Review: The Bearer of Bad News

  • Title:
    • The Bearer of Bad News
  • Author:
    • Paul Payne, Megan Owens
  • Release:
    • January 6, 2020
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Jake Hunsbusher
  • Series:
    • Bearer of Bad News Saga, Book 1

I love the concept of this story. It feels like an acid-trip fever dream at times. The humor of this story is another factor in why I plan to continue with this saga. There are many locations and characters along the way that all feel like they have their own story to tell and I’d love to hear them all.

The biggest issue with this book is how unimaginably slow it is. While I was doing the tedious formatting nonsense on my blog, I skimmed a couple of audible and GoodReads reviews. I noticed people commenting on how slow this story was. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal if I was prepared. While nearly halfway through this story, it felt like it was just getting started. I listen at 2.55x speed and I can’t imagine how unbearably slow this must be to people who listen at 1.0x speed.

The glacial pace that the book moves at kills a lot of the re-readability for me. Going forward, I’m likely going to skip this one. I think the first half of the book would have been better off as a prequel or introduction to the saga. I don’t mind re-reading the setup to a world when I re-read stories. But not when they’re half the book, that’s ridiculous.

I’m going to lazily recycle this bit of my review from All Your Twisted Secrets: The narrator repeatedly says “onvelope” which drives me crazy. Envelope – envelop. If something were to be enveloped in darkness, you wouldn’t say onveloped in darkness. If you think I’m being nitpicky, you’re goddamn right I am! I can’t stand when people who are supposed to be professional narrators mispronounce basic words. Just search my blog for my mentions of “acrosst” and “caramel” to see other examples.

This complaint aside, the narrator does an incredible job with voices. When narrators use the same voice for everybody, my difficulty with remembering names makes it hard for me to tell characters apart. This is one of those rare stories where I was able to tell characters apart just by their voices.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.


  1. This is truly a joy to hear from a critic! We thank you for your feedback and wish to improve our writing style! “slow read” ill have to support you on that opinion. It takes so much to write these books. We are aware that our first book is a setup for the rest of the series and an intro to the world solely following the main character. We have “sped” up the readability in our second book and provided more movement. (being self-published is the name of the game) but again, thank you so much, and please keep reviewing small-timers like ourselves; the only way to get better is to have honest reviews!

    1. I received this as a review copy from the narrator on Reddit. They also gave me a review code for the sequel, but I haven’t read it yet. They did tell me it does get faster in the sequel. I often don’t like reviewing books in the same series right away (I do… but) because it’s hard to find anything to say. It feels like everything I had to say was covered in the first part. So I try to fight the urge and just wait a while.

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