“Dragon King Charlie” is the concluding audiobook to the “Dragon Mage” trilogy series. The entire series is a wonderfully written story combining elements of both science fiction and fantasy in to one epic tale. The series is penned by author Scott Baron while the audiobook edition is skillfully narrated by Gary Bennett. I rated the other two audiobooks very high, and this last one did not disappoint. Take everything from the previous audiobooks in the series and bring the story, sadly, to a conclusion and you have Charlie who has become a Dragon King. The journey which the author and narrator take you on is well worth your time and precious Audible credit(s). If you are a fan of either fantasy or science fiction, there is something in this audiobook for everyone. Be aware that each of the audiobooks in the series is written so that they should be enjoyed in order.
Let me give you a bit of a recap of the previous two books. If you have not listened to the other books, please skip this paragraph as it might contain some slight spoilers. Take our engineer (Charlie) who never liked space travel and assign him to a ship on its maiden voyage using a never tried technology. Because of an issue, the ship was transported to a different galaxy. Crash landing on an alien world and losing most of his friends or co-workers, Charlie is alone. Even worse, this new place uses magic to power most thing so Charlie’s skill as an engineer is rather limited. Captured by slavers, becoming a pirate and forced to become a gladiator fighter, Charlie is later purchased by a mysterious person with an agenda. He escapes with a few of his friends and they end up back on Earth, yet they soon discover it is centuries prior to his own time. Wow, Charlie sure endured many things in his travels, and he did not even want to go on the ship in the first place. Charlie sure had some really bad luck.
Unlike with audiobook two in the series, book three seems to open without a prologue or background details for readers who may have forgotten some of the previous story. You are dropped right into the action and adventure where the previous book left off. However, the author does a great job of filling in some of the gaps via flashbacks or comments made by the characters reminiscing upon past experiences. At times I found myself saying “Oh yeah, that is right!” when the author reminded me of a past experience. I like how it helped bridge this part of the story with previous ones. In many ways, I found that I liked it better than a standard prologue chapter. The story included an epilogue chapter as well to help the listener close out any of the plot lines or situations; well done.
As with the previous two books, many of the Charlie’s old friends are back in this one. One of my favorites, Bob, is back as well. There is the same teasing and poking we have seen before. However, in this book we have some rather emotional scenes and losing some one or more main characters along the way. Charlie really sees that being a king is a difficult job and his actions often impact those around him. He still struggles in teaching, learning, and training members of the party as they each have struggles of their own needing to be worked out. New enemies are on the horizon and they are quite powerful as well. It takes all of the team to attempt to reach the goals of getting Charlie back to his time. I continued to see a unique magic system and the ability to store magic in different ways. I liked that magic was still a big part of the last book in the series along with the use of technology.
About the audiobook’s narration, I really like the clear, smooth, and clean voice of Gary Bennett. It is one of those voices that allows the listener to enjoy and feel they can get to know the individual characters. Each of the characters felt alive and dimensional due to the inflection given them by the narrator. I do not recall their being any issues with the audio itself. There were no pops, swallows or other background noises. Just a clean and professionally produced audiobook.
For Parents and younger listeners, as with the previous audiobooks, this book contains vulgar language along with some crude and light sexual humor. It is not used excessively but be aware that there is some contained in this audiobook. If this content easily offends you, I would suggest you find a different series to start.
In summary, Dragon King Charlie was a great conclusion to a very good series. It has a good balance of action, adventure, and humor. There were times the story was on the edge of being over-the-top, yet it had enough emotional parts to bring you back down. The magic system was interesting and different along with it not being overly powerful. Relationships were seen to be quite important for the group to meet their goal. For me, Bob is still my favorite character apart from Charlie of course. I enjoyed this audiobook and the series quite a bit.