If you are looking for a science fiction story where the gas petal is always held to the floor, “Paradox Slaughter” is one of the many “Roak: Galactic Bounty Hunter” novels that gives the listener a full action experience. The story is written by Jake Bible and the audiobook is expertly narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen. This is the third book in the Roak series which I have reviewed of the four currently available. I have never once been disappointed when I’m looking for a book containing a solid story and heavy amounts of fighting. It should be noted, if you are one who steers their ship away from graphic violence, I would recommend you take a pass on this book; and series. If instead, you like your science fiction stories rather gritty and dark with over the top violence, this book, and the full series, is for you.
Roak is a man who has issues with revenge and demands payback no matter the outcome. What better person would you want to be a bounty hunter as his day job. He is not someone you would want to bring home for dinner, but if you found yourself in a dire situation, Roak will be the one to get you out. The books is a bit of Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Dog the bounty hunter combined into one. What amazes me is that Mr. Bible is able to create new and exciting adventures and worlds that all feel familiar to the listener, yet they are fresh and different with each story. The author blends in some new creatures while a few of his trusted friends (those that survive earlier adventures) are still at his side; including his trusty and snarky Artificial Intelligence (AI) “Essa”. We are given a view into newer and more exciting technology and weapons; never a bad thing. Always one of my favorite aspects of these stories. Roak has not matured much over the previous titles, he is still a man who mainly thinks of himself or his chits; often at the detriment to his limited number of friends. I feel sorry for anyone who has Roak on their tail, he is relentless I his hunting. Yet, his main nemesis, The Bishop, remains at large.
What I enjoy about this series is that it is predictable in its ability to be unpredictable. They always open with a bang and there are times of story building, but I find I’m always surprised at the number of twists and turns the author is able to weave into them. Even though the books in this series are rather gritty and gruesome, there are times where one is presented with an emotional turn. Often, these come at a time you did not expect. Even though the fight is often non-stop, the author is able to make each encounter fun and exciting. The listener has to wonder how Roak will get out of the current situation he is facing. His character feels a bit like James Bond and a little Dog the bounty hunter blended together. Although Roak may seem invincible, the author gives him enough vulnerability to always keep you wondering if he will survive a given fight.
This story is a bit different from the others in the series as Roak needs to partner with others in a hope to accomplish his goal. This is both different for him, and at times quite humorous as an outcome. I liked this change in direction for this book and look forward too many more to come. For those who like this series, it is clear from the book’s ending that the adventures of Roak and his friends will continue. There will be more in the series as the book leaves a few of the story plots open.
Let me turn your attention to the book’s narration by Andrew B. Wehrlen. I really enjoy listening to this narrator when it comes to the science fiction genre. He is able to voice the many different characters using unique voices that allow the listener to easily distinguish them from one another. Mr. Wehrlen has a rich and clear voice bringing the book’s characters to life. The audio was crisp and clear of any defects. The recording was professionally produced, which is what I now expect from a narrator of this level and skill.
For parents and younger readers, as with the other books in this series. There are vast amounts of vulgar language, gratuitous violence, and a fair amount of sexual content. I would not recommend this title to any but mature readers who are not easily offended.
In summary, if you are looking for full on action space story, the Roak series, and this book, will keep you on the edge of your seat. When I see something written or narrated by this team, I want to pick it up and give it a listen. If you are a fan of others in the series, it is a no brainier that you will want to spend a credit for this one. If you are new to the series, I would recommend you give this or others in the series a try. Well worth the listen.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.