Indian Hill is about an ordinary boy who grows up in relatively normal times but who finds himself thrust into an extraordinary position. Growing up in suburban Boston, Michael enjoys the trials and tribulations that all adolescents go through, from the seemingly tyrannical mother, to girl problems, to run-ins with the law. From there he escapes to college out in Colorado with his best friend, Paul, where they begin to forge new relationships with those around them. It is one girl in particular that has caught Michael's eye, and he alternately pines for her and laments ever meeting her.
It is on their true "first" date that things go strangely askew. This is where the story truly takes a paranormal twist. Mike soon finds himself captive aboard an alien vessel, fighting for his very survival. The aliens have devised gladiator-type games. The games are of two-fold importance for the aliens: one is their entertainment value, and the other is that the aliens want to see how combative humans are, what our weaknesses and strengths are. They want to better learn how to attack and defeat us. The battles are to the death on varying terrains that are computer-generated.
Follow Mike and Paul as they battle for their lives and try to keep the U.S. safe, in the first book of Mark Tufo's Indian Hill trilogy.
©2009 Mark Tufo (P)2012 Tantor
Loved this. Another great story from Mark and yet again excellent performance from Sean. Only negative is that you know from the start Mike survives the tournament. You find yourself so often feeling Mike's anguish before a fight and hope he wins the but then you remember he makes it through to the next round and all that suspense is somewhat ruined. That doesn't take anything away from how great whole the story is though. 5 well deserved stars.
"Get through this one because the next two are good"
I had read all of the Zombie Fallout books and was excited to find there were more books about Mike Talbot's earlier life. This book disappointed me, though, because it was so dark and didn't have the humor the Zombie books had. I found it a little oppressive without the comic relief.
I think there were only two of these Indian Hill books available when I purchased this, and I bought them both at the same time. By the time I finished this one, though, I wasn't sure I could bring myself to listen to the next one. I put it off for about 6 months, I think. Then I saw there was a third book and it was on sale so I felt I had to buy it. (OCD, what can I say?) I finally told myself, "You bought 'em, your're gonna listen to them!" And myself whined a little and then started on book 2.
What a relief to discover that the sarcastic, wise-cracking Mike Talbot I had known and loved was back! I finished book 2 and immediately listened to book 3. I had thought it was a trilogy, but now I think there will be more and I'm looking forward to them.
So, if you like Talbot, it's worth listening to this book to set you up for the two that follow.
"Poor Mike Talbot, just keeps getting into trouble"
Love Mike and the gang, great character and fun inner dialogue
Mike and the gang
Yes, fun read and Sean is a great narrator.
Keep writing Mr Tufo, keep writing.
Despite predictability of the plot, I enjoyed it very much.
Interesting story of the alien invasion, vulnerability of the humanity and humanities darkest parts
Some people may compare it to Zombie Fallout and they will be totally right, the book is definitely written in the same style (gladiators and aliens instead of zombies and vampires) even annoying constant flashbacks.
Without any doubt I liked Indian Hill more than ZF I hope next book will be even better
"Further adventures of Mike, Dennis and Paul !"
Sean Runnette is the Epitome of an audiobook narrator !
When Paul and Mike meet that first school year and devise a way to get the principal off of them
Sean's voice and inflections really establish the tone of the various scenes
No extreme reaction...I love listening to this series
I will continue to buy TUFO and Sean Runnette
"Pauly stepping up!"
Of course, Mark Tufo's books are written in a way where you can listen over and over and find something new everytime!!!!
umm not sure, a little bit Zobie Fall out.
When, make starts his rise up, to get outta there.
Yes, Tufo always is.
It was nice to see Paul step up to fight for humans, even with out Mike there to back him.
"Tufo has done it again! Awesome book!"
I'm a HUGE Mark Tufo (and Mike Talbot) / Sean Runnette fan but after reading the Zombie Fallout series was a little hesitant to start Indian Hill. I was afraid it wouldn't be as good or I'd learn something about Mike's story that I didn't like. Boy was I wrong. As usual it was a great big pot (no pun intended) of humor, believable plot, interesting story and edge of your seat action. You could almost see it happening. It was nice to see Paul, Mike's childhood friend who is in the Zombie series, in a new light. He was much stronger in Indian Hill and much more of a leader. You was obvious why Mike and Paul were such good friends. With this "back story" I can fully appreciate their friendship. The only thing I would change would be the beginning - it was a little slow but man oh man did the middle/end make up for it. If you're debating on whether or not to use a credit on this book - don't........go now! I'm off to get part 2!
"Alternate Reality for Talbot"
When I read the summary I was a little confused and disappointed that it was the same main character as that series. But what could be better than a zombie series, why an alien invasion series of course. I have been a big science fiction fan since I was a kid so I was interested to hear Tufo’s spin on it.
Once I started the audiobook I immediately had apprehension with the cast line being almost exactly the same, but that went away fairly quickly. Once I realized that Tufo is laying out an alternate reality rather than adding on to what I already know.
Mark Tufo has a unique and witty way of really deep character building. So we start the book off going back to Michael Talbot’s childhood where he meets his best friend Paul. They grow up and go to college getting into hilarious trouble along the way.
At college Michael goes to an outdoor concert where the listeners are abducted by aliens. Instead of your typical experimentation on humans this is where Tufo puts his touch on it. All the male prisoners are forced into a gladiator style, fight to the death, completion. The females are then awarded to the male prisoners as their spoils. As the completion progresses the victor gets more spoils, bigger accommodations and so forth.
During all this Paul is upset that the government isn’t doing more to investigate what happened at the concert. So he does some looking around and finds out it was an alien abduction. Based on the governments reaction and response he decides to buy a piece of land from their childhood called Indian Hill and turn into a bunker for his militia, The Planetary Defense.
We go through a few chapters where nothing major happens, Mike is fighting and winning, Paul is building a bunker and an army. Most audiobooks would get stagnant here, and while my attention waned a little, the sarcasm and humor brought me back pretty quickly.
At some point Mike discovers he isn’t only fighting for his life but for the right to be with his earth girlfriend who is the best spoil, and also to protect all of the woman he has “won”. The last fight is really bad one, which he wins of course, but then he takes the supreme leader hostage and fights his way to a shuttle and flies back to earth.
While the fighting and bunker building seem drawn out it is clear that it is building into a bigger story, so it is worth it. After they return to earth that is the end of the book…until Indian Hill 2.
Audiobook provided for review by the author.
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"Weird Nerdy Death Battle"
Wow, this is pure nerd strangeness. A young adult wet dream.
By no means is this a great book. This is not Cormac McCarthy or Foster Wallace. Nor is it George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss. But for some reason I found this to be a pure pulp engrossing read.
This Indian Hill reminds me of BV Larson's first book in the Star Force series. That one was a strange young adult fantasy wrapped into a sci-fi story as well.
There is no character building. Its written from the first person as a memoir. Groups of thousands are abducted by aliens and then forced into a bracketed playoff. A playoff of dueling to the death.
I fell guilty for giving this 5 stars. But I have to admit I enjoyed it.
"I love Tufo's style"
love the other series...this is great , too.
definitely fun to listen to. Runnette makes it come to life.
"Hunger Games In Space Talbot Style!!!"
Always is...but I only listened....
Mikes first match....and his progression through the games....Loved it!
Sean IS Michael Talbot!!!! One of the best Male narrators out there!!!
I almost did, but had to sleep...darn it!!!!
This was an awesome book...I love the young Mike Talbot!! I love Mark Tufo! I am starting book 2 now...and have bought all four in this series...and eagerly will await #5 in May...Tufo never disappoints me....This is a great story about a boy, friendship and a fight to survive...MT's choice of words and phrasing always make me laugh, cry and sometimes yell out loud...He is definitely one of my most favorite authors, and will read/listen to anything he writes! THANK YOU MARK!!!!!!!!!!!
"another talbot classic"
another classic tolbot adventure but this time the zombies have been replaced by aliens. taken aboard the mother ship the abducties are made to fight to the death in a grown up version of the hunger games. i cant get enough of talbot, his sarcastic humour is a welcome break between action scenes. hes just a down to earth guy that i think most people could relate to and root for
If you've seen my review of this book on Amazon, you'll understand that I'm cutting and pasting. I've purchased many Mark Tufo books in multiple formats. Indian Hill is no exception. As much as I love to hold a book in my hands, it's great to have the opportunity to listen in the car or at work. Once again, Sean Runnette delivers the story in way that compliments the writing perfectly.
Here's the balance of my review from Amazon:
Having been lured into the wonderful world of Mark Tufo literature with his excellent Zombie Fallout series, I decided to check out his roots in the Indian Hill books. While this book shows some evidence of a freshman endeavour and is, at times, somewhat more puerile than later efforts, it provides the reader with the thoroughly engaging experience readers have come to expect from all things Tufo.
Indian Hill is an alternative story line for Mike Talbot, a recurring autobiographical character throughout Mark's books. In a manner typical of both the Indian Hill series and Zombie Fallout series of books, the reader is treated to a rich fantasy world, in which our protagonist is walking a thin line between his frail humanity and superhuman heroics. The fantasy elements are tempered with marginally fictionalised accounts of Mark's real life adventures. These alone are reason enough to buy the book, or, if like me, to get sucked into the entire twisted library of Mark Tufo books!
"Builds well as it goes on"
Slow to start but became increasingly interesting and once the story got in full flow became quite gripping especially some of the fight scenes One particular one comes to mind when Mike has to bite an opponent in the crotch it just made me weak at the knees!!
"Brilliant Adventure Story!"
I rarely listen to audiobooks twice, for me its about the discovery of the plot. But I intend to work my way through everything in this series and looks for more from the author.
Its an old school style series, focusing on the trials and tribulations of the lead character, who is superbly bought to life.
His voices are excellent, he really brings the character to life, giving them depth and detail.
Several places made me laugh, the dark humour from Michael is brilliant
If you like adventures this is for you!
Mike is fav obviously but Sean keeps you in with all characters.
Yes this book makes you laugh and cry, it is brilliant and Mark Tufo humour really works so well for be.
To be honest did not really want to get this book as the description did sound a bit boring but it had Mike Talbot character in it from other Mark Tufo books so gave it a go whilst had aspire time and wow i am so glad i did. It was brilliant, ok plot reminds me of a couple of films i have seen before but wow Mark really brings the story alive! I was caught in with characters from start to finish. Ok a Mike talbot in a different reality to ZF but wow it really works so well!
"A book of two parts"
This book has two clear chunks: first there's Michael's growing up, staring at women, and attempting to have sex with women at college. Then there's the bit where he's abducted by aliens and forced into a knockout fight to the death tournament.
The first section shows a well-developed character in Michael. His attitudes towards life and the world are reasonably interesting, and lots of things happen - none of which are especially important in the long run. In general, this area of the book holds up well enough.
After the abduction, the shallow nature of the book really becomes unavoidable. Everyone who is not Mike is evil, and therefore it is fine that he kills them - the chance for interesting moral dilemmas is utterly wasted. On top of this, victories are rewarded with women. This is just aggravating; there is no good reason why the author made it happen this way, except to give Mike some damsels to rescue. Oh, and they're so damn grateful to him that they fight over him to serve him best. This whole aspect feels old-fashioned and absurdly sexist for a book written in the last few years.
It's a shame that "the women" (as they are referred to) are not well developed, because the interactions of a group when trapped in close proximity could have been really interesting. Unfortunately, it can feel like weeks of potential character development are skipped through. Too many battles, too little story outside of them.
I'm a fan of pulp, but this book does not capture the immersive thrill that makes Battle Royale and the Hunger Games tick. Too many annoyances drew me out of Mike Talbot's world.
This book is a very well developed character growing up and doing things, then participating in a really shallow battle story.
"Hilarious Battle Royal style Talbot story"
I love that Mark has taken his characters from the Zombie Fallout series and dropped them into a completely different but incredible new adventure.
yet again Sean brings the Talbots to life!
If I made this into a film the tag line would undoubtedly be "What would Talbot do?"
Listen your life will be the better for it!
"Another great listen"
Brilliant story, can't wait to listen to part 2 and 3. Well narrated by Sean Runnette as usual.
"What would Michael Talbot do?"
I chose this after reading other work by Mark Tufo in his Zombie Fallout series. I was interested to see how the very well developed character of Michael Talbot would fare with such a different scenario. Any concerns were soon allayed as I was quickly drawn into the action and the backstory to his character which has a direct bearing on the Zombie Fallout series. Just waiting for more Indian Hill books to continue the story.
I also appreciated the continuity of having it read by the laid back Sean Runnette who also narrates the Zombie Fallout series.
"Mike Talbot, the early years"
This was not what I was expecting having read the Mike Talbot Zombie Fallout books. Once I got over that, and the rather long introduction, I really enjoyed this story of invasion and survival. It was a fantastic ride and another great book from Tufo.
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