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Summary

Rev Smalley, Galactic P.I., a disgruntled retired EIA - Earth Intelligence Agency - agent is down on his luck without clients, money, or a current lover. Rev’s luck is about to change - just not necessarily for the better.

Rev finds that his former boss, Magnus Blackheart, has sent his ex-lover, Cassie Townes, and her current EIA partner, Braz, to the utopian planet, Tsunam, on a diplomatic request to investigate a mauled body. The two agents disappear soon after arriving, and Magnus forces Rev back into service to find his missing agents.

©2016 Scott Combs (P)2017 Scott Combs

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Sci-fi buddy cop book

Both the author and narrator were new ones to me, but the setup for this book seemed like it would be fun and thankfully that proved to be the case as the author builds an interesting scifi world and uses it well as the setting for a detective novel featuring Rev Smalley as the star of a varied cast.

Besides the aforementioned Rev, the most notable character in the book is probably not one of the humans, but is instead an automaton he names Flint and who becomes his new partner and friend over the course of the book.

Rev is a former EIA agent and one of the two remaining products of a eugenics project that resulted in a person having greater strength, longevity etc. He is brought back to the action by his former boss, Magnus, who wants him to investigate the disappearance of his ex-lover Cassie and her current EIA partner, Braz who had been investigating an unusual murder on the planet Tsunam.

The narrator did a very good job with bringing these characters to life and nicely enhanced the story in the process.

Overall, this was a very good combination of story and narration that resulted in a fun book that has me interested in seeing how the series progresses.

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

We are becoming diverse, cell by cell.

Rev Smalley is anything but small. He is large in stature, said to be so also in intellect, one of only two surviving men who participated in a genetics program decades before which also extended his longevity (he and his erstwhile friend Magnus Blackheart are currently 129 years old and only look 40, or 38, according to an indignant Rev) and he is enormous when it comes to self opinionated belief. Now existing on a meager pension and scraps of private investigation work, he agrees to undertake a mission for his old agency in return for large financial reward and because two other agents, his ex-girlfriend and ex-partner, went missing when they were sent.
His task is to find the missing agents and solve a murder. The victim is a woman, ripped apart and left in a park on a planet where almost no crime exists. the last murder had been almost 10,000 years ago. An apparently utopian planet but obviously something is very wrong ...

There are some great ideas in the story but, although amusing, it can be annoying, too. The writing is very visual and studiously simplistic, like reading a comic book without the pictures. And despite some interesting beasts, and curious twists and turns, these latter are predictible, almost requiring the response "It's behind you", as in a pantomime participation.

The narrator does a good job, his rich voice well cadenced and the characters given their own distinctive speech. At first both book and reading seemed to be an excellent pairing but after some eight hours, this reader felt the need to inject something extra to maintain interest, so the speed was increased to 1.25, which helped a little.
Lots of potential here, but for me the book was too flat with two dimensional protagonists, none of whom could hold my interest or affection. Curiously, the character most endowed with human personality was the little automatron named Flint who is partnered with Rev on Tsunam..
Not for me. However, with the right casting, this could easily translate into a fun film (or three.

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Profile Image for cosmitron
  • cosmitron
  • 21-03-18

Galactic Mystery Comedy.

Would you listen to The Beast of Tsunam again? Why?

No but it was imaginative with interesting characters.The Tech was fun and the story carried
some interest.

What did you like best about this story?

The AI

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

First time he is a capable narrator.

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

Not really.

Any additional comments?

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

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Myztikal
  • Myztikal
  • 31-03-18

Reverend Smalley

The Beast of Tsunam was mostly an off-world adventure of a special agent investigating a murder on a planet where murders just don’t happen.
Hedging toward a hostile domestic terrorist or an intergalactic plot in the works made it fell like it would be more - well, more intriguing, more depth, more surprises, more suspenseful.
However, the mini sub plots kept distracting me. As each sub plot was uncovered and concluded, I caught myself thinking - oh! It’s over. That was pretty good and was that really 11 1/2 hours? Because I’d forget we still haven’t solved the major problem ... Each time.
So it did have a lot of smaller issues that needed unraveling to conclude the reason why he was even on the planet.
Perhaps I’m jaded, but the whole “Take me now” that every female wanted him was just too redundant and tiring. First, Smalley wanted everyone. Then he’s come to the realization he’s in love with an old flame and is going to be good to win her back.
This made the book fall subpar from my expectations. Another reviewer nailed it when comparing this to a comic book. It is too simplisticly written, it could be geared for a teen or NA audience.
It is a fun, mindless listen/read with caution it has some mature topics, but our teen generation is pretty versed in that realm - only intending that to mean it wouldn’t shock, repel, nor insult them.
Mr Combs’ previous works seemed more skilled, tighter, and constructed for light reading for adults; this could be enjoyed by a broader audience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for norman
  • norman
  • 29-03-18

Science Fiction Adventure

The Beast of Tsunam is a fast paced science fiction adventure story. Written in the style of L Ron Hubbard pulp sf, it has heroes, villains, damsels in distress, and more than a touch of comedy. But, thankfully, no moralizing! Rand Doerning narration was admirable, handling a sentient A I, monsters, and a young Irish lady, all with equal aplomb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Rob Cooke
  • Rob Cooke
  • 27-03-18

A building gripping story. Some great twists!

I took a little time to warm to this book but after maybe 3 chapters it had me hooked and I couldn't put it down or turn it off.
The story dances along a fine line of character development, action adventure and intriguing story.
The characters grow very organically within the story and you learn more as you move along and you find yourself identifying and sympathising with them or hating them or suspecting them. At the same time this action adventure is mixed with strong story driven twists and plot points that just kept blindsiding me with a frequency I am not used to at all.

The narration is right up there with some of the best, there is a huge range of characters all of which feel individual and distinguishable. The range is fantastic from men of various styles to women of various representations and monster voices that actually chill you a little at times.

In summation this is a book that keeps you listening/reading it has a strong action adventure with thriller elements wrapped up neatly in some very respectable science fiction setting. I recommend this book to anyone that loves any of the 3 styles mentioned as all the elements mix perfectly without making you feel like it leans any particular way.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jackie T
  • Jackie T
  • 27-02-18

Intriguing

Impossible to stop listening once you have started. The Narrator was so easy to listen to. Loved the story and will definitely listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for RJ
  • RJ
  • 17-04-18

Quite an enjoyable yarn.

Galactic P.I. Rev Smalley is initially hired to find out what happened to the two EIA agents investigating a murder on the planet Tsunam. Shortly after his arrival, additional murders create a panic across the planet as A. they were horrific in nature and B. Tsunam had always been a peaceful planet. Rev is forced to accept an AI partner, which he named Flint, and the two are set on the case of missing agents and brutal murders. As Rev investigates he finds there is much more to the plot than one lone irate beast. Ultimately the plan is to create an army of beasts intending to take over the planet. Once completed, an antidote would be used to destroy the beasts and assume control. It is up to Rev and his automaton sidekick to discover who is behind the plan and stop them. The story lives up to its action/adventure/mystery title and was quite enjoyable. This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for TU
  • TU
  • 16-04-18

Fantastic start of a series

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

So, this was an entertaining and quirky sci fi adventure. The narration was really quite good and the author does a great job world building. The characters were engaging and fun. If you like sci fi and/or murder mysteries, this is well worth a credit.

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Profile Image for trixie
  • trixie
  • 27-03-18

Book 1

Rev Smalley,a retired EIA—Earth Intelligence Agency—agent is down on his luck without clients, money, or a current lover. Rev’s luck is about to change—just not necessarily for the better
I received a free copy compliment of AudioBookBoom.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful