Narrator: Travis Baldree
Published by Spoken Realms on 26 October 2017
Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal, Suspense, Urban Fantasy, Werewolf
Source: Narrator, Submitted
No good deed goes unpunished.
Detroit is a hole where even a werewolf's sins can be buried. Or so Jake Brennan hopes. Hiding from his hunters, shooting heroin to negate the effect of the full moon, he is beginning to turn things around. And the day he is witness to a brutal attack on ER doctor Gwen Cheevey, Jake is forced to transform into something new: a hero.
But when a clip of his good deed goes viral, Jake's days of hiding are over.
To keep Gwen safe, Jake will need to embrace the beast within. Is he strong enough to control it, or will Gwen become another black mark against his name?
©2017 Pete Aldin (P)2017 Travis Baldree
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
Black Marks takes the werewolf story and adds something new to it. Sure, not many people want to turn into a raging beast and rip up anyone within a mile’s radius every full moon and Jake Brennan is doing his best to avoid that…. with illegal street drugs. Yep, Detroit is a tough place for this down and out werewolf. He only uses for the 3 days of the full (and near full) moon. The rest of the month he’s clean but unemployed and bumming it around. Sometimes he can find a bit of day labor, perhaps stay a shelter for longer than a week, but he’s constantly worried he will hurt someone when that time of the month comes around.
He’s also being hunted and that means he doesn’t want to get too friendly or have his name on utilities, etc. Then one day he witnesses some men trying to kidnap a woman (Gwen, an ER doctor) right off the street and he has to intervene. This gets him noticed by too many people, including the Hunters.
Most of the time I really liked Jake. He’s got an honor code even though he’s rubbing shoulders with some shady people. He’s a bit socially awkward which is fine. There’s a few scenes where he’s really hung up on making his dead mom proud. He carries around her broach and wants to do enough good to balance out the few bad deeds he’s done (while he was a werewolf) because he wants to see his mom in Heaven. Those felt awkward and almost like a child’s fairy tale he kept telling himself over and over again. In those moments, I did wonder if Jake had a learning disability or something but could never get a solid read on that.
Gwen was a good addition to the tale. She’s got a career and her own life that gets messy when Jake saves her from being kidnapped. She’s in a good position to help but will she? Ethics get in the way when Jake asks for epi pens (which also help him control his wolfy side) as Gwen has no idea about his inner wolf. But one thing leads to another and pretty soon there is some romance between the two. Sometimes I felt that Gwen was having drama just to have drama and it didn’t fit very well with her ER doctor training.
The Hunters are mixed bag. One guy has a legitimate issue with Jake, though both men are ignorant of one very important fact. Once that fact becomes known, it’s a game changer for both Jake and this Hunter. I really liked this aspect of the story because it created a lot of tension and suspense. There’s the danger to Jake but also I wanted to see if these two honorable men could both come out a live and not enemies.
Over all, it was good addition to the werewolf subgenre of books. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Travis Baldree did a very good job narrating this book. He has the perfect gravelly, shy voice for Jake. I also liked his female voices, including Gwen. Baldree used regional accents (such as the Detroit accent) to give each character a distinct voice. In many ways, Jake is the most emotional person in this story and Baldree brought those emotions to life with his performance. There were no technical issues with this recording. 5/5 stars.