Category Archives: Blackstone Audio

Frightful Friday: V Wars, edited 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.This week’s featured book is the audio book production of V Wars: A Chronicle of Vampire Wars edited by Jonathan Maberry:

  • Listening Length: 18 hours and 33 minutes
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Release Date: October 10, 2012
  • Source: Publisher

The phenomenon, eventually referred to as the V Wars, begins on a scientific expedition to Antarctica. A bacteria, buried under the ice for a millennia, is unknowingly exhumed. The “junk” DNA of victim, also laying dormant, is suddenly activated and they are transformed into creatures that served as the true basis of such supernatural creatures as werewolves or vampires. Their ethnic background determines just what type of werewolf or vampire they come, whether they can roam the streets in the daytime, whether or not they drink blood or consume human flesh, etc. I won’t spoil anything but going into great detail about each of the stories other than say that there won’t be any sparkling vampires or werewolves with glistening abs making an appearance.

This anthology, made up of stories written by a host of authors including Nancy Holder, Yvonne Navarro, James A. Moore, Gregory Frost, John Everson, Keith R. A. DeCandido, and Scott Nicholson, and of course, Jonathan Maberry. Each author’s story is a different viewpoint on the V-event…the one event that served as the commencement of the V Wars: a battle between the supernatural species and the human race. What is truly compelling and stunning about this anthology is how each of the stories managed to weave together around one event without really having anything to do with one another.

Additionally, the flow of this anthology isn’t linear, the stories alternate. One might believe this would cause a confusing, jumbled mess of prose, but each author’s clear voice makes each of the contributions wholly unique, almost as if you are reading completely different books rather than one volume all together. That said, this format does not detract from the overall flow of the book. There is sufficient flow and transition in each of the stories that is easy to pick up where you last left off.

As mentioned, I listened to the audio book production of this anthology.Typically, I would comment on the production of one narrator. Well, in this anthology there are nine…yes nine…narrators, including Stefan Rudnicki, John Rubinstein, Gabrielle de Cuir, Roxanne Hernandez, Lisa Renee Pitts, Arte Johnson, Cassandra Campbell, Wil Wheaton (!!) and Grover Garner. In my humble opinion, audio is the format best suited for this anthology. Each narrator’s voice is incredibly unique and discernible making it easy to separate each unique contribution on its own.

I could continue to rave about just how much I adored this audio, but I must resist. That said, know that this will top my “Best of 2012″ audio books list! Highly, highly recommended.

Frightful Friday: The Dragon Factory 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. Feel free to grab the button & join in!

This week’s featured book, in this case an audio book, is The Dragon Factory by Jonathan Maberry:

 

  • Publisher:Blackstone Audio, Inc.; Unabridged edition (March 15, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 144178912X
  • Source: Publisher

In the second book in the Joe Ledger series, ex-Baltimore cop Joe Ledger and his squad with the DMS (Department of Military Science) team are once again facing a fight against a danger beyond the scope of normal police/military work.

The Jakoby twins are unique creatures, purely albino, nearly identical twins despite being of the opposite sex. They are evil to the bone, with a history of creating genetically-altered animals and physically-enhanced mercenaries and the like to sell to the highest bidder. Their influence, in a sense, is their father Cyrus. Unbeknownst to them, he has his own hidden motivation: to continue the ethnic-cleansing plan initiated during Hitler’s rule. Never could they have imagined how far their father’s evil plans go.  It is up to Ledger & the Echo team to put an end to this truly evil family, to stop the extinction clock ticking away…

One of the truly unique things about Maberry’s Ledger series isn’t just the storyline, but the fact that he creates a main character with a heart, real feelings, believable responses to the unbelievable things he is forced to deal with on a regular basis. Joe Ledger is a bad-ass. He’s dedicated to the DMS and to his team.  That said, buried beneath all the bullet-proof vests, he’s a man reeling from losses in his life, both in the past and more recent. A truly genuine character, Joe Ledger is a character that fans from various genres will root for.

The audio production is phenomenal. I’ve said it before, I’ll continue to say it: Ray Porter hits it out of the park in his narrating role. I read this series before listening to the audios, and this is the only time that I’ve listened to a narrator and think “Yes! This man is the only man that could be the voice of Joe Ledger.” He captures the emotion, the grittiness in Ledger’s personality, in a way that others can not.

Bottom line: Looking for an fast-paced, intense, unique series? Maberry’s Joe Ledger series is the one for you. Highly recommended.