My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Review: The Challenge of Smoke Wade: The Smoke Wade Trilogy

The Challenge of Smoke Wade: The Smoke Wade Trilogy The Challenge of Smoke Wade: The Smoke Wade Trilogy by Robert J. Hogan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A decent narration of an old (circa 1950’s) Western that seems to provide a little background for a pulp action character (Smoke Wade) who left the AZ Range to become an Ace in WW1.  The story itself is a pretty simple range war trope with nearly all of the characters shallow stereotypes (and at times extremely irritating) and while the character voices of the narration were very good, the thick idealects make the dialog somewhat cringey.  The MC (Smoke) seems a tad more careless than his presumped reputation hints at (mostly getting out of stupid situations by shear luck instead of wits or skill) and gun play is actually pretty rare for a western. The story does pick up toward the end where you sorta get the expected conclusion, so ultimately this was a decent [western] story if you already like the genre.

I was given this free advance listener copy (ALC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheChallengeOfSmokeWade  #FreeAudiobooksAudibleGiveways

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.