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, April 27, 2023

Review: Lt. Reilly - Bundle: 5 Book Series

Lt. Reilly - Bundle: 5 Book Series Lt. Reilly - Bundle: 5 Book Series by Matthew O. Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Performance: *****
Story: ****

The narration for the Lt Reilly PoV (books 1, 2, 3 & 5) was about as good as I have ever encountered without a cast, with a near perfect combination of timber, tone and accent to make each character distinct. The Major Mitchell PoV (book 4) changes narrators and that performance was almost sub par for me. Weighing in at nearly 37 hours for all five(5) books, this was still a bargain. The high quality of the performance and story just make it more so.

The world building here was solid for a sci-fi universe. There were a few tech issues that I could easily gloss over, but the overall feel of this military adventure was totally relatable and even a tad nostalgic for me (full disclosure - I was trained as a naval engineer … so it hit all of the small details just right). Most of the issues were in the small descriptive text (data dumps) that expounded on various tech and situations for context … fortunately they were brief enough that they didn’t take you out of the story and most seemed quite reasonable. The setting mostly revolves around the human worlds (so there are brief interactions with aliens) that could almost be dystopian with the various crime syndicates playing the bad guys (or enabling the bad guys). Intersystem space travel uses quantum tech (because warp tech is so last year) and sentient AI(s) that have been reigned in a bit to prevent them from taking over the world (so either limited and/or compartmentalized). Weapon systems are either lasers or missiles (missing PDS and rail guns) with energy shields and light armor. All just enough to make it real without diving down into the weeds.

Reilly is the PC and is a seasoned space engineer and all around good guy recruited into being a military investigator (giving us the the overall theme of the series). Mitchell is primarily a supporting character (serving mostly as a foil and potential love interest with a twist) and doesn’t do quite as well for me when taking point in book 4 (by far the weakest of the series). Kayla is the primary love interest and only takes the stage to provide a human context to the PC. With all that in mind, each story can actually stand on its own with new secrets and interesting conspiracies that are all satisfactorily resolved at the end (and since I am a sucker for happy endings … you get a +1 here). The humor and byplay between characters was easy, fun mostly believable (if a bit pollyannish).

1. Lt. Reilly 2321
2. Lt. Reilly and the Backbird Offensive
3. Lt. Reilly and the Phantom Raptor
4. Major Mitchell and the Carplex Conspiracy
5. Lt. Reilly and the Tansky Gambit

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

#LtReilly #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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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.