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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of WWII, an alien virus struck the Earth, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Originally published in 1987, the newly expanded saga contains additional original stories by eminent writers.

©1986, 2010 George R.R. Martin (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Wild Cards I

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A True Classic!

Remembering back to the 80s and what a splash this series made, I had to give the audio treatment a try. Very well done presentation with a large variety of unique character voices.
The story itself is a classic, treating the impact of superhuman (and non-human) characters on the 'real' world. If you aren't familiar with this series, but enjoyed the TV series Heroes, give this a try!

31 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Wrong execution of a good idea

I understand why people give this top ratings, but for me, there was such a lack of cohesion that I was too often left wonder what the heck did one chapter have to do with another.. or anything at all.
I liked the different writing styles as the differences became part of the characters, but again, some skills were distractingly lacking. Made it to chapter 19 when I realized I wasnt interested in hearing more.

9 people found this helpful

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Pedophillia is in this book

Late in the book some guy uses his super power to make a 14 year old rape and murder a 9 year old, and the author decided to write about how it felt to take her virginity before he used a rock to smash her head in.

If there is going to be pedophilia in a book audible needs to let its customers know.

68 people found this helpful

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good story until it gets raunchh

story is very interesting until about 2/3 of the way through when he gets really raunchy and then towards the last 30 minutes or so goes back to good

6 people found this helpful

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Nice Surprise

I decided to give this book a try after reading the reviews and am very pleased I did. It shows a world where an alien virus has infected the population post WWII. I greatly enjoyed the format of jumping POV's and showing how our timeline might have been effected by such an event - something I think was handled quite artfully by the writers.

The "Wildcard Virus" has effected people in several ways ranging from the Aces (superheroes) to the Jokers (those deformed or negatively effected) - and that isn't counting the overwhelming majority of those that get it that simply die horribly. With this in play it effects more than just everyday social interaction, it effects government, entertainment, crime, and quite a few other things in between.

There were characters and storylines I enjoyed more than others (the Sleeper, the Turtle, and the government anylist who can stop time being among my favorites) but all in all it was thoroughly enthralling with a wonderfully narrator to guide the whole thing.

20 people found this helpful

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WHO KNEW "SUPER HEROISM," IS A DISEASE

What did you love best about Wild Cards I?

I've read some of the books. It was an experience to hear it brought to life by a voice. Dr Tachyon's voice was not what I imagined but then I never fully read or digested his description in the book. All the characters came to life for me in this work.

What did you like best about this story?

Each chapter is a new story. There are several "literary voices" in this work. Each chapter is written by a different author. This very feature lends itself to the idea that each chapter was written by the character most prominently featured in the segment.

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

His voices weren't as distinctive as some readers I've listened too in past. However his voice had a feel, sound and quality that lent itself to the era where the story began and progressed through.

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

Super heroism is a disease. Look out "Body Snatchers," we've got one up on you this time.

Any additional comments?

Some of the segments of this book are not for young listeners. Personaly those stories too heavily focused on sex did not appeal to me as much now as when I read the books. For that reason the Fortunata chapters got skipped. Not that his story wasn't interesting and poiniant I just didn't like them as much as I did in my younger years.

11 people found this helpful

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Alternate reality never felt so right!

What did you love best about Wild Cards I?

I'm an old Wild Cards fan. I own all of the books to the series and have loved reading them for years. When I found out that there was an audiobook of book 1 I had to have it and I was not disappointed. Luke Daniels is a great reader of the stories and his voice acting was great. I really enjoyed the new story of Ghost's origin with the Sleeper (Roger Zelazny's immortal character).

What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild Cards I?

My favorite part was Luke's reading of

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite scene is where the Radical (Mark Meadows) and the Lizard King (Thomas Marion Douglas / this world version of Jim Morrison of the Doors) team up to fight Hardhat during the 60 counterculture movement.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Not because it wasn't good but because it's one of my favorite books and I like to savor it like a fine wine.

Any additional comments?

If you know of or have been introduced to the Wild Cards shared universe this is a great production of book 1. If you know nothing about it I highly recommend it. It is kind of a Super Hero / Villain in an alternate reality of our world which diverged shortly after WWII into a realistic vision of our world with super powers.

11 people found this helpful

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Worth waiting for!!!

Any additional comments?

Loved these books when they came out and was overjoyed they had finally been released as audiobooks. And as a bonus there are some stories in the collection that didn't make it into the book... at least into the UK edition. Definitely worth a listen by anyone who enjoyed the books or later shows like Heroes and Alphas

17 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disjointed and Incomplete

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys short stories in the fantasy genre.

What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Explained that it was a loosely connected series of short stories that may or may not have endings. What happened to Croid (and his drug problem), the great and powerful turtle or Ghost girl (and others), no one knows.

Which character – as performed by Luke Daniels – was your favorite?

The reader did a great job with all the characters. I just didn't get invested in any character enough because they just quit being.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Ripped off. It was a collection of stories, not a novel.

Any additional comments?

It's not the Game of Thrones. I don't know what George R Martin did for this collection of stories, but I suspect mostly, he lent his name and collected money.

2 people found this helpful

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Just don't like it....

So I decided that since I do like Science Fiction & I really enjoy the Game of Thrones series, a SIFI series by George R.R. Martin should be a perfect fit. Well I gave it an honest effort, but sadly I really, really do not like the Wild Card series. Yeah I only made it through book 1 but quite frankly I would rather suffer a root canal minus paid medication than force myself to read or listen to another Wild Card book.
Some of the character development was great & some well not so, the story was all over the place & a lot of the time gave the sense of a jumbled mess or that of a story written during a Hendrix Purple Haze.
I'm sure there are those out there who feel that this story line is the greatest thing since sliced bread & well I don't begrudge them that, I will just leave it at it's not for me. From my perspective it's too chaotically written and the development is to hap hazard for my taste.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 01-08-12

A Super Effort

Listening to this great little anthology I have read in my early 20's. I am glad at last these books are finally being audiobooked.

I found Luke Daniels vocal talents gave each character a voice of their own, male and female.

The new additional stories added a little extra to a great series of stories. Roll on getting the audiobooks for the other novels in the series.

(I can hope the next anthology series from my youth they audiobook would be the Thieves World Anthology. I can dream).

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. J. Williams
  • 02-26-12

Loved these as a series

Good adaptation of the original stories, well read and well paced - the narrator captures the "feel" of the stories very well.

Hope more of the series are to follow (already purchased the 2nd)

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 04-13-13

Interesting Ideas

If you didn't already know, George RR Martin's 'Wild Cards' series is a collection of short stories by various authors set in the same world. The standard varies, as you would expect, but for the most part are well written and entertaining. The stories fit together well, even though there is no big overarching plot, and many have you craving to hear more about certain characters.



There's a good mix of heroism, horror and humour in the stories. The highlight for me was probably the Croyd Crenson stories, but I'm sure everyone who listens will find their own favourite characters. There were a few stories that I didn't particularly enjoy, but since it's a short story collection, I didn't have to wait long for the next one.



The style, and storylines very much give the book a 'comic-book' feel. Whether or not that sound like your thing, I recommend giving this a go, for the intelligent way everything has been put together. It's quite different to anything else I've read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Warren
  • 07-08-13

Wild cards a good, gritty story

Would you listen to Wild Cards I again? Why?

Absolutely, like a good movie you wtch twice or three times, a complex saga such as this deserves more than one listen. Characters and story lines intermingling with one anther can become a bit confusing, but this is what i enjoyed about it. Sometimes you just have to go back give it another listen which is fine because you always pick up plots and twists you didn't hear the first time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Wild Cards I?

I enjoyed Jetboys story, and i liked the fact that despite his abilities he was still mortal and had his limits.

What three words best describe Luke Daniels’s voice?

deep, american,

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I listened this story while i worked, and often found myself listening and not working. it kept me hooked from start to finish. A couple of laughs, a bit of irritation at the politicians interfering in the four aces story line.

Any additional comments?

If you are a fan of nightwatchmen you should enjoy this story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel
  • 07-09-21

First Audible Book I've given up on.

This is the first book from Audible I haven't finished, I got over half way through and gave up as it was awful.

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  • Harry
  • 10-06-20

Amazing and Fresh

Great narration and a great variety of stories

if you like superheroes but tired of the same old format this is a very new and fun spin on old school superpowers

they are all good but if there are any you don't like you are into the next one before you know it !!

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  • Micki Lou
  • 11-25-18

Awesome

It has kept me engrossed all the way through and I have enjoyed the narrator's ability to change his voice for each character. I am really looking forward to listening to Wold Cards II.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-18-17

A very good choice of stories!

A very good choice of stories. I listened to it in my car driving to work, and enjoyed it very much.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr H. Teph
  • 05-09-17

Hasn't aged well

Perhaps because being innovative and exploring when published and thus creating inflated expectations, I found this quite .... wanting.
The setting and worldbuilding feel quite standard and tepid after reading Superpowereds (by D. Hayes) and especially Worm (by Wildbow). The stories and characters lack the dynamics and depths I preferes these days. Even the "power sets" and origions story feels like they are the "big2's" with serial number filed off, slightly diluted.
The plots are a bit lacking too, due to the structure of the anthology we get to hear the same story from diffrent perspective ... And it wasn't that interesting the first time, by the third I really, really wished for something new to listen to.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • fred dredd
  • 04-18-17

showing its age

i didn't manage to finish this book, in fact i asked for a refund. it is a mish mash of short stories by different authors along a central theme and just as you start to get to know the characters it is over and a new writer starts a new story with a different character. its too disjointed for my liking. the style is 1950s pulp fiction which isnt one of my favourite genres.

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  • Casey
  • 09-29-16

Solid

Enjoyable overall. Some of the stories are better than others and there is a definite lack of continuity throughout the story arch, which seems like a big missed opportunity.
The book also finished in the 80s, and there are more books after this I think. Considering this book was a bit rambling I would have thought it would be stronger to combine the books and cut down on the weaker stories.
I probably won't keep reading the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anna H.
  • 11-01-16

Interesting pronunciation but still a good book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I don't know if it would interest any of MY friends as they aren't really into the same type of books that I am.

What other book might you compare Wild Cards I to, and why?

I don't think I know of any particular book that Wilds Cards is actually like as it is made up of some many different books all in one.

What aspect of Luke Daniels’s performance might you have changed?

The way he pronounced some of the words! Maori for instance and Chrysalis (I had always thought her name was pronounced like what a butterfly comes out of, a chrysalis, but he seems to put the emphasis on the wrong syllable). Up until that story about Yeoman, everything was going fine.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it took me a while to work into it really, which surprised me.

1 person found this helpful