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Summary

First Contact didn't go as expected. Now they own us.

Earth has been conquered by a massive galactic empire, and its war machine needs soldiers. In a cruel twist of fate, 14-year-old Joe Dobbs accidentally ends up on a ship carrying Earth's children to an alien training planet. To make it out alive, he must survive an apathetic bureaucracy that sees humans as little more than spare rations. Meat with guns. Or, if they're really unlucky, servants. The oldest of the children drafted from humanity's devastated planet, Joe unwittingly becomes the centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence. Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith gives Joe a spine chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And, the Trith cannot lie.…but first, Joe has to make it through boot camp.

For lovers of sci-fi thrillers, alien invasion stories, space opera, and sprawling first contact science fiction, this is an unforgettable post-apocalyptic epic about perseverance and survival in a harsh new world where humanity is just another item on the menu, performed by Jeff Hays with Soundbooth Theater.

Note: Contains an exclusive, audio-only zero story at the end of the book, The Legend of ZERO: Proposal of the Forgotten

©2013 Sara J King (P)2022 Sara J King, Soundbooth Theater

What listeners say about Forging Zero

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Good production

Very good narrator and producing.. the story is good a strange coming of age.. book the production makes it better.. a little like RED RISING I’ll try the second book hopefully it will get a bit gritty but I’m not sure! The writing is good but it’s directed at young adults I feel doesn’t make it bad just that maybe I’m to old and bitter..

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wow you have to get this!

I wanted a new series to listen to and took the chance with this. I'm so glad I did its a great series, defo going to be a classic in a few years

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Awesome book

Fantastic story and an awesome performance!
Highly recommended and will be waiting for more books!

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Si-Fi as I like it

It is great to have a fantastic performance of this amazing book, just hope that the rest will be added as well. Sara Kings Zero universe is just amazing, lots of fun, and just plain entertainment! Thanks

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Next please Sara

Took a little getting into, but we'll worth the effort, give it a go! An unlikely hero, or is he a hero, some unlikely baddies, but are they? Not your usual run of the mill, humans get kidnapped and bravely win through! I absolutely want to know where Zero goes next!

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Amazing book amazing narration!

As usual SBT makes amazing work! The book and narrator is a marriage made in heaven!

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Well worth a deep dive(2 days for a 24hr book :)

I Love space military sci-fi and fantasy and this series opener is not to be missed. Plenty of drama, creative variety of species, rich universe. It’s a keeper and roll on “Zero recall”
Colourful voices and smooth production by Jeff and the team.

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I need the second book now, Great listen.

At first i thought this was going to go the route of young adult fiction when i learnt the main characters were all 5 to 14. This was completely wrong and made for a oddly great listen.
The development of them mentally and physically played a thought prevoking role in the story in the brutality and choices of aliens trying to make what they see as ants into useful tools. then the mentality of youth being brainwashed into soldiers but trying to fight to keep themselves in a scary unknown place that wants to hurt them make it awesome.

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So good

Normally I don't like space adventure stories, but this is just fantastic, I did get a free copy, but I'm definitely planning on getting the next in the series. Very entertaining and really well written story.

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Military sci-fi

This bored panda thinks Sara King is a fantastic writer. Coupled with Jeff Hays from Soundbooth Theatre, magic happens.

In this book, you'll find military action, a multitude of aliens and strange new worlds. Give it a shot!

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  • Austin E
  • 31-03-22

A Classic of Indie Scifi Finally In Audio

First off, yes, I know it's been in audio before. But let's be honest, this is the first time the narration lived up to the story.

I first picked up Forging Zero for the Kindle in 2013, the year it was released. Back then the indie market was a lot different. I won't say everything was a gem, but without KU the offerings tended to be a higher quality. This was about the time when big names like Chris Nuttall, Even Currie, and B.V. Larson were beginning to define the indie Mil-Scifi space. It was a great time to be a reader.

And then came Forging Zero.

It was and is an absolute stand out in the field. A hefty size, too, nearly twice the size of your average entry in the genre. And that's a good thing, because that full size is jam packed with an amazing story. Pacing is tight. There aren't any points where the plot takes a back seat to prose. Exposition is well delivered as needed, but never too much at once and Sara King is a master of "Show, don't tell."

Is Forging Zero perfect? No. The sharp eared listener will notice some inconsistencies and a continuity issues. But they're minor, nowhere distracting from the overall story. There's a good reason this book is maintaining a 5 star average at the time of this writing, and that's because at its core Forging Zero is a well executed story in a detailed universe with a diverse cast of characters and an excellent plot.

Oh, and obligatory shout out for Jeff Hays blowing the narration out of the park, but that's par for the course with him.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick Karlsson Edlund
  • 23-04-22

Captivating world building

I really enjoyed Jeff Hays narration which really suited the the book and its captivating world building. Can't wait to experience the rest of the Legend of Zero universe.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jenn DesRochers
  • 23-04-22

Top Notch!!

I already loved this book series and hearing this read by the amazingly talented Jeff Hays was nothing short of incredible. I was completely drawn into the rich world and I loved how there were distinct voices for each species of alien! Can't say enough good things about it and will be eagerly awaiting the next production!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ralph Künz
  • 20-04-22

Finally!

I've been waiting since 2014 for this series. The original narration was, lets say endurable. Soldiered through because I found the Story intriguing. Bought the books and read them. The new narration is outstanding.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ed Pegg Jr
  • 04-04-22

21 hours of people being unpleasant

I picked this up due to all the great reviews.
The Earth has been taken over by nearly all-powerful aliens. After the takeover, the aliens capture a lot of children as a part of a boot camp of some sort. There, the kids are subjected to all manner of unpleasant training where the aliens treat the humans like garbage. Lots of children get killed as they are forced through adult-level boot camp.
No opportunity is spared at being unpleasant.
At no point did I understand WHY the aliens did this, aside from some odd prophecy. A single alien could kill the entire child army they are building. Yet they are spending extraordinary resources on all this training.

Jeff Hays is incredible, as usual.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Curtis
  • 30-03-22

A sci-fi stroy that'll keep you hook.

Overall I'm pleasantly surprise with this book. Very good world building with the many alien races and description of alien cultures. The story kept me on the edge of my seat until the end. Lastly, the narration is top notch. Soundbooth Theater makes it really, really, hard to listen to other audiobooks because they truly go above and beyond basic narration.

Waiting for the audio version of book 2! Don't keep me waiting too long!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Meyer
  • 15-05-22

fantastic but be wary of triggers

Story brings you in and holds on to you. A tale of human resilience and compassion. such a unique coming of age tale. there were some parts that were really hard to listen too as it does have some graphic description of violence against children but it is such a compelling story line, that I am glad that I pushed through it!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Havasuvian
  • 03-05-22

Incredible

I had read the printed version of this book a few years ago and was blown away. I didn't think it would interest me, I was short on reading material so I gave it a try. Then when I was informed it was on Audible I was excited. I didn't want to expect much, there was so much in the book for one person to handle. I found myself immersed like watching a movie. The voices are easily relatable to each character. The alien voices are full of gritty, glass chewing disgust and hate that keeps these former Earth children, now slaves/warriors in training, risking anything to get home.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 28-03-22

I’ve never felt this ambivalent about a book before.

First, let me say that Jeff Hayes gave his usual impeccable performance. He is the anchor (talent-wise) that holds SBT together. They have some other decent narrators, but when I listen to SBT audiobooks that don’t include Hayes in the cast I regularly find myself wishing that he were the one narrating.

On to the book itself. The story that Sara King presents is full of depth and (if you make it to the end) presents a plotline with huge amounts of promise for future books. I really enjoyed her imagination and universe building. The writing mechanics were also very good. I really enjoyed following her characters through their adventure.

The thing that created the ambivalence was that she used some pretty cheap tricks to create emotional turmoil and her characters’ statements and actions often play as 2 dimensional caricatures of heartless people. They come off as unrealistic not because I don’t believe that there are people out there who are that stupid, nasty, or uncaring, but because she does a totally inadequate job of making them seem like actual people as opposed to props that she uses to create drama.

I regularly found myself infuriated by the flippant and, to be blunt, lazy way she used these ridiculous side characters to create whatever emotions and hangups she wanted her main cast to be manipulated by. In turn, this ended up making the real suffering and indecision of her major characters seem like hysterical hand-wringing instead of genuine turmoil. There were also some pretty tacky Y.A. parts that had me questioning whether it was worth it to continue listening.

So with all that said, I gave this book 4 stars only because of the last hour or so of the book… No spoilers here so I won’t give any detail. Suffice to say that after the whole tale seemed to be wrapped up King managed to broaden the story from just following an adolescent boy through a harrowing series of events into something with greater depth. By doing this she managed to create a jumping off point for a series of a much larger scale and with the potential to spin off interesting stories for a long time to come.

To sum it up, while I was very invested in the plot, I also almost stopped listening multiple times because it was impossible to suspend my disbelief when the author would just throw out some B.S. to add drama or create conflict.

I might recommend this book to certain people who are willing to slog a bit to get through an interesting story, but I don’t think I could give a blanket recommendation to everyone who likes this genre.

As for me, I’m hoping that Sara King makes some improvements to her craft in the next book, otherwise I doubt I will be willing to give the third book a shot.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Austin P. Murkland
  • 26-07-22

Sojourn with Awesome

First off, I’ve listened to a lot of “graphic audio” and generally I enjoy them; but don’t seek them out. Holy crap, this would technically be graphic audio, but it’s exponentially better. It needs a new term it’s that good. The source material itself is astounding. Sara has crafted a complex tapestry of alien races, lore, technology (even tho she hates techno babble), and… prophecy? I immediately started this after finishing fortune rising, and I was not disappointed. I’m overflowing with glee, about to start the next in the series which just came out on audio yesterday. I wish I had the power to compel you to get this; as my words do not equal the renown this book deserves. Get it. Now. There is only wonder to behold here. Have fun :)

2 people found this helpful