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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 (2,237 ratings)

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Failure Mode cover art

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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 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

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good bye Joe

If you're 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.

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7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Unimaginative, cheap end for characters we loved

14 books. it's been 14 books building up to the appearance of true antagonists of the entire series: The Elders. The revered Elders who's existance and influence is central to the entire premise of everything that has happened, can happen and is allowed to happen in this universe. The supremely powerful and intelligent beyond comprehension Elders who transcended beyond physical reality. The Elder's for whom The Theory of Everything would be something they'd teach to infants.

And in the space of 2 or 3 paragraphs of significance they're dismissed in this last book in a fashion that worse than a Deux Ex Machina ending.

Similar to the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones after years of build up of The White Walkers and the The Night King only to see them defeated, easily and nonsensically, in 1 episode, by simple flying leap and stab out of nowhere from Arya, the author gave us the laziest, most unsatisfactory and simplistic ending possible to what has been the most enjoyable books I've ever listened to on Audible, by far.

This ending is so devoid of creativity and respect to the millions of people who have invested years of their life following the adventures of Joe and Skippy, I can't believe how the coming of The Elders is started and finished within the same book. Even third tier species like the Kristang, and the little green pinheads features across multiple books!

What a crappy way to end. RC Bray brought these books to life and now I realise it was his interpretation of what he was reading that was the real success story here, elevating the prose beyond the author's writing ability. Many books contained needless exposition that I put up with because of Bray's skill at consistently making the dialogue engaging, especially all scenes involving Skippy.

I've loved listening to Joe and Skippy over the years and that why this ending is so dissapointing. The author needs to pay RC Bray with an open cheque because it was he who made this series work I've come to see.

I will miss Joe and Skippy. They deserved better than this book to finish on.

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4 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.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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

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3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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