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Catalyst Downward Cycle

Written by: J K Franks
Narrated by: Steven Varnum
Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the first five minutes, more than a million people will die.... That’s just the beginning of the nightmare. 

The super solar storm wasn’t supposed to hit Earth - the odds were against it. And yet it did, and everything changed. The storm causes a global blackout. Society begins to come apart as the planes begin falling from the sky and all traces of normal vanish. Scott Montgomery watches helplessly as pandemonium consumes the world around him. But the loss of electrical power is just the first of the problems facing the survivors in the chaos that follows. 

Soon, they discover the loss of electricity was just the beginning of their problems. In a land without laws and few consequences for their actions, individuals must come to terms with their darkest fears and desires. What will Scott do when he learns the draconian plans one secret group has for regaining control and ensuring their own vision for the new world? 

Catalyst is a shockingly realistic tale of how society copes when the world is thrust back to a time before technology. If you are a fan of Steve Konkoly, Tom Abrahams, or A. American, you will love this audiobook. 

©2016 J K Franks (P)2016 J K Franks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book. Bad narration

The narrator has a voice better suited to children’s books! Hard to listen to military terms and gunfights from a voice like this. Would not recommend this audio but I read the book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • TinkerMel
  • 2017-08-10

On to book two

The end of the world kind of books seem to be all the new rage right now. they are all starting to sound the same. and some with NOTHING to do with the end of the world genre. The last few books I've read have just not been good. I was leery of getting this book. I am so glad I did. This book has a great storyline. Action adventure and great characters. I am very glad I took the chance on this book.
it also has a few good tips in it, with out being boring.
though I will say, the first chapter seems to be about the love of Bicycle riding. But as the story goes on you see you why that was important.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rogue
  • 2016-12-27

Watching the Apocolypse crash and can't look away!

Great story. Well done and very well narrated.

While the story starts a bit slowly it picks up and fleshes out quickly. The author does a great job of defining the characters and the story environment. The story is interesting and moves well once it gets going.

There are lots of characters to like and dis-like. The narrator does a great job with the story and it is very easy to keep all the characters straight, no easy task given the variety within the story.

This was a very entertaining and enjoyable listen. I look forward the the other books in the series.

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • The Lone Mopper
  • Brookfield, WI, United States
  • 2017-08-06

A Different & Compelling Dystopian Novel

If you could sum up Catalyst Downward Cycle in three words, what would they be?

Not predictable dystopia

What other book might you compare Catalyst Downward Cycle to and why?

You really can't since there aren't any zombies or EMP strikes by terrorists, this is what gives this book a different twist plus the act that starts the collapse is really a minor issue compared to the results of the act.

What does Steven Varnum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Steven does an excellent job between the voices of the characters and you can hear/feel the emotions which is essential for good story telling

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I still can't stand bicyclists on the road who don't follow the same laws cars have to but I can ignore that when faced with a good story.

Any additional comments?

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and since I was raised by my momma to never lie, you can trust my review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shanna Tidwell
  • Ft Worth, TX
  • 2017-09-26

Really great new read!

I read a lot of books like this. Sometimes the stories & characters are almost interchangeable. NOT so in this case. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are beautifully written. The story & plot is very well thought out. I was entertained & also learned some things.
I loved how Scott learned & grew so much. How he was the reluctant hero. I loved how he struggled with what is right & what should be.
If you are looking for a book to introduce you to the SHTF genre this would be a great one to start with.
This is a story & world I can’t wait to revisit.


I was voluntarily provided this review copy at no charge by the author, publisher and or narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jessicarose10
  • 2016-12-28

Where's book 2 ?

This is one of the best end of the world books I have read this year. Unique.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-12-06

CME

PREPPING IS FOR THE SHORT TERM
If you have never read a prepper book and your insistent on trying one, than this would be a good place to start. I say that because the main character shows humility and is not a know it all. The book also shows the importance of friends. The rest of the book unfortunately is like most of the rest. That is, it reads like a laundry list. This would be a good manual to have around in case of a CME, but it is not real entertaining. For entertainment along these lines pick up Franklin Horton's, Borrowed World Series.

CME
Sorry, but I listened to this as I was driving and I forgot actually what CME, stands for. I do know that it has to do with Solar Flares. The point of this book being that these solar flares caused an EMP. This catastrophe was not man made.

38 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 2016-12-22

Beginning of what looks like a great series!

What did you love best about Catalyst Downward Cycle?

Most of it, frankly. The underpinning is rather derivative ( global EMP and resulting chaos ) but the accuracy of the situations is fascinating, as is the interplay of the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The fellows that our hero befriends are compelling.

Which character – as performed by Steven Varnum – was your favorite?

He did excellent work on them all. Can't parse them out.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The scene with the niece alone in the house is good.

Any additional comments?

Franks does use the story as a political statement platform, and this did get tiresome at times ( alot of the time, actually ) . That said, I looked past it and tried to see the value in the pure entertainment and educational value of the story, and found it.

I was provided this book for free via Audioblast in exchange for this review, which is fair and balanced. I recommend this for credit use, and enjoyed it for its genre, but it does come with some pretty heavy political baggage so listener be ware.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 2016-12-22

Great idea, decently executed, some faults

Would you try another book from J K Franks and/or Steven Varnum?
Yes, I probably would although I wouldn't necessarily seek out one purposefully like I might with other authors and narrators. Considering Catalyst seems to be a first release for both I expect that future endeavors will begin to feel more polished, so I'll keep my eyes on them.

Did Steven Varnum do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
The narrator does a great job overall, although I could only give 3 stars.

For the most part his characterizations were excellent (reminded me a little of Jeff Gurner who did the Daemon series among other works), and this is coming from someone who usually has a tough time listening to "voices". However this is also part of why I dropped Performance to 3 stars. He has GOT to change his female voice! Some narrators are really good at simply "softening" their female character voices vs trying to change the actual pitch - this is a must for Mr Varnum in my opinion. The saving grace here is that there are very few female characters in this book.

There were a number of mis-pronounced words, not complicated words either. Not enough to distract from the listen but enough to warrant a mention. There were also oddly placed pauses in many sentences, almost as though he was using the end of a line as a period rather than continuing the flow to the next line to complete the sentence. Again, not completely distracting but a little awkward. Some better editing may have picked these up and perhaps cleaned them up a bit and surely this will get better with narration experience.

I expect to see much more from Steven in the future, hopefully he will be narrating the next book in the series - but only if he addreses the above criticisms :)

Was Catalyst Downward Cycle worth the listening time?
Yes, overall I did enjoy Catalyst. The story had somewhat of a "One Second After" feel although I could have used more time spent on the rebuilding of the community; it kind of fast-forwards through a lot of this.

In fact, there is quite a lot of "glossing over" in the book. In some areas we get excellent story-telling and wonderful detail while other areas simply skipped over details or left loose ends.

There were also areas where I felt unsure that the author did all of his homework as well as some obvious editing misses but, unlike some other books in this genre, I never once felt like turning it off or that I couldn't finish.

But still, minus some irritants, this was a fun book. The story had some unique elements while still following a very familiar formula. The primary protagonist was well-written and likable and I found myself caring about what happens next. Although the writing in general only gets 3 stars from me, I will likely seek out the next book in the series with my fingers crossed, hoping that some of the negative nuances are cleaned up.

Any additional comments?
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • Wichita, KS, United States
  • 2017-12-19

Entertaining !

This is a plausible concept and could very well happen. If history is correct - this will happen again. I would say this is a pretty accurate story line. Moves along - good listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • DSW
  • 2017-11-27

Returned

If you are brand new to prepping and novels about the apocalypse you might like this book. I very much felt like I was listening to "Prepping #1", out of 100 books. To simple and to juvenile. Even the narrator sounded like he was reading to 6th graders, although he wasn't bad. I think it was more the material.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful