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Summary

For years, the ancient alien AI known as Skippy (the Magnificent, don’t forget that part) has been able to do one impossible thing after another. What is his secret? It’s simple: 100 percent Grade-A extreme awesomeness. And also because he had never been faced with an opponent of equal power. Until now.

This time, he might need a little help from a band of filthy monkeys.

©2022 Craig Alanson (P)2022 Podium Audio

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  • JJ
  • 12-06-22

Slow, Same & Inconsistent Sound

I absolutely love these books but this one just felt... meh. It took well over half the book for any proper story progression and the first half was filled with a lot of repeated jokes (word for word). It reminds me of a US TV series where there's just a different roadblock after every solution to fluff things out. Don't get me wrong Bray's performance was good as ever but something really wrong happened with the sound balancing - it's up and down throughout.

it's a good book but really took way too long for it to add to the series in a meaningful way - especially with this being the second from last

3 people found this helpful

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perfection

another quality installment of the skippy and Joe show. or book or whatever. oh shut up!

3 people found this helpful

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Worst of the series so far

Story suffers in this one and is a little disappointing considering the length of time we've had to wait after a brilliant book 13.

1. Way too much waffling, no one cares about going for breakfast, doing yoga, Skippy sending love letters that never gets mentioned again or any of that bs.
2. No story progression until right at the end, you could zone out with this playing and not miss anything.
3. No one cares about the Mavericks. Literally, wasn't a fan of Maverick books, didn't care about the characters, it's all about Skippy and Joe, would have made this book better if they'd just all died.

When it did get going, the betrayal of the Mavericks character went absolutely nowhere too. Could have dived into more about the galactic shield, or even had this be book 15 and make the actual book 15 about the galactic shield, as I fear book 15 will just be about the battle of the AI's and forget about that plot point entirely.

Don't get me wrong, I still like the book, I've enjoyed this series like nothing else I've ever listened to, but after 14 books, it's getting a bit stale. The banter between Skippy and Joe is literally the same every time and there was A LOT of filler banter here. "Oh no not karaoke night" "Oh no not another opera" "Oh you little s##t head" etc, you get the point.

I'm hoping this is just because it's the penultimate book in the series and 15 is going to go all out, go out with a bang, wrap up the whole damn thing. Because if we get another one of these books, it'll probably be more disappointing than Game of Thrones season 8! Sorry Craig, massive fan but this is a 19 hour book that could have been 9.

2 people found this helpful

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Good but not the best in the series.

Like rest of the books in this series it's pretty solid and R.C. Bray is once funny and awesome in his narration. The story do suffer a bit from being the second last book in the series. Sometimes it just feels like it slogs on and on and on. While at other time so much happens at once that it feels almost overwhelming. As mister Alanson is rushing to tie up all the loss ends and set the stage for the final show down in Book 15. (Which I am SOOOOO Looking forward to!)

2 people found this helpful

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TTA!

Amazing book! Couldn't stop listening ! !

Can't wait for Book 15 ! !

2 people found this helpful

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Bobby Ewing would be proud of this backtracking.

If you've got this far you'll be not surprised by the format or the at times the one sided battles that can now occur, now the monkies are so powerful. Most species have lost any character depth bar the beetles, who are admittedly quite interesting. Desperate situations do occur however, but unusually even the reader is kept in the dark this time, with a retrace of the storyline in a Bobby Ewing shower scene rehashing moment Things are getting close to the end now and unless the author can move the main characters (including a hampster, lisard, bettle and kitty), To the surface of a remote ringworld say . Te next book it will all be the last, which will be a shame as the new series promoted at the end just isn't my thing. ie wisards in a dog ☹️

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

Worst thing about it is that there's not more of it! I'm dying to hear the next one.

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Back to his Magnificent self

Skippy is back to his Magnificent self, in this new book from Craig Alanson. I really enjoyed it.

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Enjoyable as ever.

Thanks for another chapter in this escapist romp of daring do, jokes and space travel.
That “Shawshank Redemption” gets a hat tip was very enjoyable.
Looking forward to the next one.

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Still good, not the best of the series

Worthy addition to the series, but in light of the quality of some of the previous books this one proved a bit “meh.” The banter about trivia between core characters, which was useful in the earlier books to build the world and the people in it, consumes too too much time now. Alanson also tries a new plot device in this book, which sadly isn’t executed well enough to work as intended. Still a good book, just means I won’t be relistening as often as with the others.

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  • Kevin
  • 09-06-22

what a let down. 15 hours in and nothing happens

This may actually be worse than any of the previous novels. There is only one book left and there are two major issues to still be resolved. 15 hours in and nothing of any substance has happened. no new I found about the AI. no new info about the shield around the galaxy. nothing. so much filler. this isn't a novel, it's a rambling that has been bounded together to be a quick money-grab.

I'm so incredibly disappointed. Craig is getting so lazy. get a ghost writer to help with story progression. we have only 1 book left. I fear that after 15 books, no ending will explain anything due to Craig's poor writing.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Rabidbadger
  • 08-06-22

What a let down.

Story rambled on for a bit in the beginning. Got really interesting and exciting when they reveal the actual plan then just kinda peters out.. what a disappointment. I’ve been looking forward to this book for so long and it just…kinda sucks.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Bob Rose
  • 08-06-22

Tired and Stale

Don’t waste your money or Audible credit. Full disclosure, I did not finish this installment of the Expeditionary Force series and I am annoyed Audible won’t let me return the title. It’s more of the same and I don’t consider Skippy’s latest tricks as growing a character. I’m surprised it took me so long to finally tap out on this tripe. The disappointment has been building the last few novels.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Calista
  • 08-06-22

Slow burn then it’s on fire

So not much seems to happen for 3/4 of the book and there’s the usual “banter” but it all comes together in the last quarter and things which happen earlier start to make sense. You won’t want to miss the end even if you find yourself skimming the middle. The next book is the last one and I’m really going to miss Skippy and his favourite human.

11 people found this helpful

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  • James Arnold
  • 08-06-22

Production is garbage on this one…

The story is filled with little asides, such as the scrunchie incident, but I don’t mind those. I enjoy the interaction between the characters. RC Bray is fabulous as always. My only complaint so far is the production. The audio skips and repeats and pauses a lot. I’ve never been disappointed with an ExFor story, but this falls short just because it is absolutely annoying with all of the breaks.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-22

1-2* reviwers suck

i completely enjoyed the book top to bottom and very easily holds my attention

10 people found this helpful

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  • Nick
  • 11-06-22

same book as the last 13

garbage writing, 95% useless filler.
story had potential but the author is too greedy and ruined it

10 people found this helpful

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  • da fox
  • 10-06-22

Not up to par but still good in it's own right

if you are looking for this book to majorly advance the larger story or see a truly epic cat fight between two AIs, then you will be disappointed. Parts of the story drag with extraneous filler, but the banter is top notch as always so is still enjoyable. This book has a few "woke" moments that seem forced and out of place, thankfully they are quick asides. Alanson continues to fall into the trap of immediately scrapping any trick Skippy learns. Evolve your antagonists, stop devolving your protagonist. Lastly, more Beetles... we need more Beetles

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony J.
  • 13-06-22

Fantastic.

Don’t listen to the naysayers. They are just whining because they have no creative talent and can’t write their own book.

This was a fantastic book. From beginning to end. I enjoy some of the interactions of the crew and the banter from skippy. Kept my attention all the way through. Can’t wait until the next one!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 14-06-22

This meeting could have been an email.

Warning spoilers..I have LOVED this series. I have been waiting for this for a long time. I re-listened to whole series getting ready for this and I feel like if I had only listened to first and last few chapters it would have given me all the info I needed. Something like this should be a middle of the series book setting up several more book not the second to the last. No in-depth info about the AI’s history no info about the elders or the shield or the elders enemy’s. Book 14 we would running thru pay offs from the other book and setting up for the big fight in the last book. It just felt like I was in a tv show that was trying to make more episodes to keep making more.

6 people found this helpful