• Ordinary

  • A Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian Novel (The Powers Series Book 1)
  • By: Starr Z. Davies
  • Narrated by: Nathaniel Ascher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Having a superpower is ordinary. Your power determines your entire life. But 17-year-old Ugene is powerless. He can’t read minds or enhance his strength. He can’t manipulate natural matter or heal injuries.

Determined to find out why he is different, Ugene submits himself as a test subject at Paragon. But nothing is as it seems. All exits from the testing floor are sealed. Subjects endure brutal and sometimes deadly injuries. No amount of power can save them.

When his new friend Jade disappears, Ugene is shocked to discover why so many test subjects vanish without a trace.

Now, Ugene must choose between his own preservation...or the lives of countless other test subjects.

Ordinary is the first installment in a YA dystopian-sci-fi trilogy. If you like fast-paced action, dynamic characters, and ongoing mystery, then you’ll love this series starter.

©2020 Starr Z. Davies (P)2021 Starr Z. Davies

What listeners say about Ordinary

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not too bad

I thought the narrator did a great job. No complaints at all. Didn't blow me away like some narrators, but I thought he did a very solid job.

As far as the story, it should probably appeal to people who really like the YA dystopian genre, but while I like YA, I don't read a whole lot of dystopian, and I found the story a bit slow. I kept putting it down and not picking it up for long periods of time (but, to be fair, I haven't been listening to audiobooks much lately the past year or so, so that's at least partly me). Nearly the entire book takes place in a facility and is about them being tested on. It was hard to see much progress happening, since they were not really even in the real world doing real-world things. There were a lot of characters, but very few of them were distinct enough for me to even remember who they are. Sometimes people would die, and I just wouldn't even care because I couldn't remember anything distinct about the person.

I also had some trouble with this very smart MC doing something very stupid (making the agreement to go to the facility in the first place), given that multiple people he trusted tried to get him not to and he had no way to check that the one thing he was supposed to get out of the deal would actually happen.

So ... I don't know. I think people who are more into this genre than I am might like it, but it was all a bit too boring for me, I think.

3 people found this helpful

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An amazing story!

In a place where everyone is born with some level of superpower, that is what is considered ordinary. But what if you are born without one? Can you still be a contributing member of society? Maybe you can be more than just a contributor, maybe a hero...

This is a fantastic story by Starr Z. Davies to kick off the Powers series. I loved how Ugene was not the typical main character in a superhero story. He was very relatable. I’m excited to see what’s to come in the next book!

I enjoyed Nathaniel Ascher’s narration. His performance was so well done that I actually forgot I was listening to an audiobook.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The story by Starr Z. Davies is enthralling. It was different from most of the super powers/apocalyptic stories by not focusing on the barren outside the city but exploring what an uncontrolled pharmaceutical company can do to subjects hidden from their city’s view. Every person is born with a superpower except the main character. The company wants to know why. The narrator is a pleasure to listen to. This is the start of a series I will follow.

3 people found this helpful

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GREAT READ!

I really enjoyed it! This book was full of action, drama, and suspense! The narration was great and kept me entertained! The author did a great job with the character builds and plot! This was my first book by this author but definitely not my last! I look forward to reading the next book in this series! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story; many YA troupes but well written

Utopian City in a Dystopian World? Check
Protagonist is an outsider? Check
Neutral guy is the chosen one? Check
Evil Adults run an evil corporation? Super Check
Love Triangle (that the protagonist doesn't even know is happening)? Check

All that said, I really enjoyed it. I got vibes from a LOT of other YA series', but it stood out on its own through the premise. The fact that it is a world flipped on its head from most stories is very intriguing and interesting to follow along. The character development was minimal overall, but I can see how things can take off in the next stories. They left you off with a lot of unanswered questions (as expected) and I'm excited to listen to the next book to find out what direction the author chose to take.

The narration was great as well. Great diction and differentiation between characters. Was successfully able to bring emotion into the right scenes.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Ordinary Book Review

This book was really great. I loved how the author wrote this book. It was a great start to the series. This I loved about this book: - The main character. I loved how Ugene grows and develops throughout this book. - The world-building throughout the book. The setting is always developing and becoming more complex. It was really great to see that the setting was never lost after the first few chapters. - The plot development in this book. I loved the twists and turns in this story. It was hard to stop listening because I wanted to listen to more. -I really loved the dystopian feel this book had throughout. It grabbed you in the beginning and never let go. -The narration was brilliant. I loved how the narrator used different tones for different characters. Things I didn't enjoy: -The book did slow down a bit in the middle. - Ugene made stupid decisions for someone who was meant to be incredible smart. It was a bit weird, but then emotion may have played a part. Overall, I enjoyed listening to this book. It was fun to listen to the world-building, plot development and watch the story play out. I found the book slow at times, but otherwise it was great. I received this audiobook from the publisher and am leaving this review voluntarily

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Coming Of Age Sci-Fi Dystopic Series

This was my first experience with Starr Z Davies' work and it won't be my last. I enjoyed the book a lot. The author has created a world that is on the verge of collapse. She has created fascinating and unique characters; some that are likeable and some that are not. She has crafted an interesting plot which is full of twists and turns. I am looking forward to obtaining the next book in the series. Nathaniel Ascher's narration is great as he creates different voices for each of the characters. I was given a free copy of the audiobook and I have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good start

Good YA novel. Story is not new, but well written. Narration is pretty good, never heard this person before, but he's got skills. Overall a good start to a series.

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

2 people found this helpful

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great book

Great book, a completely different take on the superhero story. Well worth a second read.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting and well constructed story

This is an interesting and well constructed story. Ugene is, as the title suggests, ordinary and has no powers while most of his colleagues and neighbors have a variety of powers including telepathy, extraordinary strength, abilities to manipulate organic matter or technology and so on. I really enjoyed this exciting story. It was fast paced and full of action. The world and the characters were constructed very well and I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The simulations, the test subjects, Paragon... Just masterful story-telling. The narration by Nathaniel Ascher was spot-on, he truly brought the story to life and life into each character

[Thank you Starr Z. Davies via Audiobook Boom for the free audiobook!]

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for C. Rowlands
  • C. Rowlands
  • 04-13-21

Solid world-building to start this series

The premise of somebody not having a power being the special one and also crucial to the overall world is an interesting one that mostly works well in this book, although you do tend to keep wondering when the author will pull a switch and the main character's lack of powers somehow turns out to be due to his power being especially powerful somehow. In the meantime, the focus on the character is that his lack of powers has forced him to work smarter and harder, with his problem-solving, leadership etc. being more important than most of the powers displayed in this book. Thankfully, the author avoids falling into the trap of going too far down this route and actually making the main character an annoying young genius rather than just a regularly smart kid.

The overall world of this is fairly well-defined in this instalment of the series, organically filling in the back story of how the world is like it is rather than trying to dump too much exposition on the reader at once, nicely ensuring the world has enough depth to it in the process.

The performance of the narrator is a good one with a clear and distinctive tone that helps in bringing the characters to life and ensuring the listener can easily distinguish between the different characters.

Overall, a promising start to this series and I will be interested to see how it progresses in subsequent books.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

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Profile Image for Taylor
  • Taylor
  • 03-23-21

Placeholder review

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]