Audiobook Review: Sector 64: Ambush by Dean M. Cole

24 02 2015

Sector 64: Ambush by Dean M. Cole

Read by Mike Ortego

Dean M. Cole

Length: 11Hrs 57Min

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade: B

Let’s face it, we all know that there are aliens out there. Somewhere in the vastness of space, life has sprung up. I mean, if Earth managed to evolve enough to bring us to a point where 50 Shades of Grey is a literary and cinematic phenomenon, then somewhere out there other life, maybe even sentient life, exists. And, would we really blame them if they want to destroy our planet and rid the universe of our menace. That’s the thing about Alien Invasion stories. If there is a species of Alien Life out there who can actually make it to Earth, then we better home they haven’t seen that our cultural contribution to the universe is 50 Shades, or being tied down and abused is the least of our worries.

That being said, I love alien invasion tales and Sector 64: Ambush is a pretty solid one. While the book doesn’t break all that much new ground, it isn’t really your typical Invasion tale either. Most invasion tales take a macro view to the story, giving us multiple big picture perspectives on the devastation an alien attack and the fight against the invaders Sector 64: Ambush gives us a more limited look, based on the perspectives of a few key players. It’s creates a fresh feel to the story, while still utilizing plenty of alien invasion, apocalyptic and military science fiction tropes.

Author Dean M. Cole moves the story along well. His prose is bare bones but polished. Early in the book, he definitely uses the David Weber “introspective infodump” style of giving us a bunch of the set up through the thoughts of some of the key players, but once he has the universe established, it’s pretty much well paced action that drives the narrative. There are a few unnecessary side trips, including a bit of potential sexual violence that I don’t think added much to the story, but overall, the tale stayed on target. Overall, I like the potential for the universe that Cole set up. I am interested in seeing where he make take the story in future installments. Sector 64: Ambush is highly accessible, action filled alien invasion science fiction that should appeal to the fans of the subgenre, while offering just enough little tweaks to give is a unique feel.

Mike Ortego has a old school narrator style that fans of narrators like George Guidall and Richard Ferrone should enjoy. He makes some smart choices along the way, including not trying to hard to give perform female voices that are out of his range. While fitting for the tale, it’s not my favorite style of narration. I personally would have enjoyed a narrator with a bit more energy and range, but this is a stylistic preference and not a true criticism. Ortego does a good job, especially with the alien voices. His pacing, at times, could get a bit staccato, but mostly he handled the action well. The production quality was excellent, and, for the many fans of this style of narration, Sector 64: Ambush should hit a homerun.

Bob’s Audiobook Report: January Week 2

13 01 2014

Week two of 2014 saw me completing 4 Audiobooks, two from the same series, and two of series that have been sitting on my TBL Pile for a while. Since I have a lot of stuff coming up in January, a move at the end of the month, surgery this week, as well as plenty of other stressors, I have been looking for lighter, more straightforward stories that are easy to focus on. This is why I have been choosing mostly action based series with well drawn characters, because during times like this, I have trouble focusing on highly conceptual plots and esoteric storylines. I like monsters and explosions and aliens and my choices all pretty much hit the mark.

Conspiracies by F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack, Book 3)

Read by Christopher Price

Brilliance Audio

Length: 11 Hrs 28 Min

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Grade: B+

All The Rage by F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack, Book 4)

Read by Christopher Price

Brilliance Audio

Length: 13 Hrs 17 Min

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Grade: B+

I completed two of F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack novels, COMSPIRACIES and ALL THE RAGE. In the beginning of long running series, especially those with a supernatural edge, I always enjoy watching the development of the series mythology. I feel both of these book are important to building the Repairman Jack Mythos, while still pretty much self contained stories. Both were a lot of fun, each giving more incite into Jack, while continuing the frustrating interpersonal conflict between Jack’s desire to be a part of his girlfriend Gia and her daughter’s life, while knowing that he also lives on the edge of society and must feed his need for adventure and violence. I am still less than thrilled with Christopher Price’s narration, especially in comparison to the other narrators in the series. I think his voice is too deep for the character, and while his vocal range is admirable, I don’t thing he ever nails the characters. They always feel just a tad off of what they should be, like listening to a celebrity impersonator, just after listening to the real thing.

Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Read by Kirby Heyborne

Blackstone Audio

Length: 15 Hrs 36 Min

Genre: Post Apocalyptic/Alien Invasion

Grade: B+

Midnight City has been languishing on my mountainous TBL pile for a long time, and with the recent release of the second book in the series, I thought I had to give it a go. Midnight City has a War of the Worlds meets Chtorr feel. A classic Alien Invasion vibe with an esoteric spin and a touch of magic. While marketed as a Young Adult novel, it definitely has a more mature vibe that should fit a large range of readers. It did take me a while to get into the book. Mitchell doesn’t ease you into his world, but throws you right into the deep end, and it takes some time to adjust. But when the book gets moving, it gets bad ass moving, with now stop action in a fascinating apocalyptic setting. Kirby Heyborne’s excellent performance shouldn’t be a surprise to any audiobook fan. His reading is crisp and professional, with just the right amount of edge.  

Semper Mars (Book 1 of The Heritage Trilogy) by Ian Douglas

Read by Ray Chase

Audible Frontiers

Length: 13 Hrs 46 Min

Genre: Military Science Fiction

Grade: B+

Military Science Fiction is one of my go to genres when I find myself in a reading slump and just want something fun, fast and furious. MilSF has a way of making fascinating concepts accessible and throwing in lots of pyrotechnics for effect. Yet, not all MilSF hits the spot. My first attempt at a Ian Douglas novel failed miserably. Didn’t like it at all. Yet, the concepts around The Heritage Trilogy seemed fascinating, and I had been looking for more stuff performed by narrator Ray Chase. Semper Mars is jingoistic, HOORAH! near future MilSF at it’s best. Full of lots of Marine history, potential alien tech, World War between the ol’ US of A, and those pesky univeralist United Nations. and clever battles, Semper Mars was just the right listen for my mood. Ray Chase continues to impress. While I think he’s a better 1st person narrator than a 3rd person, his voice is pleasant, and he brings the characters alive. He never hampers the relentless pace of the narrative, and at times can be just as clever with his delivery as a marine with a beer bomb.

Coming Soon: Well, this week I have surgery, so I’m not sure how it will affect my listening. I plan on continuing listening to Repairman Jack, and The heritage Trilogy (currently listening to book 2). I also plan on listening to a book called Noise by Darin Bradley read by Chris Patton. Plan on a bit more print reading this week during my time off.

Audiobook Review: Breakers by Edward W. Robertson

30 08 2013

Breakers by Edward W. Robertson

Read by Ray Chase

Podium Publishing

Length: 12 Hrs 10 Min

Genre: Post Apocalyptic

Quick Thoughts: Edward W. Robertson’s Breakers is a mish mash of classic Post Apocalyptic tales, blending a world ending pandemic and an alien invasion together to make a novel that fans of the subgenre will delight in. If you love books that embrace their comparisons to The Stand, and you love watching humans with nothing left to lose kill crab-like alien invaders with laser guns, well, get yourself a copy of Breakers post haste.

Grade: B+

(Breakers is scheduled for release September 5th, 2013. Preorder Today)

Space travel is not easy. We here on this lovely planet we call Earth have seen this. We have sent men to the moon, and rovers to Mars. We have sent probes deep into our solar system, and hopefully beyond. Yet, we have suffered catastrophes, set backs and the loss of public faith. Many people question whether it’s worth our time and money to head out into the darkness of space when we have people starving on our own planet. So, any species that can overcome these technical, social and financial burdens to actually create a mothership and sent it millions of light years across the vastness of space in order to destroy humanity and occupy earth would have to be a highly advanced species. It’s pretty much a given that any such aliens would assuredly kick our sorry asses. So, why is there so much alien invasion fiction? How can you create any tension when the balance of power is so great? This is handled by fictions writer’s greatest tool… the BUT…. In Harry Turtledove’s Worldwar series, The Race, the invading reptilian species, came to Earth during World War 2 with overwhelming force and advanced technology ready to defeat the barbarians and take over the planet BUT… they were in such a state of cultural stagnation with an inability to adapt that they were surprised to find the Earth had progressed significantly from the probes they had sent back in the 12th Century. In Larry Niven’s Footfall the elephantine Fitph traveled from Alpha Centauri intent on taking over earth BUT… their advanced technology was not their own but inherited from a former species that viewed them almost as pets. And don’t forget the alien invaders in Independence Day who were ready to lay the smack down on earth, BUT… for some reasoned designed their computer system to be compatible with Earths, and forgot to update their Norton Antivirus. Luckily for Earth, most of these species, whether they be Lizards wearing human skins, or slug creatures who bond with human hosts, always came with at least one BUT… that us pesky humans will always figure out how to exploit.

When a mysterious plague hit the earth, spreading like wildfire through the populace, Walt Lawson is devastated by the loss of his girlfriend. Now, on the verge of suicide, Walt decides to walk from New York City to Los Angeles, the city his actress girlfriend Vanessa dreamed of moving to, fully expecting to die along the way. Meanwhile, in California, Raymond James and his wife Mia, find their financial struggles are over when the majority of the world dies. They set up a haven in an idyllic home on the coast, finding happiness in their simple life. Yet, when the alien mothership appears in the horizon, and the crab like occupants begin killing or rounding up humans, the survivors find a new purpose, fighting the menace that has devastated their planet. Edward W. Robertson’s Breakers is a mish mash of classic Post Apocalyptic tales, blending a world ending pandemic and an alien invasion together to make a novel that fans of the subgenre will delight in. Instead of avoiding seeming like a retread of novels like The Stand and Footfall, Robertson embraces this, as he very well should. The Stand is a great novel which has helped create a generation of Post Apocalyptic fans, and I am often flabbergasted how some authors go out of their way to avoid looking like a copycat of it. I found Robertson’s characterizations very interesting. I started off pretty much hating both Walt and Ray. To me, they seem like two sides of the same loser coin. In many ways they were like mirror images of the other, with Ray being kind but stupid loser and Walt being a manipulative and brash loser. Yet both characters, especially Walt, grew on me. Walt’s slide into self hate may have made him the perfect survivor for the times, and by the time the book hit the alien invasion part, he was responsible for some of the most laugh out loud funny moments, despite his dark personality. The plot and action was fun, bordering on cheesy. While the guerilla tactics to fight the aliens often lacked descriptive depth, the plot moved along quickly and never left you bored. My only major complaint was I would have liked to seen a bit more diversity in the character types and greater depth in the peripheral characters, and since this is the first in a series I expect my wish will come true. The novel built up to a finale that was equal parts “that’s the corniest thing ever” and “holy hell, this is awesome.” If you’re looking for some hoity toity new exploration that defies apocalyptic tropes to create a new approach to the genre, keep looking. But, if you love books that embrace their comparison to The Stand, and love watching humans with nothing left to lose kill alien invaders with laser guns, well, get yourself a copy of Breakers post haste.

In the early part of the novel, I struggled a bit differentiating Walt from Ray. While I liked Ray Chase’s voice, the voices between these two characters were very similar, and caused some early dissonance. Luckily, once things got rolling and the author began to flesh out these characters, and they began to transform into what they would become by the end of the book, this no longer became an issue.  Once this issue was resolved I was more than happy to fall into the capable voice of Ray Chase. He has a deep voice, bordering on gruff, but softens it with a rhythmic style that is reminiscent of Scott Brick. His reading style added levels to the prose that I feel elevated it, giving Walt’s journey across a devastated America an almost stream of consciences feel, and Ray and Mia’s time in their dream home an overwhelming sense of contentment.  This was my first time listening to Ray Chase, and I really liked him. I think some of the struggles he had with some of the characterizations came more from the fact that some of the characters were a bit cardboard, but he did what he could to bring them to life. When the author gave a character depth, you could feel it in the narrator’s performance. Based on this performance, Ray Chase is a narrator to be on the lookout for. Hopefully, we will see more audio versions of this series, with Chase acting as our guide in the fight against the alien crab things.

Thanks to Podium Publish for proving me with a copy of the title for review.

This review is part of my weekly “Welcome to the Apocalypse” theme. Click on the image below for links to more posts.

Audiobook Review: Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

7 07 2013

Earth Afire (The Formic Wars, Bk. 2)  by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Read by Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Stefan Rudnicki, Vikas Adam, Gabrielle de Cuir, Roxanne Hernandez, Emily Rankin

Macmillan Audio

Length: 15 Hrs 13 Min

Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Thoughts: Earth Afire had everything in it that I was hoping Earth Unaware would, alien invasions, crazy schemes, last ditch battles and lots and lots of Mazer Rackem. While the story sometimes took way too long to develop, I found it utterly enthralling and full of the action I was longing for.

Grade: A-

When I first discovered that there was going to be a prequel series to Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game is a great novel and one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time. Yet, one of the aspects that wasn’t in Ender’s Game that I really would have liked to see is direct battle between earth forces and the Formic Invaders. So, I began Earth Unaware like a giddy teenager rapidly rubbing his hands together just knowing he would be seeing big mother ships, Alien Invasions, space battles, and lots and lots of Mazer Rackem. Then, my giddy hand rubbing became slower, and slower and eventually stopped. Sure, the life of the deep asteroid mining clans was fascinating, and the power of big corporations to get away with almost anything in the lawless expanse of deep space tickled some of my latent antiestablishment genes, but where were the big battles and alien invaders. I knew they were coming, but it seemed that Earth Unaware was more of a slow burn that a supernova explosion of action. And, there was a noticeable lack of Mazer Rackem. I mean, why name a character Mazer Rackem, make him a hero of the formic war, and basically give him one small sequence in the first novel of that very war. It just didn’t seem right. Luckily, Earth Unaware was only the first of a trilogy, which meant there was certainly a lot of alien killing, space battles and Mazer Rackem to come, right? Right?

After a race to earth between a young asteroid miner and the incoming alien ship, Earth has been warned about the coming alien menace, and thinks it’s a joke. Alex Delgado has been locked up in the mental ward on the moon, waiting to be deported back to deep space. Yet, when he appeals to the last person in the universe he wants help from, inconvertible proof of the alien vessel is found, yet Earth governments still do nothing, As the Formics reach Earth, and begin their invasion, with Earth’s governments bickering among themselves, it’s up to a key group of individuals to find a way to stop this threat. Earth Afire had everything in it that I was hoping Earth Unaware would, alien invasions, crazy schemes, last ditch battles and lots and lots of Mazer Rackem. While the story sometimes took way too long to develop, I found it utterly enthralling full of the action I was longing for.. The little frustration I did feel surrounded Alex and his naiveté and whininess. Honestly, even when a character is right, he doesn’t have to go all annoyingly high pitched and whiney like “Why isn’t anyone listening to me?” as he shouts “The aliens are coming, and you can believe it because I said so!” Where the book shines is the boots on the ground scenes involving Mazer and his New Zealander team fighting in mainland China and the MOPS team breaking into China to get their hands on some aliens. It’s fascinating to watch these characters speculate on the nature and motivations of the Formics, which those of us who have read Ender’s game know. It’s weird because it gives us insights into the alien’s actions that those we are reading about don’t have, offering a fascinating look at the defenders thought processes. After the first novel, which while having some cool moments, was a sloggish set up novel to the series, it was good to get down to some action. While the cliffhanger ending left me a bit annoyed, overall I felt that Earth Afire hit all the right notes.

The narration of the Enderverse novels is truly one of those truly great audiobook experiences, and Earth Afire maintains that tradition. The core of the production is the works of Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye and Author Morey, all of who deliver what you would expect, quality riveting performances. Rudnicki has such an understanding of this world, it’s hard to imagine any Endervese production without him involved. While I have loved Vikas Adams in the past, I was a bit concerned early in the production, as he voiced some kid’s voices. It’s very hard for adult men to voice kids without getting all squeaky and annoying, and honestly, that was how Adams started but as his POV moved away from the group of kids, and became about the relationship between one Chinese boy and a soldier, it was some of the best work of the production. While I was remiss to move away from alien battles on Earth, Emily Rankin handled the POV of Imala, Victor’s mother and leader of the refuges from the first battle with the Formics. She made these scenes compelling and another highlight for me. Roxanne Hernandez had the difficult challenge of portraying Rena, who was Victor’s counterpart. Her narration interplayed with Stephen Hoyes which did cause a bit of adjustment, but in the end, it was totally worth it. She brought a much needed edge to the reading, and allowed us to see a different side to some of the characters. All together I feel Earth Abides is a title that should be listened to to get the full impact of the world, particularly with this group of wonderful narrators.

Note: Thanks to Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.

Audiobook Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

14 06 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Read by Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza

Penguin Audio

Length: 12 Hrs 41 Min

Genre: Young Adult Post Apocalyptic Alien Invasion

Quick Thoughts: The 5th Wave is a fast paced terrifying apocalyptic vision that is well executed until one moment of total crappihood has it all crash down on my weeping torso. If not for my one not-so-little plot hang-up, The 5th Wave would have been in contention as one of my favorite audiobooks of the year. But, dammit. I just couldn’t get past that one moment.

Grade: (Was so an A… until it wasn’t. So, let’s say B-ish)

Note: Fair warning, there are moments in this review (in the second paragraph) that a somewhat spoilerish. I will warn you along the way.

I should really thank Rick Yancey. I have never worried too much about my blog stats. If I get 20 people reading my review on the day I post it, I’m pretty much satisfied. I do pay attention to trends, to see what is driving people to my blog. I recently saw an upswing in people checking one of my Feature posts from last year, were I listed my 10 Favorite Alien Invasion novels. Since most of this has come from random search engine entries on Alien Invasion books, I can’t help but think that Yancey’s alien invasion novel The 5th Wave has inspired a renewed interest in the subgenre. I’m down with that. It’s no secret that I love Alien Invasion novels of all sorts. From more straight forward tales like Footfall, to the stranger subtler invasions, I have always been intrigued by why alien species would develop to a point where interstellar travel was a possibility, then come all the way to earth to perform weird medical procedures followed by a sloppy invasion where a few ragtag guerrilla fighters manage to find a way to stop them. I always wondered what motivated the aliens. It can’t be for our natural resources, since there are countless planets, moons, asteroids and comets that provide more than enough materials for some space faring saurian monkey jellyfish hybrids.  Do humans just taste really good? Is this why almost every apocalyptic scenario ends in an orgasmic smorgasbord of cannibalism? Many people have said that there really is no reason for aliens to search us out. I really don’t believe that. I know that is we discovered a sentient alien species living some crazy number of light years away, and we developed the technology to reach those distances, we would probably head right out there waving like some crazy hillbillies hopped up on caffeine and Coors Light. I just hope we don’t go there to probe them, invade them or eat them. Unless they are really tasty.

When the ships were discovered heading towards Earth no one knew what to expect. For 10 days they approached, no message, no indication of their plans. Then the first wave of destruction begins with an EMP blast that wipes out the electronic infrastructure and sends the planet into chaos. With each wave, more and more died. Now, Cassie is one of the last people left, traveling alone, trying to avoid the enemy in human form, in a search for her brother kidnapped by the invaders. The 5th Wave is a fast paced terrifying apocalyptic vision that is well executed until one moment of total crappihood has it all crash down on my weeping torso. Really people, I was loving The 5th Wave. Totally. Yancey creates a surprising realistic portrayal of the dire situation a probable encounter with an aggressive alien species would create. He shakes off the bonds of Independence Day and V, and uses pop physics, and intriguing science fiction concepts to make for a fascinating apocalyptic adventure story. Then, in one moment, I was like NOOOOOOOOOO!! PLEASE GOD NO!! THAT JUST DIDN”T HAPPEN! *Sigh* OK, really, this could get a little spoilery. I loved the beginning of the book with the details of Cassie’s journey and her perspectives of the apocalypse. I love the segments with Sam being trained to fight the aliens. I loved the mystery and intrigue and the constant guessing of what exactly was what. There were moments where I questioned assumptions, held back suspicions, and in turned felt the bitter betrayal of the alien maskirovka. Even when Cassie met up with Evan, I was OK, despite my suspicions. Yet, there is this moment. A turning point. A point where one alien decided enough is enough and turns on his own species and sides with the humans. Does this come from a disgust of the genocidal policies of his brothers? The unnecessary brutal elimination of an entire species? The use of children in the alien’s twisted schemes? No, it’s all because he met a cute 16 year old girl. GODDAMIT! Ok, ok, I get the whole love conquers all, and yes, there are some incredibly cute girls out there, but really? REALLY? Maybe I’m just not a romantic, but I have never fallen in love with an alien girl who I have only seen through the scope of my rifle, and barely have known that long to a point where  I am willing to betray the last remnants of my species. Maybe this is why I am still single. Really, The 5th Wave is a lot of fun, and you should totally read it. Maybe the whole love thing will make your heart flutter and birds suddenly appear for you. For me, it was like a turd floating in a beautiful pond.

Luckily, for you wonderful audiophiles like myself, the audio production of The 5th Wave is excellent. The narration duties are handled by two, new to me narrators, Phoebe Strole and Brandon Espinoza. Both of them did an outstanding job. I especially enjoyed Strole’s first person performance of Cassie. She did exactly what I liked in a first person narration, she infused it with personality, adding vocal quirks and making interesting decisions to allow Cassie to seem like a real person and not just a character being read to you. Espinoza had more of a challenge bringing multiple roles to life. At first, I though he struggles a bit with 5 year old Sam, but honestly, voicing young kids is quite hard. Yet, he managed to pull it off, and went on to do some excellent work with the other perspectives. The scenes came together well, with little to no dissonance between the alternating narrators. It just felt smooth, with crisp pacing and engaging characters. In fact, if it wasn’t for my one not-so-little plot hang-up, The 5th Wave would have been in contention as one of my favorite audiobooks of the year. But, dammit. I just couldn’t get past that one moment. Yet, don’t blame the narrators. They were excellent.

Note: Thanks to Penguin Audio for providing me with a copy of this title for review.

Top 10 Post Apocalyptic Novels: Alien Invasion

20 04 2012

This Week on Welcome to the Apocalypse, we take a look at a topic that may turn your little men green.

“In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.” – President Ronald Reagan in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

You’ve all seen that scene. It’s early morning, you wake up, throw on your robe, and head outside to grab the newspaper. All around you, the street is bustling with activity. You look up. There is a huge cloud, unnaturally shaped. Slowly a something emerges from the cloud, and it’s not natural. The Alien Invasion has begun.

The Arrival of Alien beings to Earth, whether with good intentions, or ill will, will drastically change the Earth forever. Today’s list focuses on books, or series, where the Earth, after an alien species arrives is changed in a cataclysmic way. Alien Invasions is one of my favorite Post Apocalyptic subgenres, particularly with movies. Despite the cheesiness factor, I loved Independence Day. V was one of my favorite all time TV shows. Other movies include multiple versions of War of the Worlds, Battle: LA, Skyline, District 9 and many others. The following is a list of some of my favorite all time Post Apocalyptic Books featuring Alien Invasion.


Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

In Niven And Pournelle’s classic alien invasion novel, Earth is invaded by a Elephantine race of aliens. While there is a whole lot of alien invasion style action and battles, my favorite part of the novel is the examination of the differences of the two species, and how understanding the invading enemy is key to formulating a way to fight them.

Audiobook Version: There is an audiobook version of Footfall from Audible Frontiers narrated by Macleod Andrews,


The Vampire Earth Series by E. E. Knight

EE Knight’s Vampire Earth series is one of my favorite Post Apocalyptic series out there. Unlike most Alien Invasion novels, The Kurian’s arrive through an interdimensional portal. While the Kurian’s strive to turn Earth into their fiefdom, populating it with a vast array of alternate life forms, and using Vampire like avatars to drain the life forces of those under their thumb, a rival group is attempting to help mankind by giving their warriors enhanced skills. The series follows the career of David Valentine as he attempts to fight the alien forces as well as deal with the bureaucracies of the resistance as well as the human collaborators.

Audiobook Version: The Entire Vampire Earth series is available in audiobook format through Audible Frontiers and Brilliance Audio and is narrated by Christian Rummel.

My Review of Book 9 in the series, March In Country.


The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

The War of the World’s is the classic tale of the Martian’s Invading London and the rest of the planet. It is one of the earliest tales of conflict between human kind and aliens. While the book is a gripping first person narrative, it has also inspired a multitude of adaptations, from books, movies, radio dramas and television series. War of the Worlds is one of the most iconic science fiction tales of all time.

Audiobook Version: There are a many versions of this tale in audio format. Blackstone Audio’s version is narrated by Christopher Hurt.


The Legacy of Aldenata Series (The Posleen War) by John Ringo

John Ringo is known for his fast paced military science fiction, and many of his novels deal with Alien Invasion. The Legacy of Aldenata series involves Earth’s interaction with a series of Alien species. One species, The Posleen, are an animalistic, voracious species that invade planets, devour their resources, and divvy out plantations. The species are like horses with Alligator heads, and the majority are borderline sentient, with only a few “God Kings” who are smart enough to lead their hoards. While the series involves galactic politics, and technological development, the first four novels portray a decimated earth, where cities are ravaged by the Posleen hordes, and humans are forced to live in underground shelters. It’s fast paced, violent and a whole lotta fun.

Audiobook Version: Audible Frontiers has produced the entire series in Audiiobook format, narrated by Marc Vietor.


Out of the Dark by David Weber

The Shongairi arrive, and within minutes, Earth is ravaged, its cities in utterly destroyed and half the population is dead. David Weber’s Out of the Dark is a classic Alien Invasion tale that shows you the action across the Earth. From rural America, to Eastern Europe, Human’s take on guerilla campaigns to fight the alien invaders. It’s a lot of fun, with a bug twist that will leave you either loving or hating the novel.

Audiobook Version: Macmillan Audio has produced and audio version narrated by Charles Keating.


The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndam

The Kraken Wakes is a sort of slow burning alien invasion where a series of weird events witnessed by a British journalist is in actually escalating stages of an alien invasion. The Kraken Wakes is equal parts horrific and humorous. It a unique look at an alien invasion where the aliens remain unseen, but their strange vehicles of war reek havoc to the populace.

Audiobook Version: The is no full Audiobook version of this title. 

The War with the Chtorr Series by David Gerrold

David Gerrold’s yet unfinished work takes a totally different tact than most alien invasion tales. Instead of direct attacks, the Aliens have begun terraforming Earth by introducing bizarre flora and fauna to our ecosystem as well as unleashing a plague that kills off over half of the populations. The creatures range from terrifying to mysterious and almost sort of cute. There is some controversy about this series, as some editions were edited to remove homosexual content, but recent editions have had the cut segments restored. Despite any issues, it is one of the more unique and compelling alien invasion series, and ripe with well developed and interesting characters.

Audiobook Version: There is no audiobook version of this series.

The Alien Years by Robert Silverberg

The Entities land on earth, put up walled cities, and plunge the rest of Earth into a new Dark Age, without electricity. The Alien Years is about the Carmichael Family as they adapt to the new order, and eventually begin to resist against the invaders. Their goal being to invade a city, and kill the Prime Entity. The Alien Years is a fun, complex alien invasion tale by one of science fictions masters.

Audiobook Version: There is no audiobook version of this novel.


The WorldWar Series by Harry Turtledove

In the WorldWar series, Lizard like Aliens invade The Earth, right smack dab in the middle of World War II. Now the warring nations mist find a way to work together to take on aliens, who have totally underestimated their opponents. Full of real life historic figures, and a fascinating and fully realized look at the invading aliens, this series takes readers on quite an interesting adventure.

Audiobook Version: The entire Worldwar series is available in audio format from Tantor Audio narrated by Todd McLaren.

The Taking by Dean Koontz

I really went back and forth on my final selection, because there are a lot of options that may fit the category of Alien Invasion better than The Taking, yet none I enjoyed more. The Taking deals with a unexplained phenomena, which included weird terraforming plants, strange shining lights, zombies, and a whole mess of other bad things. It fits the motif of an alien invasion novel while not exactly fitting the strict definition. Yet, it’s worth the ambiguity to experience this novel which is creepy, strange and apocalyptic to the core.

Audiobook Version: The Taking is available as an audiobook from Random House Audio and is narrated by Ari Mayers.


Welcome to the Apocalypse Panel Choices

As always, I have asked others for their picks to be included into this list.

Tim aka Fear Death by Water runs the Post Apocalyptic Blog Cozy Catastophe and is an Apocalyptic superfan whose Post Apocalyptic reading list eclipses my own. You can find him on twitter at @CosyCatastrophy. For his Alien Invasion choice, he brings you a classic from Scifi Legend L. Ron Hubbard.

Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

Right around the year 2000 a race of aliens descends on the Earth. Their weapons are far more advanced than any weapon humanity can bring to bare. As a result the Earth is quickly conquered and most of the human race is exterminated. Those that are left live in small pockets in rugged areas of the worlds and are ignored by the alien race because they are deemed to be no threat.

After a thousand years under the heel of The Psychlos humanity begins to flex it muscle. A hero by the name of Jonnie Tyler rises and using a weakness of The Psychlos to his advantage, he begins to wage a guerrilla war.

This book has been mocked as being Scientology rhetoric. Not being a scientologist I couldn’t see it. What I did see was ruins of the cities of Earth. I enjoyed the descriptions given of things Jonnie found from our time. Things he had no idea of the use but from the description was clear to the reader. I guess I just saw it as great story. I’ve read it almost as many times as I have read The Stand.

This is also the third apocalyptic book I read. For me it will always hold a special place … even if the movie was a terrible flop.