve listened to by this author and I would definitely listen to another. I loved the insight into Ren and all the backstory that helped expand upon the Olento Series characters. His abilities are interesting and well thought out. I think Ren was shown to be a more compassionate and empathetic character, he just lacked the appropriate follow through or outward reaction. I really quite feel for the guy.

Although several of the books in this set are distinct sections of Ren’s life, and could probably be read out of order, I think it’s best to follow the order as each book compliments the next. We are introduced to Ren’s daughter as well as his grandchild.

This is the first book I’ve listened to by this narrator and I would listen to another. He did a fabulous job giving each character an individual voice and I think he brought out the nuances in Ren’s personality. I thoroughly enjoyed listening.

There are no explicit sex scenes or excessive violence. There is some swearing.

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

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Zarah
  • 14-12-17

ok, but a spin-off

Ren: The Man Behind the Monster (Book #1)
This was ok. It's perfectly readable, the narrator did a good job and it's part of an interesting world. The thing is that I didn't know that all of Noffke's series are set in the same world when I started this, so I was surprised. That would have been fine though, except that Ren is OBVIOUSLY a character from another series. And since Ren gets mixed up with the Lucidites society, I imagine he's a character in the Lucidites series.

The book does stand alone. But you can still tell it's a spinoff. You can FEEL it. The book is basically the highlights of one man's 45 year life, starting at about 7. As you can imagine, that doesn't leave room for a lot of detailed exploration. It's his first person recount of living his life. Several times he references other occurrences or people, but says he's not telling that story and instructs the reader to find that book.

I've not read any of the Lucidties books, but I'd bet even money that at least some the events that Ren talks about are the events of those books from his perspective, instead of whomever lives them in the other series. This was not enjoyable for me, to just get a bullet point version of something with instruction to go find it elsewhere if I want more.

What's more, I found Ren a seriously unlikable character. I found it hard to spend a whole book with a bitter, narcissistic, unpleasant man. I suspect you're supposed to read this after whatever other books he shows up in and already like him. You're supposed to know him and want his tragic backstory. Because that's what this feels like. It feels like the author decided she liked a character in another book and decided to give him his own backstory. It's readable, but without previously knowing or caring about the character I found him lacking.

I'll be finishing the compilation, because surely the rest can't continue as the first did. But so far, I'm not thrilled with Ren.
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Ren: God's Little Monster (Book #2)
I enjoyed this book more than book one. In book one I really felt enjoyment was dependent on having read other series by the author. Ren is an exceedingly arrogant and unpleasant character and I found I couldn't like him. But I expect that those who had read the other series encountered Ren after his redemption and came into the book liking him, but knowing he used to be a little shite. I'd not read another series with Ren in it, so I only knew him as the little shite.

But I have the 4 book compilation, so I took a little break after book one and then came back for book two. And I mostly enjoyed it. Ren is somewhat redeemed and in all his arrogance he really is funny. Pair this with the fact that those around him understand him and aren't hurt by the hurtful things he says, they enjoy the scathing wit, and he becomes a lovable rogue.

So, I enjoyed him. I enjoyed seeing him reflected in the new addition to his life. But I generally thing the reveal at the end was one step too far. We'll see how it works out in book three before I make a final decision on that.

My primary problem with this section of this series, and it's one that will carry over into the next book as it was not concluded here (giving this a SERIOUS middle book syndrome) is that the plot is sooooo common. Question: How many times have you encountered a female villain who is obsessed with plotting world domination with a man who isn't actually with her? The man being the hero. Me? This is the second time I've read this plot this week! It's a plot that simultaneously makes no sense to me but is also painfully common. Plus, can a woman not be a villain, seeks to rule without it involving a man? Do we really need a man as our motivation in every single darned book?

Otherwise, the writing is good and the narrator is doing an excellent job. Onward and upward.
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Ren: The Monster Inside the Monster (Book #3)
A third book in a series is hard to review. What do you say that hasn't been said before? The characters are the same. In the case of this series, which is all parts of the same over-arching storyline, the plot is much the same. You're basically left with a review that says, I liked this one more or less than the previous two. And I liked it about the same.

It's holding steady at a 3-star read. I've gotten comfortable enough with Ren to appreciate his sarcasm (though he'd never call it that) and I think it's cute the way everyone else thinks it's cute too. He's like an adorable spikey hedgehog.

Like in the previous book, the problem I had with the book was the mystery plot. I just don't buy the "girl was obsessed with him, planned world domination to be with him, was smart enough to pull it all off, but left the giant back door open for Ren to cancel it all out with ease" plotting. Nope, it was far too easy.

Further, I thought he pushed Dahlia too far in this one and she should have walked. I appreciate that he showed personal growth in knowing he should have felt guilty (where in the past he wouldn't have), but why does Dahlia put up with it?

And the baby plot still has me shaking my head.
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Ren: The Monster's Adventure
Amusingly absurd, but a little sappy and with a rushed change in Ren's perspective.
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Ren: The Monster's Death (Ren Series #4)
I'm not sure what happened here, in this volume of the Ren Series. But it was a mess, not nearly as put together as the last three books. It felt rushed and barely put together. What's more, I refuse to accept hand-waving, "invent these never before possible things and do it within a week" plot points. And the ending was just ridiculous.

The narrator, however, did a wonderful job with all it.

Note: I received a free copy of this audiobook. I seem to remember I won it in a giveaway (I think). Regardless, it was my choice to listen to it and review it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marchlynn
  • 13-12-17

loved the narrator

What did you love best about Ren Series Boxed Set, Book 1-4?

That I was able to download the whole series with one credit ;)

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ren himself.

Any additional comments?

I normally only read non-fiction, but remembered how much I loved fiction when I was a teenager. So after lots of research and listening to many samples I chose to listen to this book series and it was totally worth it. I downloaded it last Thursday and if I would not have been in the middle of finals, it would not have taken me 6 days to listen to.

While I liked the first book. The second was even better while I didn't think I could enjoy book 3 even more. 3.5 was a cute addition and 4 was interesting, although not as enticing as the other ones.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kitty ranma
  • 11-12-17

Phenomenal saga

I've never read Sarah Noffke before but I'll definitely be reading more.
This is a wonderful story I could barely stop listening, I went through it in 3 days and it's more than 25 hours long. It was so much fun.
The narrator brings you instantly in to the story.
This is a keeper I'll definitely listen again.
I received this audio book at my request by the author, publisher or narrator. For a unbiased review.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Easy-to-read, Happily Ever After, Wonderful characters, Unpredictable, Page-turner, Romantic, Entertaining, Witty, Great world building, Haunting, Twisted, Action-packed, Original, Tragic, Funny, Inspirational.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristen Lewendon
  • 02-11-17

It's hilarious and tragic, which is an unexpected

Ren: The Man Behind the Monster
I'm completely hooked now. This is the first title by Noffke that I've read and it most definitely won't be the last. There's enough here that references other series that have intrigued me to the point that I want to read everything. Ren isn't the easiest character to like. He's been through some very hard things that have left him bitter and forced him to chose to be alone. The whole story is very true to his character which sometimes makes the emotions hard to get through. But the whole story is so compelling I can't wait to dig into the next one.
Ren: God's Little Monster
I enjoyed this, but I didn't really feel like it was a full and complete story in and of itself. Sure Ren solves some puzzles during the course of the book but all the problems he has at the beginning of the story are still there at the end. I couldn't pinpoint a specific story arc in this. By that, I mean that there's no satisfying resolution to a particular challenge. To me, it felt like this book's main function was to teach us more about Ren and introduce several new characters who will be important in future books. Which is all well and good, I guess I just wanted a little more out of it.
Ren: The Monster Inside the Monster
This man causes me the most profound stress while trying to decide whether I love him or hate him. He's sarcastic and bitter and downright cruel, but he's lived a life that's caused him to disconnect from his emotions in order to survive. So my options are to throttle him or hug him I just and can't make up my mind which would be the better choice. Ren undergoes some pretty extensive personal growth during this book. The two previous books hinted that something major was coming but I admit I wasn't expecting this. I consider it a prime example of the author's skills that she can give us such a thoroughly unlikable character that we love anyway.
Ren: The Monster's Adventure
It's hilarious and tragic, which is an unexpected pairing. Ren has been dragged along on the most disastrous family vacation ever. The author's ruthless application of the question "what's the worst that can happen?" liberally spiced with Murphy's Law gives us a road trip that awe inspiring in it's ridiculousness. Add Christmas Carol-like visitations with three wise women, and Ren's forced to confront his fears and shortcomings. With every new book in this series, curmudgeonly Ren becomes more and more human to us.
Ren: The Monster's Death
A stunning conclusion. The awe-inspiring mix of physics and metaphysics, blending theoretical science with Dream Traveler skills more akin to ancient mysticism. I will warn you that tissues will probably be necessary, they were for me. This book brings Ren full circle, and some of the things he discloses, even some of the things he discovers, have the emotional impact of a speeding bullet train. Ren has always believed he was a god among men and perhaps he truly is.
I received a complimentary copy of this book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosemary Hughes
  • 01-09-17

A monster turns to a God

This is a brilliant series, portraying the journey through life of one burdened with "Gifts".

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 31-08-17

Can't help but feel for the man you want to hate

Would you consider the audio edition of Ren Series Boxed Set, Book 1-4 to be better than the print version?

I did not read them, but listening to Tim's narration brought the character of Ren to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ren Series Boxed Set, Book 1-4?

The extra book which is actually #3.5 was the most revealing. His air of superiority, his disdain for people, all of that he is (which makes you want to hate him) changes in this book. Sarah Noffke does an amazing job of putting you inside his head for the first three books. You learn who he is and what makes him so much better than the rest of then human race (in his mind) but in this book he finally transforms into something we all can cheer for. Best character growth I've seen in a long time!

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to narrow down, but I love his interactions with the lead scientist for the Lucidites Aiden.

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

Yes, but seeing as it is just over 25 hours I'd suggest getting some sleep between books.

Any additional comments?

Tim Campbell gave a voice to the character of Ren which is undeniable. His interpretation joined with the writing turned his contemptuous attitude into strength and conviction which drove the entire series. There were times the first book felt more like a history of Ren Lewis but once it got rolling it didn't stop. This was an amazing journey of one mans life, filled with hints of his past and personal insight which made him more enjoyable and likable. His character in her other novels was arrogant and egotistical, but now I get him.

**Audiobook provided by the author for an honest review**

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peachesnbeal
  • 15-06-17

frkg pheniominal!!!!

This is a mind blowing story! Wow is all I can say! Ren is a number one a-hole, but you can't help but love him for it. I laughed and cried so hard at this story! Narration was on point! One of my new all time faves!

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  • John
  • 31-05-17

An interesting story about an antihero

Ren is an interesting antihero, often rude and occasionally cruel, but somewhere deep inside is a heart. His entertaining story has adventure, love, humor and tragedy.

Each of the books in the box set works independently, but they work best together. The narrator does a terrific job bringing the story to life.

I received this box set as a gift. This is my honest and voluntary review.