I received this book for free from . This review is voluntary. My opinion is not influenced in any way.
Some men go to war for the glory. Some men go to war to escape. For Scott Remington, war is entirely different. It is a belief. It is a calling. It is a destiny. Leaving everything behind—his fiancée, his future, his life—he embarks on a mission of faith into a battle he can barely understand. This is his story. This is his war. This is only the beginning.
The Dawn of Destiny audiobook project is a full adaptation of the first book in the Epic series. It’s not your typical “audiobook,” even though technically that’s what it is. When people hear “audiobook,” there’s a certain type of thing that usually comes to mind. Most likely it’s the thought of someone reading a book to them, occasionally with music playing in the background. This isn’t that.
What you’re going to hear in this project, is more of an audio “experience,” the audio equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie. Over thirty voice actors played a role in this. This is ear-splitting sound effects, bombastic music, and characters shouting back and forth in the middle of a war zone. This is unlike anything you’ve ever heard.
Exercise your Kindness Muscles by Lee Stephen
We writers like to think we know a lot. This feeling intensifies when we taste even the slightest bit of success. We then blog about it, brag about it, and offer bevies of advice that all basically boil down to, be exactly like me. We toss in technical tips, like, “If you want your readers to love your characters, make sure they have [insert thesaurus-amped phrase highlighting some unique writing style you think only you have].” We blast out social media wisdom like we’re firing it out of a shotgun, imploring people to paste their faces on their monitors and BLOG, BLOG, BLOG, because everyone who’s anyone has a BLOG BLOG BLOG! We tell them to use this promotional service, to use that promotional service, to use no less than five #hashtags per tweet, and ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE, to buy our books, because reading them will probably teach them a thing or two! After all, we are so RIDICULOUSLY successful. Our advice must be better than most, right?
I’m about to give you the best advice you’ll ever need. In anything. Ever. And it has nothing to do with a writing technique, or a social media secret, or some mystical hidden truth I think I know. I won’t even use a thesaurus.
That’s it! Now study up, there’ll be a test next class. This counts for 30% of your final grade.
No, but I mean seriously. Be kind. Be a nice person. Be the kind of person that you’d want to deal with. Other people will want to deal with them, too. I realize how simple this sounds in a world that tries to impress by sounding overly complicated, but kindness is something that is so often overlooked, it’s almost striking when we’re actually faced with it. Be kind, and be genuine about it, and opportunities will open up to you that no one else gets. Doors and windows will open, things will fall in your lap, and it will be for the sole reason that you’re a thoughtful person to do business with. And that you have a little bit of skill! Obviously, I mean, c’mon. You’re here because you can spell and form sentences, right? That’s just assumed. But it’s kindness that will lead to uncommon opportunities.
There are numerous examples I can offer from my own personal experience as to how the act of being kind has led to new opportunities, but there’s one in particular that stands out, as through it I’ve gained not only a pair of incredibly talented writing partners, but a pair of friends. A while back, I was asked to participate in something called The Next Big Thing. It was one of those chain-letter-like things that got passed from author to author. I get those every now and then, and I honestly usually ignore them. But this one in particular, you had to be invited by another author to participate in. I was invited, so I felt moved to participate. It was a 10-question survey about current writing projects, one question of which was, “If you could cast actors to play your characters in a movie version of your novel, who would you cast?” The point was for writers to post photos of their choices on their blogs. Well…I didn’t like that very much. Famous or not, people are people and deserve privacy, right? So I decided to do what I felt was the right thing to do, and rather than post photos of actors and actresses without their consent, I’d reach out to them, explain what I was doing, and ask their permission to post their photos in the blog entry. Just a simple courtesy. An, “Is it okay with you if I do this?”
One of the actresses I reached out to, whom I had in mind for a character, was Mishael Morgan. Though I reached out to her prior to her receiving the role, you can see Mishael every single day of the week on CBS’s Young & the Restless. She was very appreciative of my reaching out to her and asking permission. She, also being a kind person, offered me insight into her career for my use in the blog entry. I was very impressed by what she had to say, so I asked if she’d like to do a podcast about it. She said absolutely. The podcast went great, and mutual kindness had planted the seeds for a creative partnership. You see, Mishael and her friend and fellow actress, the equally lovely and talented Andrea Drepaul, had a fantastic idea for a science-fiction television show. The only thing they lacked…was a writer. You can see where this is headed. They asked me to be a part of what they were doing, I accepted, and a massive three-way writing collaboration began. A year-and-a-half later, we’re preparing to pitch our incredible show to the networks.
The point is this. Neither Mishael or Andrea had known about me beforehand. They didn’t seek me out because they saw my reviews on Amazon. In fact, neither had even cracked open a page of Dawn of Destiny, the first book in my Epic series, when they asked me to come aboard. They wanted me to be a part of their project for one reason. I remember Mishael’s explanation as if she’d said it ten minutes ago.
“Because you’re a good person.”
That statement stood out to me, because quite simply, it humbled me. All of my years of writing, all of my years of mastering technique and learning how to seamlessly weave plots and character arcs…and the reason they wanted to work with me was because I was a good person. Not because I’d impressed them or sent them a media kit. Because I’d extended a courtesy.
This is not the only example of kindness opening doors, but it’s definitely the most distinct in recent memory. So what are you to do with this? One thing you should not do is start acting kind because you secretly want to get something out of it. That’s not kindness. That’s being a sneak with an ulterior motive. Exercise true, genuine kindness, with the expectation of getting nothing in return except the good feelings associated with it. Then let life happen.
I will leave you with this, as it’s among the more memorable quotes I’ve ever heard and directly correlates to this issue. It’s a 21-second clip from Conan O’Brien in the final speech of his Tonight Show run. Take it to heart, because every word of it is true. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading your comments!
Dawn of Destiny by Lee Stephen is the first book in the Epic series. I listened to the audiobook version and I was blown away. This is the first time I have listened to a full production audiobook. This was so much more than just someone reading the book. There was music, sound effects and a full cast of characters narrated that truly brought the story to life for me. The full cast made it very easy to tell characters apart (which sometimes becomes an issue in regular audiobooks, if they aren’t done well).
I enjoy science fiction and have found myself reading more in the genre lately. Dawn of Destiny is a military sci-fi thriller that grabbed me from the beginning. Scott Remington is a solid character in this story. He felt like just a normal guy and I think him being so relatable made the story that much better. I think something else that made the story so good was that it felt believable. Earth is battling against several different alien species, but the story didn’t seem far-fetched at all. The author does a nice job of creating a unique sci-fi story but still keeping it within a realm of possibility.
The story had non-stop action and excitement. When I listened to Dawn of Destiny by Lee Stephen I became completely engrossed in the story. Normally when I listen to audiobooks, I am working on other tasks at the same time, but I didn’t do that while listening to this. I felt immersed in this epic sci-fi adventure.
About the Author
Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn’t catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn’t stopped.
Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their son, Levi, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre—one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith.
In addition to writing, Lee works full-time for the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. He has also spent time as a church deacon, guitar hobbyist, and New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville.
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