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The Never Hero

The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs, Book 1
Written by: T. Ellery Hodges
Narrated by: Steven Barnett
Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the gates between worlds...

In a war outside of time...

He fights for us.

Reclusive college student Jonathan Tibbs wakes in a pool of blood, not a scratch on him. His life is about to undergo a massive shift. A violent and merciless otherworldly enemy unleashes slaughter in the streets, calling out in a language only he understands.

And it is seeking its challenger.

In order to defeat the threat, Jonathan must become a temporal weapon...while remaining completely anonymous. Unfortunately, harnessing off-world powers has its own special challenges...

The Never Hero is the first installment in The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs - a mind-bending, genre-crossing action-adventure trilogy.

©2014 T. Ellery Hodges (P)2015 Foggy Night Publishing

What listeners say about The Never Hero

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • mix579
  • 2017-06-22

Crap

I am beginning to believe in the existence of paid fake reviews. How can anyone who is not a) a teenager or b) into "young adult" literature score this highly. Halfway through I finally gave up. Lousy storyline (monsters attack earth, young unsuspected earthling forced to become protector of the realm), unengaging characters, no sense of pacing, inane dialogs, irrational behavior ("look I have this glowing thing in my chest, but why would I go to the hospital, they can't help anyway"), a narrator who sounds (rightly) bored reading it, etc etc. What pushed me over the edge was the seemingly endless chapter on watching Rocky movies so the unwilling hero finally accepts his destiny. Barf.

292 people found this helpful

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  • Helene
  • 2017-01-30

Unpolished, Misogynistic, Clumsy

I really tried to give this a listen. There were a lot of positive reviews. But once I got to the modern superhero arena... ack. Where do I start.

The writer relies heavily upon metaphor. Not good ones, not ones that really add to anything. A lot of descriptions of people being like predator cats or animals poised. Repeatedly.

Are you female? Because of the first 3 female characters, all 3 are described, presented, and evaluated for their attractiveness, and nothing else. So, if you're female, this book may piss you off.

First is a female roommate that eventually all other roommate characters internally admit they hate her boyfriend because they're jealous and want to get with her. Second, is a federal agent of some sort, which... i kid you know... the hard-ass military character in her scene, a guy we are to believe has figured out chain of command, respect for authority... when he finds it's a woman that has made him wait (regardless of rank) he mentally belittles her. Assumes she's some hot secretary for someone who matters. Then, when he finds out she IS authority, claims she's the type that uses her sexuality to manipulate.

Newsflash, guys, how a woman looks is not something she puts on in the morning, it's more or less how she wakes up. Please stop assigning motive to looks and then the blame and antagonism and blatant outright belligerence for a woman's attractiveness. It's a shitty way to describe a character. Just stop it. "She used her looks on purpose..." seriously, stop writing for a while.

Oh, and there's one more... the female neighbor - who conveniently has a child BROTHER not kid (have to be able to picture her naked without problems, like her being a mother/wife)... who is nothing other than a senseless, tactless vehicle for embarrassing the main character with dialogue that sounds more like a penthouse letter. After being attacked in his home, the main character's roommates don't like leaving him alone. However... one must rush off to a comic book store for an emergency and asks hot neighbor girl to stay at the house and watch after him... she tells main character to "nut up" and he stops moping out of.. I don't know, stupid male lust? I guess?

This is embarrassing in general. But you have female readers. We exist. And this kind of tripe is tiring.

Two of the roommates are described as Roman Catholic and atheist and spent their time discussing a new testament comic book after comparing jesus and superman.

Apart from these, I'm used to experienced writers. Scalzi. Martin. Stephenson. Writers that can write smooth, seamless dialogue, or paint a scene in an effortless way that doesn't feel like doing a 17 point turn in a large vehicle, knocking over decent metaphors in favor of painful, clunky ones. Granted, I didn't finish. So... maybe that all changed... and women became sentient, worthwhile human beings that weren't described based on ... oh yeah, did I mention 2 out of 3 of those women were presented by the male telling himself DON'T STARE AT HER BOOBS... yeah. nice.

pass.

Narrator probably isn't bad, but he was reading this book so hard to tell.

40 people found this helpful

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  • Joshua Lucas Fox
  • 2017-05-30

Urban Fantasy my (Bleep)!!

Any additional comments?

Make no mistake, this is a Super Hero story. Most super hero stories are urban so, yes you could make a case for urban fantasy, but it's not. That being said, you'll see what I mean cause I recommend the read.
I don't usually read super hero stories. Too shallow; too predictable; too hard to believe; something like that. This series has good character development, the author actually has a talent for writing. The world development is thorough enough that I don't have to work as hard to suspend my disbelief as much as I normally do with super hero stories. Go read it already, just don't expect urban fantasy.

37 people found this helpful

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  • phil humphries
  • 2017-07-26

Good Story

It started kind of slow but really built up in plot. The narration was done very well. I am about to start on the sequel The Never Paradox.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-06-21

Wait for it... wait for it.... Bam!

I enjoyed this book like few others I've listened to simply because it pulls you along with satisfying well timed pockets of discovery and action! it has elements of the modest hero, the warriors will to fight with everything he's got, and the sense of discovery in using power never before known.

It has qwerky movie references from the 80's that I enjoyed immensely and made it feel relatable. There is depth to the development of the primary and secondary characters given by insightful but subtle description.

the narrator, I have to say, did a fantastic job of expression. he seems to capture inflection and meaning in the right way at the right time. some narrators are monotone or seem to put odd qwerks on their sentences that seem unnatural. not the case here. I found myself able to absorb the narration with the story so completely that I could focus on visualizing the story... while mowing the grass, walking the dog, washing the dishes, vacuuming the house, etc. seriously well done performance.

I would put this book on my shelf with: the codex alera series by Jim butcher, ready player one by Ernest Cline, and the bobiverse series by Dennis e taylor with a twist of marvel comic book heroes thrown in.

I would buy it for you if I could but I can't. invest. you won't regret reading or listening to this book.

90 people found this helpful

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  • Indicat
  • 2018-01-13

Worthy read

A good take on the “power ranger” theme, unlikely hero with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Not quite a super hero, just a guy doing the best he can. The author does a good job, in my opinion, of capturing the struggles and emotions one would expect the protagonist to be facing, or at least that I can relate to as a disabled veteran myself and an awkward geeky guy. It’s a good story with a great deal of psychological truth to it for someone interested in peering into the mind of someone dealing with PTSD. I am very interested to see how this story unfolds.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Blake Rosenbrook
  • 2018-05-24

Different than my usual fare

I consider myself an urban fantasy buff, but I like sci-fi so I figured I would give this a shot since the reviews were so good. I enjoyed the book, but it was a little slow to get started for my taste. The characters were real and the plot was very interesting. Interesting enough I feel like I could use some of it in a new DnD campaign I have been kicking around in my head. That being said I wasnt impressed with the narrator but if you like Sci-fi and superheroes you will probably like this.

9 people found this helpful

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  • tracie
  • 2016-12-06

Good read. The average guy hero

I enjoyed this book because there are a lot of practical issues that are covered. A reluctant hero spends a great deal of time building himself both mentally and physically into what he needs to be, and he faces many uncertainties and dilemmas along the way! I adored his supportive friends, whose loyalty is inspiring. There were plenty of plot twists along the way to keep me guessing. I do feel like many are waiting the next book anxiously! Lots of loose ends to wrap up. However, I did feel like, in general, there was some closure.

Things to know for children potentially reading or listening to this:
There is language, though never the f-bomb, thankfully. There is a bloody scene that was handled tastefully (I tend to be extremely sensitive to blood). There was violence, but it always felt like it was out of necessity or defense of others. Much thought has been given to whether it's okay to kill or hurt others, and it's not the hero's first preference. Sex: unfortunately, there are several sexual references: he wakes up next to her, bare skin, a few more details like that. However, as these things go, it was handled tastefully. Spoiler--we also get a glimpse into the mind of someone who might have the potential to be a rapist. This could be disturbing to children and open up doors we might not want them to be aware of yet.

Overall, a good read!

43 people found this helpful

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  • Parkwood Lane
  • 2015-07-12

What the Positive Reviews Don't Tell You

Yes, it's a great book as the top reviews state, but only if you make it to the second half. It starts out feeling like a young adult superhero type of novel with characters that have boring archetypal motives. I was thinking about returning it at a couple of points. I kept listening because I was using it to kill time walking our dogs and didn't want to search for another book. But, by the end, the author has made things complex, interesting, three-dimensional enough that I'm going to get the second book.

170 people found this helpful

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  • rhodry
  • 2017-06-12

Tip: clear your schedule first.

What did you love best about The Never Hero?

A really good listen, an easy-to-follow narrator, realistic inter-character interactions. An intelligent book which doesn't "dumbify" the listener/reader.

What about Steven Barnett’s performance did you like?

First time for me listening to Barnett. He is easily one of the best I've listened to. He does female voices well, in contrast to other narrators who just make them sound "whiny". Perhaps a bit more contrast to the different male characters' voices to make it perfect. Sometimes some male character's would have the same voice as a female character, thus making a little bit confusing at times. This was mostly in the beginning, later it was easier to differentiate. Great narrator!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, absolutely yes. Will definitely aim to disrupt normal life as you might have to show immense will-power to turn it off.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Darnaryel Fantaisie
  • 2019-12-22

A surprisingly inspiring take on the hero's myth

Rich and captivating, T. Ellery Hodges gives us here a compelling analysis of the notion of hero, while keeping us entertaining in a beautiful piece of science fiction.