Narrator: Rebecca Cook
Series: The Fearless #1
Published by Self Published / Indie on 2013
Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy, Paranormal
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Three lovers who stalk and kill the immortals that drift through South Florida (tourists are a moveable feast, after all) are living a simple life of leisure- until one of them is nearly killed by a woman who is a new kind of lethal. When Ring Hardigan isn't making sandwiches for, and with, his two partners, Waleska and Risa (they're cool like that), he's got a busy schedule doing the dirty work of sending immortals to the ever after. Wally and Risa provide linguistics, logistics, and finding the right place for him and his knife - together, they're a well-oiled machine, and they've settled into a rhythm that bodes ill for the Undying. Warlocks, vampires, succubae and the odd ghoul have all fallen to their teamwork. Life is tough, but they soldier on killing the undead, liberating their worldly goods for charity, and generally achieving very little.
Until Ring wakes up after nearly dying at the hands of a woman who may or may not be the daughter of Satan. Ring's a tough character, for a boat bum (killing immortals sort of rubs off on you that way), but twelve days of comatose healing are enough to bring out the ugly side of his temper. When a letter arrives asking for their help finding a large collection of stolen heirloom jewelry, they form an uneasy friendship with the last Baron of a family hiding in a primal European forest. Cazimir, the Baron, has two skills: Jeweler and preserver of the last herd of forest bulls. It's an odd occupation, but then, Ring, Risa and Wally aren't your everyday career folks, and Cazimir's lodge might be sitting on something that looks a lot like hell, which, according to a 2400 year old succubus hooker named Delphine, is currently on the market to the strongest immortal. The Baron's impassioned plea to find the jewelry comes with some conditions-- he doesn't want the collection back as much as he does the thief, Elizabeth, who happens to be his daughter-- and the woman who nearly sent Ring to his grave. In a tapestry of lies, it's up to Ring, Wally and Risa to find out what is evil, who is human, and who really wants to reign over hell.
©2015 Terry Maggert (P)2013 Terry Maggert
I have to be honest here, I was hesitant about adding The Forest Bull to my queue as it seemed as if it might be more on the erotic side of fantasy. Adding to this feeling was the fact that the narrator, Rebecca Cook, seemed to spend a lot of time reading erotic style audiobooks. But after going back and forth with Terry Maggert via email I was assured that my impressions were incorrect. All that being said this is a story that I would normally pass over because I like to think that I know what is good just by looking at a cover image or reading a summary, without looking at other reviews or the like.
The Forest Bull is a fantasy through and through, hooked me with the first hour, a good thing. Highly developed protagonist characters, being that there was three to develop, Maggert didn’t waste time with the inconsequential information that I didn’t really need to know. They were a different kind of killing family, patriarchal, with the leading man, Ring, caring and protecting his two women, which added a very interesting dynamic to the story. Maggert showed skill in being able to write from the male perspective while keeping the female characters very equal in interest. They belong to a secret society that hunt immortals, that seemed very, well, vampire crossed with the creature from Species and very tough and hard to kill. If you caught the hint, there are several sexual situations throughout, but far from erotica and tastefully done. I am so glad I took a chance and was exposed to the world that Maggert created, I will be keeping my ears ope for more powerfully written audiobooks.
Rebecca Cook was absolutely amazing in this performance! If you tend not to link female narrators due to the overwhelmingly high pitched voices, you do not have to worry about that here. I have never listened to a female narrator that has such amazingly different character voices. Being able to from french accent to a strong male voice to a sweet female and everything in between without missing a beat. All voices being super clear and concise while being able to keep the mystery of the characters a mystery. I fully believe that without such a great audio production and performance The Forest Bull would have been less appealing to me. I will be looking for more by Cook as I think she has a very fruitful career ahead of her.