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Radioactive Evolution

A Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic Adventure
Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

How far would you go to change humanity's fate? 

Jared Cartwright grew up in a loving, caring community, completely isolated from the horrors of the outside world. When tragedy leaves him alone and untethered, Jared sets out to explore the unknown: a world where twisted, scarred creatures roam an earth ravaged by nuclear war while the rich fled to the skies on floating utopias, escaping destruction and leaving the rest of humanity to die. 

To face his new reality, Jared must learn to survive in a cold, harsh world. A twist of fate changes Jared's destiny when he discovers dragons are real. The dragon unlocks a hidden technology within his body, giving him powers he never imagined existed. 

With deadly adversaries above and below, he must evolve beyond mere human limitations to defeat the powerful rulers of the cities and the rabid beasts lurking in the shadows. 

Amazon number-one best seller in Post-Apocalyptic & Cyberpunk!

©2018 Richard Hummel (P)2019 Richard Hummel

Critic Reviews

"A worthy series kickoff with riveting characters and a world that readers will want to explore." (Kirkus Reviews)

Five stars: "I was hooked. I just couldn't put it down." (Kim Anisi, Readers' Favorite)

What members say

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Great Concept, Weak/Naive MC, Thick Plot Armor :(

Here i was expecting a gritty post-apocalyptic story about a mature MC making difficult decisions and fighting to survive with some focus maybe on the balance/struggle of evolution to survive while trying to keep his humanity. Instead i got a book with a character that has to basically be guided by the hand through everything; whose so afraid of offending people and I'm constantly expecting him to collapse from blood loss considering how much of a bleeding heart he is.

Now typically I'm forgiving of some plot armor and unlikely scenarios happening in LitRPGs (And yes this is a fantasy litRPG) to get the story rolling but this was a bit too much for me as it started to feel unhinged/random. Likewise the MC had to be so naive and blindingly accepting all that's being told to him and then he goes and stakes his life on it all. I was half expecting a twist somewhere along the story when the penny drops and the MC finds he's been mentally manipulated or something... but sadly no.

This issue is exacerbated by the narrator whom makes the MC and everything seem more whimsical and fantasy like... He would be a really good narrator for children or teen's books... which i guess this book is meant for.

In the end i think my biggest problem with this book is it seems to be sold (by artwork, genre and description) as a gritty post-apocalyptic story and yet i get a disappointingly naive and dumb MC thus it getting 2* overall. And yet, if i were to review this as a YA novel, then i would probably give it 3 star overall as outside of the cool concept, the MC is still damn annoying!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

Love this story. The male vo ice actor is perfect for Jared, however the female one doesn't really voice much depth or engagement. Still great effort. Looking forward to the second one

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Profile Image for Mary Karowski
  • Mary Karowski
  • 02-04-2019

A new version of the post apocalypse

The world has been reduced to a radioactive waste land full of mutated creatures and hidden dangers. The earth populous has been reduced to scattered colonies supported by floating cities populated by the rich and technologically advanced elite. The cooonies have a few scouts each, brave or stupid souls who explore the world and scavenge for weapons, items of use and nanite (nanotechnology) injectors that stave off the radiation sickness and allow people to live. One of these explorers finds more than he bargained for. Phase pistols, injectors and a creature that he inadvertently becomes bonded to. This binding leads to a discovery about the world they live in, the truth behind the history of mankind, the nanites and the countless injustices perpetrated by those in the sky cities. Cannhe find allies and grow strong enough? This world has a unique almost video game style of growing a characters strength. Get ready for the start of the next great world building series. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Johnson
  • 06-04-2019

It's a Radio-Active Read! Don't miss it

The first thing I should say about this book is that I loved it. No, no, that’s short changing it. I freaking loved this book. I generally use a couple of criteria to tell if a book is really good. The first is the sleep test. If I fall asleep without prompting it isn’t a good sign. When I go to bed I usually leave the book on for fifteen minutes, and pass out after that is over. If I fall asleep, no matter how tired I am, it isn’t a good sign. If I stay away its good. If I listen to it for the whole fifteen minutes, and reset it its better, and if I do that for a second time or more The book really has my interest. There’s only been a few that I’ve tagged three times or so. This is one of them. Another indicator is when my son, Prop guy, goes for a ride with me and has me pause the book to update him on what happened before he came in, and what the name of the book is because he wants to read it, tells me it is good. And that is exactly what happened. He became very vested in the story by the time our ride was over. So, given that I wanted to listen to this book every opportunity I had, and that Prop guys was interested after only a few moments I know this is an excellent book. It kept me riveted throughout, I only had two drawbacks to the book, and they were minor.

First, this is what I would call lite Litrpg, the elements are all there but not in a way that they pop up continuously. There is progression and increases to stats, but not a ton of the rpg stuff, and that’s fine. I’m only throwing this out as a heads up for people who like their stuff a lot more heavy. I’m cool so long as a story has some elements, and it does.

My only issue was that the advancement/progression wasn’t very refined. It runs off of percentage points, which I completely get. I’m terrible at math and stats is hard, so making things easy by going with percentages was smart, but it never really detailed what the percentages did when they were applied other than to say they assigned 35% to this ability or stat. I followed, but it needed some more mechanical work before it left the garage. Again, nothing major, but it needs noting.

Anyway, the book is set in a post apocalyptic setting in which radiation threatens to wipe out the humans left on the earth unless they receive periodic shots of nanites from the upper class dudes that done escaped on floating cities. Life below is heard, life above, not so much. The MC, Jared, is an explorer who scouts out areas looking for anything he can salvage. He ends up being led into an area that gives him some pretty good loot, after following in the footsteps of another dead explorer. He manages to find a few nanites injectors and a mysterious stone before being forced to flee when the sounds of a large monster makes itself known. He later discovers that he has stolen a dragon’s egg and ends up bonding to it via a special set of nanites. I honestly thought that this was the way that Dragon Seed was going to go, but that book really emphasized becoming a rider before you got to meet the dragon. Here we get to see the dragon go from hatchling into horror as it grows and maxes itself out.
The interplay between Jared and Scarlet (the Dragon) is really well done, and it feels natural and organic. They play well off of one another, and this is the best part of the story. To me, the only time that the story slightly bogs down is when they focus on other creatures like the Mer-people or the dragons. I get that they both need some sort of love interests, but the book really flows when it is just them against the world. I think the nanites interaction was fun, and a great way to deal with the dystopian issues that they faced.
The narration was just banging. The tag team of Armen Taylor and Anneliese Rennie was just unstoppable. Like Jared and Scarlet they played well off of each other. Taylor has a presence and voice that makes me wonder why he’s not sought after more often. Aside from Hummel the only other LITRPG authors who’ve used him have been James Hunter and Chris Carney. Rennie brings a nice sardonic attitude to the dragon, and lets you believe that the dragon can be wise beyond her years while still being played as young. It’s a nice balancing act. It was good to hear her voicing Scarlet. She made this just as fun as Taylor, and I look forward to the next installment.
Form me, this was a couldn’t put it down once I got started kinda book, and I think you’ll feel the same way. The book ended in a nice solid place, the characters were well fleshed out, as was the world (although I did have some questions that might not have been fully answered, like how did all the animals get nanites, or keep getting them is the bigger question).

Final score, 8.5 stars. Man this was a fun ride.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

As seen on the LITRPG AUDIOBOOK PODCAST, please check it out on Youtube.com



22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 17-04-2019

Fast paced and fun!

This book was so much fun to read! I pretty much enjoyed everything about it and loved the world the author created!! There was only minor issues that kept it from being a 5 star read.

The plot was fast paced and highly entertaining. Jared is trying to survive in a world ravaged by radiation and war. He scavenges what he can but it's hard because if he doesn't inject the nanites into himself regularly, he will die. On one such scavenger run, he finds a good deal of loot and a stone. Before he can study it fully he has to flee from an animal he hears. Safe for now, he is stunned to see the egg hatch into a Dragon. Dragons were long thought extinct so Jared takes a while to realise what he has. I loved seeing them grow together and their interactions were fun and easy. Both Jared and Scarlet were the reason I loved it so much!! Anyway, back to the plot, Now that Jared has Scarlet, he realises that he might have a chance to defeat the people who did this to the world but he will need help. He sets out to find other people who will help him.

As I said, the plot was fast paced, entertaining and was easy to follow, but there were quite a few unanswered questions I had. There wasn't much about the world before and how it came to be the way it is now. It also didn't fully explain the nanite situation and the way they are distributed. I understand how the nanites work, but why when Jared or Scarlet sucks up the dead things nanites, do they only get something like 60% to distribute? Where did the rest go? I'm not much of a gamer so maybe that's why I didn't fully understand it!

Other than the unanswered questions, I found myself immersed in the world the author created. I loved the mutated animals, especially the bunnies!! I loved the quest Jared and Scarlet were on. Their bond was compelling and I loved seeing it grow. I loved the fighting scenes, which were plenty by the way, and I loved the overall story! I'm really looking forward to the next one because despite not understanding everything, I've become invested in these characters stories and I can't wait to see where the author takes it.

The narrators Armen Taylor and Anneliese Rennie made an awesome pair. Armen Taylor gave a a brilliant performance as Jared. His inflections and cadences brought the story to life. Anneliese Rennie was also brilliant as Scarlet. Her voice for the Dragon was scarily good. I need to see what else these narrators have narrated.

I was given this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 22-03-2019

Great book and great audio performance.

The story line keeps you captivated. The writer is descriptive. The main character is not your classic hero and you get to watch the character evolve into that roll.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • bill fletcher
  • 17-03-2019

Entertaining

Very good first book of I hope many more in this series. I would have went crazy far with a dragon but I can understand you planting a base of characters. I also like that you were able to sell 15 hr. Audiobook. Most would have stopped at 8 or 9.
Sell many and make writing a full time job!

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Oberhardt
  • 01-04-2019

Post Apocalypse Techno Fantasy

Radioactive Evolution is an easy read of a post apocalyptic fantasy. I'd say this book is definitely youth / teen friendly, and not heavy and depressing, as many post apocalyptic books tend to be. Looking at the author's website, the term litRPG is mentioned. I wasn't familiar with the term, so looked it up, and I would agree that it would fit that term. I don't believe this is based on a specific commercial RPG game, but the RPG portion of the genre relates more to the character development of skills and powers. The length of the story, and the arc and ending was also satisfying, not feeling too short, and not leaving a cliffhanger. The genre would also span both full fantasy and future post apocalypse, with both techno and mystic elements.

I was given this audiobook as a review copy from the author. That said, I did purchase the kindle companion edition.

The writing style is very smooth and professional, and given the authors debut status and apparent young age, it is pretty impressive to me. Coupled with the smooth writing style, the incredibly polished narration, primarily Armen Taylor, supported by Anneliese Rennie, is doubly impressive, and so easy to follow, understand, and enjoy.

So if you are wanting to try (like me) a well produced example of a new sub genre from a new author, suitable for all ages, give it a go.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Aaron Aide
  • Aaron Aide
  • 16-04-2019

This better be a series!

This book is for those who loved The Inheritance Cycle and appreciate a good post-apocalyptic setting and a dash of LitRPG aspects.

I thought I had read all the great fantasy books and here I find a fresh and original idea. READ THIS BOOK If you liked The Inheritance Cycle. It's got the same sorta vibe about the dragons and goal.

I can't find any info on future books so if there is a series consider this book a solid 4.7/5. (4 stars due to lack of info on a sequel)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-04-2019

Good mix of future

It was good, I can't wait for the next one to find out what is going to happen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Cory
  • 29-03-2019

there be dragons in that evolution

great story great premise can't wait for the next book to be put on Audible hopefully that'll be sooner than later

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mack
  • 28-03-2019

a good story

I think the story was well written and cant wait to see where the second book takes the story

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Zoe
  • 26-03-2019

Radioactive Evolution

This audio book is an urban fantasy mixed with futuristic science fiction. Lots of video games, historic fantasy, post-apocalyptic narratives, or Dystopian. This fast-paced, heartrending novel of a world after nuclear destruction, a world of mutations from radioactive poisoning.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-2019

Hard slog

Sorry Mr. Hummel but this one wasn't for me. I did like the throwbacks to the rpg game Gamma World very much. Otherwise it smacked of Young Adult and very predictable. You might still enjoy it if you are an apocalyptic nut like me however.

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  • DabOfDarkness
  • 14-06-2019

More LitRPG than PostApoc

This story started off strong, grabbing my attention right away. Jared was easy to connect with and then also Scarlet the dragon. The first third of the book was well done and I really enjoyed it. Things do slow down a bit for the final two thirds of the book. Still, I was attached to main characters and needed to know how things would turn out for them.

I really enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, and I also enjoy LitRPG stories. This book combines both. While starting off firmly in the post-apocalyptic genre, it quickly moves to the LitRPG genre with the nanites providing the mechanism to level up. I did find the nanites stuff a little confusing, a little clunky. Even after finishing the book, I’m still not sure what the deal is with the nanites. Are they evil, virus-ridden itty bitty robots? Are they humanities last chance at repopulating the Earth? Perhaps both.

In the beginning, Jared was daring and decisive. Even after he meets Scarlet, he’s still the man with the plan. But as the story progresses and he meets more people, he becomes less decisive and really, really polite. In fact, he becomes so considerate of everyone’s feelings that his personality really gets washed out. This aspect really slowed down the story despite the action scenes rippling through the plot. Jared becomes a rather emotional character.

Overall, the strong start was worth my time. I hope Book 2 can recapture that and carry it forward for the rest of the series. Polite emo Jared is a boring Jared. Give me action-craving, decisive Jared! 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Armen Taylor was a joy to listen to. His deep, smooth voice was perfect for Jared. Taylor did a great job of imbuing Jared’s voice with emotions as well. Taylor also did well with distinctive male voices for the other male characters. Anneliese Rennie voiced all the female voices. Her voice for Scarlet was spot on and she also did a good job with Scarlet’s emotions. She voiced 4 other females (another explorer, an older dragon, a romantic interest, and a teen girl). For the most part, there was little to no distinction among these voices. However, the story’s context was almost always good enough to easily tell who was talking. Taylor narrated the bulk of this story and I think I would have preferred him to do all the voices. However, it wasn’t bad this way. On the technical front, Scarlet’s voice (Rennie narrating) is seamlessly incorporated into the recording. The other female voices were sometimes not as well incorporated. Other than that, there were no tech issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Richard Hummel. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Deedra
  • 08-05-2019

Radioactive Evolution

This was not what I was expecting from the description. I just read a gamer book that I really enjoyed.This one was good to start then just got boring,I listened to about half way through. Armen Taylor was a good narrator.Anneliesse Rennie was ok,but sounded like Alexa most of the time.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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  • Nighteyes
  • 20-04-2019

very addictive

this story grabbed my attention from the first paragraph and clung to it till the last word.
Mr. Hummel have done an excellent job of crafting the world and the story.
The MC quickly become somewhat OP along with his companion, so their struggles rarely seems like they will fail, but the story remains compelling, which is a testament to Mr. Hummels skill.

Armen tailor does a great job voicing the MC and the male cast, however it is Anneliese Rennie that elevates this story to something more than a reading of the book, turning it into an experience.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-04-2019

Interesting new series

This was a random reccommended listen and as such I'm very pleased with it. Not only does it harken to LitRPG but takes a new look at the post apocalyptic aftermath and gives the characters a great opportunity to showcase Hummels writing. Narration by the team of Armen and Anneliese worked very well and I would recommend them again.
Outside feeling like it went too fast, I have no bad things to say about this and only ask hurry up with the next audio

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 09-04-2019

Some humans are evil.

Radioactive Evolution is set generations after nuclear explosions have destroyed most of the earth and it's people, The wealthy have built havens for themselves away from the radiation, leaving any other survivors to take their chances with radiation and the mutations which followed. Only regular injections of nanites help them to stay alive outside of dwindling 'safe zones.'
The .main protagonist, Jared, wandering alone in search of salvage, unwiting!y bonds himself to a bossy baby dragon, each vowing to help the other's species. The initial 'getting to know you' part of the book is presented with status screens, as in a LitRPG story, an interesting feature. The bonded companions travel through a gross dystopian world having adventures in their dual quest of revenge against the cites and the return of Scarlet's brothers.

The story is action packed with several near death experiences. The world building is imaginative and vividly executed. The narration is also creative with Armen Taylor theatrically reading the text and most of the encountered players whilst Anneleise Rennie voices Scarlet, giving good contrast and increasing the feeling of double bonding. Together, they work very effectively..
Unfortunately, however, this reader could feel little empathy for Jared and also has an aversion to dragons, so found the whole adventure overly long, especially since there is frequent recalling of earlier information. But this is a personal idiosyncracy which would probably not affect other fantasy fans. The book has all of the elements necessary for a solid story: the evolution of the main protagonist from man to hero, the struggle to stay alive in an hostile environment, not one but two quests to fight injustices, the rescue of innocents, the evil enemy, lots of action: it's all there, and more.

My thanks to the rights holder of Radioactive Evolution, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. It was not exactly what I had expected from the brief synopsis given and, although I personally found it difficult to enjoy, I would still recommend it to fans of the fantasy genre.

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  • Richard W.
  • 04-04-2019

My first game lit, but not my last.....

Great story with lots of depth in both the characters and technical details. Dual narration worked really well and delivered a more immersive story. Hope there will be a part two.

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  • Wanpakumono
  • 25-03-2019

Everything about this book was great.

I really enjoyed this book. I was given the opportunity to receive it from the author, Mark Gomez with the understanding that I would review it.
This had similarly with "The Dragon Riders of Pern" series of books by Anne McCaffrey. A human bonds with a dragon and their lives are intertwined thereafter. That's where the similarities end. This setting is a radioactive, post-dystopian earth, where the Earth's elete have abandoned the rest of humanity.
The narration was very good and in no way hinders the progression of the story. I have no problem recommending this book.

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  • Trevor M. Hunter
  • 24-03-2019

Excellent story, compelling telling!

Managed to listen in one sitting & loved every minute, waiting for the next one.