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"Bugs in the System" is a collection of short stories, set in the world of the "We Hunt Bugs" RPG. It contains seven stories, ranging from just under 10 minutes long to a couple of 30 minutes stories. Each story presents a different collection of characters - some are bug hunters, some a passengers of cruises, some a pilots, some are company men. The stories and the characters are different enough from one another so that they don't all blend together.
While each story itself is (generally) fairly interesting they are all very insular - self contained and narrow is scope. Few, if any, of the stories present background information or world building that draws you into the universe. Coming out of this book I know the "we hunt bugs" universe is a space faring humanity that hunt and kill giant bugs.Why? Not sure (other than cos we can). What has happened to Earth? not sure. Is there any lore around the bugs and where they came from? Dunno. There is nothing in here beyond the small scope of the story being told.
Prior to reading this book I had not heard of the RPG, let alone played it. This is my first foray into this world and because of the self contained narrow scope of the stories it doesn't tempt me to dig further into the world.
Maybe it is better if you know the RPG and the background. Maybe some of the bug types and characters matter then.
I assume narrator Rick Gregory read these at different times and then put them together, because some of them the narration is a little clunky (random pauses mid sentence, at what I assume is end of lines of pages) while others he had really hit is stride and they flow well. He sometimes puts more effort into differentiating characters while some stories they sort of blend together. Never is it hard to follow what is going on and who is talking but sometimes it is exactly easy.
Overall not bad. I enjoyed it for the time it took, but I'm unlikely to go out of my way to revisit the book or revisit the "we hunt bugs" universe.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
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This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
People who have played the RPG "We hunt bugs" and are familiar with all the characters, backstories and lore surrounding the space bugs, I guess.
This book is a collection of short stories (some as short as 10 mins), all of which involve different and seemingly unrelated characters. Without knowing the backstory of these characters and how they connect to each other, it is quite difficult to enjoy the short stories as a whole. It was like scrolling through YouTube feed of short videos. In my opinion, if the book had an introduction to the world and the bug hunters and the alien bugs' background info before all the stories began, that would've helped.
Has Bugs in the System turned you off from other books in this genre?
No. Once book can't turn me off from an entire genre.
Any additional comments?
I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
Any additional comments?
Seven short stories set in space where the bugs are real and they kill. All the stories are fun, rather silly, in fact, but enjoyable. The last one, Blue Sands Red Sun, was slightly longer than the others and, for this listener, the most enjoyable although I also retain a fondness for the unexpectedly different MacDaddy.
The narration was fine, clear and told the story although there were unexpected hesitancies in Rick Gregory's voice. The book overall suffered mainly because of the briefness of each tale. With so little time to get involved, the listener was pulled into the next almost before the previous one had time to become familiar. Best read as individual stories, therefore, and not in one continuous sitting as I did.
My thanks to the rights holder of Bugs in the System, who freely gifted me with a copy, via Audiobook Boom, at my request.