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  • To Beat the Devil

  • The Technomancer Novels, Book 1
  • By: M. K. Gibson
  • Narrated by: Shawn Purvis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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To Beat the Devil cover art

To Beat the Devil

By: M. K. Gibson
Narrated by: Shawn Purvis
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Summary

One hundred and seventy-five years have passed since god quit on mankind. Without his blessing, Hell itself, along with the ancient power of The Deep, were unleashed upon the world. Two world wars and oceans of blood later, a balance was reached. Demonkind took its place as the ruling aristocracy. Mankind, thanks to its ability to create, fell to the position of working proletariat. Alive, but not living. Lucky us. Welcome to New Golgotha, the east coast supercity. In it you will find sins and cyborgs, magic and mystery, vices without virtue, and hell without the hope of heaven. In the middle of it all is Salem, smuggler extraordinaire and immortal recluse, who has lived and fought through the last two centuries, but his biggest battle is just beginning. To Beat the Devil is an incredible adventure full of cyborgs and demons, gods, magic, guns, puns, and whiskey, humor, and heart. Follow Salem as he embarks to discover the meaning of the very nature of what mankind is: our souls. And who is trying to steal them.

©2016 Michael K. Gibson (P)2016 Michael K. Gibson

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I was 3 hours in and decided to buy the book rather then listen to his fast pace reading and boring tone. I will definitely not listen to another book read by Shawn Purvis.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great mix of fantasy, sci-fi and myth

Fast paced, but not lacking detail. Plenty of suspense and action. Look forward to the sequel.

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 27-03-17

Brilliant.

This is definitely a case of don't judge the book by the cover!! The cover wouldn't entice me to pick this up in a book store, but trust me when I say that you should definitely pick it up!! This was a funny, unique and addicting read.

Plot wise, it was fast paced, entertaining and fun. This centers on Salem, a mercenary for hire, who has a mysterious background and one that rolls out slowly throughout the story. He is approached by an equally mysterious man, Father Grimm, who has a job for Salem. From the second Salem meets with Father Grimm, his life is changed forever. What follows is a book that is intriguing, entertaining, funny and a must read.

I loved the setting of this. The apocalypse came and God had had enough. He upped and left and left the world in the hands of Demons. Now they rule the world and have a kind of deal with humanity, but with the Demons come depravity and death. Salem and Grimm are on a course that could change the world as they know it, but along the way they have to deal with Demon armies, risen dead, and Demon overlords, to name but a few!!

The characters in this were my favourite part of it. All were well written and developed and charismatic!! I loved Salem and his snarky, quirky attitude. He is a character that is memorable and easy to like. Father Grimm was mysterious and I couldn't wait to see his story unravel throughout the book. We also get some truly unique and fun side characters, that just add to the overall awesomeness of this book.

In all, this was a surprising and engaging read. Filled with amazing characters, action, adventure, Demons, Angels, Magic, Science and enough Pop Culture references that will make you laugh out loud, it's a must read for everyone. I loved pretty much everything about this and can highly recommend.

The narrator, Shawn Purvis, was really good. He had a variety of tones and voices and really put his all into this performance. He brought the story to life.

I received a complimentary copy of this from the author but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

24 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Midwestbonsai
  • Midwestbonsai
  • 08-03-17

plot and characters built with care

To Beat The Devil: The Technomancer Novels Book 1 by M. K. Gibson centers around Salem (a rogue human/cyborg) and Father Grimm (a mysterious mage with a heart-stopping hard side) who find themselves fighting against the bad guys (demons) since God announced his “forsaking” the people of earth.  Now almost 200 years later, the battle for human souls has taken an unexpected turn and it is up to Salem and Grimm to win it!

There were a lot of pop culture references throughout the audiobook; I immediately connected Salem to the Chris Pratt character in Guardian of the Universe and Father Grimm to a mix between Obi-Wan and Yoda.  The references added a comedic value to the book which made it even more interesting and fun.  I loved the parents and their interaction with Salem.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it was fast paced, not too techno or complicated to follow and the characters were well described and built.  The use of deities from ancient mythology was impressively entertaining.  I enjoyed Salem’s “fly by the seat of your pants” attitude.  It was a perfect audiobook - creative, entertaining and fun.

Gibson built the plot and characters with care and strength.  It is an epic book but one that cannot be put down, it holds not only your attention but thoughts as well.  The listener may find themselves asking what if … OMG, I never thought of that … Gibson takes one action – one we never think or want to believe could happen and shows us what could happen if humankind is left unchecked.

The narrator, Shawn Purvis provided a striking performance.  He performed the audiobook expertly, keeping the story going at a rhythmic pace and speaking clearly and concisely.  He owned the book!  He jumped between characters without missing a beat keeping all the voices correct.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

16 people found this helpful

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  • Pat and Lauren
  • 09-03-17

Brilliant story

A brilliant story that mixes nerd culture, "Deadpool" humor, and an interesting spin on theology.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BikeVON
  • 09-05-17

New exciting and unique


You wake up one morning and man is no longer the ruling earth. The things of our nightmares have assented and God has checked out. Man fights back with his technology skills and cyborgs are created. So what does demons do to acquire even more power and enslave man? They steal our souls.

We meet Salem. He is a uniquely-build, long lived cyborgs who is immature, without direction and life style is whiskey and cigarettes. His day to day life consists of making deals and procuring lost items from a society that was destroyed by a human and demon war.
Father Grimm who aged extends the period of gods recruited Salem. Grimm’s opens Salem’s eyes to the inhuman treat of demons harvesting man ‘s souls for power. The story features cyborgs and demons, gods, magic, guns, puns, and whiskey, humor, and heart.
Grimm and Salem work to create a haven for humans through the machinations, battles and plain old demon ass kicking.

A great mix of Greek mythology, religion, and magic. A must read!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nemo
  • 07-03-17

Shadowrun meets Dante's Inferno

Would you listen to To Beat the Devil again? Why?

Yes. This is a fantastically read book and really brings the story to life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of To Beat the Devil?

Every scene with Nikola Tesla is fantastic. Now I want my own Serbian cyborg inventor to hang out wth.

Which character – as performed by Shawn Purvis – was your favorite?

Grimm was portrayed extremely well and is at once an enigmatic and likable character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had many laugh out moments in this book. Mostly regarding Salem's tastes in music and nostalgia which closely mirrors my own. A funny Star Wars reference will always make me smile.

Any additional comments?

All in all this is a fantastic foray into a world where humanity is not on top. We have heroes, villains, and even gods and devils all fighting or scheming. Some twists and turns and a couple of protagonists that I really identified with.

6 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Alexandra Yusov
  • Alexandra Yusov
  • 14-07-18

Unexpected Disappointment

I didn't enjoy the book even though I've liked the author's other books. Here are my issues with it:



1. I didn't like 95% of the characters.



2. The main character has no problem being friends with absolutely despicable entities. If I hear "Yeah, I got that toy (woman) pregnant. The other girl I was fucking will kill her shortly for it." I would not consider that person a friend. No matter what the world was like.



3. Female characters are there only as scenery. It maybe less obvious than in worse books, but it's still there. Also, the obligatory "the female I care about is about to be raped, I must save her" scene is so cliché.



4. Fight scenes - I just didn't care. Here is how it goes: There is an attack! Now let's spend pages/long minutes on describing it! Interspersed with some pathos and snarky comments. Why should I care? The attack will end and there will be a result. Can't we just save some time and get to the result within just one page of description? Especially when there is a new attack or fight every other chapter. Tedious filler.



5. The bait for the next book. I get that a series is profitable. But the ending here was just insulting in how much it tossed everything in the air.



6. I'm originally from Russia. There is a Russian character in there that is a caricature. He's given impressive credentials, but his speech and behavior are a one dimensional mockery.



7. Narration fails. The narrator makes the russian character even worse of a caricature. In addition, there is a moment where a female wails in sorrow. The sound and tone were so bad I burst out laughing. The rest of the narration is pretty good.



8. Logic problems. Spoilers ahead! The protagonist finds out that demons are currently low on power and humans may win in a war against them. But now demons have found a way to increase their power. Our character finds out about it and stops one of the demons from doing it. Other demons aren't fully aware of the method yet, but should be soon because the tech to allow it as already being mass-produced. The protagonist then decides that a war should start. But declares it is not time yet.... You don't have to be a strategist to understand that the only time to start that war and have a chance to win is to do it before all demons power up. Our hero doesn't even have an intention to monitor the spread of this technology! How low does one's IQ need to be to think that's reasonable?



9. Something small - the questions game. There is a questions game early one. It's so contrived! There is a reason that exact game shows up so often in poorly written fanfics (not in the good ones).



10. Also "I do not use contractions" is a beginner's way to characterize a character. I appreciate the attempt to give different characters different speech patterns. Just do it better than this kindergarten level.

5 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Russ Lewis
  • Russ Lewis
  • 26-12-17

Shawn Purvis is by far the worst narrator ever

I'm only a few chapters into this book and I'm about to just delete the book. The story is actually good and the book is well written but the narrators has the personality of a cardboard box. There is no inflection, no feeling, and no performance to it. The occasional use of cheesy Golum-like voices is beyond stupid sounding. This book screams to be narrated by Liam Owen (Hard Luck Hank). I can almost imagine iny head what it would sound like with Liam's "Hank" voice (or something close to it). I'd be laughing and getting into it. But I then I hear the rhythmic drone of Shawn Purvis and I crash back to reality with my place lost in the book because I fell asleep or I just start browsing for another book to get me out of this misery. This book is supposed to be about Hell on Earth when in fact listening to Purvis butcher this book is exactly that - Hell on Earth.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy Nieland
  • 07-03-17

Excellent

The cover graphic pales to the content of this book. This is a great book that I would whole heartedly recommended to anyone.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Michael O'Neal
  • Michael O'Neal
  • 06-03-17

Fun, very imaginitive listen

Great story, great narration. Gibson takes you on a whirlwind adventure to a world that God abandoned to the powers of Hell; full of demons, Norse gods, cybernetic samurai, and the like. The world building is great, the geeky references hit more than they miss, and there is a surprisingly emotional arc for the main character. Purvis' narration is spot on too, capturing not only the main character's essence but also nimbly moving from hellspawn to Viking beserkers to robotic Russian inventors. I really enjoyed it.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Tiffany
  • Tiffany
  • 10-07-18

To Beat the Devil

Pretty good book. I love the pop culture references and the snarky remarks between the characters. The book picks up after Salem goes to Father Grimm's place. I'm curious about Ricky's endgame. The narrator did a decent job. At times, I thought he was a little monotone. I received this audio book for free though Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.

4 people found this helpful