Killer Flies by Mark Kendall, Narrated by Sean Duregger

Encyclopocalypse Publications has done something fantastic in bringing this classic piece of 1980s animal horror back to life. Capitalizing on the fears of the nuclear age–of science gone wrong–Mark Kendall penned this exciting tale of deadly, swarming flies descending on the unexpecting people of New Mexico.
From the moment the truck transporting the load of genetically modified flies crashes until the clamorous conclusion, we witness close-up accounts of people, pets, and livestock as they run afoul of the insect menace. Scientific hubris, myopic politicians, and a wholly unprecedented threat combine to create a perfect storm for the horrors to unfold in the worst way possible.
At the core of the story, a mother’s desire for revenge propels us along a reckless path amid the devastating events scattered throughout the tale. New faces appear only to be summarily devoured and left as a bloody pulp by the devouring proboscises of the flies.
Sean Duregger is at the top of his narration game, lending each character their own distinctive voice, breathing life into even the most minuscule roles within the story.


Wishmaster: The Novelization by Christian Francis, Narrated by Sean Duregger

The novelization of Wishmaster verifies something for me that I’ve long suspected to be true. While I own it, and I’m able to enjoy it for what it is, I never cared for the 1997 movie altogether too much. It just felt all too cheesy and poorly put together, like it was building on the worst aspects of the Nightmare On Elm Street series. It wasn’t the story that was the problem–I now know for sure–because I thoroughly enjoyed this novelization based on the screenplay.
From the tumultuous devastation in ancient Persia to the symmetrical horrors of the climax at Beaumont’s party, the descriptions from the narrative–and the visions elicited in my imagination–were far superior to what was executed on the screen under Robert Kurtzman’s direction. While the casting choices for the movie weren’t bad, Andrew Divoff being a particularly fantastic choice, most of the decisions seemed to be less focused on who would be right for the role and more aimed at drawing in a preexisting audience from other intellectual properties. The absence of performers who felt shoehorned into their roles also made for a better experience through the novelization.
It was enjoyable, following along as an ancient evil was set loose in a modern city, a city unprepared for a creature of magic and malevolence like the djinn.
Sean Duregger’s narration was excellent. He especially captured the demonic tone and texture of the djinn’s voice, both in its natural form and in the guise of Nathaniel Demerest. He had some pretty impressive shoes to fill, lending his voice work to a character originally played by Andrew Divoff, but he managed to pull it off successfully. Additionally, with a movie that had been narrated by Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man himself), Duregger was biting off a lot more than most would dare…but again, he did it, and he did it justice. There’s a reason he’s steadily become one of my favorite audiobook narrators.

The Magpie Coffin by Wile E. Young, Narrated by Sean Duregger

Wile E. Young paints a grim portrait of the postbellum American west, replete with magic and mystery. In this shadow permeated version of the wild west, the author spins a tale that fuses horror and fantasy with otherwise familiar tropes and western motifs.
It would be impossible to talk about The Magpie Coffin without first spending some time introducing the protagonist of this amazing Splatter Western. Salem Covington is a riveting character. One can think of him, in the simplest terms, as being equal parts Jonah Hex, a wild west incarnation of Dexter Morgan, and a little bit Elric of Melnibone–substituting a pistol for the sword, Stormbringer. A student of dark magic from various sources and cursed with the need to kill for the sake of his own damned soul, Mr. Covington is far from a heroic figure. There is a strained and rigid nobility to him, though. As with most antihero characters, he has a code of sorts that guides his actions.
Upon discovering that his old Comanche teacher, Dead Bear, has been murdered and that a white buffalo has been slaughtered by the same band of killers, Covington sets out on a quest to bring down everyone involved. Enlisting the assistance of one of the men associated with the killing, his pursuit of vengeance carries the reader through the Dakota Territory and into the Rocky Mountains of what would soon become Colorado.
Leaving a trail of bodies and tortured souls in his wake, Salem Covington chases quarry who might just be too dangerous for even The Black Magpie to overcome.
My only complaints with this book are present because I happen to be a South Dakota resident. North and South Dakota didn’t become states until 1889, and Deadwood is nowhere near North Dakota, sitting approximately 130 miles South of the North Dakota border. But, considering how few people seem to recognize that North and South Dakota exist at all, it’s not exactly a deal-breaker.
The narration by Sean Duregger for the audiobook is fantastic, capturing the grit and cruel nature of Salem Covington with a degree of authenticity that felt right. The narrative, being shared by Covington in first-person, making it simple to distinguish the voices of secondary characters without any trouble.

Ocean Grave by Matt Serafini narrated by Sean Duregger

Matt Serafini’s Ocean Grave is a much larger story than I could have anticipated. When I say it’s larger, I don’t mean in page-count or anything, but rather all of the elements involved in the narrative. There is a lot more to this story than it seems like there could be, and somehow it still works. It manages to add some social commentary into the mix as well, as the best fiction usually does…involving international relations, the Western world’s obsession with a sanitized tourism-focused exploration of untamed locales, and the widespread impact of poverty in third-world nations.
This book has something for anyone who enjoys adventure…a honeymoon retreat plagued by secrets, treasure hunting, pirates, soldiers of fortune, a centuries-old mystery, inhuman creatures, and a seemingly unstoppable sea monster. Even with all of these elements, Ocean Grave never feels particularly disjointed or difficult to follow.
One thing I will say is that, if you get to know a character within this narrative, you can expect them to have a 70/30 chance of dying before the tale is complete…and it won’t be some noble, glorious death. This story is real-to-life, in that the characters aren’t unnaturally lucky or imbued with the almost superhuman ability to survive the impossible conditions they face. Like those of us in the real world, most people don’t survive extreme situations involving modern-day pirates and warlords…and when you add in a monster lurking in the ocean depths, no one walks away unscathed.
The narration from Sean Duregger is clear and professional. He does an excellent job of providing characters with distinct voices and accents (where appropriate).
One bit of warning, if you, like me, get tired of hearing the term “CIA spook” over and over again during one of the earliest chapters of the book, don’t worry…that repetitive nature doesn’t persist through the rest of the story. It took me a lot longer to finish listening to this audiobook because I stopped it near the end of that particular chapter precisely because that repetitive terminology was driving me mad. I wish I’d just powered through it because the story is excellent after that.