Cover Image: Descent


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Member Reviews

I would like to thank NetGalley, and the author for the ARC which in no way bias' my review.

The story itself was alright. It felt like it was building towards a space opera, and I was liking it more once they got off the statuon, but I just couldn't finish the listen. The narration needs a little work, and I had a hard time hearing the difference between characters, narrator, and it just lacked excitement in the non-intimate scenes. I would be interested in finishing a paper copy of this, but I just can't finish this audio version.

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Despite the interesting-sounding plot, this book (which I listened to the audiobook version of) just didn't hit the mark for me I'm afraid. From the really awkward writing to the *constant* (unnecessary to the plot) f-bomb dropping every few words to the lack of plotline and complete lack of developed characters just made this a difficult read for me.

The audiobook format is narrated by the author, who I am afraid to say provides a very cold emotionless delivery emphasizing nothing, tripping over words and sounding like she has a cold most of the time through recording, the audio dipping in and out ... not an enjoyable listen I'm afraid.

It's quite short which is how I managed to get through it, but I genuinely don't feel like this is something I can recommend. This is my first ever one star review and I feel terrible but it must be said.

<i>Thank you to NetGalley for the complimentary audiobook in exchange for an honest review, which I leave voluntarily</i>

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Eric Hillar is a man with a price on his head. Branded a terrorist and on the run he ends up at The Rim. After he is identified he is picked up by a space pirate captain named Hawks in a rescue that adds him to her crew for a special mission. He faces a series of choices and trials that may lead to his freedom alone or with a new family.

I really liked the premise of this book. I’m big into science fiction and heist stories so I was looking forward to reading this. I will say that I liked most of the action in this. The story was very fast paced and kept my interest all through it. The world building and tech were well explained to me without getting into too much technical detail.

As can probably be seen from my star rating though I have more complaints about this than likes. The characters were very wooden and one dimensional. There wasn’t much of a plot arc for any of the characters that I could see. Everyone ended the story pretty much the same as they started. If this is the start of a series instead of a stand-alone I can give a little more leeway with that though. The action scenes were a little bit too fast for me. I didn’t have a chance to really get invested in them before they were over. If the main characters were in any kind of danger the threat was taken care of before I could properly start to worry about them. I think I would care more about the action and danger if this book was a little longer so those parts had a chance to be more fully realized.

Now my main issue. I read this as an audiobook. DO NOT READ THIS AS AN AUDIOBOOK. The author does the narration and I don’t think they should have. They have a heavy accent (which isn’t a bad thing don’t get me wrong) but I had a very hard time understanding them at some points of the story. The author uses the same flat monotone to read the entirety of the story, even the different characters voices. I started to have a hard time telling what characters were saying what lines because of this. The sound quality kept dipping for some sections of the book as well. Several parts really needed to be recorded again but just weren’t.

Overall I do think this was a decent story and I’m not mad that I read it. If anyone picks this up I in the strongest terms I can dissuade them from getting the audio version of this. I think I would have had a better time if I had just read the physical. (Do not recommend this for younger readers as it has several very sex scenes that may not be appropriate).

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Solid old-school science fiction; if you can imagine a mashup of Flash Gordon and Robert Heinlein, put their work into a blender, and something like this would come out. Likable, relatable characters, effective world-building, just suffers from not being well tied to a clear plotline. A perfectly entertaining way to spend an afternoon, but it's probably not going to transform your world.

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While the story itself had some promise, there needed to be a bit more work to really round this book out. Characters seemed mere sketches rather than living-breathing people. Too, dialogue and action sequences seemed stilted and abrupt.

I was onboard, but needed a bit more!

My thanks to NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Eric Hillar has been labeled a terrorist by the United Trade Confederate and is on the run. Hiding in the space sector known as The Rim seemed like a good idea, until he gains unwanted attention from slaver gangs and a mysterious Captain Hawke. The Captain needs a crew for a job, and demands that Eric helps in exchange for his freedom. If all goes well, he might just be able to begin his life anew.

This book sounded exciting, and its description drew me in – unfortunately, it fell flat for me. The plot should have been a fun read, but it was slow getting off the ground. Then when it did finally pick up, there was nothing really that original or exciting to maintain my interest.

The characters were bland and not well written. There was no real depth or development to them, and they all just come across as the same but with different names. The worldbuilding was similar. There was just enough to kind of let you kind of know what was going on, but no real explanations or incorporation of it to make the story interesting.

Probably the worst part of this book was the narration. There were stutters and mistakes left in, and you could hear the narrator swallowing heavily in several places. The narrator was also monotone with no effort put into differentiating the voices, which made this a real chore to get through. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this audiobook at all. I think if I’d read a physical copy, I would have been able to rate this a little higher.

My thanks to NetGalley and Vengeance Publishing for allowing me to read and review this work, which will be published on September 27th, 2022. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Descent by R.A Howes
Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this audiobook.
I was excited about this book. I mean space pirates. Eric the outlaw “terrorist” Who wouldn’t be into it?

I was fully ready to enjoy this audiobook but something about it threw me off. The premise seems cool but the narrator’s delivery lacks something to be desired. I found myself being pulled from the story too many times and couldn’t stay with it which is unfortunate.

⭐️ ⭐️

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The book cover is different and the name had potential. The books is interesting to a certain degree but the narration is not one that would evoke interest. The narration sounds interesting at 1.25 speed. I would have put the book at 3 stars but being a first novel and with what looks like a large canvas for the series, I have pinned this at 4 stars.

The story is too slow with a lot of what feels like unnecessary details with the background story or the start of the book and how things have reached the stage especially up front in the first hour of the story does not evoke a clear picture. The dichotomy is surprising because there are side narratives and non-incidents with enough story line.

As a SF book which has potential and actually has an intriguing story with the hope of getting better in follow up books.
I would suggest a professional narrator to strengthen the audiobook.

Received this copy of Descent Hillar File 4991.09 by R.A. Howes from NetGalley for a voluntary, fair and honest review. I thank NetGalley and the author for providing the book for review.
All opinions in this review are mine sine cera.

Please check the review in my blog at

I will be sharing those reviews around the book release date.

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This Science Fiction adventure of exploration (external and internal) sets upon an engrossing premise, and I am eagerly anticipating the series. I think Science Fiction is particularly a useful avenue for authors to explore ideas, and especially what H. P. Lovecraft called our "fear of the Other," for what could truly be more "other" than actual aliens?
I found the narration acceptable but not outstanding, and my interest in the book was contextual, not auditory.

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I requested this one because it might be an upcoming title I would like to review on my Youtube Channel. However, after reading the first several chapters I have determined that this book does not suit my tastes. So I decided to DNF this one.

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This audiobook sounded really interesting at first but the narrator seemed bored and had a monotone and the story was confusing with not enough details to give me everything that I needed to imagine the story overall.

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This book was okay. Descent by R.A. Howes is a slow read, and listen as the story takes a while to pick up and get engaging. Although this book was interesting in an unusual way, I would not recommend this book to read or listen to if someone is not into a story with buildup. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this audiobook from NetGalley.

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I really enjoyed this Sci-fi space pirate/ heist story. Fast paced with lots of humour. The writing style is smoothly concise but well developed. R A Howes, the author, has a nice timbre, perfect for the narration of the book . This is a complete story but looks like this is going to be the start of a well written entertaining series. Thanks to Vengence Publishing and NetGalley for the audio ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given

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