Narrator: Jeffrey Kafer
Series: Cthulhu Armageddon
on 10 October 2016
Length: 8 hrs 30 mins
Genres: Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic
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Cthulhu Armageddon is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other "talking" monsters).
John Henry Booth is a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states when he's exiled for his group's massacre and the suspicion that he's "tainted". Escaping with a doctor who killed her husband, John travels across the Earth's blasted alien ruins to seek the life of the man who killed his friends.
It's the one thing he has left.
©2016 Charles Phipps (P)2016 David N. Wilson
Cthulhu Armageddon is an outstanding addition to the Cthulhu mythos and faithful to the sanity-warping vision of H.P. Lovecraft. As someone who has listened to several of Lovecraft’s tales over the years, I can appreciate the obvious respect the author demonstrates for the Cthulhu genre while he solidly lays the foundation of his own unique new chapter that I believe Mr. Lovecraft would approve of. Of particular note, the author’s depiction of a devastated wasteland as a result of the rising of the Great Old Ones was expertly done while leaving plenty of room for further exploration in the upcoming sequel, The Tower of Zhaal, available in a few months (info courtesy of the author via his blog).
The synopsis found on Goodreads is a little misleading. It isn’t exactly wrong but it definitely doesn’t do the novel’s plot justice or inform the reader/listener enough. I was under the impression it was a Wild West version of an apololyptic tale involving Cthulhu. Forget the “Wild West’ part. The story is the equivalent of a squad leader who sets out to avenge his murdered soldiers and kill the Evil Professor who has gained Power from the Old Ones amidst the remnants of the fallen human civilization and survive the various factions of survivors living in the wasteland that the Earth has become as a result of the Great Old Ones’ rising. The story is not as simplistic as my description and there are many surprises and twists in the plot, but I think the above is enough to inform without ruining the pleasure of discovering for yourself the surprises in this excellent book. Just don’t expect a “Man With No Name” character/story…
The outstanding performance by Jeffrey Kafer really added to the various moods evoked by this novel. From the gruffness and stoicism of a combat veteran hunting horrors from beyond space-time to the machinations of a psychic/witch to the innocence of a child who has had her world turned upside down to a likeable ghoul trying to hold onto his humanity, Mr. Kafer’s narration/performance was spot on and added that extra ingredient that results in an audiobook that the listener is simply unable to stop listening to. Mr. Kafer has rapidly established his narration pedigree with quality performances and, having more than a handful of audiobooks with his narration, he has never disappointed. While I have listened to several of Mr. Phipps’ audiobooks and enjoyed them all (they were all narrated by Mr, Kafer), seeing that this narration was by Mr. Kafer was the deciding factor for spending my hard-earned Audible credit on Cthulhu Armageddon.
If you are not familiar with the Cthulhu mythos, I recommend hitting the library and I am sure you will find many audiobooks and print editions available. If you just want a taste to see if the genre is for you, I recommend the approximately 20 minute tale called “Dagon”. There are many tales to choose from, but Dagon is a particular favorite of mine. Anyways, it should serve as a good introduction and litmus test for your interest of the genre. Just be aware that this genre does not (and should not!) have many happy moments. Due to the Powers involved, there are no happy endings, the good guys don’t win, and characters are going to die.
Bottom line: Cthulhu Armageddon was an excellent listening experience. It benefitted from an excellent plot, suspense, vision, and a professional vocal performance that resulted in me finishing this riveting 8hr 30min audiobook in one day and immediately wanting more. I will be the first to preorder the sequel. A solid 4.5 out of 5. Highly recommended!
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