Free book? Sure! Free new release by popular author? Yes, please! Free audiobook of new release by popular author, read by amazing actor? Where do I get this and can I have it now? That was pretty much my reaction to finding out about this book. I immediately preordered it, and, almost as soon as it came out last week, I started listening to it.
(From Goodreads) One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
Despite the fact that I own more than one of them, I hadn’t yet read a John Scalzi book before this one. The Dispatcher was my first experience with Scalzi, and I have to say, it was a good one. First of all, the narration is EXCELLENT. Zachary Quinto needs to read ALL THE BOOKS (okay, not really, because there are a lot of other great audiobook readers, but you get my point. I thought his voice was well-suited for a book like this, and I like that he did character voices, but ones that weren’t too over-the-top. Overall, ten out of ten for narration!
The story itself was also great. I like that it was short – just over two hours on audio – but somehow also managed to feel like a complete novel. There were subplots and twists and fun side characters. The plot itself was well-developed. I think the fact that the story took place in our world, just with one key difference, made it easy to understand, and required very little world building. It was easy to follow and very exciting. I always enjoy an ending that isn’t quite expected.
This was a solid four-star read for me. I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t completely blow me away. I also felt like it could be a little bit longer. I really liked this story as a novella, but I wanted a little something more. Still, it was a great read, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for an audiobook to listen to.
The Dispatcher is free on Audible until early next month (I think), and at some point it will also be released in physical and ebook formats. So snatch it up for free while you can!