Review: Fire and Brimstone by M.R. Forbes

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*pewpewpew*

This week I return my ears to the Chaos of the Covenant series, a spacey space opera that follows the exploits of one Abbey Cage and her band of escaped convicts known as Hell’s Rejects.

You can see my review of book one, Hell’s Rejects, right here, if you’d like.

I was given a copy of this audiobook by the narrator in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Queenie is pissed.

You would be too if you had been blamed for something you didn’t do, given something you didn’t want, and changed into something else.

She still isn’t even quite sure what that else is. The one thing she does know?

Things are getting messy, and this is only the beginning.

Gant is gone, Captain Mann has been captured, her so-called team is ready to make a run for the stars, and she’s pretty sure the Gift that saved her life is no gift at all.

Even worse? The enemy didn’t just steal the two most powerful starships in the galaxy; they’re building a whole damn fleet of the things.

The Rejects are back, the mission is on, and failure is not an option.

Long live the Queen!

Plenty of people said it was wrong to hate. They said it led to the wrong side of humanity. The dark side. But at least hate was honest. It wouldn’t hold punches, or pretend to be something it wasn’t.

This story picks up pretty much where the last one left off. Queenie and her crew are recovering from the events of the end of the last book, half scattered here and there, half injured, and their first priority is to find the ones that were captured or left behind. Queenie’s second priority is finding out what the hell they did to her in prison to give her superpowers, because it’s turning out to not be the greatest gift she’s ever been given.

Fire and Brimstone here refers to two super advanced, bonkers powerful spaceships that the enemy has stolen from the Republic. The enemy here being the Nephilim. Space-Nephilim who are fighting the Hell’s Rejects, who escaped from the planet Hell, in their spaceship… the Faust. You see where this is going? This might sound cheesy to you but I thought that all this hellscape and devilry imagery was a pretty good theme for a sci-fi story. We’re starting to get a little more backstory on the Nephilim in this volume as well, which is neat. It’s a cool idea, all told. It’s like Mass Effect, meets Suicide Squad, meets… Dante’s Inferno.

Gant is still by far my favorite character. He’s basically a grouchy, snarky Ewok with an itchy trigger finger, and that’s as awesome as it sounds. It really is. I hope he keeps on being awesome throughout the rest of the series.

Jeff Hays totally nails the narration of this one as usual. At this point, I’m not really expecting anything less than that from him. I’ve been able to sit and listen to pretty much any book he has narrated, even the one that I didn’t really like. In this particular one, each character is unique, accents are on point (I especially like Mann’s accent. It’s a bit different than I normally hear in books and that’s somewhat refreshing), and special effects really help when they are used properly, as they are here. Having an excellent narration really helps me to get into a book. It gives me more of a chance to experience books I would probably find hard to read in print. This sometimes happens to me with hard sci-fi, classics, non-fiction and even some of the longer epic fantasy series. So, I turn to audiobooks. I’ve found some really good books this way, and it has broadened my horizons. The hills are alive with the sound of audiobooks, and so on. *twirls*

My biggest pet peeve for this series thusfar is that the author has…. re-purposed a word as a swear word. This sort of thing irritates me in books, as I have pointed out in other reviews, maybe because I am the foulest of foul mouths, but mostly because it seems really, really unnecessary. These characters speak English, use other swear words as normal, and yet they the word ‘frag’ to very clearly mean fuck. So… just say fuck? Battlestar Galactica used the word frak in place of fuck because they were a television show trying to cleverly bypass television censors, and this usage feels like it’s trying to emulate that in some fashion. There are no censors here though, except for those special snowflakes that can’t hear or see the word fuck without cringing a little despite probably having no problems with the tons of murder, decapitation and general space-warfare also featured here. To me, the replacement of just that one swear word for one that clearly has the same intent gives this book less of the edge that it looks like and sounds like it should have, if that makes sense. All this imagery of hell and damnation… I feel like a book with giant scary battle destroyers called the Fire and the Brimstone could load a proper fucking f-bomb into their torpedo bays.

Either way, whatever floats your spaceship, I guess. I think I would have appreciated at least a few well placed fucks… but that’s me. 🙂

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The Faust’s pilot is pretty much the snarkiest motherfucker on this crew. So… I mean… naturally this is exactly who came to mind. Can you blame me? ❤ ❤ ❤ (Oddly, he is the one *not* named Jester, lol)

I didn’t like this one as much as I liked the first one, but I did still really like it more and more as it went, and I thought it was a pretty good use of 8 hours of my time. I’m excited for the next one in the series!

You can see this book on goodreads here, buy it on amazon here and audible here.

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