June 21, 1998
San Francisco, California
The world is not what it seems.
Michael Bishop is an Asset of the Facility - a job that comes with many strange perks. He is a man who never gets ill, who never pays taxes. He is effortlessly fit and has a different woman every night of the week.
That is, when he is not on assignment.
When activated, Michael becomes Asset 108, a cyberenhanced human who stands against the strange darkness that lurks at the edge of our world. Armed with equipment that most would find impossible to comprehend, he is sent on missions both strange and deadly. Each dossier pits him against irrational creatures and beings - most with the power to unravel his sanity or reality itself. It's never a simple job.
This job, however, is more complex than most. Mysterious, unknown targets are fracturing reality somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. The Facility has no other Assets in the area, and their telemetry is spotty at best. Without knowing what to expect, Bishop is activated, assigned to a cadre, and sent to the middle of nowhere.
What he finds there is both the beginning and the end.
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The adventure comes to audible!
The narrator's talent and attention to the roles.
The unfolding plot as we are introduced to what this new universe has in store.
The introductions of the cast of characters and their seamless teamwork in the face of eldritch horror.
Having read this first installment of the Assets and their covert adventures safeguarding this reality from the forces of chaos from beyond the bounds of dimensioned space, I went into the audio realm with one overriding question: does this narrator sound like Michael Bishop?
To that I give an unqualified ‘yes.’
Joel Richards’ performance captures the character’s voice as he relates the first-person adventure investigating an alien conspiracy.
Richards conveys Bishop’s businesslike and oft times humorous descriptions of and commentary on the bizzaare situations, while still expressing the horror of the otherworldly monstrosities they face. Whether suddenly finding himself thrust into realms inimical to humanity or facing off against aberrations, Bishop relates it all in his own way, never confusing grim gallows humor with annoying flippancy.
The next criteria I paid attention to was the quality of the other voices in dialogue. The book has a varied cast of characters, from gritty American Southern to Russian, and Richards projected the accents well.
Listeners will also appreciate Richards’ work dealing with the involved tech-speak and uniquely alien phraseology favored by the denizens of Irrationality. I look forward to again listening to this journey into a universe beneath and around our own.
- Robert DeFrank
Fun Cyberpunk and Lovecraftian story.
This story brings together two of my favorite genres of fiction: Lovecraftian monsters and Cyberpunk.
I really enjoyed the characters. Seeing the story through Michael's eyes really pulled me in making me feel a part of the story. The secondary characters were also very likable and easy to feel for. I also loved all the technology and world building. It was nice to see the universe the story is set in revealed to us piece by piece instead of in a large info dump like some stories. I'm really interested to see more adventures in Michael's world. Lastly, the action scenes were fast-paced and very gripping.
The narrator did an ok job I felt. At times, it seemed like the action scenes were moving in slow motion. I didn't feel there was enough excitement in certain parts. overall though, it was a pleasant listen and didn't make me want to turn it off.
This is a great start to what I hope will be an acceptional series. I can't wait for more.
- Jesse Bollinger