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Publisher's Summary

Dash never asked to be a mech pilot, but fate has other plans.

On the run and out of chances, he guides his ship and crew into the heart of a relic older than the galaxy itself - and find himself on the edge of an eternal war he never knew existed.

The relic is a mech, lost to history and forgotten by all who remain. Built by an ancient race to be the ultimate weapon, the machine is capable of unspeakable destruction, and its discovery could unhinge the balance of power throughout known space.

Worse still, the A.I. inside the machine speaks of an ancient evil that will soon arrive - a race whose power far exceeds anything humanity has ever witnessed.

Only the Messenger can stand against them, the A.I. tells its new pilot. Only you can do what must be done.

©2019 J.N. Chaney and Terry Maggert (P)2020 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about The Messenger

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    1 out of 5 stars

Video games have deeper stories

This was not even worth the huge “daily deal” discount. From the summary, I was hoping for Peter Quill meets Robotech, or Firefly meets Iron (alien) Man. But, this was just dull tech talk and battle sequences. The book is six hours (there’s a one hour preview for book 2 at the end that I had no desire to listen to).

The first half was the most promising. Dash is a courier with a spaceship, a hangover, and cash flow problem. He’s a less dimensional Han Solo, right down to the early rescue gig, where a woman/ship in need mentions a cargo worth “more than you can imagine” and he utters the Solo line of “I can imagine a lot.” Before you know it, Dash takes on three crew with little backstory and limited purpose: Leira (fellow courier and I’m guessing love interest in the future books), Victor (crusty Sgt-type figure), and Conniver (tech/science know it all). The three exist mostly to explain the story in huge info dumps. Even though they’ve just met, they are immediately a like minded team who venture into The Pasture, aka The Maelstrom, a forbidden space zone filled with alien tech and guarded by Clan Sheerna.

The second half is pretty much three hours of the Dash Show, where he dons a robot suit, marvels at how advanced the suit is, and becomes an unbeatable warrior. Snore. No tension, predictable victory, and nothing but faceless redshirt alien death.

Narrator Kafer reads every book like an action movie. His gravelly voice is usually good for military-style action books, but here he just had nothing to work with. Without any real character development, I got so bored that I got on Audible and looked at the rest of this series. The author churns out cookie cutter books every few months. One reviewer says there’s already a plan through book ten, which is a dead give away for lower quality, money grab stories. I wish I’d have noticed that sooner. At least I got this book super cheap and didn’t even waste a credit on it.

No matter what kind of military sci-fi you like, I would recommend almost anything over this series:
* Fleet Ops (1 ⭐️ for me, but mostly because I don’t like multiverse / time travel tropes)
* The Dauntless (2 -3 ⭐️ for lovers of space battle tactics and the Battle Star Galactica reboot)
* Expeditionary Force (2-3 ⭐️ campy humans vs. space hamsters & lizards series)
* Forsaken Mercenaries (3 ⭐️ Bourne space amnesiac heads into apocalyptic Mad Max style earth)
* Galaxies Edge (2-4 ⭐️, mixed bag ‘Merica style military sci-fi to Star Wars bounty hunter fantasy)
* The Queens Road (3-4 ⭐️ more fantasy than military action, as a human falls MIB style onto a space highway patrolled by space rangers)
* We Are Legion (4-5 ⭐️ funny, philosophical epic involving sentient space ships loving pop culture)
* Hell Divers (4-5 ⭐️ following remnants of humanity as they struggle to survive in airships above nuclear ravaged Earth)

153 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Space book with a new twist! What a fresh change!

The Messenger: The Messenger, Book 1
By: J.N. Chaney, Terry Maggert
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
This is a story I definitely needed! A fresh unique space book that has a new twist on just about everything! I was caught up in the witty, snarky dialogue and the funny escape at first. Then the science/ techie stuff, the characters, the world building, and more just kept me pulled in like I too was in orbit.
This is an amazing book I can't wait to read more of! The descriptions made me feel I was there, flying outside of the ship! So much fun! I giggled, smiled, and laughed through a great deal of this book and the other parts I wondered how he would MacGyver his way through difficult situations.
The narration was excellent with Jeffery Kafer as narrator! He always performs perfectly!
If you're looking for something new and fun in space, pick up this! Mindblowing!

36 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I really tried to finish this book.

The story has so much technical stuff that I didn't get it I keep on falling asleep. But I have tried to finish the book 6 times but just cant get getting over chapter 13. I love Jeffrey Kafer narroning usually.

22 people found this helpful

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not that good

this was really hard to listen to world building was sparse and the characters were two dimensional and acted like they were life long friends after having just met

18 people found this helpful

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Another great one by Chaney.

Love all of JN Chaney's stuff. And the voice actors that he and his team choose are legit, too.

If you like future space travel/colonized worlds, ancient tech, mystery, impossible situations, and great banter, then this book and this author is who you want.

Check it all out. I def have. The 2-packs in his Renegade Stars series are a killer deal.

Waiting on the 3 series I follow on here (Last Reaper, Renegade Star, and this one, Messenger) to put out the next audios and will start Fifth Column next.

*not sponsored or asked for by anyone. I promise. Just solid stuff. Tc.

17 people found this helpful

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Really good

This was a fun romp. Pure escapism that feels like the old pulp scifi of the 60s mixed with the mecha anime of the 80s. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

It does take a bit before we see the mech, but once it comes into the picture, things really take off.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun Little Ditty? AWFUL Narration!

Light Sci Fi romp thru the galaxy with stereo typical religious zealot aliens, a worse xenophobic 'alien' alluded to, bent on the destruction of all life, (of course!), except the romp wasn't fully realized.
Suspension of disbelief required in spades & then some, but hey, it's sci fi, right?! Things don't have to make sense or be believable!
I REALLY wish Audible would list whether it's audiobooks are YA, Children's or Adult Fiction! I suspect this is supposed to be a YA series, though I found no confirmation of that anywhere!
I also REALLY wish Sci Fi Authors would STOP using Jeffery Kafer for narration! Is there a sale offering a discount for hiring him to do the narration?! He seems to be showing up all over Sci Fi lately! I really find it hard to tell how good (or bad a book is) because I get so annoyed when he narrates! The characters always sound so juvenile! The same level of tension is used throughout, I don't know how he keeps that hyped up feeling going (& going & going & going)! Every sentence ends in an exclamation point! There's no ebb & flow to match what's happening (or not happening) with the characters! The characters all sound the same! It makes it hard to tell when dialogue changes from one character to another! It sets a monotonous tone! It carries throughout the entire story! Bloody annoying! Isn't it?!!
The story gets lost in the bad narration. It's sad when what I remember most is how painful the story was to listen to. I can't be the only one who's bothered by this narrator, can I?
I'm sure he's a great in other categories, maybe Children's books or Non Fiction perhaps? But PLEASE! Authors (& Audible) do yourself and your readers a favor & hire someone else to narrate sci fi. There's plenty of great ones out there.
Despite the narration, at the end of this I was a little curious to see where this story would go & ordered the next book, but I should've listened through the end of the excerpt that was included in this one. If the rest of it follows in the vein of what occurs when they land on the first planet in their 'power core quest' (I swear the reason given for why this was necessary changed from book 1 to book 2! Not a good sign when such a simple & small cast of character's stories can't be kept straight.), I'll be seriously considering returning it. I'm surprised because I have enjoyed other books by this author, most recently the Orion series.
Sorry I can't say more positive things about this so far. The cover is cool, part of what got my attention in the first place. I guess, based on that, I should have expected it to read like a ya manga or anime wanna be.
I think what is really missing for me to raise this story up is a little more camp. A good dosing of witty banter & snark. If the humor was there, it would make everything easier to swallow and actually fun (along with a new narrator too, of course).
Sorry, this one wasn't a win for me.

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Entertaining Story In Need of a Thesaurus

For the most part, this story is an entertaining-but-generic space opera. The first third of it reads like a Star Wars fanfiction with the main character's name changed for legal reasons. Although, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure the Shadows of the Empire N64 game had a protagonist named "Dash".

Fortunately, the giant robot part does help to set the story apart from others of its ilk. Dash's banter with him AI companion made me chuckle several times, and the space battles feature some fun physics tricks.

The narration was very appropriate for the genre, but the writing was incredibly repetitive. One description of an alien race used the same phrase three times, and if I had a dollar for every time the word "incandescent" showed up, I'd be able to hire a better proofreader for the author.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great start

This is a great start to a new series, can’t wait for the next book!

8 people found this helpful

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solid!!!

really solid start to a series, really looking forward to getting book 2, had dayum dash!!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-23-20

Loved it

Narrator was excellent. Just my type of book and a decent start to a good series. Sadly I can only get the first two books. Seems to be happening more often. I’ve hundreds of books for this platform. But the ones I really want are not available any more on audible. Sort it out !

8 people found this helpful

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  • A. Stenhouse
  • 12-01-20

Feels like a video game

Listening to this story reminds me so much of video games like zone of the Enders.
The story is awesome reminds me of guardians of the galaxy meets Gundam and that’s no a bad combination. I feel if you are into sci fi and video games and especially into mecha stories this series of books is a good listen.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DENNIS
  • 03-21-20

FAST PACED ACTION

KEPT ME INTERESTED ALL THE WAY TO THE END ALTHOUGH THIS COULD BE THE NARRATOR WHO WAS EXCELLENT.FOUND THE STORY RATHER SUPERFICIAL,TENDING TO JUMP FROM ONE ACTION SCENE TO ANOTHER.THE CHARACTERS WERE RATHER UNBELIEVABLE HAVING NO DEPTH HOWEVER OVERALL IF YOU LIKE BOOKS FULL OF ACTION THIS IS WORTH READING.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham
  • 10-04-21

Quite enjoyed it

yet there is a but, the book is too short 6hrs plus an hour promoting the next book. The continuous flippancy of Dash becomes wearing. Impossible scenarios overcome with ease. the near death experiences follow one after another. But the storyline is sound and interesting I'll try the next book and see where it goes. on the fence at the moment.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Call me Bob
  • 09-15-21

Ok but very generic and forgetable

A Dime a Dozen.
The story is very light and generic. Powerful Mech left behind by ancient civilization to help beat artificial intelligence about to come back and wipe organic intelligent life.
Unsuspecting hero stumbles upon mech and gets chosen as the one.

It's not bad but it's like buying coffee on the street, chances are it's no better than the next place.
Bland, almost tasteless, it is a very strange feeling to not really care if you read it or not.

So don't waste your time, there are much better books out there but many far worse.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anela Anne
  • 09-11-21

No ending

This is the first book in what I assume will be a series that I won’t be listening to on Audible because I like books that have an ending, even if there are sequels to follow. Each novel should have a beginning, middle, and end. This book had a beginning, a bunch of explosions again and again in space, then no ending to the story of whatever the plot is supposed to be. Too bad because I thought the characters were quite good and the narrator had style too.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jon
  • 08-29-21

Not Very Interesting

The narration is good, but the story is fairly bland, so I gave up on it halfway through!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Panagiotis
  • 06-29-22

Awesome

Really good start on a really good series.
Chaney and Maggert is a really good team.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth Sheehy
  • 05-22-22

Meh

It was not terrible, but not good either. 2.5 out of 5 at best. Meh

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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
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  • Vanessa
  • 01-12-22

Not a bad read...

I wish there was more of a definition between the characters voices so you can tell who's speaking but other then that it's good.
The story is on par with others and nick of time rescues are tense enough to be good.

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  • Caleb N.
  • 02-20-20

Great Space Tech Sci-Fi!

It’s just that! Well done in every area, I found myself hooked on the story, and it all seemed so realistic. It was well written with just enough detail, I didn’t think it went too far like some books, now too sparingly like others, but it gave you just what you needed and made you feel like a part of the story. The voice acting was pretty great, it was maybe a little hard to differentiate between side characters at times, but I didn’t really care. All in all a great read for lovers of space sci-fi.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Doug
  • 12-03-20

A fun story for sci-fi mech fans

the story is a bit cliche but the characters are fun, the action suspenseful and interesting. it's worth a listen for a bit of fun

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig
  • 09-24-21

An Entertaining Yarn

This book is better than expected with Jeffery giving another enthralling narrative and great character voicing.
I was quite entertained

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-31-21

under 6 hours

the last chapter is the first chapter of the next book. talk about bullshit padding of a book. i as a rule never by a 7 hour book. if i knew it was actually even less than this i would not have paid for this audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • The Keyboard
  • 02-25-22

Hans Solo meets Mechwarrior Cliched Goodness

Right, let's get this out of the way first . The Messenger is generic, cliched and predictable. But for all that, it's fun! As long as you know what to expect, this is a great read. It's like pulp fiction for sci-fi nerds with a dash of star wars thrown in. Chicken soup for the soul. The perfect beach read. Just don't expect a literary masterpiece, and don't think too hard about plot.

The basic plot revolves around Hans Solo... cough, sorry Dash Someone-or-other... piloting the Millennium Falcon... sorry 'The Slipwing' when a distress call leads him to two passengers and a precious cargo. This in turn leads him to discover an ancient, alien mech, which of course he boards and proceeds to kick butt in.

'Dash' as the MC is as Hans Solo as you can make someone without infringing on Star Wars copyright. Pilots a rickety spaceship? Check. Known to carry dubious cargo? Check. Wisecrack humour, antagonistic personality, daring flying skills, uses a blaster, rogue with a heart of gold, ladies love to hate him, only-after-money-sweetheart (but not really)? Check, check, check, check, check, check and check.

Honestly, there's not much to hate about this book as long as you know the clichés you're getting into. The book runs pretty short (the last hour is actually a preview for book 2) and the MC makes some pretty dubious the-plot-needs-to-go-this-way decisions, but as long as you're willing to switch off your brain and just go with the flow, this is a surprisingly decent listen. Narration is top notch, too - to the point that I'm going to search out other books Jeffrey Kafer has narrated.

Will I get book 2? No - the book was a little too cliched for my liking, and the main character made one too many 'I'm going to risk it all when I really don't have to' decisions, but don't let that stop you if you just want something light and full of action to pass the time.

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  • Toni
  • 12-08-21

Read at your peril

Book 1 and Book 2 are fine for entertainment. But so far there are 14 books in the series. And that's a lot of books. I'm not sure the story is good enough to warrant that kind of investment.