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  • Failure Mode

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 15
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,806 ratings)

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Failure Mode

By: Craig Alanson
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Summary

When a mission ends in disaster—there is no way to achieve the objective, no way to regroup and try again, no plan B, no hope—all you can do is fall back into FAILURE MODE and try to salvage whatever you can.

...if it is even possible to save anything, or anyone.

The galaxy is doomed. Monkeys may be clever and too stubborn to give up, but Skippy The Idiot Who Got Played knows the harsh truth: this is a fight he can’t win. The odds are not only stacked against him, he was designed not to win this fight.

Maybe he can salvage some faint memory of the civilizations that inhabit the galaxy, but those beings are doomed. Doomed. Including the Merry Band of Pirates.

©2022 Craig Alanson (P)2022 Podium Audio

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing end of series

Was really looking forward to this but story felt forced and laboured. Unsatisfying conclusion I feel cheated tbh

6 people found this helpful

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Good story but ends a bit flat

The story was good but it at times felt a little slow (but then he was gathering all the pieces and putting the plots together) but in all it was pretty solid and once more well written. The performance from R.C. Bray was once more spot on and great! But I sadly must say I felt the ending was a bit flat. Yeah they defeated the enemy main enemy but didn't resolve how they would truly protect them self from all the rest. On top of that it just sort fizzles to the end before our heroes really have a chance to do the normal Celebration it's just "Yey we won now we go home... The end" That kind of did let me down quite a bit personally.

3 people found this helpful

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Thank you for the series.

It's been a ride alright. Top 5 of my best audiobook series.

You could of skipped a lot of this one and went to the end hour or so. I felt bored at times listening this one and the ending was good but not awesome. I doubt I'll listen to this again. There is much more gripping adventures in the previous books.

3 people found this helpful

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Good bye Joe

If your looking for an ending fitting for Joe, Skippy, and the merry band of pirates then this is not it.
It felt like Craig got bored and just wanted to get to the end of the book. The story at the end was far fetched even for the magnificent Skippy.
Bray did fantastic as per usual.

So let me break it down barney style for you dumb dumb.
Listen to the book so you can complete the series, but brace for disappointment. You filthy meat sack.

2 people found this helpful

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TTA, baby !!!

God dang it, ExForce series has me obsessed.
only question remaining is ...
wen tv-series?

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Brilliant

Please, please don’t be the last instalment of probably the best books I have listened to.
Book 15 is another glorious outing of the merry band of pirates I want to say so much but It would just spoil the whole story.
More, more please.

2 people found this helpful

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what an awesome end to an amazing series.

This series has been gripping from the first book to the last and this really was a great final book in the series but please say there will be series that follows on in the future!

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing

An emotional roller coaster made me laugh and made me nearly cry with a fitting end. The only bad thing is that there are still quite a few loose ends. TTA

2 people found this helpful

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always want more

I always want more of this series. I want to know what happens after with the war and the barrier. I want to see Joe and Margaret old living together. I want more and it sucks this is now over.

thank you Craig for this amazing series. your a legend mate. now go tidy that garage.

2 people found this helpful

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End of an Era, or Something New?

I have reviewed every one of the superbly written books in this series, so there isn't really too much I can add that I haven't already said. Those following this excellent series will know what I mean. Should any one stumble across this review and wonder what all the fuss is about, go back and check out Columbus Day and start your awesome journey now!

As ever, R.C Bray does a fantastic job narrating and there is no one else on Audible capable of rendering Joe Bishop and Skippy like him. If there is ever a TV series made of these books, then R.C Bray MUST do the voice of Skippy, otherwise, it's just not Skippy.

So, onto the plot. Well, things are at their most critical and it's not only the human race in jeopardy, it's all sentient life in the galaxy. The stakes don't get much higher than that. Given the nature of this story, it either marks a conclusion to this series, or perhaps the beginnings of a new chapter in the exploits of the Merry band of Pirates. Unlike nearly all prior books, this one does not end on a cliff hanger, so hence my observation above. Given the complex interactions in the universe Craig Alanson has so skilfully created, there is plenty more stories to be had, I'm sure. However, does the author want to pursue this? I can't say, I hope he does.

As with the previous book, I did notice a few typos or read errors. I imagine it's typos given R.C Brays superb talent at narration. In one, the AI controlling Valkyrie, Billby, is referred to as "herself" when it is a male persona. In another I spotted, the word "looking" was used rather than what I assume based on the context of the sentence should have been "locking" and the last I found was "Neuron" instead of "Neutron" used when first describing the location of a research facility. Of course, none of these minor errors detracted from the story, just my nit picking ear that picks up on this stuff. Oddly, no proof reader was credited at the end of this story, unlike the prior book.

Finally, I was a bit disappointed to find there was no out takes segment at the end of the production that I have come to enjoy immensely. It's absence was conspicuous and I hope to have this brought back in the future.

Suffice it to say, Failure Mode is another example of a fantastic story and one, that does contain something sad, but necessary as part of good writing and situational story telling. I can't say what, but you'll know it when you get there.

Craig Alanson, we salute you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 08-12-22

it was an ending.

it was a sucky ending to a good story. Not worth the time spent to get there.

42 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 09-12-22

Anticlimactic Finale

There wasn't anything special about this book, it followed the formula of every other entry in the series

Unintended consequences create new problem with higher stakes
No idea how to solve it
Random thing gives bishop idea
Idea doesn't work, and Skippy discovers a new power to solve the issue

This time the loop just abruptly ends because the cycle hit the biggest of biggest stakes and there was nowhere else to go.

There's still massive issues with conflict resolution, the state of the galaxy, species relations, maverick storylines ect.

There was no massive culmination or buildup to a finale it just sorta petered out and said "We're all done here"

35 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-22

A wholly unsatisfying ending to an epic universe

I remember reading an article years ago where Craig Alanson answered some of the common questions he gets about this series. One of those questions was: do you know how this series will end already or are you creating it as you write. His answer was “I already know how the story arcs for Bishop and Skippy will end…” that answer is very fitting after hearing what the ending was. It very much seems like he wrote down a single sentence years ago about how he wanted things to end, and then never expanding upon that one single sentence.

Everyone who has made it to this book is a long time fan of the series and that’s what makes this so disappointing. There is no ending that will satisfy every reader, but this isn’t even an ending. The things that made this universe so lovable were the characters and the different crazy events those characters would have to face. Typically a clever solution would be reached and those moments felt satisfying because we went through those difficult moments with characters we feel attached to. There are none of those moments, it’s all a rushed mess.

The primary thought on my mind throughout the latter half of the book was simply, there really is not a lot left of this book how is this going to finish with how much is still left unresolved. This concern continues until there is literally one hour left in the book. And then it ends, there is no pay off for dozens of characters or for a handful of series spanning mysterious that are still left unanswered. I personally gained nothing from how this book ended other than wondering if I would have been better off never reading this last book at all. Sad way for such an amazing series to end.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 08-12-22

Disappointed

I really hope this isn't the end cuz of it is in very disappointed. there is so much more that can be wrapped up, but without giving spoilers Craig please finish the story

29 people found this helpful

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  • Hyperious
  • 09-12-22

lackluster/rushed ending to such a strong series

narration as always was excellent.

That being said, the story was somewhat disappointing. It felt rushed, especially the last quarter, with the first 3 quarters being unsubstantial filler. Sadly this reminded me much of "Convergence" where the meat of the story only really takes place in the final 2 chapters, and the final "battle" ends up kind of anticlimactic against what has been hyped up to be the biggest challenge in the entire series.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 08-12-22

disappointing.

as always, R.C. Bray is awesome. but thats really all the positive i have to say for it. The story felt aimless, forced and almost like it was intentionally dragged on, like the writer knew what he didn't want to do but wasn't sure what he did want to do.

Disappointing end to a much loved series.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Brad D.
  • 11-12-22

Ugh. Love this series.

This was the first book that felt like it was written to meet a certain word count. Long explanations followed by a re-explanation from a different angle. Filler, filler, filter, the end.

Love the series. This book was a punt.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 06-12-22

Don't cry bc it's over. Smile bc it happened.

Thank you Craig & RC, I will carry this story with me and introduce my kids to it when they are ready. The universe you created is stellar, character development was amazing. I even named my dog Bishop. Starting this book was bittersweet knowing it's the last in the series. Thank you both again for the time, effort and emotion you put into Expeditionary Force.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Logan
  • 11-12-22

Skip this one

I know it’s the last in the series but…. It’s so bad…. You could literally skip the whole book and only listen to the last 1 hour and not miss anything. Honestly, you could not absorb any of this book and not miss anything.

Lack luster ending with zero closure. I really expected better from this author but the whole book felt like a slog just to get through and the end kicks you right in the teeth for waiting the whole time thinking it was going to get good.

I really don’t know what to say. I kinda wish I could get all my money back from this series now. I feel cheated…..

15 people found this helpful

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  • Cody
  • 08-12-22

A rushed ending that is meh at best.

I wish book series would stop hyping an ultimate threat to deal with them in a single book… like every other threat. Also there are just so so so many open threads that are not dealt with or mentioned. Not sure if that was intentional so the universe can be expanded in the future or not but either way for a last book in the series/arc it is ultimately meh at best.

15 people found this helpful