Review of Assassin’s Code by Jonathan Maberry

SFFaudio Review

Assassin’s Code: Book 4 of The Joe Ledger Novels
By Jonathan Maberry; Read by Ray Porter
15.5 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2012
Themes: / Horror / Supernatural / Military /

In my trade, confidence is built on a platform whose legs are made up of good intelligence, continuous training, proper equipment, and field support. I had a sick dog, a dead man’s gun, a stolen briefcase, a vampire hunter’s stake in my belt, and a cell phone…

Joe’s dealt with zombies, the island of Dr. Moreau, and the Seven Plagues of Egypt. Surely nothing can surprise him now. At least that’s what he thinks.

After rescuing American college students held hostage in Iran, Joe is contacted with the alarming news that the Iranians want his help in locating six stolen nuclear bombs. Nukes are soon the least of Joe’s problems when he’s attacked by super-powered killers who are probably genetically engineered and may actually be unbeatable. Certainly, it’s the first time he’s been told to “run away” when he calls Mr. Church for orders. The mysterious assassin Violin, with her mommy issues, adds an intriguing element that I liked, although her name made me snicker. Whose side is she really on? Toss in the mysterious Book of Shadows together with an age-old Holy Inquisition* that’s gone off the rails and you’ve got a fast-paced thriller with the usual slight touch of science needed to make us wonder “could it happen…” As usual Joe is sarcastic but has the heart of a warrior so he never quits.

As always, Ray Porter IS Joe Ledger. As I’ve said before, his narration is the reason I wait for the audio books instead of snapping up the printed versions. He’s got a direct, blunt delivery that can go from sarcastic to heart-felt to outraged in 60 seconds. Believably. That’s good because sometimes that’s the way Joe’s day goes.

The fourth entry to the Joe Ledger series piles surprise upon surprise until there are so many moving parts you need a score card to keep up. That’s ok. The ride is most of the fun anyway. It was refreshing to see Echo Team on an assignment that didn’t involve anything supernatural or genetically engineered. It also explained why Joe is sometimes incredulous about the strange situations in which he becomes embroiled. He’s so deep into rescuing college kids that he just plain forgets about his first zombie killing assignment.

Yeah right.

That excuse doesn’t really work for the many times that people who should know better protest, “What? Supernatural? That’s just crazy!” That really is the weakest part of these stories. Shouldn’t Echo Team be surprised if there isn’t a monster or super-villain somewhere in the shadows?

This was a return to the Joe Ledger adventure style of the first book in a way, which I liked very much. It also satisfactorily tied up some loose ends that had been accumulating through the last book or two. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed the previous books.

* Catholics needn’t worry. Maberry plays fast and loose with elements but he’s generally respectful of religions. Any Catholics involved in this were lied to, folks. Lied to!

Posted by Julie D.

The SFFaudio Podcast #184 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #184 – Jesse, Tamahome, Jenny, talk about the RECENT ARRIVALS in audiobooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
Is it new releases or recent arrivals?, Jenny’s pretty color-coded list, The Year’s Top Short SF Novels 2 edited by Allan Kaster, Angel of Europa by Allen M. Steele (is one of them), “it’s basic science fiction”, how to pronounce Mary Robinette KowalThe Twelve (Passage #2) by Justin Cronin is literary vampire fiction, Cloud AtlasThe Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, “I’m not going to end this story”, “our Scott?”, In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill, read by Stephen Lang, more manly than Stephan Rudnicki?, |READ OUR REVIEW|, “Stephen King has more pull”, Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle is epic science fiction (24 hours), one of Luke’s favorites, (it’s post The Mote in God’s Eye actually), it was a best-seller, Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher, “I follow writers”, Kirkman’s Invincible comic, Breakdown by Katherine Amt Hanna, sounds like Death of Grass, which has a new BBC audiodrama, Embedded by Dan Abnett, he writes Warhammer 40K books, The Diamond Age and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, “I have both those feelings”, “Luke didn’t like it but everyone else did”, many Mongoliad disks, Jonathan Davis likes us, Tales From the Fire Zone by Jonathan Maberry, Julie’s review of Maberry’s first Joe Ledger bookDownpour.com audiobooks, “she liked them against her will”, Cold Days by Jim Butcher, James Marsters is back narrating, When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett, very Australian accent, “vampires for Christians”, Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig, a female Stephen King character, An Apple for the Creature is monsters in school, Ashes of Honor by Seanan McGuire, performed by Mary Robinette Kowal, Jesse sees the future, Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko, it’s not in Russian, (Luke wasn’t thrilled), Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson, zombie p.i., a big stack of Philip K. Dick, The Man Who Japed, The Simulacra, The Crack In Space, Total Recall (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale), We Can Build You, Solar Lottery, The World Jones Made, minimalist covers, Gone by Randy Wayne White, chick that kicks ass, A Murder of Quality and Call For The Dead by John Le Carre, Jesse likes the narrator Michael Jayston, This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, |READ OUR REVIEW|, Jenny liked his podcast appearance, Jenny loved Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young, read by Keith Carradine who was in the movie Southern ComfortDream More by Dolly Parton, aphorisms at the end, Total Recall (autobiography) by Arnold Schwarzenegger, “how many pushups did he get for that?”, Pumping Iron documentary, Conan The Barbarian movie

lucufer's hammer cover

Posted by Tamahome

The SFFaudio Podcast #163 – NEW RELEASES/RECENT ARRIVALS

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #163 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Jenny (from Reading Envy) talk about newly released and recently arrived audiobooks.

Talked about on today’s show:
please send Jenny audiobooks for review, a lack of a listing of the short stories on audiobooks, kudos to Welcome To Bordertown, George R.R. Martin’s Warriors II and Down These Strange Streets (urban fantasy), Jenny is reading around the world in 52 books, Tigana is sort of Italian, future releases, Happy Audiobook Month, audiobook sale at Tantor, Nick wants Redshirts by John Scalzi, coming soon on Audible, Audible Modern Vanguard, Colin Firth narrated the Graham Greene novel The End Of The Affair, Redshirts has three codas (short stories), Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth, Flood, Discworld has giant turtles, Good Omens is great in audio, Stephen Baxter is doing a Doctor Who (The Wheel Of Ice), Gregory Benford’s free audio novelette The Hunger For The Infinite is part of the Galactic Center series, sort of like I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, sheer amount of David Brin audiobooks, Jenny might read Kiln People, how do Scott and Jesse truly feel about David Brin? (Jesse’s review of Startide Rising), the value of awards, The Greatest Science Fiction Stories Of The 20th Century has a good Brin and others, (Ben Bova was in the news not David Brin), The Postman book and movie, “if you build it they will come”, Heinlein’s Glory Road narrated by Pinchot, it’s one of Jo Walton’s least favorites, How To Build An Android also narrated by Pinchot, Alastair Reynolds’s Blue Remembered Earth, reviewed by Luke, Heinlein’s The Number Of The Beast (666?), Moonwar by Ben Bova, 21st Century Dead (zombies), Jenny’s collecting subgenres, Daniel Wilson’s Amped (1st three chapters on io9), someone stole that title, Energized by Edward M. Lerner sounds like Paolo Bacigalupi, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312, separate chapters like the Nova tv show, Red Mars, super science!, Jonathan Maberry, Robert Bloch’s Psycho series, “did he escape?”, H.G. Wells stuff added, Etsy 101: Sell Your Crafts On Etsy, Jenny wants N.K. Jemisin’s The Killing Moon in audio, Liz Williams’s Worldsoul has librarian heroes, “X-men meets The Breakfast Club”, Sfsignal’s book cover gallery for June, is body horror the same as splatterpunk?, Postmodern Science Fiction and Temporal Imagination looks like a Jenny book, The Islanders by Christopher Priest (author of The Prestige), waiting for international books, Paul McCauley’s In The Mouth Of The Whale is not in America, “I would buy the ebook”, small fonts, William Gibson is only in mass market paperback, many Philip K. Dick novels with plain covers, the value of book covers, “it’s like a good looking person”, “that screams I am a literary miracle”, Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland, get the annotated one, Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You! A Very Grimm Tale by Yuri Rasovsky (audiodrama), so many fairy tales, a superficial interest in Further: Beyond The Threshold by Chris Roberson, a law that a bookcover should be honest, “that’s enough on that”, C.S. Friedman?, Adam-Troy Castro is not always super creepy, Paul Krugman’s End This Depression!, he was just on Geek’s Guide, “oh that kind of depression”, Justinian’s Flea, The Most Powerful Idea In The World, The Swerve: How The World Became Modern, author on The Bookworm podcast, Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds, “I’m sensing a pattern with your reading, Tam”, Delany interview, Delany’s Nova, Tigana is the Sword and Laser pick for June

cover for Chris Roberson's Further: Beyond The Threshhold

Posted by Tamahome

Recent Arrivals: Blackstone Audio, Penguin Audio, Macmillan Audio

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson, read by Michael Kramer
The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe, read by Emily Janice Card and Stefan Rudnicki
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy, read by Cristin Milioti
Why Read Moby Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick, read by the author
The Walking Dead: The Rise Of The Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, read by Fred Berman
Psycho 2 by Robert Bloch, read by Paul Michael Garcia
Steel and Other Stories by Richard Matheson, read by Scott Brick
We’re Alive: Season Two by Kc Wayland, performed by full cast
Bad Moon Rising by Jonathan Maberry, read by Tom Weiner
Beggars Ride by Nancy Kress, read by Judy Young
Vacation by Matthew Costello, read by Peter Macon
To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein, read by Bernadette Dunne

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #088

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #088 – Scott and Jesse talk about audiobooks, the recent arrivals and the new releases.

Talked about on today’s show:
Why was Scott gone?, Scott fought off a zombie apocalypse, an angry letter to Santa, Last Call by Tim Powers, Subterranean Press, On Stranger Tides, Bronson Pinchot, “gritty magic realism”, Scott likes lists, top 10 best horror novels, Ghost Story, The Stand, divinationary tarot cards, The Fisher King, “blended weirdness”, StarStruck, The Audio Comics Company, Starstruck’s Wikipedia entry, William Dufris, Simon Vance, Portland (Maine), Simon Vance’s YouTube, Infinivox, Starship Vectors, Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Charles Coleman Findlay, Gwenyth Jones, Nancy Kress, Robert Reed, “spacey Science Fiction is very refreshing”, BoingBoing’s “The Beginning Of The End Of A Trend” post – is the death of Paranormal Romance approaching?, Brilliance Audio, The God Engines by John Scalzi, The Geek’s Guide To The Galaxy podcast, The Android’s Dream (as read by Wil Wheaton), Audible.com, Debt Of Bones by Terry Goodkind, the Legends anthology, Frank Muller, The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin, The Hedge Knight II, Legends II, Dreamsongs, Pump Six And Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi, The Fluted Girl, biopunk, Lord Of The Changing Winds: The Griffin Mage Book One by Rachel Neumeier, epic fantasy, Griffins, hard-boiled YA?, noir YA?, The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You by Harry Harrison, Gregg Margarite, the Stainless Steel rat is wry and slick and rascally, well written candy, West Of Eden, prehistorical Science Fiction, alternate history, Catalyst by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, barking cats?, Scott is a cat person, Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer, “Mood-altering cat parasites make women friendly and men into jerks”, fantasy, The Runelords: Book Four: The Lair Of Bones by David Farland, Shadowheart by Tad Williams, Dick Hill, The Habitation Of The Blessed by Catherynne M. Valente, Prester John, immortality, She: Who Must Be Obeyed by H. Rider Haggard, “the literal tree of knowledge”, A Dirge For Prester John, Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, “the fate of the world is always hanging in the balance” ,The Walking Dead TV vs. The Walking Dead comic, “a zombie movie that never ends”, Robert Kirkman‘s plan, reading contest, Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, upcoming readalongs: Gulliver’s Travels and Oath Of Fealty, Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, Wil Patton, Neon Rain by James Lee Burke, Heart Of Darkness, Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack The Ripper, Time For The Stars, Will Patton, Richard Matheson, Somewhere In Time, Ross Macdonald, The New Adventures Of Mike Hammer, Stacey Keach, Max Allan Collins, SS-GB by Len Deighton, Fatherland, Eric S. Rabkin, “I don’t want to say I like Nazis”.

Posted by Jesse Willis