#AudiobookReview: The Dispatcher by John Scalzi

Here's another crappy review.


The Dispatcher by John Scalzi, Narrated by Zachary Quinto
Audiobook 2+ hours
Released October 2016
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher - a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late...before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

My Thoughts:

This story takes place in a world where insurance companies employ dispatchers to help prevent the costly premature death that failed surgery often presents. They’re present during surgery and if the patient is on the edge of death they are there to zap them with a lethal dosage of premature death. Then the person usually awakens naked and good as new in their home rather than dead and buried and saddling their families with grief and lots of expenses.

See in this world if you die naturally you’re gone for good but if it’s accidental or due to murder you typically come back. Why? Who knows. No one knows! You just have to go with it. You’ll drive yourself crazy waiting for answers if you’re a questioning type like me.

Of course with this type of scenario certain reckless morons do stupid reckless things like cutting off each other’s arms for fun or joining a fight to the almost death club. Thus the shadier dispatchers step up to earn a little side cash to fix the mess and keep it quiet. Who can blame a guy for wanting to make a few extra bucks? But this type of work comes back to haunt our main character when a former colleague goes missing.

A mystery ensues and this is where my tired brain started to shut off and daydream about chocolate cupcakes and my next book. Needless to say, it wasn’t able to fully engage me after the enthralling beginning but that may be my fault. I went into this one blind and vaguely remembering that I read somewhere online that Scalzi was a funny writer. Or maybe I've mixed him up with someone else? I didn’t find this one funny but it may be an anomaly or I may have no sense of humor. Either way, it was just okay in the end.

If you have the chance and inclination, check out the audio version narrated by Zachary Quinto. He does a fine, fine job with the material.

Comments

  1. Every book can't be a knock your socks off read. Glad it kept you entertained enough to finish it.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. This is so true. I wish it weren't so but it is ;)

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  2. Sounds like an interesting idea! Sort of reminds me of Altered Carbon, a tiny bit. Too bad it didn't hold your interest!

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    1. Yeah, it just petered out in the middle. Or maybe it was my fault.

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  3. I read something similar to this and really liked it. Too bad this didn't wow you. I'll probably pass on it.

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  4. This was definitely a departure for Scalzi. He does write funny books but this one was more serious. I read this in print form and enjoyed it😊

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    1. Ah that's good to know! I'll try another some day. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Tammy.

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  5. I liked Lock In by Scalzi but I need some explanations ha! But Zachary Quinto reading it?? Maybe lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Quinto was excellent. Worth a listen just for him :)

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  6. The concept is actually quite interesting but sounds like the delivery could have been better.

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    1. It just wasn't what I expected. Ah well, can't win them all.

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  7. I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was an interesting world and was hoping there'd be a series off of it. Not a funny one for sure but I liked it and the narrator :) Sorry to hear it wasn't for you.

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    1. That's alright. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm just a grouch :)

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