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Publisher's Summary

Jolie was 3 when she found she was ugly and deformed.

She was 5 when she found she was a subhuman and an outcast. She was 7 when five boys and two girls dragged her out of the orphanage and beat her unconscious, leaving her lying bleeding and broken in the street.

She was content to lie there and die, tired of being hated and abused. But a frail old man with wispy white hair and a long beard wasn't content to let her die. He not only saved her, but he adopted her and passed on his unique martial art to her.

She was 20 when she headed to Delphi, the center of the United Systems of Perileos (USP) and the planet of her birth father, to find her place in his society.

Based on her unique upbringing, she decides to join the USP military, requesting to be assigned to the Tasmanians SFG, an elite all-male unit. The military brass is reluctant to deny her request and admit their enlistment contract permits bait-and-switch assignments. Instead, they agree to let her enter the school, thinking she couldn't possibly succeed - a Chihuahua competing against Rottweilers — and plan to make an example of her when she fails.

Although Jolie is small, she is not what she appears. But can her adopted father's art enable her to survive the treachery of the military brass, the grueling of the school, the prejudices of the instructors, and the testosterone of an all-male class.

And if she succeeds, can she thrive in the high-octane and all male environment of the Tasmanians? 

©2019 C. R. Daems (P)2020 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Welcome to Hell

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  • Nathan Parker
  • 25-07-20

Somewhat Mary Sue-ish

The synopsis of the book makes it out to be something it isn't. The martial art in the narrative plays a very minor role the in the story, merely as an justification as to how she can survive the training with no military experience, and her lifetime of training merely conveys above average skills in hand-to-hand combat, nothing earth-shattering.

Obviously the story is set in the future, so the sexism displayed is over-the-top even for present-day, much less a more enlightened future. This may be somewhat of a reflection of the author, who casually assumes the truth of tropes of men being more logical and women being more emotional. But the author is over 70 years old, so this shouldn't be surprising.

For a science fiction story, the technology is pretty pedestrian, nothing that would sound unfamiliar to modern-day marines. No energy-based weapons or sensor technology, still using helicopters, and not a computer to be found. On second thought, maybe our current marines are better equipped.

Lastly, the conflicts our MC engages in seem morally reprehensible. First, she sides against striking mine workers, then she assaults a planet's native inhabitants to protect human colonists, even attacking native villages containing only women and children, which surely must be a war crime by even today's standards.

So, overall, there's nothing really interesting about this book and our MC isn't particularly sympathetic, so it was a tough slog to get through to the end once I realized I didn't like it.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Edward P. Traxler
  • 12-03-20

Devils should not be your enemy .. bad move

This book popped up and looked interesting so I purchased it. I enjoyed the heck out of it. So much that I am immediately looking to see what else the author his written. I figure that's a pretty darn good recommendation.

12 people found this helpful

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  • David Myles
  • 12-04-20

A study in methods

This is a good one for showing that making assumptions will be a very bad for you.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 15-03-20

Nice Story

I would say that this story comes off better than his series "The Black Guard." My complaint would be that the writer spends a great deal of time pushing this narrative that seems to be that guys are these lumbering testosterone-filled beasts who have a need to smash something. Other than the main character, women at times come off as being these delicate flowers who might not be able to protect themselves. In my opinion, had the writer leaned off this narrative just slightly I would've given this book a higher rating, however, with that said I believe the listener will still find this story worth the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alissa
  • 16-02-21

Absurd, but fun

This book is a rather heavy handed parable on the superiority of thinking before you act and managing your emotions over charging in and pretending no fear in service of tough guy bravado. It wasn't enough that every major plot point was framed with the main character triumphing over angry bumbling fools because she took two seconds to think and clam her mind, but then every person she interacted with found it necessary to summarize the moral lesson for you by way of saying how wrong they were to underestimate her and her approach and how darned great she is.

(As a side note, I think the debates from other reviewers on sexism is a case of Poe's Law. Yes, there's plenty of over the top misogyny. But it's mostly there to demonstrate just vile the various straw characters are. It would be like an author using the kick-the-dog trope literally, then for reviewers to get enmeshed in a debate on animal abuse.)

Even so, it was an action packed adventure that I found myself engrossed by despite myself. The characters were distinctive and likable, the fight scenes vivid, and the tone oddly lighthearted in spite of the seemingly grim context. Between the absurd proselytizing and the military theme which isn't my usual thing I kept thinking I'd stop reading it any minute. Instead I got so caught up in the ride that I was done before I knew it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-04-20

Nonstop action is a good description

I really enjoy many of the books authored by CR Daems and will continue to seek out his work. However, this book did not resonate with me. It lacks the quirky humor found in the first three books of the Red Angel series, or the Rhis gambit series. However, I suspect that fans of military action books will enjoy this work.

I did see an earlier review that expressed displeasure on the Male Stereotype vs Female Stereotype which is woven throughout the book. It is there and is one of the themes woven into the story to bring it to life. I did not find it "preachy" or offensive. However, I am sure that a person could infer lots of their personal experiences into the theme if they wanted. Isn't that a mark of a good author?

2 people found this helpful

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  • Danny
  • 22-03-21

Really good story EXCEPT for..

Please, please, please STOP using this story as a one person monologue on womens empowerment; this story nearly manages to exclude ANY male charachters except as comical side kicks or fall guys to female empowerment. Spec Ops is absolutely about team work. The author seems to have forgotten there is no "I" IN team.Way to many instances where Fox wins the battle AND seemingly, the enture war, all by herself. Really?This posture is insulting. Also in an era or Star travel why do the soldiers NEVER have anything so mundane as arillery and air support? Again, leaving such realities out really degrades the "reality" sense of the story.

On the plus side Fox is very engaging and I like her but don't demean her achievement by cheap grandstanding of "I am woman here me roar". It's cool to see tough women and a foolish device, at best, to use an otherwise great story as a cheap political conveyance.
Enhance women you BUT DO NOT MARGINALIZE MEN in the process.!

All of that aside, I will read Book 2. If I see more of what bothers me as the ongoing central them by Chapter 5 I'll return it for a refund and never revisit the series.

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  • Bespectacled quirk
  • 24-06-21

Sit Rep with style.

This was a very fast paced book. There was some repetition in fights and I did get lost in all the names at times but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to someone. Since my only "cons" are my personal preferences.

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  • Salsared602
  • 24-06-21

it was awesome 😎

I love it the writing is tight and story is great. Please give me more !!!!!

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  • wadegmc
  • 17-06-21

excellent narrator, rich story line, well done

relaxe , listen ,and allow yourself to be in louaan shoes for the duration.

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  • Nancy
  • 13-12-20

Totally kick arse!

Loved the main character. Her abilities are totally believable and the way she quietly wins their loyalty and approval was brilliant. Can't wait for the next book!

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  • Saluki Selfie
  • 13-03-20

Tasmainiun devil book 1

I have book 1&2 of the tasmainiun books
but now u a audible.
I loved each book and cannot wait for book 2audible to be released.
But I am hoping for more adventures of jouley and her team .
so c r deems hurry up please.

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  • Bigpallooka
  • 20-03-20

Another great read from Mr Daems

C.R. Daems generally writes coming of age stories about girls/women in a science fiction setting. This is my favorite story line and every one of his titles, while following that style is uniquely original.

I bought the eBook and the second in the series and when this came out in audio I bought that too. I have listened to and read this story 3 times in the last six months and eagerly await an audio version of the second in the series and any more in the series Mr Daems intends to write. I have recently found several novels of his that I haven't read and intend to download them shortly.

I applaud the choice of narrator. One of the issues I have is that once I have read a book I have given the characters their own voices so it can be jarring when a narrator goes in another direction with the characters. This performance felt right.

If you like this book I highly recommend his other series and novels some of which are available as audiobooks and some only as eBooks and paperbacks.