Audiobook Review: Overkill by Robert Buettner

31 03 2011

Overkill by Robert Buettner

Read by MacLeod Andrews

Audible Frontiers

Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Thought: Overkill is a solid, surprising science fiction novel delivered perfectly by narrator MacLeod Andrews.

Grade: B+

Often times, when I write reviews I like to start off with a bit of my reasoning on why I chose to listen to a novel. Perhaps the author was a favorite of mine, or I just must read every entry into a particular genre. Heck, perhaps I just like the narrator, or dig the sexy girl on the cover of the novel. Yet, I am not so sure why I decided to listen to Overkill by Robert Buettner. I have never read one of his novels before, and only am slightly familiar with him. I knew he wrote a series of novels, starting with a boom called Orphanage, which I had always wished would be released into audiobook. I read the publisher’s summary, and it’s seemed, well, interesting, but not the blow me away interesting that makes me just have to read a book. Heck, I had seen the book advertised on the Science Fiction page of Audible for a while. Then, one day, something just compelled me to download it.

I’m glad I did. Overkill is a fascinating novel. In fact, I was quite surprised early on in the novel, not just by plot twist, or what have you, but the overall feel of the book. While seemingly military science fiction, Overkill is more Speaker for the Dead, then Ender’s Game. With a name like Overkill, you imaging explosive battles, a brutal war, murder and mayhem. What you don’t expect is a textures science fiction tale dealing with issues of intellect and what it means to be human. Buettner has written a solid yarn, with plenty of action and a touch of romance, but he brings so much more to the table. The main character, Jazen Parker, in the beginning, seems like your typical sci-fi hero, with a questionable past, and perhaps, not much of a future. Yet, Parker develops into something more, not just a mercenary, but a young man forced into a life he never would have chosen, now faced with choices that will affect humanity. There were points of the story that I feel I may have missed, due to some tangential relationship with Buettner’s other novels, but, despite these little moments, Overkill is a solid, surprising science fiction novel.

Macleod Andrew’s excels in his reading of Overkill. If you want someone to read an emotionally charge novel about a young man, Andrew’s is your man. He handles the main character well, never letting us forget his youth. Andrew’s is excellent in adding to the world created by the author, making solid choices for character’s voices and style, Andrew’s faces a few challenges of narration in Overkill, and they don’t trip him up in the least bit. Hopefully Overkill will become a success for audible, leading to more audiobook versions of Buettner’s work.




2 responses

12 04 2011
Robert Buettner

Robert Buettner says: Thoughtful review. And on the money about Macleod Andrews’ reading. I don’t know whether audiobook readers often seek and incorporate author input as professionally as Macleod did from me, but Overkill the audio book certainly sparkles because of Macleod’s work.

19 05 2011
MacLeod Andrews

Thanks for listening. Working on Undercurrents the sequel as we speak! And it’s a really exciting read (hopefully listen too). Robert has given us some fantastic characters and a compelling universe. Jazen Parker is one of my favorite sci/fi protagonists.

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