The American Fathers: Emperor by Henry L. Sullivan III

Narrators: Adrianne Cury, Karin Anglin, Kevin TheisAmro Salama, Antonio Castillo, Jeff Cummings, Scott Duff, Steve Downes, and Tony Dobrowolski

Publisher: Sullivan Serials (2017)

Length: 3 hours 2 minutes

Series: Book 4 The American Fathers

Author’s Page

Note: While this is Book 4 in the series, it works well as a stand alone, though it is definitely enhanced by enjoying the first 3 episodes previously. However, if you do pick this up as a stand alone, you might want to check out the glossary first to pick up some of the lingo, characters, and overall atmosphere of the series. For the audiobook, this glossary starts at the 2 hours 41 minutes mark and lasts just over 20 minutes.

Set in 2032, Victor Daco is at the height of his career, being America’s king in all but name and official letterhead. He’s been the power behind this New Rule movement for decades, setting up this rulership step by step. Now he just has to crush the POP Watchers, a hacktivist resistance group, and have the US President sign the final piece of legislation that will allow him total authority.

This is the book I had been waiting for in this series, the tale that ties all four stories together. The history of how the ruling Houses came into being is clearly laid out, past characters (such as Victor’s daughter Irene) are mentioned or brought into play, and the entire story arc moves forward a bit as Victor’s enemies circle him like waiting sharks.

My one quibble is that the female characters aren’t particularly important to the plot as they were in the first 2 books. Natalia, Irene’s mom, has the most lines. She is clever and elegant but nearly all of her role is to comfort Victor even as she builds up or reigns in his ego. I think she has more to give and I’m doubtful we will get to see that in future installments.

The science fiction bits were great. I love Victor’s chosen mode of transport, all the corporate spying that goes on, and cyber enhancements the rich can obtain. While I did like Victor’s fancy suit of armor, I felt the story was a little rushed in taking us from Victor the Ruthless Businessman to Victor the Iron Man. The story spends plenty of time on the political intrigue (which I like) but I would like to see this level of detail in Victor’s character arc as well.

Hispanic US President – yay! I quite love the multi-ethnic character list this series continues with. Take Victor’s college nemesis, an Arab royal, into account as well because Victor hasn’t made note of him, a failure he will regret. There’s a solid ending to this installment though I do wonder where the author will take the series from here. I expect Big Things to come about from the events of this book.

I received a free copy this book.

The Narration: The audio production and narration for this series continues to be excellent. The full cast provides a range of distinct voices for the characters. There’s also sound effects that enhance the story instead of distracting from it. I especially liked the use of this heavy metal music for this particular scene; it wasn’t loud enough to drown out the story but it was prevalent enough to make me believe the characters were having a hard time with the volume.

What I Liked: Great narration; Victor Daco is an interesting characters; his story arc from college student to the New Rule to his current high station; all the SF bits; the ending of this installment of the series.

What I Disliked: The ladies aren’t nearly as important in this part of the tale as they were for Books 1 and 2.

The American Fathers: Swept Away by Henry Sullivan

SullivanAmericanFathersSweptAwayWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrators: Adrianne Cury, Amy Montgomery, Deb Doetzer, Fawzia Mirza, Scott Duff

Publisher: Sullivan Serials (2015)

Length: 58 minutes

Series: Book 1 The American Fathers

Author’s Page

Set in a near future America, the world is a bit different. Powerful houses run the politics, and hence, the country, from behind the scenes. Sworn fealty to a powerful house can bring the average person a decent paying job in a world where society is scrambling to hold it together. Sheila, a smart lass from Tennessee, sees through this BS and is trying to open the public’s eyes to this power shift. Meanwhile, the Lebanese congressional correspondent Jasira agrees with Sheila, off the record. Yet, despite Sheila’s unarguable attraction to Jasira, she can’t help but question Jasira’s motives.

I stepped into this book thinking it was more near future scifi + politcs than romance + erotica. However, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the story. The author does a very good job of showing us, through Sheila’s eyes, the power structure and what Sheila believes to be wrong with it. The story opens with a hosted TV show on which Sheila and Jasira are guests. Through that show, they get to interact with a few members of the show’s audience, who have questions that leave the the door open for Sheila to comment on the politics of the day.

There’s only a touch or two of what you might call futuristic tech. Honestly, telling your sound system to play a certain selection of music is possible now with a swanky system. Still, it was nice to have these small reminders that this is a near-future story and not some alternate story of what Earth and politics might be today. I personally would have preferred a little more future tech.

This is a romance erotica and that part of the book is sweet. When Jasira turned on the charm, I melted. The sex scene doesn’t happen until the end and there is a very nice build up. We get a clear picture of who each of these ladies are – and they are both smart and savvy in their own ways. Plus there are those hints of hidden secrets and things rather not said for both ladies, giving the story that overtone of possible future conflicts of interests. By the time the sex scene arrived, I was thoroughly caught up in the characters and so wanted them to be happy with each other. The descriptions of the love making were detailed but not gauche. It was a very nicely done piece of erotica thrown into a larger story of political intrigue. As a side note, I really like that we have more than 1 ethnicity represented in this story. I will definitely be looking for episode 2.

I received this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: This was an excellent performance all around. Sheila’s character had a light regional accent that wasn’t overdone. The voice for Jasira was perfect – by turns clever and insightful, and then sexy and tempting. The rest of the character voices were distinct and well done. The production was smooth with touches of ambient sounds that never drowned out the dialogue.

What I Liked: The story’s setting; political intrigue; some intelligent female characters; we’re shown what the political situation is instead of being told; excellent sex scene; excellent narration & production; more than 1 ethnicity represented.

What I Disliked: A tiny quibble – I would have enjoyed more future tech thrown in.