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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Audible Review: Gabriel: Zero Point: The FREE Prequel Novella: Evan Gabriel Trilogy by Steve Umstead

This is fast paced military action with a creative story.
Gabriel: Zero Point: The FREE Prequel Novella: Evan Gabriel Trilogy
Written by: Steve Umstead
Narrated by: Ray Chase
Length: 2 hrs and 43 mins
Series: Evan Gabriel, Book 0.5
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:12-27-13
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Genre: Sci Fi Contemporary, Military
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
Evan Gabriel wasn't always a feared and respected North American Federation Navy Commander. Before dangerous missions to the ice-bound planet of Poliahu, the deadly jungle world of Eden, and politically corrupt Mars, he was a simple recruit, fighting to make his mark in the elite Naval Special Forces…and was part of a top-secret military experiment that would change his life forever.
Zero Point tells the tale of a young man faced with difficult choices and dangerous trials. Fans of the series will see part of the mysterious past Evan Gabriel carries with him, while listeners new to the series get a preview of what is to come in a military man's haunted life. Zero Point is the true beginning of Evan Gabriel, and his story is just getting started.
©2012 Steve Umstead (P)2013 Podium Publishing

Gabriel was a young soldier in training whose high level skills caught the eyes of superiors, including a special recruiter. Gabriel has the right profile - no family and no real friends because his loyalty takes precedence over personal relationships. A tough Naval commander offers Gabriel the chance to become part of an elite division of the Naval Special Forces. Gabriel accepts even though he doesn’t have the full details.

Gabriel is delivered to a secret laboratory for special work to prepare for his new career. There he learns that he is about to become a ‘super soldier’ with physical and mental augmentation. He doesn’t get much time to consider the program before a sad technician/scientist thrusts him into a tank for the changes. When Gabriel awakens he finds himself at a zero point - reborn with powers he will have to get used to on the run. The technician is missing and there is a blood trail across the floor.

Gabriel sets out to find the girl and quickly faces multiple attackers, booby trapped hallways and wicked, multi-weaponed assassins. Gabriel suffers wounds that his new body works on healing internally. He successfully faces down all obstacles only to come face to face with a master enemy when he finally reaches the room and finds the technician.

I enjoyed the fast pace action and detailed military maneuvers that were described in this novella. I appreciated Gabriel’s background as the author develops his character. The reader also gets to meet certain military officials whom suspect I will be appearing in further books in the series. The story is direct and believable. I was pleased to have this as a free audio which did result in my purchase of the first full novel in the trilogy: Gabriel’s Redemption.

Audio Notes: It took just a little time to get used to the deep soft voice of the narrator. Ray Chase does a good job presenting the story with intensity that portrays the personalities of the characters. It was nice that this was a quick listen, under three hours, to garner interest in the series. It also included the beginning of book 1 which I enjoyed until I downloaded that book. I recommend this on audio as a quick, exciting listen.

I downloaded this free prequel at Audible. This is part of my Audio Challenge. It is also G on Alphabet Soup Challenge.

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