Deathstalker by Simon R. Green – An Audio Book Review



Owen Deathstalker, last of the infamous warrior Clan, always considered himself more of a writer than a fighter, preferring his history books to making any actual history with a sword. But books won’t protect him from Her Imperial Majesty Lionstone XIV, who just Outlawed and condemned Owen to death, without any explanation, reason, or warning. No wonder she’s called the Iron Bitch.

Now, on the run from Imperial starcruisers, shady mercenaries, and just about everyone else in the Empire, Owen’s options are limited. Though the name Deathstalker still commands respect in certain quarters, out on the Rim, Owen is lucky he can cobble together a makeshift team of castoffs, including an ex-pirate, a cyborg, and a bounty hunter. But allies won’t be enough to save him.

If he’s to live, Owen can either run forever…or take down the corrupt Empire. To do that, he’ll need the fabled Darkvoid Device—an artifact dating back to the first Deathstalker and perhaps the only weapon powerful enough to help this ragtag rebellion win. The time has come for Owen to finally embrace his Deathstalker heritage…and all the blood and death that go along with it.

Author: Simon R. Green

Narrator: Gildart Jackson

Series: Deathstalker #1

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera

Running Time: 22hrs 45mins

Audio Publication Date: 31st October 2017

My Rating of ‘Deathstalker’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible, Amazon


Deathstalker was probably the first science fiction series that showed a much younger me that there was a good depth of science fiction that lay beyond my comfort zone of the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. It will always hold a fond place in my heart for having opened the door to getting out of a ‘one franchise reading’ mindset and, with this fondness in mind, I got both excited and worried at the thought of picking up the audio book.

What if the narrator wasn’t good enough to match the memories in my head? What if I’d grown up too much in my tastes and no longer enjoyed the style, the characters, the overall plot … and many sub plots that make this very much the Song of Ice and Fire of the space opera world?

Thankfully the narrator was wonderful, some of the voices are a tad ‘much’ or similar, but on the whole he did a fantastic job. Wonderfully, I still enjoy the writing style that relies on perfectly timed coincidences a good deal, but doesn’t shy away from it and does it in such a way that you just don’t care as it makes too much sense. The characters are larger than life and have such deep motivations that even the ones you think are lesser and unimportant will end up intriguing you in some way. They also have the most simple, yet effective sounding names. Names like Jack Random, Ruby Journey & John Silence stuck with me for a long time after.

The plot is, at its core, the oppressed being forced to fight for their lives and, because it sounds like the best way of staying alive whilst getting revenge, doing the impossible of toppling a galactic empire built on slavery, greed, excess and oppression. The sub plots, of which there are a wildly large number, range (from what I remember) throughout all books in the series. It gets to the extent that the titular character, Owen Deathstalker, tends to take a back seat when the author realises how much fun some of the other characters plot lines are to write for.

Admittedly, I’m a tad biased in not having much in the way of negativity to say about it due to the happy place it holds in my teenage years, but I remember feeling this way when I picked it up for the first time way back when. So maybe it’s just one of those happy instances of being able to sit down, inhale a storyline without having to think overly much, and just enjoying the wild ride the characters take you on.


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