The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein – Audiobook Review

TPEcover

It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure… Arrival… Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
Published July 25, 2017 by Geek & Sundry
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours 42 minutes
Science Fiction / Technothriller
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 

Thoughts

Wow! This is one of those science fiction novels that really makes you think about your personal beliefs and ask yourself, “how far is too far?” when it comes to human advancement in technology and science. In the 2100s, nanotechnology runs everything, and teleportation is the preferred method of travel. I used to love the idea of teleportation and the convenience of being able to teleport instead of drive around (and just imagine all of the international traveling you could do!), but after reading The Punch Escrow, I honestly hope it’s scientifically impossible for teleportation to ever exist.

I was really intrigued by our main character’s conflict in The Punch Escrow. About halfway through the novel the story gets even more interesting because we begin following both Joel Byrams, and I kept asking myself, “What would I do if I was somehow cloned and only one of us was allowed to live?” That’s not a question I ask myself often while reading!

The Punch Escrow is for fans of true science fiction, but it also has a fair amount of humor. Joel Byram is hilarious and sarcastic. In his own words, he “tells jokes to computers” for a living, and there are several chapters where we get to see him trick computers into doing illegal (but nonviolent) activities for him. Joel reminds me of Harry Dresden, the protagonist from The Dresden Files Series, and also Wade from Ready Player One. So if you are into smartass heroes, you’ll love Joel Byram :)

Fun note: This film version of this novel is currently in development, and I think it has the potential to be a fantastic science fiction movie. Let’s hope they cast some great actors!

Audiobook Review

I am pretty shocked to find out that this is Matt Mercer’s first audiobook narration! He does a fantastic job of bringing Joel Byram to life, and he gives each of the supporting characters realistic voices, including an ambulance (this is from one of the computer-tricking scenes that I mentioned earlier). I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, and I look forward to listening to other narrations by Matt Mercer in the future.

matthewmercerAbout the NarratorMatthew Christopher Miller, known professionally as Matthew Mercer or Matt Mercer, is an American voice actor involved in English dubs of Japanese anime as well as cartoons, films and video games. In anime shows, he voiced Levi in Attack on Titan, Kiritsugu Emiya in Fate/Zero, Kanji Tatsumi for episodes 13-26 in Persona 4: The Animation and Trafalgar Law in the Funimation dub of One Piece. In video games, he voices Leon S. Kennedy in the Resident Evil series, Jack Cooper in Titanfall 2, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, McCree in Overwatch, MacCready in Fallout 4 and Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5. In addition to voice-over, Mercer has developed some live-action web series including a Nintendo character parody called “There Will Be Brawl” and the famous Geek & Sundry and Alpha Dungeons & Dragons gaming session show “Critical Role.” The Punch Escrow is his first audiobook.

You May Also Enjoy…

The MartiantimelineReady Player OneThe Martian by Andy Weir

Timeline by Michael Crichton

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

 

 

Giveaway!

Want to win a free copy of The Punch Escrow? Click on the link below to enter a giveaway :)

The Punch Escrow Giveaway: The Punch Escrow Prize Pack

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Check out the other reviews for this blog tour over at The Audiobookworm!

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Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo – Audiobook Review

Time Reavers Audiobook Cover

The monsters are real, and time is their weapon.

Fed up with bad teachers and daily fights with her sister, 16-year-old Nicole Taylor yearns for something better. Sadly, she’s in for a letdown, because the world ends next week.

Nicole discovers she has a rare gift. She can bend time around her and even stop it completely. With her powers awakening, she must face the Reavers: horrific killing machines that exist outside our time.

Plagued with nightmares and ambushed by monsters at every turn, Nicole has one chance to stop their genocidal invasion. With help from a chain-smoking pyrokinetic, a neurotic sword-wielding assassin, and an icy goth chick with a crossbow, she may stand a chance.

But the Reavers are tireless foes, and time is on their side.

Time Reavers (Time Reavers #1) by Jacob Holo
Published 2017 by Holo Writing
Format: e-audiobook; 8 hours, 36 minutes
Science Ficition / Urban Fantasy / Young Adult
Also By This Author: The Dragons of JupiterSeraphim Revival Series
Goodreads | Audible | Amazon Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥ ½

Thoughts

When I first heard about this Audiobook tour from The Audiobookworm, I jumped right on it, because I’m game for any time travel book. Time Reavers is more about controlling/stopping time than it is about traveling to the past or future, but from the very first chapter we are thrown into the action of the Time Reaver world, and the pace never really slows down.

The heroine, Nicole, is a misfit high school student, struggling with self-confidence, who is catapulted into the hidden world of time bending while on a field trip in Russia. Although Nicole is a relatable protagonist, the supporting characters are really the more interesting ones, especially Daniel, a trench-coat donning assassin who teaches Nicole about her new powers. He’s extremely charismatic and roguish, and the voice narrator Tess Irondale uses for Daniel makes him seem especially geeky, too (win!).

Time Reavers is packed with action in nearly every chapter. If you enjoy fast-paced sci-fi/fantasy novels, you will really enjoy Time Reavers. Personally, I prefer when there is more build up and suspense between battles and life-or-death situations, because that is when characters experience personal growth and deepen relationships with other characters. Aside from some minor details, that was the one thing I felt was missing from this novel. The writing was excellent and I only had to rewind a couple of passages to be able to clearly understand what was happening (let’s be honest, even if I’m not listening to an audiobook, I normally reread passages in most sci-fi novels, including two of my favorite books, The Martian and Timebound).

About the Author

Author Jacob Holo PhotoJacob Holo is a former-Ohioan, former-Michigander living in sunny South Carolina. He describes himself as a writer, gamer, hobbyist, and engineer. Jacob started writing when his parents bought that “new” IBM 286 desktop back in the 80s. Remember those? He’s been writing ever since.

As a fun way to get to know him better, here is a list of This or That? questions for author Jacob Holo :)

  1. Waffle Fries or Curly Fries? Either’s fine as long as they have Cajun seasoning.
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft G. It’s not a peanut butter.
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? Science fiction, because good science fiction makes my brain happy.
  4. Superman or Batman? Batman. BECAUSE HE’S BATMAN. Also, because even with all his training and gadgets, he’s still just a human being like the rest of us.
  5. Text message or call? If it’s important enough to be communicated, it’s important enough for a call.
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles. I like syrup, and waffles are nothing but big syrup grids.
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Doctor Who. Even though a lot of its episodes are misses, when it hits, it resonates in a unique way because its canvas is so limitless.  I also enjoy that when it does become stale, it’s able to revitalize itself by switching out characters and actors to keep things fresh.
  8. TV Shows or Movies? Movies. They’re over faster, so I can get back to writing.
  9. Facebook or Twitter? Neither. I have a Facebook account, but it’s been a year since I logged in…
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Alice in Wonderland. It’s closer to what the inside of my brain is like.
  11. Being too warm or too cold? Too cold. You can put on clothes when you’re too cold, but you can’t take off your skin if you’re too warm. (Not without difficulty, anyway.)
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Can I add an option? For an anime nerd, CrunchyRoll is fantastic.
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Work hard. I’ll play hard when I’m done. If I’m ever done.
  14. Passenger or Driver? Passenger. My wife’s better at handling the crazy drivers in her home state than I am.
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? I’m more of a day on the couch kind of guy.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty is the best policy, though politeness goes a long way, too.
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Movies at home, because if someone in the audience talks too much it’s easier to lock them in another room.

Audiobook Review

Tess Irondale does an exceptional job at narrating Time Reavers. There are even multiple times when she has to voice the Time Reavers themselves, which basically consists of high-pitched screams. If you think that would be annoying to listen to, it wasn’t; I was actually rather impressed with her narrating skills.

While listening to science fiction and fantasy audiobooks, sometimes it’s hard to get through long, detail-filled passages, especially when names or scientific terminology is difficult to picture visually. The pro is that you don’t have to worry about how specific names or places are pronounced, because the narrator does that for you. Tess Irondale narrates clearly and emphatically enough that I was able to understand what she was reading, even if I didn’t know until halfway through the novel that Nicole was on a journey with Tau Guards and not Tal Guards.

Version 2About the Narrator: Tess​ Irondale​ is a professional audiobook narrator and voice actress, credited with bringing ​nearly ​5​0 titles to life. ​She ​specializes ​in ​Fantasy, Adventure, and Erotica, although ​her​ work ​has covered​ nearly every genre including Young Adult, Humor, Spirituality, ​LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, Self Help and ​Mystery​. ​She is on Audible’s in-house voice roster, and ​also works directly with authors through ACX.​ When not in the recording booth, she can be found hiking in the woods or hunkered over a crossword puzzle.

Giveaway!

Time Reavers Giveaway: Signed Copy of Time Reavers

Liked this review? Check out the tour page below to find other bloggers’ reviews!

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DisclaimerI received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jacob Holo. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.