Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber

This terrifying story was enhanced by the audiobooks addition of screams, music, and the nastiest sound effects I have ever encountered. This (non cannon) story may be set in the world of Star Wars but this is not your usual Rebels vs The Empire storyline.


When the Imperial prison barge Purge–temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves–breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict, and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back–bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

And death is only the beginning. 

The Purge’s half-dozen survivors–two teenage brothers, a sadistic captain of the guards, a couple of rogue smugglers, and the chief medical officer, the lone woman on board–will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry. from Goodreads


This is, hands down, the best audiobook I have listened to for Frighteningly Good Reads in years. The sound effects, John William’s swelling orchestral pieces, and the surprise appearance of two of my favorite characters made this book addictively amazing. I usually listen to audiobooks while I walk and clean but this one gripped me so tightly that I found myself just standing there, listening.

The horrific disease that they find on the Star Destroyer gave me pause. I don’t have a lot of energy to listen to plague stories when the people in my local grocery store won’t follow health and safety rules. It really shakes my faith in people, you know? I’m plagued out.

But it wasn’t a plague. It was both better and worse than any plague. I don’t want to spoil it but holy moly it….was….so good.

There isn’t a great deal I can tell you about the story itself that won’t spoil the fun. I will say, this audiobook was enhanced by spooky screaming, sound effects, and a truly talented narrator. Sean Kenin did a top notch job voicing all the character uniquely and nailing the more famous ones.

Speaking of characters, there were a lot of different people in this story. Perhaps my only complaint would be that there felt like one too many people on this ship. But, in the end, like all great stories, everyone had a part to play. It was just tricky business to keep them all straight!

Even with that difficulty, this is going to be one of those books I gush about because it was an experience. Much like full cast recordings, audiobooks with music and sound effects have a certain depth to them that is unique. Just note, Death Troopers is not for the faint of heart. The sound effects include tearing flesh and the sucking sounds of one body part coming apart from another. There were some truly dark themes in this story that felt perfect for a spooky read that might have left me disgusted any other time.

I worry that I will be annoying about this book. Seconds after finishing it, I was mentally thinking of who would enjoy such a story. The only person that I could think of is Ryan @ Muse with Me. If you check out this (awesome) blog and like what you see, you too will probably enjoy Death Troopers.

Tell me, please. Is there a season where you are more accepting of certain themes? Romance in the summer? Horror in the Fall?


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