Narrator: Travis Baldree
Series: Dog Walker #1
Published by Self Published / Indie on 28 April 2017
Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Urban Fantasy
Source: Narrator, Submitted
Ben Carter, pet care specialist, is hired to walk a Shiba Inu named Toby. Unbeknownst to Ben, Toby is no ordinary dog but an inugami - an immortal demon born in feudal Japan and bred for only one purpose...murder.
A mysterious cult seeks to capture the inugami and harness its power for evil. With the help of an elderly luchador and a cop with a heart of gold, Ben must protect Toby and uncover the secret of the Tengu before the cultists can unleash the beast and the bloodlust claims the inugami once more.
©2016 Gorilla House (P)2017 Gorilla House
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
I love this book. Ben Carter is a clumsy, unlucky guy who walks dogs and picks up poop all day while trying to write a screenplay between charges. He seems to have about as much success with his work in progress as he does with the dogs and running out of bags at the wrong time. Of course, he’s got a crush on the Blonde Hipster Girl he sees during his walks, and, when she asks him out one evening, he has no idea what he’s in for.
The author, Jack McGuigan, has quite an imagination and sense of humor. The creatures and settings he created are phenomenal. The story is fantastic with a moderate pace and just the right amount of twists and surprises. It isn’t very scary but definitely a bit dark and disturbing at times. The writing is clever and vivid. I won’t spoil too much for you by giving the best lines, but phrases like “eye butt” and “his head looked like a thumb that had been in the bath too long” have a way of hitting just the right synapses. I chuckled throughout the whole thing – both times I listened to it.
The characters are incredibly fun and likable. My favorites are the (probably) alcoholic and hilarious luchador, “Dragon Mask”, and the Shiba Inu (being a sweet, though stubborn, pet when he’s not a murderous beast), aside from our obviously unlikely hero. There are a handful of characters not to like, and one or two to despise.
I was thankful this didn’t turn into an all-out romantic comedy. It was a nice combination of (occasionally dark) urban fantasy, action, and adventure, and comedy – with just a sprinkle of horror. The “s” word is used a few times but otherwise, the language isn’t too bad. There are elements of gore, violence, and animal cruelty, though I think the ends will justify the means for most readers. I’d say mature teens could handle this.
The narrator, Travis Baldree, was excellent! He played a whole gamut of characters flawlessly, from an old, scornful woman, to a Hispanic female, to a Japanese luchador, and a mother at her wit’s end. The range of voices this guy can do is seriously impressive. I looked more than once to see if he was the only narrator. His voice acting and narration were phenomenal. I really liked the story but I don’t think the book would have been nearly as amusing if I had simply read it. I certainly have a new favorite narrator. The production of this audiobook was flawless, sound quality was fantastic, and the only sound effects I picked up on that the narrator didn’t do were pen writing sounds while Ben was writing notes. They were perfect for the story. Otherwise, sounds like the “dee-dee-dee-dee” of an alarm are voiced quite convincingly.
Although this is most definitely a stand-alone novel, there’s a sequel in the making and I can’t wait to hear it.