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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Audio Book Review: Dark Sanity by Paul L. Centeno

This action packed sci fi adventure is very entertaining.
Dark Sanity
Written by: Paul L. Centeno
Narrated by: Martin Wurst
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:03-28-16
Publisher: Paul Centeno
Genre: Sci Fi, Steampunk
My Rating: 4.5 0f 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Set in the 54th century, the story focuses on Flint Cross, a gunslinger ripped from his roots in the Wild West and placed into the desolation of post-apocalyptic Australia. Plagued with amnesia and nightmares, he finds himself lost and on the brink of madness, doomed to forever wander an empty realm of war-torn souls.
But with the very fate of the universe in Flint's hands, the ancient forces of the aboriginal dreamtime are his only hope. Through seemingly endless experimentation, he must learn to recover his lost memories, raise an army, and construct a steam-powered, interstellar starship to locate and take down his enemy - all while working against the clock and resisting the slowly creeping insanity that threatens to keep him lost forever.
©2014 Paul L. Centeno (P)2016 Paul L. Centeno

Flint Cross is a gunslinger protecting the town and people of Desones in Australia. He loves his daughter and son who are on the verge of adulthood yet can’t cope being around his wife, Amanda, who constantly complains about his roaming the wilds. Flint doesn’t understand his compunction to take care of the people but it’s what he does in between dreams and nightmares. Flint is troubled by dreams of a beautiful woman and a war-torn past; a past he cannot remember.

Flint, who has super human skills that he can’t explain, is asked to hunt down an outlaw who is supposedly killing aborigines. When he tracks down the man and his gang, the man tells Flint he is living an illusion and eating a food that causes his forgetfulness. Before the man can say more Flint’s best friend shoots him. Flint begins to think the outlaw was telling the truth as he remembers more and realizes that he has been placed in a huge deception. Flint suffers losses while confronting enemies. Then he sets off to find his dream woman and defeat the Tribunal who threaten mankind and have manipulated his life.

Flint struggles through the wilderness but at the last minute is attacked and captured by mechanical beings. He learns that these are frail men who live in tunnels and shield themselves within armored suits. Their ‘king’ threatens Flint and then relents, allowing him to live and work among his people. Flint is content for a time but then the dreams return and Flint knows he must go on with his search for the Tribunal. The king is willing to help but only after Flint helps the community to defeat the mechanical ‘spider’ creatures who are their underground enemy.

Flint and the armored guardians become friends as they build a fantastic steam ship to head out to the stars and a promised land of paradise. They also develop weapons to face the acidic spiders. A battle ensues and Flint and the frail humans must make a desperate escape. He arrives in a far off galaxy where his name is already a legend as the rebels seek a way to confront the Tribunal. Once again Flint will face betrayal and battle while his mind struggles to distinguish between dreams and reality.

There is plenty of action in this story as it progresses through nations, planets and galaxies! Flint’s character is a man whose highest goal is to protect mankind even if he must lead a rebellion to win man's freedom from men who would be gods. He often finds himself in situations of despair and has to find a trigger or impetus to move forward. Flint surrounds himself with interesting friends, including a Shaman and an armored guardian. Each of these add another ‘dimension’ to the story which offers a good blend of human drama and action focusing on a struggle for freedom, individually and as a species. I thought there were a few discrepancies in the 'mechanics' (or I missed how they refueled after running out of fuel and crashing). That didn't really bother my enjoyment though.

I enjoyed the author’s creativity and blend of apocalyptic and steampunk elements. The story is very entertaining and I recommend it to readers who like action and would enjoy the struggle for freedom in a science fiction setting.

Audio Notes: Martin Wurst puts a lot of energy in the narration. I really liked the Australian accents as well as the variety of other character voices. The presentation is clear throughout, even as Wurst presents Flint’s despair and madness. The narration enhanced my enjoyment of the story.

I received the Audible book from the narrator for an honest review. This qualifies for my Audio Challenge.


  1. I am loving the blending of steampunk in a post apocalyptic world, great review Martha. I think I would enjoy this :)

    1. Hi, Kim! I can gift you a copy if you'd like. :)


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