Review Copy provided by audiobook producer as part of Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewer program
Two years after the Civil War, Pinkerton agent Ed Morrow has gone undercover with one of the weird West’s most dangerous outlaw gangs-the troop led by “Reverend” Asher Rook, ex-Confederate chaplain turned “hexslinger,” and his notorious lieutenant (and lover) Chess Pargeter. Morrow’s task: get close enough to map the extent of Rook’s power, then bring that knowledge back to help Professor Joachim Asbury unlock the secrets of magic itself.
Magicians, cursed by their gift to a solitary and painful existence, have never been more than a footnote in history. But Rook, driven by desperation, has a plan to shatter the natural law that prevents hexes from cooperation, and change the face of the world-a plan sealed by an unholy marriage-oath with the goddess Ixchel, mother of all hanged men. To accomplish this, he must raise her bloodthirsty pantheon from its collective grave through sacrifice, destruction, and apotheosis.
Caught between a passel of dead gods and monsters, hexes galore, Rook’s witchery, and the ruthless calculations of his own masters, Morrow’s only real hope of survival lies with the man without whom Rook cannot succeed: Chess Pargeter himself. But Morrow and Chess will have to literally ride through Hell before the truth of Chess’s fate comes clear-the doom written for him, and the entire world.
It was like book serendipity when this book showed up as a review copy on AudiobookJukebox. The previous weekend, I had been at a get-together for one of my Goodreads groups and one of the people there was talking about this book and how she highly recommended it. I went ahead and bought it on my kindle and then as I was browing audiobook jukebox, I saw it up for review and thought what the heck, why not ask for a copy and see what happens.
The premise of the book itself was intriguing, the historical setting with the use of Pinkerton agents, mixed in with hex-slingers so the magical aspect and then the GLBT factor of the 2 main characters made for some entertaining listening. I have to say in all my time of listening to audiobooks, this is the first time that I have actually listened to anything featuring m/m romance and I’m pretty sure that my face was probably an interesting shade of red at some points during the listening.
The use of a character who had previously been a reverend and his use of biblical passages scattered through-out provided an interesting theme, and you could tell that the author had done her research and had picked what appeared to be appropriate passages for various phases of the book. However, towards the end, my mind was starting to wander and it felt like overall, some editing and maybe paring down of the book would have been good – even if it had only been a few pages to tighten up the storyline.
This was also the first time that I had ever listened to Gordon McKenzie narrated and I actually went into his narration cold. I tried looking on my normal sources for audiobooks to see if I could get a voice sample, but apparently on that day my computer just decided to not like me and wouldn’t let me do a preview. But I don’t regret it for a minute. I really enjoyed his narration and felt that I could easily identify all the various characters that appeared through-out. I loved the voice of Jess that he came up with and he was probably the most entertaining voice of all of them. I will definately be on the look-out for more books narrated by him in the future.
The production, done by Iambik Audio, was also high quality and I have no complaints about the product received. It was nice to see that the product was easy to download and nicely priced. I’m looking forward to getting the next books in the trilogy.