Today Kim and I both review The Dispatcher by John Scalzi. We both listened to the Audible version which is masterfully narrated by Zachary Quinto. It is a short book, the narration is 2 hours and 18 minutes. Needless to say both Kim and I loved The Dispatcher!
Author: John Scalzi
Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Published: October 4, 2016
Audible: 2 hours 18 minutes
Book Description from Goodreads:
One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
Zachary Quinto: Best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes – brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
This was a short, simple mystery, with a doozy of a twist! I had never heard of anything like the dispatchers before. If a person is murdered, then 9 times out of 10, they’ll end up alive and well in their bed at home. I’m not sure where that idea came from, but I love it! And I’m totally crushing on Tony Valdez . . . it helps that he has Zachary Quinto’s voice. 😊 I liked that it was a short listen; the author didn’t detail every little thing in every room, conversations weren’t repeated, and the mystery was easily solved with some good, old detective work. It’s simple, enjoyable, and easy. I really enjoyed this audiobook!
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Listened To: March 16-18, 2018
The Dispatcher has an interesting premise to it: If you die at the hands some someone else, 999 times out of 1000 you come back to life. If you die of natural causes you do not come back to life. It is a mystery why this started happening, but we do learn about the first person that this happened to. The Dispatcher is short at just 2 hours 18 minutes long. And it covers a lot in that short time period! I listened to the Audible version which was narrated by Zachary Quinto and I couldn’t help but picture him as Tony Valdez as the story progressed.
Tony is a Dispatcher, one who helps to bring people back. In other words, he murders them. We see several examples of Tony doing his job, which he has done for eight years. One of his dispatcher friends disappears and it is a race to find out what happened to him.
This is a novella that will make you think about many things: who could become a Dispatcher and how do they handle their job when there is that one chance out of 1000 that the person will not come back? What does someone experience when they die and then come back? There are also theological, ethical, and moral issues that surround this story and the novella brings those up as well.
I liked Tony’s character and hope that Scalzi will expand on him and write more. If this ever comes to life on film I hope they cast Quinto in the Tony Valdez role!
The Dispatcher is highly recommended.