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Renegades

Expeditionary Force, Book 7
Written by: Craig Alanson
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Length: 17 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The battle-scarred star carrier Flying Dutchman is finally on her way back to Earth, after an exceptionally successful series of missions that have once again saved the world. The ship needs a serious refit, and her exhausted crew just wants a break from constant clandestine warfare against a vicious and superior enemy. Wishes come true, right? Not for the Merry Band of Pirates.

Includes special bonus note from the author.

©2018 Craig Alanson (P)2019 Podium Publishing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Spankybus
  • 03-04-19

Same Problems as BSG and LOST

This series has been what I look forward to the most. Every time a new book hits, i re-listen to the series , in order, to get ready..usually to remind myself of whats happened prior. With each book, there is a slight drop-off in enjoyment as the same jokes, one-liners, and themes reiterate themselves without significant story evolution. Note that until This book, I felt the falling off was slight.

My gut feeling with Renegades is that the author never expected this series to be this successful when he set out...and not he's just padding the story with repetitive crap to wring every cent out of it that he can. Its the same feeling I had with ScyFy's Battlestar Galactica, LOST, and a dozen others shows that were overnight hits. Its like, "Holy crap, this is huge...we need more seasons"

The story is languishing. The jokes are pretty old now: "Let's go with the caring thing", "Hold my Beer", "I hate my life" I don't want to give much away, so I'll not say more...but predictable is the word...its become predictable.

We need to evolve the current characters. The story about overarching Skippy story needs to move forward faster, we need some new characters with depth in their own right. Hell, in this book, there were even fewer players...which meant we had to spend even more time with the same circular jokes and plot.

This series has been great...but please move it along, evolve the characters...More has to happen...If the next book falls off harder than this one did, I think I am done. At the very least, I won't pre-oder anymore and wait to read the reviews.

142 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-04-19

Another filler book

Always better with Skippy and Joe. Unfortunately just a bunch of repeated phrases and events in a different part of the galaxy. Prepare to hear "monkey brain" 300 times and maybe 10 minutes of new information. RC was fantastic as always, though seemed to struggle with the accents slightly in this one.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • BeauFLA
  • 27-03-19

Good But I Hoped For More

Book 7 is a lot better than book 6. For me however, there was too much bantering and not enough story development. Don't get me wrong I like the banter between the characters. But, when I can fast forward a few minutes and the same banter between the same characters on the same subject is still going on for several minutes afterward, its a bit much.

Just my perspective. I am sure there are a lot of Skippy fans who have a different opinion.

All in all I did enjoy the book. Just not as much as if there would have a bit more story development.

60 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremy
  • 03-04-19

Series needs to go somewhere soon

I've enjoyed listening to these audiobooks at work. I skipped Paradise Lost as well as Book 6 as I felt they were nothing more than fillers or contractual obligations to the publisher. While I don't think this book was bad, I feel like it was rushed out just to have more sales. I know this is the goal of any author and publisher, but I would rather not be able to feel that is the case while I'm listening to the book. The series really needs to go somewhere in the next book.
I agree with other listeners that it needs to explore the Elders, more of Skippy's hidden background, as well as some interaction with some higher species.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Juan Benito
  • 29-04-19

Too much bickering....

One of the things I initially loved was the story of Joe and his Beer Can... However, too much. I can say that this book was more like listening to a married couple argue for hours. Although within limits it was funny to hear and entertaining. This book was too much of that, not enough storyline and it felt like it dragged on. I think this series could have been ended 2 books ago and at this point not sure if it's worth continuing.

I'm a fan, but just end the story, give us some closure and move on.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Gar
  • 15-04-19

I'm Out

The last two books but especially this one have been little more than ongoing side quests to the main story line. I really liked the first five books in the series but after that it just keeps dragging and dragging on ENDLESSLY..."Oh no now we have another problem to solve which is composed of 5 smaller problems and each of those has a ridiculous number of surprises that need to be solved!" and on and on. Almost nothing...again....about the main story line which is really what kept me reading this series. also Skippy is a lot less likeable now and the relationship between him and Joe a lot less fun. Suddenly the phrase "you little shithead" being repeated constantly throughout the book, seems a lot less funny and bit more disturbing. This last book was nothing more than a blatant money grab by trying to extend the story far beyond it's best before date. I count that as a slap in the face by the author towards his fans. I'll be returning this one and won't be getting any more. I'm Out.

51 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jason
  • 27-03-19

Felt weak

R.C. Bray is amazing as always.

This series has been fun to listen to till this book.

This felt like Robert Jordan during the filler parts of Wheel of Time. Amazing detail spanning hours that did not progress the plot much.

Hopefully things get better the next couple of books.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jake
  • 06-04-19

meh

Blah blah blah monkey gets into trouble, fights with beer can, wacky idea. omg we really almost died that time. repeat. love the series want to know more about the elders and the universe your creating here.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • drsmith2002
  • 01-04-19

"Didn't I listen to this story 3 books ago..."

I really love this series, but this one is starting to drag. As always RC Bray is awesome, I would have given this series up a long time ago if not for him. The characters and plot are just not moving along well. The joke between Skippy and the other characters are becoming tired now. It was great in the first few books, but things just feel like they haven't progressed. I would love to explore the story of the elders more, what's the mystery with the AI's, anything but the save the world from X alien disaster caused by Joe not thinking plan Y through?? Also, Skippy is not really cute in this one, I found him way more annoying than funny...

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-19

so repetitive and predictable

I pretty much shipped most of the dialog because I couldn't take the repetitive bs jokes

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 27-03-19

Skippying Across the Galaxy!

They are back! After taking a relative backseat Joe and Skippy are back in the saddle again doing what they do best, streaking across the universe to save the Earth and get involved in all manner of zany high jinks and adventures. Once this one takes off it's pretty relentless. The Merry Band of Pirates are back to the fore, albeit a slightly different version. Alanson has shuffled the pack a little with some of the other best-known characters having to take a back seat this time as a few new ones are sprinkled into the mix! What follows is an incredible series of adventures as the crew take on a series of 'impossible' missions using the usual crazy problem-solving just like the best in this series.

It has definitely been too long since I last had RC Bray dominating my eardrums, he is as good as ever injecting pace and urgency while also once again seeming to enjoy the aural gymnastics that these performances demand of him. He brings the banter between Joe and Skippy to life.

I think for anyone who was hoping for a lot more of the Joe and Skippy show this one will really hit the mark. For some, and I find this nagging at my mind, there is going to be a visit from the law of diminishing returns at some point as this is relentless Skippy and the book does suffer from the editing problems of the earlier books with some repetition. To get you started on your Skippy Bingo card I'll give you 'Unless that's a bad thing' for the early part of the book though it does die out as they leave Earth further behind.

Like the rest of the series though this is good fun stuff with a complete menagerie of alien species out there waiting to be visited by the pirates. Just trust the awesomeness and you'll have great fun!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 10-05-19

Needs something new

I loved this series, but its dragging.. a lot.. it feels like we have had 7 books of the exact same formula < travelling/ big issue / can't solve it / magic answer / saved the world / world is angry>

The interaction with skippy is always amusing but that can no longer hold the book together, the entire series needs to shift to the Elders, Skippys' past and the unknown bad guys. its tossed in there randomly throughout the 7 books leaving the story not having actually progressed in all that time, as it hasnt, it has just been 1 dilemma after another solved in the same way. I pray that book 8 actually breaks the mould.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. L. HALL
  • 11-04-19

Disappointingly Repetitive

This could be so much better if the author stopped repeating the same sequences over and over again. there needs to be a bit more variety than repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I don't want to give up on the series but after this book I don't feel interested in buying the next.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • L. Harrop
  • 03-05-19

Same old,same old

Very repetitive story line, could have been any of the last 3 books being told. Too much of the jibes between joe and skippy, used as filler I suspect.
Really disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • S. Morris
  • 15-04-19

A Slower Start But Still Very Entertaining

Renegades is another great story from Craig Alanson. As usual, I pre-ordered this way before release as I wanted it in my library the dayit became available. The Expeditionary Force series to date has been superb. This story purely deals with the merry band of pirates headed by Joe Bishop and the ever present Skippy. For some reason, I thought this book would pick up from the events at the end of the previous instalment with relation to the humans on Paradise forming a new mercenary force working for the Ruhar or something along those lines as I recall. I guess the Paradise element to this story may be the subject of the next in the series and one I look forward to greatly.

The amazing problem solving conundrums we've become used to from Alanson are present here and are worked through in pretty much the usual ingenius monkey brained way with help from Skippy. What is different here is that Bishop is at a total loss solving the main problem, how to stop a pair of senior species warships coming to investigate Earth. There is a raid on another advanced species base - or actually two - which are superbly written (as ever) and are at a pace that keeps you hooked. Alanson has a brilliant prose style that really makes action sequences flow so well and I can think of no other writer that does it better. Combine this prose style with the awesome narration of R.C Bray and you have a winner here.

However ..... I have to throw in a negative here for the first time in any of my reviews of the series so far. I love the characters and the way Alanson writes but I would have to say that this book takes rather too long to really get going. Sure, there is plenty of interesting threads going on here but it takes up too much of the initial story I feel. In addition, I think too much of the narrative was given over to the jibes between Bishop and Skippy. Don't get me wrong, these are often well received and funny and are a key element to the relationship between said characters but I do think it is rather overdone in this story and along with the slow start appears to me to feel rather like padding out of the book. Perhaps I am too used to the story picking up from the previous in such a way as to lead almost right into another dire situation so to be fair it might be written this way as a requirement of how this story unfolds.

Oh, a quick notice; Make sure you keep listening right to the very end of the audio book as many might switch off once the end credits are being narrated. There is an approximate 7 minute authors note so we get to hear the legend, Mr Alanson, tell us about how he got started with writing and his journey so far.

All in all this is a very good story . It just takes a bit longer to really get going than readers of his previous books might expect. Still, the wait is worth it and Alanson doesn't disappoint in that regard.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gibsonk
  • 17-07-19

Needs a new direction - although enjoyable

The series so far has been very good, however, it's starting to loose momentum with the repetition of each plot having the overall theme of a impossible situation, that Monkeys overcome with Monkey brain ideas.

The relationship between Skippy and Joe hasn't really developed its dynamic and again is repetitive, although i am very glad to see the overuse of the word "incredulous" has reduced.

I am not bashing the story in anyway and i think Craig Alanson has done a fantastic job with the series, but its time to take a new spin on the remainder of the story to give it new life and to grab me like the earlier books did.

In my opinion now is the time to make the changes they have completed saving the world and its now safe for hundreds of years, i hope we don't just repeat the early books on the remainder of the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-05-19

Starting to lose interest

Having LOVED all of these books (all via audio) to date, I waited 2 months for Renegades to become available on audio. I could not bring myself to actually READ one when there was an option to hear RC Bray's delivery.
Whilst it was comforting to have the characters back in my life for the month it took me to savour my way through, I was disappointed with Renegades. The story just wasn't exciting enough this time round. It's starting to feel tired and samey and not a whole lot really happens in this one. And one thing that wound me up was Skippy's personality - there was less care for the humans. On a couple of occasions where there was the very real possibility that humans could die, Skippy just made jokes and genuinely didn't seem bothered. This really was not in keeping with his character development in previous books and I found myself wondering if perhaps Craig Alanson had lost his way and was too focussed on churning out the book quickly rather than properly considering his characters.

The story improved in the last quarter of the book, enough to keep me listening to the end, so I'm glad I stuck it out but I'm happy to look elsewhere for a different story now and not disappointed the next Ex Force book is not yet available.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mansoor
  • 30-03-19

still great at book 7

I still love the book even at book 7. Anything to stop Craig Alanson from cleaning the garage

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger Newton-Darby
  • 09-04-19

Trust the Awesomeness!!!!

onece again skippy and Joe take on the universe. awesome! I really didn't think that the story could continue but hell ya it did, and it delivered... strap in and Hold my Beer! :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • david
  • 02-04-19

good ending

long awaited book. little too much of the Skippy and Joe story and not enough of the other characters but still a very good book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Calista
  • 28-03-19

Last quarter is best part

Nothing much happens in the first 3/4 of the book. Lots and lots of the usual banter (which has lost most of its spark).
I missed the regular crew - Chang, Desai, Williams and even Chotek. The new crew members were too conveniently good.
Things start to get better after chapter 25 - and we finally learn something interesting about the Elders.

There are lots more books to come and hopefully Joe and Skippys relationship gets back on track and we get more information related to the main story arc.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss Kris
  • 29-03-19

Brilliant!

Craig Alanson has done it again! Just as good as previous books and R C Brays narration is beyond words.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David Mountain
  • 14-09-19

Bit tired of skippy now

Honestly I could not finish this book. I loved the first book and enjoyed the second but by this stage I've heard the banter between Joe and skippy a thousand times and frankly I wonder how Craig can continue to write it. Yes we get that skippy considers himself superior to stupid monkeys... Is it possible for these two to interact in any other way? I'll never know.

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  • michael
  • 24-08-19

still awesome

as always one of my favourite writers and one of my favourite narrators well done both for another awesome book and performance.
can't wait for the next beer can installment. try not to make us all wait too long.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 26-07-19

Entertaining!

RC Bray is an exceptional artist who brings these wonderful books to life!
Can't wait to listen to more!

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  • Debbie
  • 25-06-19

Love love love

Just another excellent part in this series, full of adventure and sarcasm. There is nothing not to like including the awesome narration skills of Mr Bray. Just buy all these books!

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  • noel.doney
  • 24-06-19

Another HOFA

If you don't know what a HOFA is, you're going to have to read the series. This is my ... third time through this book and I tend to do all other books before a new one comes out. So I've immersed myself a few times now. The characters live, the repartee is sharp and there's enough nerdnik to keep the beanie propellers spinning. My only complaint, Alanson is not cranking these things out fast enough.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-06-19

Strongly Recommend

Really impressed with this book, the whole series has been really engaging. story line & the humorous moments that consistently catch me off guard make it so addictive. looking forward to more in the series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Yardin
  • 06-06-19

Story felt rushed at the end

I love this series of books, but this story was building up to a climax that felt (and only in comparison to the other books in the series) rushed. Regardless, I will not hesitate to get my "ears" onto the next book in the series - which really should be renamed to "Joe and the Beer Can"

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  • Luke Banch
  • 05-06-19

All you monkey's need to trust in the Awesomeness!

Oh my gosh, I never thought that I would ever be this excited to listen to a story being read to me. Not ever.. I am totally addicted to Joe and Skippy and the merry band of pirate's.

I do believe in truly awesome Awesomeness from Skippy the beer can.
I am so looking forward to the next Craig Alanson book..

Cheers from another dumb monkey 🐒