Narrator: Joe Hempel
Series: Clan of Shadows #1
Published by Jason A Cipriano on 9 December 2016
Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
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My name is Frank Butcher, and when I got out of my truck to deliver the last package of the day, I never expected to get blown up by anti-magic zealots.
Yeah, you heard me right. I said magic. I didn't know it was a thing either.
Now, an ancient artifact is the only thing keeping me alive, and to make matters worse, that artifact is what those cultists wanted. Still, I could have made a run for it, disappeared into South America and spent the rest of my life on a beach. I nearly did it, but I didn't.
Why? Because the cultists have offered me a trade. Come to them or they start killing kids.
©2016 Jason Cipriano & James Garner (P)2016 Jason Cipriano & James Garner
Frank Butcher delivers packages. He’s got a big ego and a crush on Dr. Gabrielle Perez. During one of his flirtatious encounters, the crap hits the fan as part of the building explodes around him. When he wakes, it’s a magical device that’s keeping him alive and the cultists want it. Pretty soon he has to make a hard choice as the cultists aren’t above threatening children to get what they want.
I want to say this is set in Florida but I may be wrong. Anyway, it’s a big city with some Hispanic and Latino influences. While I did like the Spanish used here and there, it’s el corazon and not la corazon. It’s a small mistake, but it did make me listen closer for other such linguistic errors.
Setting aside the language lesson, this was a very fun book. It’s brain candy and Frank is the star. True, he’s got a big ego, but he’s also got a big heart of gold, literally. There’s plenty of humor thrown in, though sometimes it was borderline punny and a little much. At times the humor felt like a worn thin comedic routine and at other times I was laughing out loud.
There’s plenty of action, and since Frank is a vet, there’s some gun play as well. Mixing magic and guns nearly always works for me. I really liked Gabrielle. She’s right in the mix. No shrinking wall flower status for her! She’s often the one keeping Frank on track or keeping him alive or getting him out of harm’s way. Then her son Max becomes a focus for the cultists so Frank and Gabrielle have to come up with a new game plan.
I did enjoy the bigger plot concerning the cultists and what they are up to. Frank and Gabrielle certainly have their hands full. And poor Gabrielle! I’m sure she feels betrayed by certain people. This tale wraps up well but leaves a larger story arc open for a sequel, which I look forward to enjoying with some popcorn.
The Narration: Joe Hempel makes a great Frank Butcher. It seems he really had fun with the character’s ego and humor. He also did a great job with Gabrielle’s voice and I liked his Hispanic accent for the little bit of Spanish in the story.
This review first appeared on Dab of Darkness.
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