Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Tour Review: Dawn of Destiny (Epic #1) by Lee Stephen

Book Series: Epic, Book #1
Genres: Science Fiction, War, Christian Fiction, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook (Amazon)
Narrators: Full Cast
Length: 9 hours & 46 minutes
Release Date: November 4, 2006

Some men go to war for the glory. Some men go to war to escape. For Scott Remington, war is entirely different. It is a belief. It is a calling. It is a destiny. Leaving everything behind—his fiancĂ©e, his future, his life—he embarks on a mission of faith into a battle he can barely understand. This is his story. This is his war. This is only the beginning.

The Dawn of Destiny audiobook project is a full adaptation of the first book in the Epic series. It's not your typical “audiobook,” even though technically that's what it is. When people hear “audiobook,” there’s a certain type of thing that usually comes to mind. Most likely it’s the thought of someone reading a book to them, occasionally with music playing in the background. This isn't that.

What you’re going to hear in this project, is more of an audio “experience,” the audio equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie. Over thirty voice actors played a role in this. This is ear-splitting sound effects, bombastic music, and characters shouting back and forth in the middle of a war zone. This is unlike anything you've ever heard.

This is not a book I would have read on my own. I am not a huge fan of reading action or war-based storylines. That isn't to say that those stories aren't important, or uninteresting. It was more because I use books to escape, and science fiction and fantasy typically fulfill that need. Military-based plot lines are just too real; the death, the loss of life and the incredible sacrifice those individuals can be overwhelming, even more so the emotional aftermath of it all. But running away from things that make me uneasy isn't what I want to do, so I gave this book a chance. Plus Starship Troopers is one of my favorite films.... and we all know the only good bug is a dead bug.

I'm glad I chose to read this book, because really loved this story. When you read a book, you put yourself into the lives of the characters you encounter. In this book, I was able to live the life of a soldier. I encountered battles and combat, and learned the difference between choice and following orders. It was an experience, and made me feel grief I could never really understand otherwise. 

I appreciated Scott as a lead character. I could see why people wanted to follow him and why he was the natural leader. He was there to do a job and when it was time to preform, he performed. It wasn't about duty or honor, it was just his destiny. Which brings me to the faith aspect. I haven't read much Christian or religion-based fiction. I feel like this had just enough to not be preachy. 

The only thing I wished was that we learned more about the supporting characters. I cared about David, Becan and Jayden as much as Scott, and could have used more back story for the supporting characters. For instance, why did Becan leave his home and what was the story behind his fighting skill. There were a lot of great characters introduced, but they were equally one-dimensional. I don't mean that as a harsh criticism because they weren't written well, rather I wanted to know more than I learned. I think that's a good thing. This sentiment continues with Thoor and the Nightmen. I think they made for an awesome addition but they remained to mythical though they were present. 

Overall, Dawn of Destiny was definitely a page turner. The major battles were so entertaining. I found myself cheering for Scott and his various teams, especially during the battle for Novosibirsk. I'm definitely sold on the story and plan to complete the series in it's entirety.

I love audiobooks so much. But this didn't feel like just an audiobook by design; it was an experience. With the full-scale production, it make this book so real and engaging. My favorite part was definitely the mission inside the high school; the sound effects and the voice acting was stellar. I was so on-edge, feeling like something would pounce on my head. I am disappointed that Outlaw Trigger isn't available on audiobook; I really wanted to continue the series with the audiobook cast.

My only criticism is that the constant use of music during the narration was distracting. 

Dawn of Destiny (Epic #1)   Dawn of Destiny (Epic #1)


Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn’t catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn’t stopped.

Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their sons, Levi and Lawson, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre—one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith.

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