• Cartwright's Cavaliers

  • The Revelations Cycle, Book 1
  • By: Mark Wandrey
  • Narrated by: Craig Good
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,511 ratings)

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Cartwright's Cavaliers

By: Mark Wandrey
Narrated by: Craig Good
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Publisher's Summary

Heir to one of the leading "Four Horsemen" mercenary companies, Jim Cartwright is having a bad year. Having failed his high school VOWS tests, he's just learned his mother bankrupted the family company before disappearing, robbing him of his Cavalier birthright.

But the Horsemen of eras past were smart - they left a legacy of equipment Jim can use to complete the next contract and resurrect the company. It's up to Jim to find the people he needs to operate the machinery of war, train them, and lead them to victory. If he's good enough, the company can still be salvaged.

But then again, he's never been good enough.

©2016 Mark Wandrey (P)2017 Mark Wandrey

What listeners say about Cartwright's Cavaliers

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't give up on the book because of the monotone

When you first start listening to this book, you will probably want to stop listening in the first half hour because of the monotone narration; don't. If you persevere, you'll realize that the monotone is the natrator's way of expressing the protagonist's mental state at the start of the story. As the protagonist's life gets progressively more interesting, the narration really comes alive.

The story itself is an entertaining, if somewhat formulaic, example of the current style of military sci-fi, with brief bits of prose that hint at what this author may become. I am looking forward to watching this writer polish their chops as time goes on.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Gary Stu for Bronies, Not Enough Mechs

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book is well written and well paced, but the pandering to teen boys did me in. I made it to the 9 hour mark and gave up. The lead is an overweight teenage boy who is a literal Brony (in the future apparently people still watch and obsess over My Little Pony.) He grows slightly as a character as the story progresses but is given inordinate praise and rewards from gruff father figures and the attention of a gorgeous and otherwise unattainable woman, as well as the respect of soldiers and significant wealth.

I think if the author had made the character less a caricature of neckbeard culture the story would have landed more successfully for non-neckbeards. Making the protagonist overweight could have made for some great conflict and personal struggles/growth, but the Gary Stu aspects of this book and the uninspired wish fulfillment (wait until the cute, telepathic fairy creature shows up to be a real life Pony friend for the protagonist. I'm not joking, this happens in a story about mechs. Because reasons.) make this a difficult tale to stick with.

What does Craig L. Good bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator was very competent. He did a good job creating distinct voices for each character. It would have been easy to play the main character whinier and more grating, but I'm glad he didn't go that path. If I were reading the book I probably would have assigned a more annoying voice to the protagonist and ultimately disliked him.

Was Cartwright's Cavaliers worth the listening time?

Ultimately yes. I enjoyed the bulk of it but cut out in the last few hours. The limited combat and training segments were entertaining.

Any additional comments?

I won't go any further into the series because of the way the protagonist was developed, and likely won't delve any further into the author's other works. Although setting the initial story in my hometown of Indianapolis was fun.

33 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Utter Dissapointment

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book starts out intresting enough, sci fi fiction in an alien heavy setting where humans are a marginal faction. Intersting politics and everything sounds like it will be a decent read. Then as soon as the action starts, the story fails. The bad guys are all incompitent bumbling idiots that remind me of the droids in phantom menace. The main protagonist is a horrid neckbeard brony gary sue, who goes from childishly comical incompetence and stupidity to saving the day and surviving stuff that should kill him outright time and time again. I managed to get about 7 hours into the book, but sorry when mystical cute furry pets show up that instantly bond with the main character I'm out.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure, but I wont ever again read anything after this author.

Which character – as performed by Craig L. Good – was your favorite?

The performer was decent enough, given what he had to work with. I can't really say I enjoyed any of the characters that much because frankly they were all flat comically stereotypical archtypes. I honestly thought this was a book by a 15-16 year old after listening for a few hours, and was certain it was a the authors first book.. I was wrong in both cases.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cartwright's Cavaliers?

Drop all the brony stuff its uninteresting, does nothing for the character, is utterly out of place 100 years into the future. For the love of god cut the cute pet character, its a horrible trope with nothing to gain from it. The world and setting was fine, just write that. Also tone down the Gary Sue level from 11 to about 3. Sure I can buy the fat kid that inherits an mercenary company in ruins from his father, but the fight with the tank should have turned him into jelly, ramming into stuff even inside armor still hurts. The amount of beating he main character took in that scene alone should have left him crippled for life. The tank scene really lost my interest and I was highly sceptical after that, the moment the thing in the cave showed up I said thats it.

Any additional comments?

Don't let the description fool you, its not a military sci fi book. Its at best a young adult brony gary sue powerfantasy.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good scifi.

Multiple points of interest. Avoids the miopic scope of so many other scifi audios. There is a whole Galaxy of moving parts here, and they are polished and interesting.

Really ballsy, having a fat protagonist. good dialogue with minor funnies.

The real star is the Mech combat. the caspers are cool. The other mech, the bigger ones, are goosebump inducing.

Their interface has a very warhammer 40k sort of interfacing with a God machine type of goosebumpy vibe.

Anyway, it's good, if you are wondering if it is worth your time, it is. I give it an A. (omg that final battle, good stuff.)

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

GOOD GOD!!!!

Have you ever listened to an audio book in one go. With the richest story line you have ever heard. Well I certainly have not, that is until today. Now im just going to be sitting here waiting for the next one. Wondering how to move on with my life.

14 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • H
  • 12-03-18

Gary Stu, is that you?

somehow finished this one. Monotone voice acting, cliches left and right. Bronies.

I was thrown off by the many positive reviews, but I think military sci-fi has a pretty low bar for entry for many. A few stompy mechs and a hefty serving of deus ex machina doesn't bother some people, I guess.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Even better in audio

What made the experience of listening to Cartwright's Cavaliers the most enjoyable?

The performance by Craig Good is exceptional. He really brought the book to life. I had previously read the book, and wanted to see how it came across in audio. The answer is it rocks.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jim Cartwright. As I said in my Amazon review, here is a hero that is not seven feet tall and bullet proof. Here is a nineteen year old kid who gets thrust into trying to salvage his family company after the assets are squandered. Will he make it? Will he be able to learn how to be a merc, and not die? I found myself rooting for him to succeed.

Have you listened to any of Craig L. Good’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to his narration of several of Chris Kennedy's books. This performance is as good if not better than those.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Kill Aliens, get paid!

Any additional comments?

I was a beta reader on the book version. I wanted to hear how the book was performed, so I bought the audio copy. I am very impressed as how the book comes alive. I strongly urge you to get this book either in audio electronic or dead tree if you like good old fashioned space adventure.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

my little pony, Fml

so the book started off kinda good but halfway through you find out that the main character is a my little pony fan, I just couldn't force myself to continue after that. 300 years in the future and the main character is a brony........ don't buy this book

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Underdog Strikes Back

interesting take on an old theme, would have been nice for some extra details but that's just me... it was Great

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fat kids rejoice, here is a hero for you.

What made the experience of listening to Cartwright's Cavaliers the most enjoyable?

I am a fat guy and the difficulties and how his mind keeps going back to his weight problem and the feelings around it are very well done. Especially the fact that even after he starts working out and trying to lose weight seriously little changes. That is so realistic.

What did you like best about this story?

The modern references like the shout, "Leroy Jenkins!"

Any additional comments?

I really recommend this book if you like any sort of science fiction mech combat books. I grew up reading mechwarrior so Im a bit biased.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Susan W
  • 11-22-21

One of the best in the series

The quality of Four Horseman books varies from author to author, but that is one of the major charms that continually draws me back to books from the 4H universe.

This series of books are not likely to win major literary prizes for fiction, but they are engaging, fun, and fill the reader with hope that the Human Race has a future out beyond this planet.
They postulate that our ingenuity and perpetually-combative warlike nature is valued by other species as a commodity, and ultimately a force for good.

In this, Cartwright's Cavaliers delivers in spades.
This book touches on so many aspects of the human condition in such a way as to construct a storied symphony that truly spoke to me.

This is an action-adventure novel, lovingly-crafted rip-roaring adventure story fashioned to talk to even the most jaded among us.
There is excitement, hope, love, betrayal, corruption, camaraderie, adversity, loss, survival, and so much more.


Sadly though, there were a few minor negatives: Pronunciations.

tldr: "I know I'm being silly, but I do have a valid point to put over - if you are going to read a book to others, please learn how to pronounce the words/names correctly."



Explanation of above comment.

Blatant mispronunciation of established place names, military and scientific terms, etc., often ruin my enjoyment of audiobooks.
I feel that they do a disservice to the author and the listener both.

As an ex-soldier (UK), I find some of the mispronunciations of military terms by the various narrators so grating as to instantly eject me from an authors' carefully-crafted universe - much like the overused "Wilhelm Scream" now breaks the 4th wall in a film every time I hear it.

While allowing for the ever-present different versions of modern English, taking the UK vs. UK pronunciations/spelling of words as an obvious example, sometimes the narrators make silly mistakes.

Craig Good does better than most in this respect. I'd go so far to say that he does extremely well to avoid the usual pitfalls.

His style and vocalisations of accents was acceptable, even outstanding in places, but one mispronounced word drove me nuts!
I even stopped listening several times to replay it to my partner...

It's a simple word: "Ration"

Every person I've ever heard speak it, would do so that it would rhyme with "Ashen."
Phonetically, it could be written as "Rash-en."

Craig Good says "Ration" so as to rhyme with "Nation."
Phonetically, he says: "Ray-shen."

The first time I heard it, I wasn't actually sure what he said. I had to go back and listen a couple of times! :D

There were a few other 'sillies,' but this was the one that did it for me.

I would like to thank Craig for using the 'correct' pronunciation of the word "Glacis" - as in "glacis plate."
(One of his contemporaries mangled that word so badly that not even a native French speaker would be able to understand them!)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Phillistein
  • 09-08-21

Robotic performance

I must admit that I nearly returned this due to the slow and robotic reader. The story is good, and I will be downloading the next in the series

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MG
  • 05-16-20

Unexpected

The Four Horseman Universe (4HU) has over 40 books in it, and is a conglomerate of different authors. Some books are mandatory for the main story, some are just extras. When you are presented with such a large body of work, you have to ask yourself "Do I really want to get involved with this?" Do you like BattleTech? Military Fiction? Stories of where the underdog triumphs over adversity? Mech suited combat in general? Then actually, the 4HU may be for you,. Mark Wandrey has done a really nice job here. There's a great mix of world building, character development, and plot., with scatterings of mech combat in between. For a military fiction book and about mechanised war suits however, combat isn't the main draw here. The main focus is on the main character Jim, and how he goes from being the picked on fat kid, to running one of the top 4 merc companies in the galaxy. Its a good story, and the protagonist is just likeable. He is not good at everything, not an action hero, but he a good leader just trying to find his way. Interestingly enough, other reviwers have pointed out the fact that Jim is a Broney - this doesn't get brought up often, and doesn't effect the story (not sure why its even in there, but more power to him) You can read/listen to Cartwright's Cavaliers without going further in the 4HU, it tells a complete story, but I personally will be trying out some of the other titles. The narrator Craig Good is an odd one. I cant imagine Jim's voice coming from someone else now, but at times he a bit monotone/slow. I mostly rectified this by putting him at 1.15 speed, but your mileage may vary Fully recommend giving this a go

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-16-19

a nice book

had a good time with this book and am looking firewood to the next story