• Universe in Flames Megabox- Ultimate 7-Book Box Set

  • An Epic Space Opera Adventure
  • By: Christian Kallias
  • Narrated by: Zachary Johnson
  • Length: 64 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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Universe in Flames Megabox- Ultimate 7-Book Box Set

By: Christian Kallias
Narrated by: Zachary Johnson
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Publisher's Summary

They won't settle for mere victory.

They want to exterminate us. Every last one of us.

A surprise attack has sent the Star Alliance fleeing for its life. A remnant of a remnant, their meager fleet—all that remains alive—flees to what seems like a safe harbor: a forgotten backwater planet called Earth.

Join ace fighter pilot Chase as he teams up with the modern-day militaries of Earth and fights the last battle for the universe.

Sixty-five hours of space-opera goodness. Download the Universe in Flames Megabox today.

©2019 Christian Kallias (P)2022 Pramantha Publishing

What listeners say about Universe in Flames Megabox- Ultimate 7-Book Box Set

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

comically bad stereotypical action space opera

I received a free review copy of this book. For this reason, I was pre-disposed to liking it. Then I started listening to it, and well…. Sorry, but must be honest.

My take on this is it’s a series of fan fiction aimed at middle school boys. When I was a middle school boy, I probably would have enjoyed it to a degree. Hell, I might have loved it, I didn’t always have the best taste back then. The writing isn’t TERRIBLE per se, but it’s not good either. After getting two books into the series, I have zero investment in any of the characters, and all attempts to add levity are so ham-handed and hackneyed that they’re comical for all the wrong reasons. Every single character is a flat, single-dimensional stereotype. The evil emperor in particular is so over-the-top bad that I have to laugh each time he comes into scene.

I believe that the author watched The Expendables movies (wherein Sylvester Stallone brought together all the action heroes from last few decades into a run romp where you check your brain at the door) and decided to write a book that did the same thing with every single action movie / sci fi trope from recent history. The book is admittedly action-packed. There is so little attention paid to character development and back-story that it never slows down; it bounces from one end-of-the-world crisis to another. The first book was just bad, to the point that the only reason I kept reading was a misplaced sense of duty since I received this book for free as a review copy. The second book is so amazingly bad, staggering from one action-movie trope to another that I now must keep reading to see what ridiculousness will happen next. It would be more enjoyable if it felt like the author was purposefully writing everyone as an over-the-top stereotype for MST3K-style fun, but instead it takes itself too seriously, and is written like this is supposed to be a real space opera story.

The narration is passable at best. There are some odd technical issues with the recording. So far I’ve heard six or seven times where a sentence was obviously re-recorded after-the-fact, and it sounds like the re-recording was done over a landline phone or while the narrator was pinching his nose closed, with completely different timbre than the preceding or following sentences.

For your reading pleasure, I present a plot summary of the books in this series I slogged through:

Book 1 – Top Gun redone as fan fiction space opera. Lone wolf fighter pilot trainee who won’t play by the rules is admired by his superiors and single handedly fights off superior enemy/alien forces that have broken through the veteran pilots and saves the lives of everyone on the flagship. Oh yeah, and he has a ‘sexy/sultry female voiced” AI in his fighter, because “reasons”. Final scene shows us evil emperor that apparently has his eyes on this young rulebreaker cadet that defeated his attack, because Top Gun in Space wasn’t enough, we had to have echoes of Star Wars as well.

Book 2 – 5 years later, our hero is still a lone wolf that flies by instinct and ignores all the rules, but always succeeds and wins the day, and is admired for always breaking the rules. After a brief interlude where we find out our hero has genetic abnormalities that mean he’s not fully human, we’re back to nonstop battle. The evil obsidian empire (that just wants to control the entire galaxy because they’re evil) performs a coordinated sneak attack and kills almost all of the good and wholesome alliance. Only a small ragtag group of ships manage to escape with a blind jump that….takes them to Earth…. (ah, we’re done with Top Gun and have replaced it with Battlestar Galactica I see). Our hero is visited in a vision by Aphrodite (pronounced afrodeetee, which is just jarring as hell), and well, apparently part of the reason he’s just so damned good is that he’s part Fury, from a long-destroyed planet called Furia (wait, didn’t I see this in a Vin Diesel film?). The alliance that just got destroyed is originally from Earth, and left with the old Greek gods (Olympians, who apparently arent’ actually gods, but just more advanced beings) to form a more enlightened utopian civilization far from Earth. The ragtag fleet arrives to Earth just in time to foil an attack from the evil empire, which causes Earth to ally with our heroes. After barely winning, they immediately transform Earth society to Alliance utopian standards by abolishing money and providing food and healthcare for all. Things happen, enemy attacks a few more times, and then a big climactic battle happens and our hero returns in the nick of time with more help, and then an enemy super-battleship shows up threating destruction for all, but our hero helps save the day again by taking a risky gamble. At the moment of victory, his new beloved is captured by the evil emperor. oh wait. surprise reveal at the very end is that the evil emperor is actually our hero's evil twin brother?

I’m not sure I can start reading book 3…

10 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

This ENORMOUS megabox set is an INCREDIBLE bargain

It is almost hard to comprehend - 65 hours of listening for one low price. Not ONE book of listening pleasure, but 7! Separate and aside from the actual intrinsic value of this mega book compilation is the value of getting the ENTIRE Universe in Flames series, with 2 bonus volumes. That has a lot of value because typically, once I start a series, I'm in it for the whole ride. And I almost always wind up getting supplemental books, so this represents a wonderful, lengthy listening experience. These days I have far more time to listen than to read, so it only makes sense to be doing so.

Christian Kallias is a wonderfully descriptive author. He can express the real aspects of his characters, including their flaws, strengths, and humanity - or otherworldliness, for that matter. I wanted characters to do something that they just would not, could not, or simply did not do. And that's some of what makes the characters and situations come to life - their brashness of youth, their cunning and deception, their individuality. The main character Chase, as it turns out, has some very special traits - as his friend observes, he doesn't seem to be aging. And he gets visited by a Greek Goddess in a vision, among other things that we learn, which I won't spoil for you here.

Kallias is extremely good at bringing you right into the frequent action scenes, and his space fighter scenes, his space battles, and his political and military scenarios are extremely well done and quite enjoyable. In short, Christian Kallias is an excellent writer and can't paint realistic worlds and people (and non-human races) with his words. He has a unique blend of mythology, politics, military space action, and world-building.

Zachary Johnson does an excellent job of narrating these books. He gets across enough variation in the way people think, feel, and therefore speak that he makes the human and non-human characters come to life. He has a smooth tone, lots of variations in speed, tempo, emotion, and volume, and does an excellent job of bringing the story to life. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration. I usually listen while driving, and the narration kept me on point and paying attention. There was one name of a particular Greek Goddess in book 2 that he pronounced differently than expected, and a few narration "re-dos," but not enough to be more than a minor annoyance. Overall, the narration was well done.

Science fiction author Ray Jay Perreault says, "A good SciFi Author shows you an alien world; a great one takes you there." In this Megabox set, Christian Kallias takes us to his worlds and characters.

I highly recommend this box set for fans of military space opera. For the value of this collection - this one's a no-brainer.

7 people found this helpful

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

Wishful Thinking…

I felt like I was binge reading a lot of movie scripts that had been dropped and shuffled back together again. Along with a huge mass of mythology which again had been dropped shuffled and put back together again. The main character was floundering continuously, while being supported by a majority of characters who really did not need to provide support.

The author makes too many inferences and expects the listener to keep up while being yanked into another direction. The author however tried to provide continuity unfortunately shredding the storyline further. The author would have a more entertaining story without the use of profanity along with the sexual innuendoes.

The performance was scored with too many edits and cuts which was extremely distracting. Then the character voices; impersonations were weakly maintained. If I wanted to hear Sir Patrick Stewart, there are many works of media that he does far better than here. At times the readings sounded like sports broadcasting from the 1930s in America.

The editor was technically challenged, as there were way too many re-reads which were inserted which sounded like they were recorded in several other studios using different recording and audio processors. This caused the reading to become uncomfortably disjointed and distracting and forcing the listener to attempt to recover the flow of the story.

Overall, this was mediocre, disjointed, but not the worst I have encountered.

3 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

Worth the price of admission! :)

A quick moving fun tale! The characters are interesting and engaging and the story keeps you listening to the end! If you like sci-fi and action, this one is for you. The narration is tight and well done, the voice over acting adding much to the enjoyment of the story, I will look for more from both the author and narrator in the future.

3 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

Fantastic adventure

Wonderful writing and narration makes this collection one I will listen to more than once

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Escape into another Universe

Universe in Flames Megabox- Ultimate 7-Book Box Set Is so worth the credit/costs just saw shy of 65 hours of pure entertainment. I wish I could find the second part on Audible - Shadow Wars: Universe in Flames Books 8 to 14 Box.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well worth the money.

very entertaining. riveting at times. all the self-introspection and soul searching was a bit much and became annoying at time still enjoyed it much. narration was terrific.

2 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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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent listen, except for “the Sarah”

Great story and the narrator added so much to my listen. However, one huge flaw, Chase’s love interest, Sarah. The man has no spine. If no Sarah life is not worth living. Spoiler alert, he is willing to let the galaxy die for his Sarah. She is such a selfish narcissist insisting to fly and be captured and whines when he risks everything for her.

2 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

Amazing story!

Haven’t been able to pause this story since starting it! Fusing mythology, space, and earth life in an epic battle. The energy brought forth from the narrator makes you feel the emotions of each character as you go. Would/do recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Drunken Monkeys can write better

the writing is beyond garbage, even children skins be offended by the drivel spewed onto the pages that the terrible narrator had to read, and that's another problem.. every few minutes there were clearly rerecorded lines in the book, clearly done in a different location with different equipment, volume, balance, tone. all very jarring when it's happens. I had to turn this travesty of a disaster.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dwharfe
  • 05-21-22

Hit! Starts OK & gets better, MASSIVE value..

All in all, it seems like fans of long, pulp sci-fi will have a new addition to their ‘bang-for-buck’ collection.

Loads of bombastic in-depth star-fights at first then calms down to become more of a story. A bit simplistic tbh but the writing improves as you go & the characters gain more depth and the plot lines widen.
Honour & friendship feature heavily & betrayal & retribution & gratuitous violence abound.

All proudly narrated, with different accents that fit the characters. Nicely done.

4 people found this helpful