Frightful Friday: Extinction Machine by Jonathan Maberry

Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week.

The featured title this week is audiobook production of Jonathan Maberry’s Extinction Machine:

  • Listening Length: 14 hours and 58 minutes
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • Release Date: March 26, 2013
  • Source: Personal copy

*Note: this book is the fifth in a series. Reading this review, I assume you have read/listened to the other books in the series*

When the President of the United States disappears from the White House, the only evidence left behind includes a crop circle on the front lawn, the Department of Military Science (DMS) is called upon to investigate. Unfortunately with the President missing, Joe Ledger and his team are under the harsh criticism of the Vice President, now assuming the role of Commander in Chief in the President’s absence. Still obsessed with destroying the DMS, he begins an investigation into Ledger’s past, desperate to bring him and the rest of the team down. Meanwhile, during a test flight, a top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed by a craft that immediately fled at impossible speed.

Despite everything that is transpiring around them, Ledger and the Echo team must focus on rescuing the President. His “ransom” is a mysterious “black book” that contains very detailed information on alien technology. Something unworldly is definitely amiss and, using their cunning and creative investigation and recovery skills, the Echo team is once again responsible for the safety and future of a nation.

Admittedly, when I heard Maberry was taking a stab at aliens I was a bit hesitant. Never a fan of UFO stories involving little green men, I was worried that one of my favorite authors was crossing a line I would not be able to follow.  I don’t know how I doubted Maberry’s talent because Extinction Machine may very well end up being my favorite in the Joe Ledger series.  As with nearly everything he writes, Maberry adds a completely unique interpretation of aliens and alien hybrids that left me completely entranced. Not even adding a love story (yep!) diminished my love and adoration of this novel.

What I particularly liked about the Extinction Machine was that it showed a deeper, more emotional side to Joe, the Echo Team, and Church himself. In this novel, we see them at their darkest and most vulnerable. It shouldn’t surprise any fan of this series that the team rises above the devastation, guns blazing, taking no excuses.

I listened to the audiobook production of this novel. What can I say? Ray Porter is outstanding always.I have listened to every single Joe Ledger title and can’t imagine reading the print at the risk of missing out on one of the best narrators I have ever experienced. Ray Porter is Joe Ledger, at least in my mind.  He picks up on the emotional cadence of the characters and is expertly able to vacillate through the multitude emotions of the characters.

All in all, Extinction Machine is a tremendous addition to an already outstanding series. It is by far one of my favorite series, particularly in audio, and one I find recommending quite frequently. Fans of science fiction, paranormal, military, and more will be handsomely rewarded if they opt to join in on this adventure. Highly, highly recommended.

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