Narrator: Joe Zieja

Audio review: Mechanical Failure by Joe Zieja

Posted August 4, 2016 by Anne in Book Review | | 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio review: Mechanical Failure by Joe ZiejaMechanical Failure by Joe Zieja
Series: Epic Failure #1
Narrator: Joe Zieja
Published by Tantor Audio on June 28, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10 hours, 16 minutes
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audio | B&N | Goodreads

The two hundred years' (and counting) peace is a time of tranquility that hasn't been seen since . . . well, never. Mankind in the Galactic Age had finally conquered war, so what was left for the military to do but drink and barbecue? That's the kind of military that Sergeant R. Wilson Rogers lived in before he left the fleet to become a smuggler. But it turns out that smuggling is hard. Like getting-arrested-for-dealing-with-pirates-and-forced-back-into-service kind of hard. It doesn't seem so bad-the military was a perpetual tiki party anyway-but when Rogers returns after only a year away, something has changed. These are soldiers-actual soldiers doing actual soldier things like preparing for a war that Rogers is sure doesn't exist. Rogers vows to put a stop to all this nonsense-even if it means doing actual work. With an experienced ear for military double-speak, Joe Zieja has created a remarkable and sarcastic adventure in Mechanical Failure.


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When I started listening, I shook my head at how stupid some things were but then the ridiculous worked its way into a hilarious satire. I love science fiction and space opera. However, the military is unfortunately, related to the government which is the scariest thing ever. In Mechanical Failure, bureaucracy covers up other bad things happening.

The author is also the narrator which seems like a great idea. Who else knows the material and proper emotional tone as well? Since Joe Zieja is also a voice actor, it seems even more appropriate. I found it comfortable to listen to the story with a nice pace and inflections. He didn’t really do any vocal changes to differentiate the characters except the droids all had a special sound.

You can read an interview of the author (and narrator) at The Qwillery.

Everything which could go wrong, did go wrong and it added to the totally fucked up situation. Rogers, our main character, started by not caring about anything but himself. He was the poster child for “I don’t want to adult today.” Throughout, Rogers grew into handling a lot more responsibility because he chose to rather than being saddled with it. The droid who was a reject, and became the sidekick of Rogers, would say things like “male bovine excrement.” I laughed out loud often.

While I frequently rolled my eyes at the ludicrous events, there were also the laughs. I’ll definitely be reading/ listening on in the Epic Failure series. The ending sets up the next adventure perfectly.


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About Joe Zieja

Joe Zieja is an author with a long history of doing things that have almost nothing to do with writing at all. A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Joe dedicated over a decade of his life to wearing The Uniform, marching around in circles and shouting commands at people while in turn having commands shouted at him. It was both a great deal of fun and a great nuisance, and he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Joe’s also a commercial voiceover artist and a composer of music for video games and commercials. He’s probably interrupted your Spotify playlist at least once to encourage you to click on the banner below and isn’t the least bit upset that you ignored him.