by Ricky Dragoni
Narrated by: Steve Castello
Published on: August 29, 2018
The Swift is a tale of survival that contains humor, warmth, compassion, plus adds some deadly creatures that want to end it all for our two main characters in this horror story by Ricky Dragoni.
Left behind after a military evacuation and separated from their families, the people of Storm Lake must decide what to do. Technology along everything else has mysteriously ceased to function. There are no answers, only questions and many tough decisions to be made.
As they search for help in the cornfields of rural Iowa, a deadly game of hunter and prey develops between them and the Swift. The Swift are mysterious and ruthless creatures who hunt to kill. They unexplainably appear after the event and mercilessly dispatch anyone who they encounter, while Coach Mike Larson, Levi, his pupil, and everyone else must hunt the Swift for sustenance and survival.
Go along this dark and twisted journey with Coach Mike Larson and Levi as they do the unimaginable to survive in this apocalyptic new world, all in hopes of one day reuniting with their families.
After the mysterious ‘event’ Coach Mike Larson along with Levi do whatever they can to survive. It had started randomly one day where no electronics worked, or rather, nothing modern worked. Each person begins to hear that the military is coming to evacuate and when they do come they split everyone up into two groups. However, one group is left behind with no explanation as to why or what is going on. In The Swift, we follow these two characters as they slowly make their way toward Fort Dodge where they hope to find their families as well as answers. Each new path they take sets them on a coarse that seems to only bring them closer to danger – whether it be from lack of food, injury, other survivors, or from The Swift.
Oh – I had so many questions when listening to this story. Even though to me this was a tale of survival, it was also a story about the mystery of what was going on. Part of the fun of reading a story like this is trying to figure it all out. Some of the questions I asked were to myself as I tried to sort out any clue I could find regarding what was behind it all and some were to the characters and their actions (or non-actions). Such as – How did the military really ‘miss’ them in the evacuation? If they are so hungry why aren’t they planting a vegetable garden or preparing for winter? Why do they hunt for food the way they do? And so on…
Even though I’d classify this story as mild-horror, I still found it very tense at times. I don’t read horror very often – one of the reasons being that I sometimes can get too wrapped up in the character’s story and their need to survive that I have to stop because I am getting so stressed out. I have to remind myself that these characters are not real, that there has been no ‘event’ and there has been no military evacuations. However, being stressed out also means the author is doing a good job in their story telling. The story itself was very well done as we travel along with Coach Mike and Levi and face their struggles and dangers along with them.
Audio Book Review
If you are looking for a narrator with a deep voice, then this is the book for you. When I first began listening I was immediately struck by not only the deep, rich quality of the voice, but also the conversational way the voice actor described parts within the story or spoke certain lines. It had a natural feel to it. There was more than one time he became quite animated during the narration that was engaging and lively. And although he did several voices, I suspect my favorite was when he did a six-year old girl – that particular character and the narration together had a very light-hearted touch to it and was just a lot of fun to listen to.
One of my favorite moments in the entire story comes at the very end – the last few lines in fact. The narrator acted them out with such gusto and emotion that it put a big smile on my face as the book ended. However, even though I enjoyed the story and the voice actor I did at times have struggle with the quality of the production. It wasn’t always 100% clear to me and I found I had the most difficulty while listening to it in the car. But, my headsets worked ok and that is where I ended up listening to most of the story.
All in all, I found it a great book to read/listen to and can recommend to those who enjoy horror or post-apocalyptic stories.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Thank you to the author for the review copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.