• Deathtrap

  • Expeditionary Force Mavericks, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (10,611 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The human soldiers stranded on the planet Paradise have been recruited into an alien legion to do the dirty jobs that the high-tech species won't do. Their first mission is to kick the enemy off a backwater planet no one cares about. It's a simple assignment, except everyone has a hidden agenda, and the planet could become a deathtrap.

©2019 Craig Alanson (P)2019 Blue Heron Audio

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What listeners say about Deathtrap

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What a great spinoff!

Craig Alanson proves in this book that you don't necessarily have to have a shiny beer can to cause some really crazy "stuff" to happen to an unsuspecting universe at the hands of some really devious humans! I am so happy I bought this! With Craig Alanson writing and R.C. Bray narrating, what could possibly go wrong?

85 people found this helpful

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so so spin off

Seemed like a dirt road in the plot with nothing at the end. I was waiting for something exciting to happen but it just wasnt there.

19 people found this helpful

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Excellent spinoff series

I was worried that this spinoff might suffer from not having Skippy around for comic relief. But it’s great. The plot moves rapidly and it’s even more engaging than many of the expeditionary force books. It probably helps if you’ve read the expeditionary force books, however, since there isn’t much character development in this book. It’s good if you know the characters involved.

70 people found this helpful

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Surgun Jates

OMG it was such a joy listening to this book. Surgun Jates with a drill sergeant sense of humor is a great new addition to these books. I loved the story, it was wild and all over the place. Filled with nail biting scenarios and tons of comic relief. This monkey is impressed

29 people found this helpful

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Sloooow...

Have read all of Craig Alanson's books, and have loved the Expeditionary Force series. Sadly the loss of Joe & Skippy in the Maverick series slows them down quite a bit. This one is much too full of the political explications of the layers of galactic politics. Even though I'm familiar with the several layers, they were still confusing. And the laborious descriptions of political intrigues and complications with Verdkrist and various sub clans of the Kristang, big the book down. it is also mildly annoying that the author seems to need to play politically correct cards in making sure that women are put in most positions of leadership.There are occasional bursts of interest, when the intrigue turns into battle and the technology is used effectively. I only bought the book because I have fallen in love with the characters in the previous oned. But if this were my first introduction I would not probably buy others.

28 people found this helpful

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A disjointed disaster of a book

Wow. This book is a garbled mess.

First of all... I like the idea behind the story. A group of humans were transported to a different world to act in a military capacity. There are several alien species that all hate each other and are about on par with us intellectually. The humans come in as disruptors and shake things up.

Where this book fails is in its telling. The narrative jumps from one point of view to another constantly. The only way a reader (listener) can tell one from the other is by the characters name. They are all the same otherwise. The only thing this jumping around does is add confusion while removing any semblance of continuity.

I would 100% stay away from this book. You should have read others in this series before picking this up regardless. Even though its book 1 in a new series, without the context of earlier writings, your pretty much lost. There is really NOTHING going for this story. Its a horrible mess.

9 people found this helpful

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Repetitive passages

The story was good, but sometimes it seems that the author was writing for someone with a short memory. There were several instances where he gave us a summary of what we just read in the previous chapter. That’s fine if we’re reading a serial and read the previous chapter last month, but annoying when we’ve just finished the last chapter. Maybe he gets paid by the word.

8 people found this helpful

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Jates may be as funny as Skippy!

I did say 'may be', Skippy is still the best. But, Jates does have some great lines, go Mavericks! Another great story.

51 people found this helpful

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really wanted to like this book

I love the Skippy and Col. Joe books and wanted to love the Mavericks but I can't. The plot is sooooo slow. The characters are lifeless. I really don't care about these people and I am halfway through the book.

I think what bothers me is that there is no main character. With the expeditionary force, you have Joe and Skippy. An excellent team!

With the Mavericks, it's like watching a bunch of secondary characters in the story. I need somebody I can cheer for. somebody that I can connect with. I'm not getting that here.


So....I won't be finishing it.

67 people found this helpful

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Nothing great about it

Unfortunately, I really think this story is done. I really enjoyed the original few books however the last one in the series was. a stretch and I believe this book is as well. Others have commented that this book is as funny as the original expeditionary force book but I completely disagree. Yes, it has a few funny moments, however, that's all. I finished the book for the sake of finishing it however nothing great here. A good book maybe but I believe this series is over. Sorry, I really was hoping this would be a step back into the original 4 or 5 expeditionary force books but it was not.

As always, RC BRAY did an amazing job which helps a little.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 05-14-19

The Mavericks Have The Stage!

The Mavericks, of course, evolved out of Alanson's most excellent 'Expeditionary Force" series and for the most part, have been considered by some to be something of a sideshow getting in the way of the main act in the form of Joe, Skippy and the Merry Band of Pirates. But you know, Alanson has created this wonderful universe with its own intriguingly mysterious history and populated it with an absolute panoply of weird and wonderful alien races. Their zany cultures, especially the Guraptha (I'm sure I've spelled that wrong) with their fabulous gambling habits, their politics, their sheer imperfections and their seemingly infinite variety mean there is more than enough space out there for the Mavericks and the Pirates to explore. It would be a real waste to only base one series in amongst all that lot.

It's also definitely a good move to split this series off into one in its own right. Understandably some were put off when the original series departed from the Joe and Skippy show to concentrate on the Mavericks so now people have a choice. Being me I choose both. The only cautionary note that I would sound is that if you are coming to all this fresh it would be much better to start with the Expeditionary Force series as you will miss so much of the background and some of the nuances of this might pass you by otherwise. And to be fair, if you don't like that series, you likely won't like this one either.

What you get with both is lots of action, lots of Alanson's trademark humour and of course bravura performances from the one and only RC Bray. I have written so many good things about that man and his narration in so many different reviews that I am almost dreaming of the day when he gives a bad performance so that I can slate him for it. In truth it remains but a dream because once again he is simply excellent.

Quite how Alanson manages to turn out books of this length quite so freqently and to this high standard is difficult to imagine. It is clear from his entertaining author's note at the end that he loves what he is doing and is prepared to put in the hard yards to be successful. All I can say is more power to his mighty writer's elbow!

48 people found this helpful

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  • Marko
  • 05-14-19

Jates is the man (OK, lizard... Whatever)!

This book was, in a way, Craig's "do or die" for the series. People like ExForce because of the Asshole Supreme, 1st class, and there were more than a few complaints about a portion of the Book 6 of the ExForce being "Skippy-less". However...

Main characters from the "Mavericks" (Book 6 of ExForce main series) are all there, and some of them evolved into pure gold. The plot is great, believable and has just the right ratio of build-up vs. action. Deathtrap hits big, hits hard and, most importantly, hits funny! With all due respect to the beer can, but I think this was actually the funniest book Craig has ever written (and anyone who read ExForce books knows they are funny as well as engaging).

Don't miss out on this one just because there's no Skippy. Relax, buy, and trust the awesomeness - Craig's writing and R.C. Bray's narrating awesomeness!

18 people found this helpful

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  • Jamie
  • 05-11-19

Alanson really stepped up

You might have thought the ExForce series was getting a little stale, but this book completely revives the universe Alanson has created. This book has a lot of original humour and interesting plot points which unveil a much broader, underlying story. This is accompanied by fresh views on existing characters from all species.

I would highly recommend continuing with this series as I can see this series expanding to more than just books, and it would be a shame to miss the full ride.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-04-19

Awesome break from Skippy & Joe funtime

You know how the mojo moves sometimes?

Bit like when the Simpsons starting dropping off right when Futurama started?

I get some of the feelings for this, I do love Skippy but deathtrap felt like a more rounded story.

To be honest - Mr brays interpretation of nert danderff is enough for 5 stars.

Next step - homefront audio drama 🤠

3 people found this helpful

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  • Trent N.
  • 05-17-19

Best expeditionary best I’ve had.

Really liked it. Bored with Skippy and quite happy to have a story without him for a change.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 01-02-22

Fantasy Sports, Humanities Ace in the Hole!

Jesse & Shauna stumble onto one of the most valuable bits of tech in the galaxy, the Alien Legion gets shipped off to pacify a backwater planet that no one wants, Admiral Tashallo makes a return doing what he does best with classic Jeraptha wagering, Dave & Jates go on a joy ride that ends in a brawl, the Legion find they have been set up all along and end up trading information to humanity's most unique cultural pastimes in the galaxy, in exchange to being rescued by the Jeraptha; fantasy sports...

Like most spinoffs, it's not as good as the original series but still well worth the read/listen and still is very relevant to the later main ExFor series. The main thing it is lacking over the main series is a certain beer can, which is both a good and bad thing as it makes this spinoff different enough that it isn't the same exact story as the main series with a different setting which many spinoffs are. Overall this book is still excellent and very entertaining and if you've been reading the main ExFor series, it isn't something you should skip over even though you could if you really wanted to blitz the main series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Handcuff
  • 09-01-19

Another great sci-fi saga from Craig Alanson!

Keep them coming! WRITE FASTER!!! I need to know what happens and if they finally get back to earth!!!!! DON’T KEEP ME IN SUSPENSE, MY HEART WON’T TAKE IT!!!!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 08-12-19

Excellent Expeditionary Force story

I was worried that Skippy and Col Joe Bishop would not be in this story. Perhaps just another way to squeeze a dime out of the series. BUT NO... this is a great story with great characters and it stands well along side the others. Great job Craig. RCBray awesome as ever. Can’t wait for next installment

1 person found this helpful

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  • J Baldock
  • 07-10-19

The only problem with these books....

If you have a sci-fy itch...
A need for interesting and grounded characters
Or even a joy of original story telling with action and spot on sarcasm and humour then please please pick up or listen to these books.
The story is both epic and personal.
The main characters are likeable and indeed lovable.
The narration is fantastic !!
The only problem with these books is having to wait for the next release!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • lee fardoe
  • 06-25-19

Best of the entire series

I’ve loved all of the series ( with the exception of the silly new one which I sent back unfinished, ) this one is the best story from all the series for sure. Loved it

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Pete
  • 05-20-19

Chapter 18

Needed something to listen to (I drive trucks) and just picked this one randomly because it was book one. Glad I did. The parts describing what's happening can be a bit dry and I start to drift, but character parts pull me back in at light speed. Can't wait for book 2. Chapter 18 had me in hysterics, though. Just the random ... randomness ... was hilarious. You'll know what I mean when you hear it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 05-31-19

nailed it!

reading a lot of reviews of previous books in this series, the constant tripe about how the 'side story's as being boring! nope.. just another arm to this wonderful Universe. thank you for continuing this path.
love the comic wit you bring to your novels.
only down side, this part of the story finished to quick. the balance between story telling and pace still needs work.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daine Williams
  • 06-04-19

This is a amazing divergence from the Exforce core story

This latest book by Craig is fantastic!The storyline is very clever and left me hanging out for the next installment! I highly recommend any space sci-fi genre lovers to pick up the Expeditionary Force series I have not been disappointed with any of the books I think 8 in total so far. The Mavericks as an off shoot series sounds promising and if this first book is to go by then I am very excited about what Craig has in-store! Hopefully his wife will come up with more chores like cleaning the garage out to motivate him to carry on and produce more amazing works!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 05-16-19

Absolutely amazing

The Mavericks arc is really going somewhere and the entire story has you rethinking everything you no about the Kristang. And knowing this story is leading up to Armageddon book the ending has left me dying to read the next story and hopefully Craig Alanson has more of there story to tell and R.C Bray is amazing yet again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • John O'Brien
  • 08-15-22

lost interest

lost interest, as it had to much dialogue that didn't move the story forward.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-21-21

Great addition

I left the main story when this book got referenced a bunch so some mild spoilers occured throughout the main story and I had to leave the main story right when it was getting interesting (questions being answered) but it was a treat to take a step back and get some gritty ontheground story telling

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  • Len Krois
  • 08-09-21

Entertaining

It was quite tough pausing the story when life intervened. I am looking forward to more Mavericks. Especially if Joe makes a comeback.

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  • Craig Pensini
  • 01-05-21

Great storyline

Love the rollicking story and narration. The highlight of this book for me though is the sarcastic humour delivered by all characters. Even for an Australian I could contextualise pretty much all the punchlines. The only small downside is that occasionally the description of plot background info gets a too detailed, slowing up the pace of the narrative.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-19-20

Massive universe

Do I got this book because of RC Bray, the narrator. I am so glad I did. Massive universe. Finally a story where Humans get to be badass underdogs, but not the top of the pyramid. Well done and fun. I really liked the humour, for any browncoats out there, I think you'll enjoy this.

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  • Matthew
  • 09-30-20

Wow! Didn't Darth Vader Say That?

Great splinter series. Just like Mavericks was a 40hr book.
Awesome to see what the other gang is getting up to. As well as some cracker lines.
Narration was spectacular.
Keep 'em coming.