This author is amazing!
In fact, my new favourite author!
I started with Super Powereds after a recommendation from listening to Almost Infamous
by Matt Carter.
Before that, I listened to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline + his 2nd book Armada. The Jumper series by Steven Gould, and of course the Scott Myer books which are amazing.
I found through the reviews of Almost infamous though, that many of the people that had listened to that had also listened to all these books that I’d also listened to… and they had some recommendations too.
Thus I bought my 1st Drew Hayes book from these recommendations. Super Powereds Year 1.
And it was incredible.
Let me just share with you his self-written, about the author description:
Here it is straight from http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/author/ :
Drew Hayes is an aspiring author from Texas who has written several books and found the gumption to publish a few (so far). He graduated from Texas Tech with a B.A. in English, because evidently he’s not familiar with what the term “employable” means. Drew has been called one of the most profound, prolific, and talented authors of his generation, but a table full of drunks will say almost anything when offered a round of free shots. Drew feels kind of like a D-bag writing about himself in the third person like this. He does appreciate that you’re still reading, though.
Drew would like to sit down and have a beer with you. Or a cocktail. He’s not here to judge your preferences. Drew is terrible at being serious, and has no real idea what a snippet biography is meant to convey anyway. Drew thinks you are awesome just the way you are. That part, he meant. Drew is off to go high-five random people, because who doesn’t love a good high-five? No one, that’s who.
And here’s his picture…that’s actually on a few of his books…
He looks like a fun guy.
I regularly check out his website, for which…if you DO like reading, you can read the Super Powered series and some upcoming series for free online.
But for me, the production values and ease of listening to audio books means I’ll keep going with that.
The website also features news about release dates, chances to be the 1st to listen to books etc.
I also follow him on facebook because he is one of those authors that loves feedback from his readers, which is great.
As well as this, I’ve also watched / listened to a few interviews with him when he’s talking about his story-telling, story-constructing, how he sorts ideas etc, and it’s incredibly interesting.
Here’s 1 example, it’s worth a listen I think.
By the way, you can read my individual reviews by clicking on the title of the book anywhere in this article, but let me just briefly describe each of the series….starting with Super Powereds.
Then, I’ll rank the series in terms of which I think were the best.
Super Powereds series + the spin-off book Corpies is set in universe which most people are normal, some people have super powers, but there is a group of unfortunates that are born with super powers, but they can’t control them. These people are known as Powereds and are treated as 2nd –class citizens, often looked down upon with disdain, for unlike disabled people in the real world, they are not just unfortunate, but can cause real damage by losing control of their powers, setting buildings on fire etc.
It just so happens that a private company has come up with an experimental procedure to change Powereds into Supers permanently, thus creating the 1st trial group of Super Powereds.
The story follows these 5 Super Powereds
-Nick a guy can influence luck… and seems to be harbouring some pretty intereting secrets.
-Vince a guy can absorb and redistribute all forms of energy
-Hershel a guy seems to have a split personality disorder whose other side, called Roy, has apparently insane super powers, yet in his normal guise seems to have no powers at all.
-Alice a girl that has the power of flight…daughter of some rich & powerful Super.
-Mary who is a very powerful telepath and user of telekinesis yet is quite strange as she has been living alone in the forrest for a long time trying not to hurt anyone.
We follow these 5 characters throughout their university education and enrolment in the HCP- Hero Certification Program as they try to overcome the stigma against powereds whilst still trying to keep it a secret, plus various groups that are seemingly out to influence events around them.
Its the kind of fight to improve, grow closer together as a family kind of book…and figure out that the world may not be all that it seems… it..is… awesome!
My favourite character development in these books is that of Nick Cambell, an incredibly smart and calculating member of the group with the power of being able to control luck.
Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
Length: 26 hrs 10 mins; 32 hrs 11 mins; 41 hrs 1 min
Total Length: 99 hrs 22 mins
I know this sounds like a long time… and it is, but honestly I can’t get enough of it. It’s 99 hours of pure awesomeness, and he is writing and putting up chapter by chapter of book 4 which is available on his website for free… if you’re that way inclined.
Here’s the link: http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/spy4index/
Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
Length: 19 hrs and 50 mins
Set in the universe of Super Powereds, it follows the father of one of the main characters whose Hero name was and is Titan, one of the most famous Heroes of all time. We catch him as he’s decided to come back from a scandal that broke apart his family and forcibly retired him. But to give his sons a good role model he wishes to come back to the hero community and start making a difference again.
Here’s the publisher’s summary, as it probably makes more sense than I do at the moment:
Titan was one of the nation’s most loved and respected Heroes, until an infidelity scandal tore his image and family apart. After decades spent out of the limelight, Owen Daniels has decided to take up the mantle of Titan once again to try and make amends for his years away. Unfortunately, the Titan Scandal is still common knowledge, and no Hero team wants such a polarizing figure.
With no other options, Owen is forced to take a job overseeing a group of corpies, corporate-sponsored Supers who do rescue work…as long as there are cameras around. Between a team that doesn’t want him, fellow Heroes who don’t trust him, and a nation that might not be ready to forgive the sins of the past, the return of Titan could prove even harder than the scandal that drove him away. But Owen will have to push on, because his new city is far from a peaceful one.
A mysterious enemy is attacking Heroes and growing steadily stronger. An enemy that only the once-legendary Titan might be able to stop. If he can manage to stick around this time.
©2016 Andrew Hayes (P)2016 Tantor
Fred The Vampire Series review by Drew Hayes
Length: 7 hrs 2 mins; 9 hrs 19 mins; 9 hrs 58 mins
Total length: 26 hrs 19 mins
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
This series is subtle, funny, quaint, and yet still adventurous. It follows the story of Fred…obviously, who is an accountant and as the title suggest… a vampire.
The books are written in a kind of diary like format, with each book having 5 main stories and while each story is a separate event / adventure, they build on each other as Fred is meeting new people, unintentionally having adventures, and discovering more about the para-normal world he is suddenly a part of.
The books in the series so far are: [pictures]
Book 1: The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant
Book 2: Undeath and Taxes
Book 3: Bloody Acquisitions
Click on each of these to read their individual reviews. They all open in a new tab
But essentially …. As once again, I know a lot of you won’t be bothered to click on them and read them here’s a little summary of each of the books.
Frederich Frankford Fletcher lives a generally boring life, working as an accountant… one day he is killed and wakes up as a vampire, and as he is a more timid kind of human and doesn’t really like to intrude on others, just transitions to his new ‘life’ as a vampire, still living his generally boring life, but instead buying blood from a local hospital in exchange for doing the hospital’s taxes, setting up his own business, working from home at night and that’s about it.
However, this all changes when he meets his old high-school flame and finds out she is an agent for for a division of the government that deals with the paranormal world.
The para-humans described in the book go in a different direction than many of the movies, tv-shows and books having the same para-human kind of characters. Fred isn’t suave and always handsome, Were-wolves aren’t constantly insane, the myths & legends for all creatures don’t necessarily apply.
Spells, Swords & Stealth series
Length: 7 hrs 50 mins; 11 hrs 19 mins; 15 hrs 24 mins.
Total = 34 hrs 33 mins
Narrated by: Roger Wayne
So, it starts off with some characters/ ‘adventurers’ playing a role-playing game (the kind which success & failures are dictated with the role of a dice) and they begin working their way through the imaginary world…going on quests and exploring, but when they find they’ve accidentally eaten some poisonous mushrooms, all their characters die.
Just afterwards some NPCs (Non Player Combatants – the equivalent of computer AI characters, but in a board game) decide to take the mantle of the ones that just died, and complete the quest that they were originally tasked with.
So you’re now of the perspective of the game characters who view their world as very real, but also have the perspective of the original people playing the game in their world… which.. just so happens, as a juicy easter egg… is the same world as Fred the Vampire.
There is sporadically some back & forth between the adventurer’s world and the imaginary world, and some ponderings to see if the imaginary world can affect the adventurer’s world.
The books in the series are NPCs, Split the Party, & Going Rogue.
Stand alone books.
Pears & Perils
Length: 6 hrs 40 mins
Narrated by: Matt Armstrong
A collection of people win a trip to star in an advertisement for a burger company for which they have to participate in trying to free a tropical islands’ god in some ceremony.
It turns out that they are quite successful in the end. With the ceremony being a real ceremony and the god being a real god. It’s also a pretty decent and funny story.
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 26 hrs and 58 mins
Again, I’m letting the publishers summary speak for itself, as its pretty succinct.
Gifted with meta-human powers in a world full of capes and villains, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she’s captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she’s offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated.
Apprenticed to one of the world’s most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem. The education of a villain is not an easy one, and Tori will have to learn quickly if she wants to survive. On top of the peril she faces from her own teacher, there are also the capes and fellow apprentices to worry about, to say nothing of having to keep up a civilian cover.
Most dangerous of all, though, are those who loathe the guild’s very existence. Old grudges mean some are willing to go to any length to see the guild turned to ash, along with each one of its members. Even the lowly apprentices.
What you cannot get from this basic story explanation is how the book is written and the exploration of greying lines between what people think is ‘good’ and ‘bad’, or rather ‘just’ and ‘unjust’.
I love the concept that the villains have their own guild simply because they don’t like sticking to the many rules about what they can and can’t do from the rest of supposedly moral and correct society, but they are not necessarily bad people, it’s just that they don’t want to live according to others rules.
And the fact that they have a code to stick by to make sure they all stick together and that no one gets in too much trouble.. is great. It’s really exploring the grey areas that is ‘having to do the right thing’ by sticking to the laws.
Also, while it deals with super heros & villains, it is NOT set in the Super Powereds universe. It’s a completely separate thing.
Narration of all books?
The narration is spot on for all books. For more information on that, all the links taking you to the book’s individual review have a section on narration.
Ok so ranking.
Other than Pear & Perils, which I think was the correct length for that book, if the other series just kept going… I would listen to them indefinitely.
As for my own personal preference though I would go
- Super Powereds series / universe (including Corpies)
- Forging Hephaestus -Just incredibly interesting, and love the perspective on it.
- Fred the Vampire
- Spells, Swords & Stealth – not because its bad, but because I personally enjoyed the science fiction more as compared to full-fantasy as a genre.
- Pears & Perils
As mentioned previously though, Fred the Vampire series has a potential to cross-over with Spells, Swords & Stealth… which to be honest I hope doesn’t happen any time soon, because these 2 stories are exciting enough by themselves, but it would be very interesting to see in the future.
I’m tempted to just read, like actually read everything on Drew Hayes’ website but I really prefer the audio books, the accents & voices of the characters.. I think I’d prefer to wait and see for whatever he publishes in audio format next.
I can’t recommend this author highly enough, he is my new favourite author.
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