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The Coilhunter Chronicles - Omnibus (Books 1-3)

Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Summary

2019 Independent Audiobook Award Winner for Contemporary Fantasy

Coilhunter

Welcome to the Wild North, a desolate wasteland where criminals go to hide - if they can outlast the drought and the dangers of the desert. Or the dangers of something else.

Meet Nox, the Coilhunter. A mechanic and toymaker by trade, a bounty hunter by circumstance. He isn't in it for the money. He's in it for justice, and there's a lot of justice that needs to be paid.

Between each kill, he's looking for someone who has kept out of his cross hairs for quite a while - the person who murdered his wife and children. The trail has long gone cold, but there are changes happening, the kind of changes that uncover footprints and spent bullet casings.

Plagued by nightmares, he's made himself into a living one, the kind the criminals and con men fear.

So, welcome, fair folk, to the Wild North. If the land doesn't get you, the Coilhunter will.

Rustkiller

Welcome to the Rust Valley.

The Wild North is full of nasty places, but there are some places you just don’t go. One of them is that scrapyard desert known as the Rust Valley. It’s where vehicles go to die. That’s why you don’t go in after them.

The bounty hunter Nox made a promise to himself he’d never be caught dead there. Yet when a couple of kids end up wandering inside that metal maze, he finds himself with no other choice.

He decks himself out in his finest armor. He’ll need it. That land is where the rust-covered Clockwork Commune live, and if they don’t scavenge the metal off you, they’ll scavenge the flesh instead. 

Nox is used to being called the Coilhunter, but this time, he’s saddling up with a new, more fitting title: the Rustkiller.

Dustrunner

Nox is a wanted man.

While searching for a criminal, the fabled Coilhunter wanders into a tribal village massacre. He didn’t do it, but that doesn’t matter. The clues point to him, and he’s made a lot of enemies over the years. Many would happily see the tables turned.

His pleas of innocence fall on deaf ears. No sooner does he try to find the real killers than posters go up across the Wild North - posters with his face and his name. He isn’t the only bounty hunter out there. Dozens assemble to cash him in.

Tasked with finding out who’s framed him, Nox must also survive the constant onslaught of frontier law. He’s used to hunting others. He’s not so used to life on the run.

©2017 Dean F. Wilson (P)2018 Blue Heron Audio

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

Enjoyable series of sci-fi westerns

I don't know if the author has written or plans to write more books in this series, but with the way things ramp up in these three installments things could get more than a little tricky for Nox if that pattern continues and I would suspect that it would have to expand beyond the Wild North of these books.

Listening to these books as a set, it was interesting to see character recur from the previous ones, it helped to breathe more life into the world as a whole to see the cast grow around the Coilhunter himself, who starts out as a fairly familiar western archetype of the man seeking justice following tragedy.

The tone and voice of the narrator of these books was ideal for the character and setting, enhancing the story and world greatly.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and good value collection of books and I would be interested in further installments from this world in the future.

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

2 people found this helpful

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Ol' western for all

Amazing book also great narration. It's a fast paced sci-fi/western which keeps you entertained throughout their adventure. For me it's like a cross between "westworld" and"wild wild west".

2 people found this helpful

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A pleasant surprise

Western settings aren't normally something I'd really choose to go for but thought I'd give this a chance as it's narrated by one of my favourite narrators. I won't say too much about R.C. Bray other than he is, his usual fantastic self. His gravelly tones really set the main character's personality and he does a great job of providing differentiating voices for other characters.

The Three stories grabbed me instantly and I was drawn into wanting to know more about the universe that Dean F. Wilson has created. This is far from a standard western with an added Steampunk feel and the main protagonist feeling like somewhere between the Lone Ranger and Batman, hell-bent on seeking justice with his many gadgets to help him along the way.

I'd go as far to say that I hope the author decides to expand on the Coilhunter series and adds more as there definitely feels like there is room for plenty more stories.

1 person found this helpful

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Everything I wanted from a sci fi western.

These books had it all, combining elements of sci fi, steampunk and western to make in a highly original world setting. It quite reminded me of the videogame borderlands, and that is no bad thing. Dean Wilson portrays some very interesting ideas and inventions, and I would like to see more from this author.

The narrator is R.C Bray. Need I say more?

This review copy was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review

1 person found this helpful

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Great Adventure

I thoroughly enjoyed all three books in this omnibus edition of The Coilhunter chronicles. The story is part sci-fi, steampunk and western and follows the main character who is a bounty hunter. Coils are the currency in the plot. The story in each book kept my attention and was fairly brisk paced. There are lots of other characters to meet along the way and also some non-human ones too. I think the narrator did an excellent job of both narration and production. My attention was not drawn away from the plot at any time by sound quality or background noises. Recommended listen. I was given a copy of this audiobook for an honest review and have given my unbiased opinion on the product.

1 person found this helpful

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More like short stories than novels.

Entertaining, characters on the thin side, but maybe that is to be expected in old fashioned western is giving steam punk treatment.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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‘Stand down before I make you sit down!’

Great trilogy!
I’ve never listened to steam-punk-western before, but I will be searching for more after this!!
Completely cliche in every way, but brilliantly so and is exactly what’s needed in a book like this! Pure action, brawling and gunfights seasoned throughout by the honourable hero of the tale.
I can’t imagine anyone pulling off the narration of this better than Mr Bray; he is the essence of a cowboy!
Listen to it, you won’t be disappointed! Plus you can’t beat a trilogy for value on your credit!
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

1 person found this helpful

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Has convinced me to listen to more audio books.

I've read the books, absolutely loved these audiobooks. R. C Bray smashes it. Highly recommend.

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Wasn't sure for a while

For the first hour, I was borderline on this series. I couldn't decide whether there was any substance to it or whether I was going to stick with it or not. It felt a little contrived. However, I stuck with it, largely down to the excellent narration and, as the story progressed, I became firmly hooked. It feels like it has a lot of parallels to Stephen King's Gunslinger series for me. The world evolved into something I could believe in without having to work at it. It felt 'natural' in an unnatural kind of way.

Excellent listen if you don't give up too early.

R.C.Bray, as ever, perfection and really brings the characters to life.

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A good western advetnure with a twist

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

The Book

As a collection this is a real treat for your credit (or cash). It's a very typical western in many ways with lots of bad asses and action but it has elements of steampunk/sci-fi that means its a little more than you may expect too. The character is fun and his tale is fast paced and keeps you listening, through the different included 'books' its nice to see him develop and to see the world and characters around him grow to produce an interesting and fun world to play in.

I believe there are more in the series either out or planned so will be very interested to see where the story goes from here and how difficult Nox's life becomes.

The Production

R.C. Bray is as good as ever and his voice and tone fit this type of story brilliantly.

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  • Jessica Bond
  • 06-11-18

Dean F Wilson, starting off great!

RC Bray narrating makes anything great, but so far into this book by a few hours and it’s amazing. I really hope more of your future projects are this great.

9 people found this helpful

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  • M. May
  • 30-01-19

entertaining sci fi western

I enjoyed the book. I wasn't sure I would like it. I am not a big western fan. But it was surprisingly entertaining. I took the chance because it was narrated by RC Bray.

5 people found this helpful

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  • CAP
  • 19-12-18

Fantasy-Western - Wild West at its finest

Book 1:
When I first set upon this series, I thought this was a Space-Western. However, this is a Fantasy-Western. Though, the voice, it's beautiful. The author really captures the Wild West, and you can imagine an old sepia western movie along every step. The character he creates is intriguing with a haunted past. It's so much fun, you don't want to put the book down! The narrator, the same guy who did The Martian, did a phenomenal job as well.

Book 2:
Another fantastic adventure with the Coilhunter. Now you know about his past, but now he has to decide what he is going to do with his future. He wants to help people. But to do so, he has to kill people. Bad people. It's the wild west people, or as in the book, the Wild North. So strap on your guns, grab your horse, and enjoy the ride!

Book 3:
These books just get better and better. I really love the feel of the Wild West and TV Westerns that this author brings. There's a bit more fantasy in this novel as we have a bit of Indian-style shape shifting. This is one series you won't be able to put down!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 28-11-18

Flat-out fun! A wild western adventure...

What we've got here is a "Steampunk-Western" (is that a legitimate sub-genre, I think so).  I always loved tales of the old west. Stories by authors such as Zane Grey, and Max Brand were like treats for me... and of course there were the old movies and serials that played on late night TV... and then along came the Wild, Wild West, starring Robert Conrad... Whoo-Hoo!!!
When the classic western dried up I found a new breed of western tale in the books by Peter Bowen, Tony Hillerman, and Craig Johnson... so it was really a no-brainer to pick up this 3 book omnibus...
Nox (The Coilhunter), is a bounty hunter, and a hard-knocks kinda' guy, who has decided to take on the desert "badlands", and make it safe for decent folk. For starters, this is a tall order, and if he happens to find the people responsible for the deaths of his family, well that's even better! Underneath his hard exterior, and behind an itchy trigger finger hooked into a gun, is a very soft and generous hearted man! This series is just flat out fun, and though each book can be bought separately and stand all on its own, why would you wanna do that to yourself as each story ties into a greater story Arc!??!?
Kudos for the narration by R.C. Bray!  If you never heard him before now, I feel sorry for you. You'll soon see that R.C. Bray is an amazing voice actor! His voice works really great for The Coilhunter Chronicles, as Nox has a gravely, smoke filled voice...
Even though this western doesn't rely so much on horses (and I really like horses in my westerns), I'm good... and I'm gonna recommend it to everyone looking for their next, wild western adventure!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dewey Gough
  • 27-11-18

Great set of books!

Getting all 3 books in one is a steal, Bray does a fantastic job bringing the characters alive. The story is good, follows around a lone wolf bounty hunter in this steampunk-western world, he faces many challenges, moral, emotional, and physical, a colorful cast of characters with typical western names all play into an action packed tail of adventure. First books I've heard from the universe, but given these books, the universe seems like it has a high level of depth and im looking forward to "The Great Iron War" Series hitting audible, so i can dive deeper into it! Keep up the good work!

3 people found this helpful

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  • sylance
  • 28-05-19

Not Subtle, Not Complicated, But Fun

"You're the disease, and I'm the cure." - Marion Cobretti

Lines like this were a mainstay in 80's action flicks; this gem is from the Sylvester Stallone movie, Cobra. If you recognized it and smiled, then this book is definitely for you. The Coilhunter Chronicles is 3-parts Cobra, 2-parts The Outlaw Josey Wales, and a few pinches of Firefly to round out the few sci-fi elements. Together they form a blunt force story of a bounty hunter (Coilhunter) who relentlessly pursues wanted fugitives across desert plains, distributing the only form of justice he knows how, at the end of a barrel (queue 80’s music here.)

The Coilhunter Chronicles won’t reveal anything new about the human condition, stretch your sci-fi imagination, or even deeply connect with any of the characters… but I did enjoy it. While I enjoy complex stories and characters sometimes I just want to turn off my brain and watch an old 80’s action flick. For this action flick, you exclusively follow Nox as the story’s POV and see the world through his eyes. As stated, the world isn’t complicated and most of Nox’s emotions are left out of the story but you'll watch as he tracks down each wanted fugitive. Along the way he picks up several sidekicks with their own simple motivations and experience their eventual bonding. Some conflict and tension makes it way into the stories although I wish we could have gotten more of the Josey Wales dynamic as our team learns to trust each other. I also hope to learn more about the Iron Empire, which is the ruling force in this world.

As for the narration? R.C. Bray… nuff said.

To summarize, there seems to be a complex world in here but little is fleshed out. Enough to enjoy but not enough to fully satisfy. A chocolate bar for breakfast; a guilty pleasure we can spoil ourselves to occasionally but nothing to build a healthy diet too. I received this book for free and was not asked to leave a review.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • KC
  • 14-05-19

Great Steampunk Dystopian Western

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

Excellent blend of sci-fi and western, the world and story reminds me of The Dark Tower.The characters are likable and the pace of the story never slows down. The narration from Mr. Bray is great at enhancing an already good story and not overdoing it on the audio side. If you are a western steampunk fan, I’m sure you have already listened to this series. If not, you may be looking for more in the genre after finishing this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Knut Arne Kvilvang
  • 13-02-19

A good if slightly formulaic western

If you expect this to be a Sci-Fi western akin to the likes of Firefly you will be disappointed. That doesn't make it a bad book or bad Sci-Fi western though. The story is good and engaging, it follows the western formula so you won't find anything ground breaking here. As for SciFI, it happens on another planet, at the start there are hints it's colonized, but this fades after the first book, and the original of the planet becomes unclear and is never really part of the plot in these books anyway outside of historic mystery.

As for the actual SciFi world, it's less scifi and more high level steam punk. Think sentient clockworks, steam engines, and rare electricity and diesel engines, and good old revolvers. No starships and laser guns.

The stories are well written with engaging sequences, and a main character you want to survive and for the first book you want to find out who he is. After the first book most of his mystery is revealed, but he does to some degree evolve throughout the rest.

The narrator is perfect for the book, with a very western cowboy like voice. the book is narrated not as a plain storyteller, but as a storyteller that also engages with the story and acts out the parts. So that's good for those who wants books to be read with a storyteller and characters.

So if you enjoy westerns, steampunk, a bit of scifi and some fantasy monsters, Then you'll enjoy this. if you enjoy any one of them you'll probably like it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John Lampo
  • 26-11-18

Never knew I could like a Western type book

This story is complex and is a great listen. Author Dean Wilson did an excellent job building this post apocalyptic world. The Coilhunter himself is a more grounded superhero that does the right thing by bringing bad guys to an end. Lots of great one liners and I can tell both author Dean Wilson and performer R.C. Bray envisioned The Coilhunter as a Clint Eastwood-esque character. I've never been a western themed book fan but Wilson bridged the gap by combining it with a world that was lost and occupied it with characters that have seen better days but are hopeful for a better future.

Also it was voiced by R.C. MF Bray. No review needed there as this dude delivers EVERY TIME. I remember thinking The Martian was a collaboration with other performers. Nope.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dave
  • 21-11-18

Great ride

A little on the nose but done so well. Wild West meets Batman meets Rorschach.

2 people found this helpful