Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Audio Book Review: The Secret World Chronicles: Invasion

The Secret World Chronicles: Invasion
(season 1)
By:  Mercedes Lackey & Steve Libbey

Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere, Adam Higgons, & Laura Patterson

Publish Date:  2007

Format:  Podiobook

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book in The Secret World Chronicles series

***NOTE: I've learned that the podcasted books are divisions of the printed books as follows:
Printed book 1 is Invasion is podcasted seasons 1 & 2.
Printed book 2, World Divided, is podcasted seasons 3 & 4.
Season 5 podcast, Waiting On, is a bonus season - it's stories of characters between books 2 and 3.
Printed book 3, Revolutions, is podcasted seasons 6 & 7.
Printed book 4, Collision, is podcasted books 8 & 9 (season 8 in progress, season 9 yet to come).

(Podcast season titles:
Season 1: Invasion, Season 2: The Hunt, Season 3: World Well Lost, Season 4: World Divided, Season 5: Waiting On, Tales of the Secret World War, Season 6: Revolutions, Season 7: Run Silent, Run Deep, Season 8: Collision)

Recommendation:  Superheroes!

Emerging mysteriously during World War II, metahumans became icons of the best - and worst - humanity had to offer. Yet sixty years later, the world still suffers from war, greed and madness. Worse, man's nadir of systematic cruelty returns with bizarre new weapons. The metahumans of Earth must find a way to defeat this powerful foe and discover what lurks behind the scenes - a secret world hidden from our own. Mercedes Lackey, one of fantasy's most beloved voices, and new talent Steve Libbey bring you a podcast series that catapults the classic superhero into the 21st century.

Book One: Invasion starts the series off with a bang - a set of coordinated attacks by Nazi warriors in futuristic battle armor. We meet our cast of heroes in the midst of chaos: Belladonna Blue, a young azure-skinned healer; Victoria Victrix Nagy, a geomancer fighting panic attacks; Handsome Devil, whose luck is metahumanly good; Red Saviour, strident leader of an anachronistic Soviet team; Red Djinni, the shapeshifting criminal; and John Murdock, a fugitive super-soldier. Watching over them all is the Seraphym, descended from the Infinite to protect humanity.

As the heroes fend off the blitzkrieg attack, they are left wondering what secrets have erupted from this hidden world, and whether, once unleashed, they can be contained. For there are clues that all is not what it seems...

First Sentence:
The blue-skinned, blue-haired woman known by the call sign "Belladonna Blue" leaned into the oval hatch of the captain's cubby.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository
*I'm linking the full novel for your purchasing.

Listen For Free:
iTunes  /  Official Site

*I listened to this story for my own enjoyment.

My Thoughts and Summary:
The world is safe with Metahumans working for ECHO and keeping it so. Then, one fine day, we see the attack of Nazi Metavillains and Meta...not human, not meta - something else...attack the city of Atlanta and all around the world. New heroes, and villains, surface to help current Meta's and those that are attacked and trapped. Although, there is one super-villain that has resurfaced after sixty years, to turn himself in...for protection? What's to come? What does he know?

This book is from a few authors working together and a few vocal voices and many Metahumans are introduced. Some of those Meta's become more than we thought, a few don't make it through. We get to see the day of the attack through several Meta's eyes. What they were doing that day before all went wrong, and how they fared through the fight. At first I felt Mercedes excelled in the battles and Steve Libbey rocked the characters along with action. Then as the stories progressed the two authors, along with Cody Martin and Dennis Lee, started to blend together as. It became harder to tell the difference as the world grows and so many details to track. The three narrators bring the stories alive. Veronica is amazing at different accents needed for different characters. All the narrators are amazing. The one with Handsome Devil, early on, felt to have stepped into his persona well. Veronica feels to take on every character and their personality, which amazed me when she was reading a few together. She converted between them with ease and perfection.

We get a history of each superhero, and even a semi-villain (more a bad guy in way of robber). We see how there lives turned to Meta or how they lived and feel before the attack happens. Even while the attack their reactions relate to their history.

I loved the intro and prologue. I did find, at times, there were some low points in the different stories for me. Lots of details of city setting and little things in lives, but a story has to start somewhere and build the characters. When the invasion happened with each Meta, I was drawn to the action and learning of these strange Nazi-Meta's. I think I might have remembered and understood a few scenes better if I had read the book. I felt there was a great deal of details I should have picked up, and replayed a few scenes to try and catch it all. I know this is a braided story line set in the same world, but at times it felt as things were rushed. This is the first book, the one that the 'huge happening' occurs - it's setting the stage for us.

The cast is rather large. Which, as I usually say, a large cast means lots to kill off. There are some that don't make it, but the cast is still a magnitude that can make it hard at this point in the series. Lots to remember, and I know I don't remember it all. There are POV's from heroes in US and Russia.

I will say, there will be at least one Meta that will stick in your mind. There are different personalities, and a cast this big, yes there will be one. I think my favorite Meta, at the end of this book, is Handsome Devil. He cracks me up and the luck he has, it is fun to watch. I liked the view of the world through his eyes and his reactions to all that's happening.

This book sets the stage and raises questions in my mind for things to come. There is lots happening here. A great deal of details. A massive cast to remember.  Hard to remember and track it all, but a start to an interesting world and creation. I'm curious enough to carry on with the next story.


Red Iza said...

This looks like a lot of things to remember ! If you're willing to review book #2, I'll see how it turns out ;) Thanks !

Blodeuedd said...

The cover is just so omg baaad

Melliane said...

I'm sorry so points were a little too long. I confess I'm intrigues because I'm starting reading about superheroes books and I love that.

Unknown said...

a big cast? eap how was that now hard to keep track off?

Ryan said...

I adore Mercedes Lackey, so despite my reluctance for pod casts, I may check this one out.