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Catalyst Downward Cycle Audiobook

Catalyst Downward Cycle

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Publisher's Summary

Life in a remote oceanfront town begins to spiral downward after a massive solar flare causes a global blackout. As planes fall from the sky, cars suddenly die, and most electrical devices stop working with catastrophic consequences. But in the chaos that follows an ordinary man helplessly watches the world around him begin to break down. While the thin veneer of normalcy stubbornly shrouds the coming collapse. Scott Montgomery discovers the truth, not just about the extent of the damage to the world's infrastructure but also the drastic plans one shadowy group has for regaining control.

A shockingly realistic look at how society copes when the world is thrust back to a time before electricity. It is brutal, deadly and largely fact-based storytelling. Scott and his new friends battle to save their town and themselves. They cannot avoid the steadily growing number of people who have realized that they can get away with whatever they want in a world where there are no longer any legal consequences for their actions. Adding to the problems is an elite para-military organization pursuing a draconian plan to ensure their vision for the new world comes to fruition.

©2016 J K Franks (P)2016 J K Franks

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (4 )
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  •  
    Tony Bough 10/09/2017
    Tony Bough 10/09/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    172
    134
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Scary good!"
    What did you like most about Catalyst Downward Cycle?

    This book is scary good. By which I mean not only is it a great book but it feels real. It feels to be how society would react on a small town and government level. I also really like our main character, Scott. The story eases us into the situation in a way that's amazing to listen to and makes it easy to follow the story progression.


    What other book might you compare Catalyst Downward Cycle to, and why?

    I'm not sure how I would compare this to other works. I can honestly say, think of your favorite authors and if they wrote a book about this topic it would be this book. It's got a polished feel to it with really well developed characters and it feels normal. Normal in a sense of this is our world and this is how the loss of power and government control would play out in a small town.


    What about Steven Varnum’s performance did you like?

    The sense of the world feeling normal comes across really well and also Scott comes to life through the narration. I really liked at the start where we have this calm before the storm, where people are going to coffee shops like its a normal day with a slightly irritating power problem but not thinking bigger, the narration made it feel normal but through Scott's thoughts and actions also to feel what's coming.


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

    I started my own internal inventory of what I'd need to survive and it really got me thinking what I'd do. In fact I was suddenly happy to think of all my camping gear and other equipment as a start.


    Any additional comments?

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Guildford, United Kingdom 29/08/2017
    Peter Guildford, United Kingdom 29/08/2017 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    162
    52
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    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great end of the world as we know it book."

    This just goes to show you do not need zombies, aliens or other flesh eating monsters to have a good end of the world as we know it book. If that sounds interesting to you this may be the book for you.

    J K Franks’s writing is good and interesting, the story is kept moving with good pacing and characterful dialogue. This book is a well thought out and executed story of what would happen if most of the world’s technology failed, what would people do, what choices or actions would people need to take and the grey area between right and wrong that gets wider as the modern world falls to pieces. It is a little bleak at times but that how this sort of story should be.

    Steven Varnum’s narration is clear and easy to listen to, they add threat to the battles and dangers. Each character has a unique voice that fits them adding to the listing experience, making it simple to tell who is who and conveying their emotions. I did not notice any errors in the recording.

    Overall
    This is an interesting book that is well worth a listen. I just hope nothing like this really happens.


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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Dearing 16/08/2017
    Tim Dearing 16/08/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "A really good read"

    This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

    i found that i was listening to this book not only on my way to and from work, but also at work. i would find an excuse to nip to the shops to listen a bit more and even have headphones on in bed just to reach the end of the section.
    You know, it was that good, i may even buy the next one
    Great book, expertly read, fascinating story based on good research. i may buy a few tins of corned beef on the way home........just in case

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    13/08/2017
    13/08/2017 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    12
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    "Easy and enjoyable listen"
    Where does Catalyst Downward Cycle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks in the top tenth. It was an easy listen. Not too tecnical or full of gun numbers. Just enough to go with the story. It was different because to main guy is a computer geek. And has to prep after the event. I did enjoy it. I will get the next book.


    What about Steven Varnum’s performance did you like?

    He had a voice that I found easy to listen to. On the whole I found it easy to know who was talking. But he does need to pratice girls voices. Not bad but a little room for improvement


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

    I did it in two sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    A good plot. Slightly flawed heros. (not know alls). Not overboard on teck details. I liked it. This audiobook was provided through AudioBook Boom free of charge, and without obligation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jim "The Impatient"
    Springfield, MO, United States
    06/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "CME"

    PREPPING IS FOR THE SHORT TERM
    If you have never read a prepper book and your insistent on trying one, than this would be a good place to start. I say that because the main character shows humility and is not a know it all. The book also shows the importance of friends. The rest of the book unfortunately is like most of the rest. That is, it reads like a laundry list. This would be a good manual to have around in case of a CME, but it is not real entertaining. For entertainment along these lines pick up Franklin Horton's, Borrowed World Series.

    CME
    Sorry, but I listened to this as I was driving and I forgot actually what CME, stands for. I do know that it has to do with Solar Flares. The point of this book being that these solar flares caused an EMP. This catastrophe was not man made.

    35 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • thomas
    boise, ID, United States
    14/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "keep looking"

    a guy who likes to ride his bike. that will sum up the first 1/4 of the book. the other part is unrealistic and boring. I really thought a survival book would be gritty and real this book has neither one of these.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue
    earth
    27/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Watching the Apocolypse crash and can't look away!"

    Great story. Well done and very well narrated.

    While the story starts a bit slowly it picks up and fleshes out quickly. The author does a great job of defining the characters and the story environment. The story is interesting and moves well once it gets going.

    There are lots of characters to like and dis-like. The narrator does a great job with the story and it is very easy to keep all the characters straight, no easy task given the variety within the story.

    This was a very entertaining and enjoyable listen. I look forward the the other books in the series.

    This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • jessicarose10
    28/12/16
    Overall
    "Where's book 2 ?"

    This is one of the best end of the world books I have read this year. Unique.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • TinkerMel
    So Cal
    10/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "On to book two"

    The end of the world kind of books seem to be all the new rage right now. they are all starting to sound the same. and some with NOTHING to do with the end of the world genre. The last few books I've read have just not been good. I was leery of getting this book. I am so glad I did. This book has a great storyline. Action adventure and great characters. I am very glad I took the chance on this book.
    it also has a few good tips in it, with out being boring.
    though I will say, the first chapter seems to be about the love of Bicycle riding. But as the story goes on you see you why that was important.

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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lone Mopper
    Brookfield, WI, United States
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Different & Compelling Dystopian Novel"
    If you could sum up Catalyst Downward Cycle in three words, what would they be?

    Not predictable dystopia


    What other book might you compare Catalyst Downward Cycle to and why?

    You really can't since there aren't any zombies or EMP strikes by terrorists, this is what gives this book a different twist plus the act that starts the collapse is really a minor issue compared to the results of the act.


    What does Steven Varnum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Steven does an excellent job between the voices of the characters and you can hear/feel the emotions which is essential for good story telling


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

    I still can't stand bicyclists on the road who don't follow the same laws cars have to but I can ignore that when faced with a good story.


    Any additional comments?

    I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and since I was raised by my momma to never lie, you can trust my review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    SEATTLE, WA, United States
    22/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beginning of what looks like a great series!"
    What did you love best about Catalyst Downward Cycle?

    Most of it, frankly. The underpinning is rather derivative ( global EMP and resulting chaos ) but the accuracy of the situations is fascinating, as is the interplay of the characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The fellows that our hero befriends are compelling.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Varnum – was your favorite?

    He did excellent work on them all. Can't parse them out.


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

    The scene with the niece alone in the house is good.


    Any additional comments?

    Franks does use the story as a political statement platform, and this did get tiresome at times ( alot of the time, actually ) . That said, I looked past it and tried to see the value in the pure entertainment and educational value of the story, and found it.

    I was provided this book for free via Audioblast in exchange for this review, which is fair and balanced. I recommend this for credit use, and enjoyed it for its genre, but it does come with some pretty heavy political baggage so listener be ware.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    22/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great idea, decently executed, some faults"
    Would you try another book from J K Franks and/or Steven Varnum?

    Yes, I probably would although I wouldn't necessarily seek out one purposefully like I might with other authors and narrators. Considering Catalyst seems to be a first release for both I expect that future endeavors will begin to feel more polished, so I'll keep my eyes on them.


    Did Steven Varnum do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrator does a great job overall, although I could only give 3 stars.

    For the most part his characterizations were excellent (reminded me a little of Jeff Gurner who did the Daemon series among other works), and this is coming from someone who usually has a tough time listening to "voices". However this is also part of why I dropped Performance to 3 stars. He has GOT to change his female voice! Some narrators are really good at simply "softening" their female character voices vs trying to change the actual pitch - this is a must for Mr Varnum in my opinion. The saving grace here is that there are very few female characters in this book.

    There were a number of mis-pronounced words, not complicated words either. Not enough to distract from the listen but enough to warrant a mention. There were also oddly placed pauses in many sentences, almost as though he was using the end of a line as a period rather than continuing the flow to the next line to complete the sentence. Again, not completely distracting but a little awkward. Some better editing may have picked these up and perhaps cleaned them up a bit and surely this will get better with narration experience.

    I expect to see much more from Steven in the future, hopefully he will be narrating the next book in the series - but only if he addreses the above criticisms :)


    Was Catalyst Downward Cycle worth the listening time?

    Yes, overall I did enjoy Catalyst. The story had somewhat of a "One Second After" feel although I could have used more time spent on the rebuilding of the community; it kind of fast-forwards through a lot of this.

    In fact, there is quite a lot of "glossing over" in the book. In some areas we get excellent story-telling and wonderful detail while other areas simply skipped over details or left loose ends.

    There were also areas where I felt unsure that the author did all of his homework as well as some obvious editing misses but, unlike some other books in this genre, I never once felt like turning it off or that I couldn't finish.

    But still, minus some irritants, this was a fun book. The story had some unique elements while still following a very familiar formula. The primary protagonist was well-written and likeable and I found myself caring about what happens next. Although the writing in general only gets 3 stars from me, I will likely seek out the next book in the series with my fingers crossed, hoping that some of the negative nuances are cleaned up.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cycletrash
    16/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Here Comes the Sun!"
    Where does Catalyst Downward Cycle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 15%


    What other book might you compare Catalyst Downward Cycle to and why?

    Numbers Game Sage because it is slightly different in the story line.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Varnum – was your favorite?

    Scott comes to mind...


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

    No, but some of the violence is very nasty. Kind of needed for the story line but, wow.


    Any additional comments?

    I was provided this free review copy audiobook by the author or narrator." This review is for the audio copy of Catalyst Downward Cycle by J K Franks and narrated by Steven Varnum.
    Oh no, another EOTWAWKI book!!! This book did a great job of character development, made you very interested in what was going on where, and made you like or dislike the different characters. It was well written in that it kept my attention throughout the book. It was very believable to me and the characters responded to the different situations much like I would expect them to. It was plausible and believable. And it was good enough for me to continue on to book 2 of the series. The narrator did a great job with accents and different voices. Never once did I cringe at any of his attempts to perform a screech or shout for a female part. Overall a very enjoyable end of the world read…!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • audra dryer
    12/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyed this!"

    Really enjoyed this! Liked it so much started on book 2 immediately! Took awhile to get good, but once it picked up, it hasn't stopped. Glad I listened to this. Actually has some good survival strategies too. I received this book for free for an honest review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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