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Publisher's Summary

Disemboweled by the razor scythes of a six-foot mantis, lobotomized by hungry larvae, or roasted on an exoskeletal skewer: these are only a few of the disgusting ways to die in humanity's hopeless war against giant space insects. Deployed on a brutal bug planet without a chaplain, a depleted infantry unit has entrusted its eulogy duties to the soldier standing closest at time of death. Somehow this rotten privilege keeps falling to Pvt. Timothy Archon.
Archon's speeches explore the strange obsessions the men have developed since the war began - from archiving killbug death psalms to trying to seduce the enemy. Did these manias somehow redeem them, or only bring them quicker to their messy ends?
But more importantly: Why does Archon keep having such terrible luck?
©2017 Will Madden (P)2017 Square Straw Press
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Customer Reviews

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By Mary Karowski on 09-07-17

Eulogies from a bug war

The book showed promise. I LOVE sci fi. I loved starship troopers. I've read a few other great bug based sci fi books. I was quite disappointed. Let me clarify why. The first few chapters were eulogies of sexually deviant troopers screwing bugs and were rather descriptive and sexually obsessed. Later chapters were good and the last two were exceptional. The narrator had a great range of very expressive voices for the various characters. If you can get through or fast forward past the first couple you will very much enjoy the later aspects of the story. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

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By Lomeraniel on 09-17-17

Short stories about life and death of men in war

Earth has been destroyed by the killbugs, an alien race similar to insects but much larger and dangerous. Now stranded on a killbug planed, several man are participating in this war, and dying. Since their chaplain has also died, Timothy Archon will be in charge of the eulogies for his fallen friends.

This book is a satire about humanity and war. Madden uses a lot of black humor to illustrate the lives and deaths of nine men of Archon’s battalion. Some are hilarious and some just entertaining, but there is a dark and sad undertone that did not leave me indifferent.

Each chapter is a short story telling the life and death of one of these men. Most of deaths are quite absurd, as I guess happens in real life.

I have read rave reviews about this book, and I had great expectations. I found the idea quite original, but for some reason it was not my cup of tea. I think it is a book to be enjoyed in small doses, and not just in one sit.

The book is narrated by the author himself, and he did a wonderful job, artistically and technically both. He gave voices to the different characters and delivered wonderful interpretations. The audio production quality was perfect, at the level of a professional narrator.

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Customer Reviews

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By C. Rowlands on 09-05-17

An interesting approach to a familiar sci-fi theme

I was not familiar with the work of this author when I first came to listen to this book, but it sounded intriguing from the description of it and I was not disappointed as he takes an interesting approach to the fairly familiar sci-fi theme of space marines vs alien bug monsters.

Beyond the eulogy framework of the book, one thing that really stands out is the fairly dark humour in the writing, it is a tone that seems to suit the book perfectly.

Sometimes when an author reads their own book it can sometimes result in quite a dry reading without the level of performance you might expect from a professional narrator, but in this case the author uses his obvious familiarity with his own work to produce a strong narration that serves to enhance your enjoyment of the book.

Having enjoyed this book, I will definitely keep an eye out for other works from this author in the future.


[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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By Norma Miles on 09-02-17

Fingers in the sand

Any additional comments?

With four months left before the relief ship arrives to rescue any survivors of the military troop fighting a futile battle against the Killbug, large mantis like insects, and with their chaplain dead, the funeral eulogies are left to the men. One Timothy Arcon takes on the task when no one else will do it

This is a really unusual story comprising, in effect, ten short stories, risqué vignettes of nine men who die in somewhat bizarre circumstances, a thumbnail of each life and relationship with Arcon and the unit, and their own personal peculiarities. Often very amusing and certainly surprising, there is definitely a profound interest shown in genitalia in various guises. Each is also quite different from it's predecessors, my personal favourite being the life, and death, of Gilbert Rasher, the so called psychopath. The final chapter tells of the relief ship finally arriving to collect anyone still alive, with it's surprising extra passengers and even more outrageous ramblings.

Books narrated by their authors often leave a lot to be desired but, in this case, the performance is superb. Will Madden perfectly captures the voice of the sardonic, often sarcastic eulogy giver, Arcon, his fiction clear and unsurprisingly, his understanding and nuances of the text clearly demonstrated.With a lesser narration, this book could easily have become tedious with the fine emphasis lost alone the way.

Probably best listened to as short stories, heard with short breaks along the way rather than as one continuous whole, this is a fun story, of a little crude in parts. It is certainly original and immaginative in both construction and content. Funny, too. My thanks to the rights holder who freely gifted me a copy at my request, via Audiobook Boom. I enjoyed it very much.

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