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Summary

They'll pay him a fortune to find a killer tornado for their movie.

He knows the risks all too well, but he never imagined just how dangerous the perfect storm could be.

Chuck Rittenburg was one of the most intrepid storm chasers in the country until a bad decision resulted in the death of a young couple who'd paid to ride along. A decade later - broke, divorced, and estranged from his college-age children - he's got nothing left to lose. When a film producer offers Chuck one million dollars to help find and photograph a deadly tornado in Oklahoma, Chuck sees a chance to earn his kids' respect again-and maybe his own.

The situation quickly becomes about more than tracking a monster tornado for Hollywood. FBI Agent Gabi Medeiros insists on riding along. A burglary ring is targeting tornado-ravaged neighborhoods, and their tactics now include murder.

With the stage set for a major heist, a deadly supercell, and a confrontation between Man and Nature on an epic scale, Chuck and his crew will be lucky to escape in one piece.

©2013 H.W. Bernard (P)2014 Bell Bridge Books

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A great story with interesting characters.

Would you consider the audio edition of Supercell to be better than the print version?

Yes. I think the narrator does a brilliant job in bringing the book to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Chuck. He's incredibly flawed and unlucky but he's a decent guy. I like the aspects with his son and the job that he's doing and his story concludes in a satisfactory way that I enjoyed. I find myself hoping that we can see him and his friends in another book. They worked well together.

Have you listened to any of Drew Commins’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. But the narration was spot on for characters, pace, driving the story. I really enjoyed it.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

That's hard as there are obvious synergies with Twister. But this book has its most interesting elements in a film crew pushing Chuck to be reckless and thieves taking advantage of disasters all on a collision course. How do yo tag line that because that's what I'd tag line.

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Profile Image for Matthew
  • Matthew
  • 26-05-16

It's rather windy outside today!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would, especially if that friend was interested in weather events.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Not surprised and more than mildly amused.

What about Drew Commins’s performance did you like?

He was consistent, true to the theme of the characters and entertaining. A very good performance.

Could you see Supercell being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I actually can see this appearing on the SyFy Network, or similar specialty networks.

Any additional comments?

I obtained this audiobook in exchange for an unbiased review from audioblast.

Notwithstanding, this offering grew on me, and although there were some glitches in the performance production ( sounds in the background, some uneven editing, etc.) the overall experience was interesting, dynamic and actually fun to listen to.

Recommended!

5 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Diane Reynolds
  • Diane Reynolds
  • 10-12-19

Confused by my stars?

Well, I liked the narrator- he did great voices and pace. I liked the plot. It was intriguing and made me want to keep listening.

So why two stars? Completely unrelated to anything we’re drops into religious diatribes against homosexuality. I’m a Christian and I have no issue with how others lead their lives and what they feel. The constant repetition was just disgusting. I don’t know if the author was trying to vilify homosexual persons or the church, but either way... not the book for me.

Take care that you will not be able to enjoy the book if this topic is of any interest to you (from either “side”)

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Quella
  • Quella
  • 25-03-17

Exciting and educational natural disaster story

“Supercell” is one of the newer disaster genre books to be released by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard in audiobook format. The audiobook is narrated by Drew Commins who has narrated another book previously released by Buzz; Plague. If you are a person who enjoys natural disaster movies such as Twister, The Perfect Storm, Volcano or Into the Storm, I think you will enjoy this book; if you can get over the heavy use of vulgar language along with some character development issues.

The author knows his weather and he does an extremely good job of educating the reader throughout the book on the subject; in a good way, I felt like I learned new things from the book about tornados and weather in general. When you are finished, you feel you secretly took a weather class on tornados and “Now you know…” you are a little smarter for it. However, you are also taken on an action-packed ride chasing multiple storms until the team can locate the one and only Supercell.

It is clear from the contents of the book, along with the authors information page, that he knows his weather and the book does an excellent job of not throwing our meteorological terms without giving you some details on what they mean. Never did I feel lost in the lingo or needing to look up words afterwards as I have in other books I have read. I am one who enjoys following and tracking weather personally, and Buzz take this to the next level in his book. From a weather perspective, the book did try to make it more exciting and I’m sure it included a few far-fetched Hollywood additions to keep the excitement high as with other disaster stories; but it was not over the top.

I liked that the author attempted to make the book more interesting than just a natural disaster story by adding the element of a team of vicious looters who would track the storms, impersonate chasers or medical teams and then steal from the people they were assisting. At time when the people being helped caught on to their scheme, they would be killed without remorse. This aspect of the book provided the reader with a level of tension and allowed you to take a break from the focus of the chase. The author also added complexity to the life of the characters by throwing in the time pressure brought on by the Hollywood teams and the hunt by the FBI to catch these killers and bring them to justice.

I personally felt there were a few areas where the author’s expertise or research was more lacking. He attempts to bring depth to the story by blending in elements of romance, gender issues, and theology. The last two for me were unnecessary and instead of depth, I felt the topics just muddied the water more than they tried to help. The struggle between father and son and their resolution was not well address, nor did the characters, who often-portrayed atheistic world views, address their theological struggles. Much of this could have been left out and the book would have still been quite enjoyable. The romance between the two main characters also seemed more cardboard or flat than I would have expected.

The story itself was somewhat predictable but did include a few twists keeping the reader engaged. Most reading this genre of books knows there will be a setup, middle, climax, and ending to the story and this one is not any different. As with Titanic (the movie) people knew the ship was going to sink, etc. Here we know there will be a supercell and the action of the book will mainly be near the end. Even though it was predictable, it was entertaining.

As with his previous book “Eyewall”, these characters seemed very similar and I felt that their frequent use vulgar language often had me questioning their level of education. I know most would have been highly educated and professional like with an FBI agent, a storm chaser, etc. but their dialogue was more like one would expect from a sailor; no offense intended to sailors. It seemed that the characters used one or more foul words nearly every other sentence, and these were not used as a means of expression or exuberance. For me, it just made it more difficult to believe they were who they were made out to be. If you do not mind strong language in books, you may enjoy this one. I would not recommend it for younger readers for this reason.

Apart from a few audio inconsistencies with volume or character voicing, the overall narration was enjoyable and much better than what I experienced after listening to Buzz’s other book “Eyewall”. There we no blatant issues that would make the book difficult to listen to, only the few hiccups I noticed while listening. It is not perfect, but much improved from other books I have listened too from Audible. I know it is often difficult for male narrators to voice female characters well, and at times this was very hard to not laugh as at times the main female character would be excited but often sounded like a man speaking in falsetto; because it was.

In summary, if you like this genre of books and you are not offended by the heavy use of vulgar language, you may like Supercell. I will say the narration was greatly improved from that of Eyewall and I was glad for that. There is action, storms, and education for those who would read or listen to this book.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Reg
  • 03-05-16

Author Knows Tornadoes

I'm giving this book three stars because I enjoyed most of the story and the narration was good. The author definitely knows tornadoes and there is a lot of meteorological education interspersed throughout the story.

Down on his luck, Chuck Rittenberg reluctantly agrees to find a tornado for a slimy film producer. And then he immediately agrees to allow an FBI agent to go undercover as part of his team. And then he asks his estranged son to come along. Is this guy a masochist or what? I liked Chuck. I liked Gabi. I liked the film crew. The slimy film producer provided some good comic relief. Buzz had me right up to the end of the story.

What I didn't care for was the anti-religion and LGBT agenda and tone of the story. Because-your-son-is-gay-and-you-are-religious-you-can't-love-him-anymore? It wasn't authentic to me. But I could get past it...and did to hear the end of the story. The last bit of negativity to my review is that Chuck is a smart guy, there is no way he would be so stupid when it comes to contracts and there was way too much packed into the ending for this to be a plausible thriller for me.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 10-04-16

Thoroughly enjoyable.

One of my favourite movies is Twister and this had the same feel as that. Extreme weather terrifies me but it also fascinates me so I couldn't wait to jump into this audio!!

The plot is summed up in this part of the blurb "Chuck Rittenburg is a washed-up, former tornado chaser/tour guide. A film director offers him $1 million to find the biggest, baddest F5 tornado within a 2-week window" of course, he accepts but how do you find the mother of all tornadoes when the F5 is so rare?

Chuck was, for the most part, a good character. He ran a successful Tornado Tour Guide business till an accident caused him to lose everything. So when a movie company offers him a million dollars, he takes the offer. Chuck knows how hard it is to find an F5 but he will do all he can to try to find one. Now, I'm torn on how I feel about Chuck though. The one thing I really didn't like was the way he was with his son, he stopped seeing him years ago because his son was gay. I'm torn because while Chuck did make contact and bring his son on this mission, he still struggled with his prejudice with the fact his son is gay! I will say that Chuck did grow throughout the story and we do see his inner monologue and thoughts about his strict upbringing and how it affected his thoughts on gays, but I still didn't like the religious crap that was thrown our way.

The plot of this, while slowish at the start, really picks up towards the end. I loved how vividly the author described the weather. It shows that his back ground is in meteorology!! I also loved the subplot of why the FBI was involved. It really makes you think, would people really stoop that low!!!

In all, an enjoyable, rip roaring, tense and entertaining read. Once I started this, I found it very hard to put it aside! There was even a few laugh out loud moments, especially when it came to the TV executive ;) This is definitely one to check out for fans of weather or for anyone who wants a great read.

Drew Commins did a really good job. He had enough voice variations that it was easy to follow who was talking and had the right tone for the right time.

*I received a copy of this for review, this in no way affected my thoughts.*

3 people found this helpful

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  • withherownwings
  • 09-01-15

tornado thriller that is a Hollywood as it gets

I am a bit of a tornado junkie myself, so I was very excited for this book. The science and explanation was good. The author knows his stuff. The book is action-packed. I thought it was funny that the author has his character badmouth the movie "Twister", despite the many similarities between Supercell and Twister. There are two plotlines in the book: Chuck gets an offer he cannot refuse to find a big tornado for a Hollywood film company to get footage of; and we also meet two brothers that have been using tornado damage as a cover to burgularize victim's homes and businesses. Both plotlines are well-written and interwoven - up until the explosive finale that was straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster and way over the top. The author manages to give a lot of information about tornados in a remarkably fluid way without static information dumps.

The author did a good job with his main protagonist, Chuck, the down-on-his-luck tornado chaser. The secondary characters successful to varying degrees. I actually liked the treatment of the two brothers who are thieves. The dog, Smokey, was great. The son was a good device, but Chuck's religious objection to this son's homosexuality seemed forced as Chuck did not seem religious in any other aspect of his daily life. The FBI agent that pals along with Chuck was likeable, though her mission and her debilitating migraines seemed too implausible. The romance was handled well, and didn't get too intense too fast for the short time period the story covers. The hero's sidekick Sam was a good character but went overboard on the Vietnam part of his persona. The Hollywood film company bad guy was deliciously slimy.

Overall, this book was very much a Hollywood movie like Twister. Enjoyable, incredible, exciting, and fun. There was some awkwardness in the writing: wooden dialogue, too much Vietnam flashback, sentences or phrases repeated in the same page or paragraph, awkward treatment of the FBI agent and her self-description as a "tramp" and how she related to men that felt out of character. I enjoyed the listen but the book could use some editing to polish it up.

NOTE: I got a free copy of this audiobook for a honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Michael Oberhardt
  • Michael Oberhardt
  • 06-12-14

Another Great One-Off Novel

Ever since listening to Plague, also by "Buzz" Bernard and narrated by Drew Commins, I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Supercell on audiobook.

I have a real soft spot for disaster movies, and just watched Into the Storm a few days back. On the audiobook side of it though, I don't seem to come across many stories of that genre. Movies like "Twister" and "Into the Storm" do seem to be a bit formulaic in their story though and don't really try pushing the boundary of anything other than the special effects.I'm not saying that is bad, but I was kind of expecting the same with Supercell when I started. I was pleasantly surprised when the author added a real nice and very plausible plot thread to the tale - the concept of storm chasers who weren't chasing the storm for the same reason, but to do some rapid looting in the aftermath. That itself added a breath of uniqueness to the tale. And aside from the storm chasing part of the tale, and the crime plot, there is also a thread I can somewhat relate to, in the lead character trying to come to terms with making a conscious break from bigotry he had ingrained and trained into him by his father.

On the (I guess) primary plot of the novel, the storm chasing, the science of it all sounded pretty plausible, and given the author's background, I'd guess he would know what he's talking about.

And with the narration, I really hope Drew Commins has a prolific career. His narration is so easy to listen to. He is easy to understand, and carries off the accents fantastically, so each character is pretty easy to recognize.

I hope the author also continues to write more books! I'll keep reading them!.

In all I actually think Supercell would make a pretty spectacular movie, and provide as much excitement and a much better story than any similar ones out there.

Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 24-05-20

A unique tale.

This is a wonderful story where what can go wrong must go wrong. Wonderfully narrated

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Profile Image for wurzel
  • wurzel
  • 06-04-20

Ho Hum

I was liking the main character and the dog, but I’m just Not interested in a lecture about gay tolerance or intolerance or whatever it ended up being. The narrator was very good. I didn’t stick with it long enough to get to any action parts, because the nonsense with the son was Just Too Tedious.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Jennifer Stover
  • Jennifer Stover
  • 08-02-20

Reminded me of twister

But way too many plot lines honestly. The story had so many different backstories it just seemed a bit much. But aside from that if you just take the main plot of finding the tornados and what was immediate to the actual flow of the story, then that is very good. I didn’t see the point in why he constantly almost repeatedly went on and on about his son’s sexuality. I don’t know if this is something that author himself has struggled with in life or not and just wanted to get his feelings out there on the subject but it didn’t add anything to the story, just took away from other parts of the story. But all and all I did enjoy the book I was given this audio in exchange for honest and fair review.