“Outpost Hell” is a finely crafted space marines story written by Jake Bible. The audiobook edition was decently narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen. Let me start by saying that the book itself was neither overly engaging nor was it boring. For me, it was more your standard space tale with many of the typical fair one could expect. The story’s premise was quite interesting from its start and there were a few unique surprise twists and turns included along the way. The ending was also something that was both predictable and unpredictable. Many of the standard tropes or stereotypes found in this genre of book are found here. You have space marines (of course), the bad guys, and a drive to survive; or die. Even though the genre of this book is not one of my favorites, I do enjoy a good science fiction story when I hear one. This book was able to fill the need. If you have enjoyed other books by Mr. Bible, I think you will really enjoy this book.
As the book’s summary page states, what could go wrong when a squad of marines steal cargo and during their escape are forced to enter an unstable wormhole damaging their ship? Well, let me tell you, quite a bit can happen and does happen. All the answers to those questions are found in the remaining pages of this story. As with many other space marine type books, you have the suspense, action, and language; which nearly all space marines use. There is the group seeking to recover the stolen property, the deadly force typing to kill everyone needing to be overcome, and the banding of men and women together to save one another and win the fight.
I want to say that I found the author’s descriptive writing of the various scenes like painting a picture in my mind. I could really see and understand how desolate the world our main characters and their damaged ship arrive on. Even though the book contained many of the standard tropes of this type of story, the author is able to include some distinctive creatures and events I had not found in other books like it. To me, the book was a mixing of Ocean’s Eleven, Starship Troopers, and Alien combined. The story was well thought out and executed. It has all the necessary components of action, adventure, unknown, survival, along with perseverance. However, there are times where the author includes humor, wit, and fun sprinkled within its pages.
I do want to say that I cannot recommend this book for younger audiences. As expected, most of the characters speak like marines; who are not known for their eloquent use of words. Although it is not prevalent in the book, there were also some discussions around sex or sexual subject matter. Lastly, the book contains scenes of graphic violence or acts of torture which may not be suitable for younger readers. Again, this should not be a surprise for those who frequent this type of book.
The book’s narration by Andrew B. Wehrlen was what one would expect for a book of this category. His voice was rich and overall, he voices the different characters quite well. It is always difficult for male narrators to voice female characters, but Mr. Wehrlen does it without making them sound like little girls. The audio at times seemed a bit muffled and during times of silence there was a slight computerish background noise often heard when audio is heavily compressed. It may be the version from Audible or the way the audio was initially recorded. It was nothing that would prevent someone from listening to the book, but I like to call out such for people who this is important. Other than that, I felt the audio was average based on the other books I have listened too.
In summary, if you enjoy books about space marines and their struggles, you will enjoy this story. If you like a decent science fiction book, I think you will also like this book. If neither of these are your type of book, I would not recommend it to you. Again, it was more an ordinary story instead of an extraordinary one, but it does contain enough items making it different that it is still enjoyable.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.