At Least He's Not on Fire is a collection by Chris Philbrook. If his name is familiar you have probably come across someone gushing about one of his series. If his name is not familiar, slap yourself on the back of the head and pick up one of his books or audiobooks now. You are missing something great. This book contains three original stories and three excerpts from his different series. The title, oh yes, the title refers to an philosophical life view the main character of Adrian's Undead Diary adopts after surviving the first few days of a zombie apocalypse.
The first original story is “All In”, about thirty minutes in length. (Please note, times are approximate because although I tried to watch the time stamp I was too caught up in the stories to get exact time. Hence the “about” length.) The main character finds himself playing poker with the devil. First thing he asks Satan is, “Ever been to Georgia?”. It just gets better and better from there and is not predictable at all. Hellhole is about 27 minutes in length. It is very original and horrifying. If there is a sinkhole in my neighborhood, my hair will finish going white overnight. Hellhole is seriously terrifying. The Vampire of Menlo Park, about 38 minutes in length, poses the question, “What if Thomas Edison was a vampire?”. The answer is creative and could easily be expanded to an entire book.
The first of the three excerpts is from Dark Recollections: Book One of Adrian's Undead Diary, about 52 minutes in length. If you haven’t read AUD (as it is abbreviated), this is the perfect opportunity to check it out. When I reviewed the full book on Amazon I said it is one of the best zombie genre I have ever encountered. Since I love the apocalypse genre, that is saying a lot. Try this first chapter and you will, like me, willingly jump into Adrian’s world. Excellent series and an excellent introduction to it.
The next excerpt is Tesser: A Dragon Among Us A Novel of the Reemergence, about 52 minutes in length. After listening to this except, I cannot wait for the Audible production that has just been announced. It was a wonderful first chapter. Imagine a dragon. Now make him cooler than any other dragon ever, including Smaug. Now give him intelligence and so very neat abilities that other dragons have not had in literature. Also throw in a magician’s apprentice, who just quit his full time job as an accountant to concentrate on his magic. Oh yeah, it is set in modern times. I have got to have this book. My son, who did a presentation on dragons in literature for one of his college classes, will probably fight me for who gets it first.
The final except is The Wrath of the Orphans: Book One of The Kinless Trilogy. This is the longest segment at roughly 2 ½ hours long. Chris Philbrook creates another universe, Elmoryn, where the story takes place. I was very impressed with how well he fleshed out his universe for the Adrian series but this one is even more breathtaking. Elmoryn has war and magic and horror and characters that immediately get your attention. By the end of the except I cared about Malwynn and his twin sister Umaryn, the main characters. The Wrath of the Orphans is the first book of a planned trilogy. Book 2 is already out and book 3 is hopefully joining it soon.
James Foster, who narrated all of Adrian’s Undead Diary, narrates At Least He’s not on Fire. As with AUD, he does a fantastic job. For example “All In” the devil and the main character have distinct voices. Foster’s accents in Tesser are spot on as usual. Foster is a finalist in three different categories for the 2015 SOVAS VoiceArts Awards. His narrations always take the author’s written word that one step further to pull you into their reality. The production values are prefect.
I tend not to be a big fan of anthologies because they can be uneven or have only one gem among a box of “meh” pieces. This one though is all gem quality. As evidenced by my inability to get correct times on the different segments, I was drawn in and enthralled. Warning to my family, this year you will be charged in Chris Philbrook titles for me doing your taxes.
"This audiobook was provided by Audiobook Reviewer at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review