Tag Archive: action

The Green God (Stories from the Golden Age)19084269By: L. Ron Hubbard
Narrated by: Christina Huntington, R. F. Daley, Michael Yurchak, Jim Meskimen
Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
Release date: 08-12-14
Publisher: Galaxy Audio

I nearly forgot what it was like to listen to one of these Galaxy Audio productions of the pulp fiction stories by L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy Audio’s productions are pure theatre of the mind. With some of the greatest voice actors, original music and sound effects these audio productions will put you right in the middle of the action and in this book dodging bullets.

This release has the main story, “The Green God,” and a bonus story, “Five Mex for a Million.” Both of these are about Americans in China, during the 1930’s. And both of these protagonists know how to get into trouble and with wit and action hero attitude know how to get out of it. Yeah sure there’s a little sexism, but those were the days of the Damsel in Distress.

“The Green God”
Bill Mahone, a Naval Intelligence officer in China, has undertaken a dangerous mission. To stop the looting, rioting, and death that wracks the port of Tientsin, he must go undercover into the Chinese underworld to recover the priceless Green God whose theft from a local temple triggered the riots. Standing in his way: thieves, corrupt Army officers, a mob of rioting fanatics wielding long knives, and numerous other near-death experiences.

“Five Mex for a Million”
Captain Royal F. Sterling stands falsely accused of murder. It’s not that he didn’t kill a man, but he did so in self-defense, though he’s facing the firing squad if caught. Looking for clothes to disguise himself at the Thieves’ Market, he instead is attracted to a large, locked chest, with an inscription offering him long life and happiness. Compelled by its secret, he finds inside the beautiful daughter of a powerful White Russian general who owns a profitable chunk of Upper Mongolia dragging him into a web of conspiracy and renegade Chinese officers.


In the days of the pulps different magazines covered different genres and Hubbard wrote for many of them. “The Green God”story was originally published in the Thrilling Adventures, Vol. 8, No. 3, Feb. 1934. While “Five Mex for a Million” was originally published in Top-Notch, Vol. 97, No. 5, Nov. 1935. Hubbard’s pulp writings may have been his most productive writings. He wrote so many stories for so many pulp magazines. I am so happy that Galaxy Audio is republishing these stories. The audio versions are full cast productions that sound a lot like old time radio, and the print versions are printed on a simulated pulp paper and in pulp magazine size. Hubbard’s pulp writings are always fast-paced and dynamic.



Publisher’s Summary

Private detective Sam Spade nearly died, several times over, chasing The Maltese Falcon. But what Spade faced in pursuit of the black bird was child’s play compared to what Lieutenant Bill Mahone of Naval Intelligence endures when he sets out to find The Green God. He’s tortured with knives, threatened with a slow, painful death, and buried alive. And then things get really nasty. The entire Chinese city of Tientsin is under siege from within – the streets filled with rioting, arson, mass looting, and murder. And all because the city’s sacred idol, The Green God, has gone missing. Mahone’s convinced he knows who stole the deity of jade, diamonds, and pearls. To retrieve it, though, he’ll have to go undercover and underground. But he’s walking a razor’s edge – between worship and warfare, between a touch of heaven and a taste of bloody hell.

As a young man, Hubbard visited Manchuria, where his closest friend headed up British intelligence in northern China. Hubbard gained a unique insight into the intelligence operations and spy-craft in the region, as well as the criminal trade in sacred objects. It was on this experience that he based “The Green God”, which was his first professional sale, published in February, 1934 – the beginning of a very remarkable and prolific writing career. Also includes the adventure “Five Mex for a Million”, in which an American Army captain, falsely accused of murder, finds himself taking on the Chinese government, a powerful Russian general, and a mysterious, unexpected passenger.

©2014 Galaxy Audio (P)2014 Galaxy Audio


Mirage- The Oregon Files, Book 9 17707498
By: Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
Release date: 11-05-13
Publisher: Penguin Audio

Once again I am exploring the action that is a Clive Cussler novel. I’m not sure if it is that my experience in the Navy keeps my interest piqued when it comes to ocean bound adventures that dominate Cussler’s books or just that I’m a sucker for a good action story. No matter what the reason I ventured into the world of the Oregon Files once again.

The Oregon Files are just one of several series of books Cussler writes, they all seem to be tied together in some way or another, you’ve got the Dirk Pitt stories, the Fargo Adventures and the NUMA files which all create action and adventure. Sometimes the stories are an adventure like an Indiana Jones story, sometimes they have some great espionage like a Tom Clancy novel, and sometimes both. No matter what your preference if you ever need a respite from your everyday life, Clive can help. You’ll be on the edge of your seat and biting your nails (that’s the beauty of audiobooks, hands are free for the nail biting) and getting your adrenaline pumping. They are always an exciting adventure.

This book is one of the tales of the ship the Oregon. The Oregon stories feature a ship named the Oregon which Cussler introduced in the Dirk Pitt Adventure “Flood Tide.” While appearing to be a rus-bucket freighter, it’s actually a high-tech advanced ship used by an unnamed and mysterious “Corporation” under the leadership of Juan Cabrillo. The ship is run like a business, with its crew being shareholders, taking jobs for the CIA and other agencies to help stop crime and terrorism. The crew is adept at disguises, combat, computer hacking, and more, to aid their missions.

This time out The Oregon is on the trail of a super weapon developed by Nikola Tesla developed out of the hoax of the Philadelphia Experiment. Or was it a Hoax? The Russians don’t think so. Traveling from Russia to Shanghai to Uzbekistan, the crew of the Oregon know how to follow leads. Throughout all of this creating more and more mystery the story will have you involved and helping to solve the clues yourself. From the beginning of the book to the last page you will be on the run with the crew. In fact the beginning is a breakout from a maximum security Russian prison, and the book starts right in the middle of the breakout.

One of the things I like about Cussler’s novels is that all the team members seem to be best of friends. They rib each other, brag on themselves but at the end of the day they always have each other’s backs. The friendships make these books so real.

Scott Brick as usual gives the listener a reading that will draw pictures in your mind as you listen to the excitement. This makes the experience of the audiobook feel as though the listener is part of the story. Again, I’m a huge fan of Scott Brick, so I’ll never turn down a book read by him.

Publisher’s Summary

In October 1943, a U.S. destroyer sailed out of Philadelphia and supposedly vanished, the result of a Navy experiment with electromagnetic radiation. The story was considered a hoax – but now Juan Cabrillo and his Oregon colleagues aren’t so sure. There is talk of a new weapon soon to be auctioned, something very dangerous to America’s interests, and the rumors link it to the great inventor Nikola Tesla, who was working with the Navy when he died in 1943. Was he responsible for the experiment? Are his notes in the hands of enemies? As Cabrillo races to find the truth, he discovers there is even more at stake than he could have imagined – but by the time he realizes it, he may already be too late.

©2013 Clive Cussler (P)2013 Penguin Audio

The Mayan Secrets (A Fargo Adventure, Book 5)book-review-mayan-secrets-3b0bf93fd1a56806
By: Clive Cussler, Thomas Perry
Series: Fargo Adventures, Book 5
Narrated by: Scott Brick
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
Release date: 09-03-13
Publisher: Penguin Audio

Clive Cussler can pump out the action stories. Whether it’s the Corporation, The Oregon or Sam and Remi Fargo novels, you are guaranteed an adventure. The nice thing about all of these adventures is that Cussler does his research, and all descriptions of locations are accurate. With a little mystery to solve and a whole lot of danger, this book is no exception to the suspense experienced with Clive Cussler’s stories.

The summary of the book from the audible.com description follows:

“Husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo are in Mexico, when they come upon a remarkable discovery—the skeleton of a man clutching an ancient sealed pot, and within the pot, a Mayan book, larger than anyone has ever seen. The book contains astonishing information about the Mayans, about their cities, and about mankind itself. The secrets are so powerful that some people would do anything to possess them—as the Fargos are about to find out.

Before their adventure is done, many men and women will die for that book—and Sam and Remi may just be among them.”

You will not want to put the book down or stop listening if you prefer the audiobook. Speaking of the audiobook, the narrator is one of my all time favorite audiobook voices, Scott Brick. Scott has a delivery in all his readings that make the books just as exciting as the actual story. I will never turn down an audiobook read by Scott Brick.

This book was just over 10 hours time for the audiobook, but it was so fast paced it was over way too soon. The good thing is, that Clive Cussler has lots more stories to choose from, so, on to the next.



Audiobook Review “Zero Hour” (a novel from the NUMA files)

By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Read by Scott Brick

Published by Penguin Audio

Approx. 10.5 hours


I still can’t believe it took me this long to get hooked on Clive Cussler’s novels.  His novels are so much fun, great escape from reality, full on action and adventure, and great characters.  This is what books are all about, and with Scott Brick bringing the characters to life in this audiobook it makes it that much more enjoyable.


First allow me to praise the reader, Scott Brick.  I’ve been a fan of his for many years now, back when I listened to “In Cold Blood” with him doing the narration.  He is able to capture voices and emotions in his presentation that is extremely rare in a single reader audiobook.  His inflection is always just right for the subject, whether it is a dark murder mystery, a science-fiction novel or in this instance an action/adventure novel.   His voice is unmistakable, yet each book he reads he creates a completely different audio aura.


As for Clive Cussler, well the best way to sum up his novels is pure fun and adventure.  This book, “Zero Hour,” is from “The NUMA Files” series of novels.  This series  focuses on Kurt Austin, Team Leader of NUMA’s Special Assignments division and his adventures. Some characters from the Dirk Pitt novels appear such as Sandecker, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and St. Julien Perlmutter. Even Dirk Pitt makes brief appearances in some of the books.  NUMA is The National Underwater and Marine Agency, which was originally an organization within the fiction of author Clive Cussler.  Now it is a private non-profit organization in the United States. Cussler created and leads the actual organization which is dedicated to “preserving maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.”


As is true with most of the “NUMA files” books there is some fact that the fiction is based on.  This time that fact is a form of energy that surrounds us all the time, it is called zero point energy and is pretty much unlimited.   Nikolai Tesla had theories about it but nobody has ever found a way to tap into it, until one scientist discovers a way, but the energy is relatively untamable, the problem is, his machines also cause great earthquakes, even fissures in tectonic plates. One machine is buried deep underground; the other is submerged in a vast ocean trench. If Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala and the rest of the NUMA team aren’t able to find and destroy them, and soon, the world will be on the threshold of a new era of earth tremors and unchecked volcanism.


Soon the NUMA team, led by Kurt Austin, goes on a race against time to find the machine and save the world.  Through Austin’s quick action and even quicker thinking he leads the team in their effort to save the world.  All told in non-stop action through this thrilling book.


“Ai! Pedrito! -When Intelligence Goes Wrong ”
by L. Ron Hubbard and Kevin J. Anderson
Multicast performance
Produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx 9 hours

Holy cow!  I have just finished a super fun action/adventure/comedy and I can’t tell if I’m tired from laughing or the suspense, probably both.  “Ai! Pedrito!” is a great romp through the spy world mixing in the United States, the Russians, the Cubans, and the  small South American country Colodor .  This book is a parody of that spy world mixing up spies, double agents, lovers and enemies as seen through a nerdy very straight edged Naval Intelligence officer and sometimes through his doppleganger, a revolutionary, womanizer and heavy drinker.

“Ai! Pedrito!” was originally written as a screenplay by L. Ron Hubbard who said the events were based on an incident that happend to him in real life.  The screenplay was then novelized by Kevin J. Anderson.  Anderson whose works include the collaboration with Brian Herbert on the “Dune” series of books written and pieced together from material found after Frank Herbert’s death.  Anderson is not a stranger to turning “found” material into great books, but most of his stuff is Science-Fiction, while this story has a very small piece of sci-fi to add to the fun, Anderson proved he can also work on comedy and adventure with this one.

The Russians and Cubans have developed a plan to steal secrets from the U.S. military by placing a revolutionary, by the name of Pedrito Miraflores into the office of U.S. Naval intelligence and in turn send Lt. J.G. Tom Smith to the small country of Colodor, while Pedrito steals the secrets.  What makes this the perfect plan is that Smith and Miraflores are mirror images of each other, in looks only.  While Smith spends his spare time reading history books and his drink of choice is milk, Miraflores’ pasttime is womanizing and drinking tequila, oh, and starting revolutions in South America.   But these two redheads will be switching places and the mayhem begins.

Tom Smith is told he has won a free trip to the beautiful South American country of Colodor.  When he tells the representative from the sweepstakes he can’t find Colodor on the map the rep tells him it’s all due to a strike by the Mapmakers Union.  Tom takes the vacation as a chance to relax and get his mind away from the numerous blueprints of secret weapons and get a chance to read his book on great Naval battles.  When he arrives at the Colodor Airport he is accosted by a man that greets him with, “Ai! Pedrito!” and proceeds to shuffle Tom into the Airport bar insisting on buying him a drink.  When Tom insists he’s not Pedrito, the man thinks Pedrito is undercover and says, “Don’t worry Pedrito, your secret is safe with me.”  This is how Lt. J.G. begins his life as Pedrito Miraflores.

Meanwhile, Pedrito begins stealing secrets and, when Smith’s boss insists Pedrito date his daughter Pedrito cannot resist the chance to be with a beautiful woman.  But alas, this begins Pedrito’s demise in America.

With each person beginning to absorb the other more and more as they are forced to live as each other until the mission is finished they both begin to realize that womanizing gets you nowhere (especially when the women can think of only getting married).  Smith seems to be doing more damage as Pedrito, when he blows up the US Embassy, by proxy, a secret CIA communications center and gets the US to bomb secret Cuban Missile silos.  All this is done under the constant watch of a mysterious master of disguise by the name of Bolo.

With some funny constant running gags, such as the shout of “Ai! Pedrito!”, Smith nearly recognizing Bolo each time, and the mapmaker’s strike, this book will have you laughing out loud while on the edge of your seat wondering how it all turns out.  I will say that not until the very end will you know.  Hubbard had a knack for twists in a story and this one, I think, used every twist he could think of.

This audio book is yet another superb production from Galaxy Audio.  Galaxy Audio has been turning all of Hubbard’s pulp fiction stories into audio books and this latest release shows they are working on more of Hubbard’s works I hope they keep on producing more of these excellent audio dramas, because I can’t wait to listen to some of his sci-fi novels.  Galaxy Audio shows how an audiobook should be done, with excellent voice actors, special sound effects that are comparable to any major motion picture.  The incidental music through the book and especially between chapters perfectly represent the feel of the audio book, making the entire production a classic work of art.

Mixing in a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, espionage, and blundering officials, “Ai! Pedrito!..” is  a fun audiobook that will keep you on the edge of your seat with action and laughing out loud with great humor.


“Countdown” by Greg Cox

by Greg Cox
Multi-cast Performance
Produced by GraphicAudio, 2010
Approx 6 hours

DC comics had/has a great configuration of crossover comics with their multi-verse “Crisis” series.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Countdown to Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Countdown to Final Crisis (novel form titled “Countdown,” this book)
Final Crisis
The series told a tale of 52 alternate realities otherwise known as multiverses.  The problem consisting of multiple realities coming together could destroy all realities.  In this  book, “Countdown,” The aftermath of “Infinite Crisis” led to the series “52” which consisted of the Primary Earth dealing with the aftermath.  This book, as the title suggests, is a countdown to events that lead to yet another multiverse crisis which will be the “Final Crisis.”  The original “Countdown to Final Crisis” comics were published in 51 issues, Greg Cox has created the novelization of the series into this book.

So once again the comic books are converted to a novel.  What happened to the awesome graphics that make a comic so much of an experience?  Well,  Greg Cox uses words to convey the images and any fan of good fiction would appreciate this.  But what happens if the comic fan wants those images?  I suggest picking up the audio book created by GraphicAudio.  GraphicAudio has a slogan, “A Movie in your Mind,” and let me tell you, they deliver.  From the moment I heard my first GraphicAudio audiobook, I’ve been hooked.  They use a cast of very talented voice actors that can creat every subtlety of a superhero through voice only.  For Example, when you hear someone acting the role of Batman in a GraphicAudio audiobook, you hear Bruce Wayne’s loss of his parents, his calculating the next 30 moves in defeating a foe, and more, just through superb voice acting.

The acting is not the only thing that keeps these audiobooks interesting there is also incidental music that rises and falls with and enhances all the emotions and action in the story.  And even more fun are the sound effects.  So how do you give sound to the Green Lantern’s ring creating a boxing glove and punching his foe?  You can’t just simply punch something and record it, because the power behind the ring is what is creating the glove.  GraphicAudio create some superb effects that you can see in the mind’s eye all aspects of just such an action.  These guys really know what they are doing.

So with all that said let’s talk about this audiobook.  The excitement abounds, the story twists and turns and ultimate good is pitted up against ultimate evil.  Exactly what you’d expect from a comic book, but in this series all this takes place without the big name superheroes.  The Justice League members do make their appearance near the end to help wrap up the final battle and outcome, but for the most part what were normally minor characters now take the lead.

First off we’ve got Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, suddenly endowed with superpowers.  Not sure where they come from, Jimmy’s not one to ask, being the epitomical good guy, Jimmy immediately takes on the guise of Action Man and tries to right wrongs.  The problem with these newfound powers is that they only occur when his life is threatened.  But when his life is threatened the powers are doozies.  Powers such as, porcupine like quills suddenly erupting from his skin and shooting at foes, his body turning to ooze and more weirdness.  Even not being able to control his powers Jimmy tries to fight crime.

Next we have Mary Marvel.  After the events in 52, Mary is now just simply Mary Batson, sister to Billy Batson (Captain Marvel/Shazam).  Her powers were mysteriously taken away and she awakens in a hospital scared and powerless.  To find her brother and eventually her powers Mary seeks out Madame Xanadu,  warns Mary not to go to Gotham City.  Ignoring her, Mary is chased by thugs through the Gotham subway, and finds the former Kahndaqi Embassy, where Black Adam has been hiding. Adam appears, saves Mary, and transfers his powers to Mary.  Mary acquires the powers of Black Adam, Isis, and Osiris as a result.  These dark powers change Mary’s psyche and she seems to be one of the bad guys.

Holly Robinson, former Catwoman (the good Catwoman not the criminal one) meets up with Harley Quinn (Joker’s former girlfriend) at a women’s shelter in Metropolis where a woman claiming to be Athena is recruiting Amazons to go to Paradise Island, which was vacated by the real Amazons (Wonder Woman’s family).

Jason Todd (former Robin that should have died), and Donna Troy (former Wonder Girl, who also should have died) meet up with a Monitor who recruits them to find The Atom. It seems The Atom, Ray Palmer, is the key to fighting the New Gods who are waging war against each other and could destroy the Universe.


“Destiny’s Drum”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast Performance
Produced 2010 by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours.

Recently I’ve been listening to the Galaxy Audio releases of the old L. Ron Hubbard science-fiction stories from the days of the pulps, 30s-40s.  As I would do the research and find out more about these writings I found that they are also releasing other genres of L. Ron Hubbard’s multitude of fictional short stories and novellas.  The other genres are; westerns, tales from the Orient, far flung adventure, air adventure, sea adventure, mystery and fantasy.  I have read some of the fantasy and they were just as fun to read, or listen to, as in this case.  So I decided to try another genre.  The far flung adventure caught my fancy so I picked out the title “Destiny’s Drum.”  And once again my commutes were fun, while listening to this novella.

Before I get into the meat of the story, once again I would like to spout a little praise on the production of these audio books.  Galaxy Audio mixes just the right amount of sound effects to keep the listener lost in the story, yet not too much to overpower the production.  The acting in these stories, as well as the narration, really keep the feel of the time in which the original stories were written.  They come across as old radio serials, with moments of urgency and humor mixed in with just the right amount to not sound hokey.  I almost expect the end of each chapter to end with the narrator booming in, “Tune in next week for more daring adventures…”  No matter what genre the stories, Galaxy Audio makes listening fun and exciting.

The story behind “Destiny’s Drum” is that a renegade by the name of Phil Sheridan lands on the shores of the forgotten Indonesian island o f Kamling.  He’s captured by a primitive tribe (could they be cannibals?) and taken to their camp to meet their leader.  It turns out the tribe’s leader is Jose Emanuel Batista, slave trafficker, murderer, con-artist now tyrant.

Portuguese Joe, as Batista is otherwise known, knows of Sheridan’s past and decides he doesn’t need him meddling in his island paradise, so he sentences Sheridan to be killed in front of a firing squad.  Sheridan cons the con-man and makes his escape into the jungle on the island.  Where he runs into the island’s true King, and another con-man turned gold miner.  In order to get off the Island Sheridan has to get past Portuguese Joe and his tribe of Muslim cannibals, so he recruits the help of the miner and the king to overpower Batista.

This is a continuous island adventure that keeps you waiting for the next chapter, in fact I found myself taking the long way a couple of times just so I could listen for a little longer.  One thing to keep in mind, this is an L.Ron Hubbard story so expect some very interesting twists and turns in the plot and the story may go a direction you aren’t expecting.  Just when you think you got it figured out and you’re having fun listening to the story, it turns out you’re still having fun, but it’s not what you think.

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