Rhinehoth - Centuries ago, a great castle was built in the mountains of Germany's Black Forest. Its ancient guardians still thrive in its walls, forever protecting its dark secrets, holding captive an enemy that threatens their very existence. Foretold is a story of an ancient warrior that is to return to the castle to free the captive Vampire Prince.
Simon Roberts was a petty thief who fled England to escape Scotland Yard after a series of unsuccessful jewelry store heists. He was recruited to do a job in Germany where he was to simply drive the getaway car while providing a look out. He thought this was going to be an easy job and a way to break into the German crime scene. But things go terribly wrong, and he ended up being the only survivor of the botched heist. Simon is quickly sentenced to a prison called Rhinehoth. This is where Germany sent the worst of the worst, surely not a place for a petty thief such as himself.
Rhinehoth is a great German castle that was converted in the late 1930s to a Stalag for war criminals of World War II. The converted prison's modern day inhabitants are relentlessly tortured, starved, and sleep deprived. This contributes to the prisoners' delusional visions that help hide the truth and keeps Rhinehoth's secrets. Their captors are the army of Werewolves who have survived the centuries off the very flesh and blood of Germany's worst forgotten criminals.
Simon, imprisoned, becomes plagued with visions from his subconscious ancient past with confusion of his modern day consciousness. He discovers through his visions that he is the ancient warrior Guthrie, who has come to free the Vampire Prince and all the captives, while saving the world from a dark plan of biblical proportions that has been orchestrated over the centuries!
©2009 Brian E. Niskala (P)2016 Brian E. Niskala
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Rhinehoth is a prison converted from a castle to house war criminals; now it houses everyone from petty criminals to murderers. Located in Germany’s Black Forest there is no escape from this prison for anyone. Kept in constant confusion from sleep deprivation, starvation and brutality of the guards, prisoners struggle with what is real and what is not. This is how the castle keeps its secrets!
Simon, Mouse and Siegfried are imprisoned together. Maxine, the adopted daughter of the warden has her secrets as well. Together they try to rescue one another, learn the secrets of the castle and save the world. They discover that the castle is the feeding ground for hybrid werewolves and a prison for the vampires which makes escape for humans impossible.
It is through his visions and Maxine that Simon learns he is an ancient warrior who can free the Vampire Prince and Maxine from their captivity and defeat the army of werewolves. Simon makes an ultimate sacrifice in a last-ditch effort to save everyone – but is it enough?
Rhinehoth was a new take on the vampire/werewolf stories. I liked how the castle played an integral part of the story bringing the ancient into the modern-day. Brian Niskala did an excellent job of building the story, connecting the characters and using old myths and tales to bring his solidly written story. Niskala is an excellent wordsmith using detailed imagery to allow the listener to see his story vividly. The dialog was smooth. The viciousness of the guards was vivid; the story was engaging and captured the listener’s attention. A long story but one that is well worth the listen – twists and action mixed with horror.
John Pennington did a great job of narrating – the accent and his flow of words were steady and engaging. His rhythm was slow and well-paced; his voice was soothing and calm. He did not become lost in the action – rather he controlled his voice projecting the essence of the book – horror! I think Pennington was perfect for this book!
The production was fine; it was theatrical. I, personally, do not enjoy theatrical readings with music and sound effects but this was well done.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves vampires and werewolves.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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What a great Gothic horror book which has both vampires and werewolves in it. I was afraid that there will be many clichés here, but the story is unique in this genre, and very well put together, with decently developed characters. All the narrators were awesome, this was a completely different experience for me than any of the previous horror audiobooks I've listened. I could totally see this audio book as a movie one day!
I loved this audio book so much more than reading the book myself because there were sound effects that were fitting to the mood, and ambiance of the scene. Creepy doors opening, and what not made this similar to old time radio programs. I wish there were more audio books that had this type of bonus with sound effects!
I have not but I would definitely conciser listening to other books he has narrated.
no defiantly not. It's over 10 hours long, I prefer to listen to my audio books while I am driving to and from work as well as making dinner and eating (alone). Was quite entertaining all week as I listened to it.
I rather enjoyed this audio book and the audio effects that were within it. I prefer to listen to audio books instead of music on the radio these days. Not sure if I'm just getting old, or bored with radio (I'm in my 30's). I might have to search the author and narrator for more books to listen to on my drive to and from work, I rather enjoyed this book as well as the performance. Made my commute more enjoyable this week.
This audiobook is like nothing I have purchased before. It offers a very vivid and unique experience of a real horror masterpiece. Subtle spooky sound effects and a full cast of actors and actresses, instead of the usual single narrator, brings the best out of this audio horror drama. Its story is compelling and well written, the characters decently developed, and I am sure that many people will enjoy in this audiobook. I highly recommend it to all horror fans!
Poor Simon Roberts. He doesn’t know what he’s in for. He fled England because he had made one too many mistakes in the criminal world. Now in Germany he hopes to make his entry into the jewelry heist business by acting as the getaway driver. Things go very, very wrong for him and he ends up in Rhinehoth prison, which is an isolated ancient castle that was converted to a prison in WWII. Rhinehoth has many secrets and Simon is afraid of most of them.
Earlier this year, I read the classic The Sound of His Horn by Sarban and this spooky, suspenseful tale has echoes of that classic. Isolated German castle – Check! Aristocratic jailers bent on a ‘higher’ purpose – Check! Strange, beast like qualities in some of the humans – Check! Dark mystery and deep suspense – Check! If you have enjoyed that classic, then I think you would like this book because it has much of the same flavor but with more going on. There’s werewolves and vampires and an ancient hero come to life and deep questions about choosing morally right over instinct. Quite frankly, I wish we had had two days of thunderstorms so I could listen to this book with lightning flashing outside my windows and rolling thunder above.
Simon Roberts starts off as a fairly simple man. Stuff always ‘happens’ to him (he’s never the architect of his own circumstances, according to him). Indeed, he’s a little bit of a whiner. Then he gets sent to Rhinehoth and stuff really does start happening to him that is weird and dangerous and often leaves bruises. I started to feel for the guy. For a chunk of the book, he does fumble around, simply trying to serve out his time. Then this mix of curiosity and self-preservation pushes him to look around a bit more. With his friends Mouse and Michael, they come across some really questionable things, like lots of bodies hanging suspended in vats. Ugh!
Dr. Maxine Huellen is the daughter of the warden (Adolph). Well, adopted daughter. She has a lot of secrets. She’s got these ice blue eyes and Simon finds he’s very drawn to her. In fact, he has several sexual dreams of her. The story makes much out of these dreams, but I have to say that Simon is dreaming what most of the inmates are dreaming, since it appears that Maxine in is the only female on the premises. For much of the story, she is the only female and nearly her entire role is as the sex object/object of affection, though we do occasionally get glimmers that she actually has a degree and does use it from time to time. A few other ladies appear much later in the book, such as Esmerelda (who is highly sexualized) and some witches.
Simon starts having these rather vivid memories that he’s not sure are his memories. The first one is from his childhood and involves wolves. Then a little later in the story he has a very, very long flashback of a dream that explains a chunk of the Rhinehoth history. While I enjoyed this part of the story, it really did take me out of the main story line for a significant amount of time. Also, I felt the timeline became a bit muddled. The book description talks about ancient times, centuries past. Yet I think that tanks and Hitler were mentioned in this long flashback, so I was definitely confused as to what happened when.
The last two or three hours of the book felt really sped up to me. A lot happens in those last hours whereas the pace has been steady throughout the rest of the book. For instance, Simon takes several weeks to become a trained fighting man in the space of perhaps three sentences. Still, the ending did maintain the tension we’ve had for the entire book and Simon has this big chance to show his true grit. This final bit of the book really plays out questions of souls, the morale good, might vs. right, etc. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in the end, I just wish it had the same page time as the rest of the book. All in all, it was a worthy suspenseful tale of werewolves and vampires that relied on characters and plot and not so much on gore and body count.
I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Narration: The narration is OK. The main narrator, John Pennington, sounds bored most of the time. Then other character voices (and I think some are performed by other narrators though I can’t find a credit to them) cut in and out, sometimes overlapping Pennington’s narration by a beat or two, and sometimes they aren’t the same volume. Then there are some sound effects here and there, but for most of the story they are so quiet I am wondering what they are and if they are really on the audiobook. The editing does get better as the story moves forward. The ladies especially put a lot of emotion into their characters. In fact, the performance of all the female characters is very theatrical and shows a distinct difference to Pennington’s subdued performance.
The only thing that could of made Rhinehoth any better, is more books in the series and listening for my second time. This book is one of those that you must listen to more than once to truly enjoy.
Yes, I will definitely be looking forward to more of his books and works.
The performance by the narrators was amazing, I hope that they all return for the next books in the series.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
obviously the audio version, since the audio version adds the element of curiosity, suspense and horror. the sound effects make it more and more thrilling. will recommend the audio edition more.
honestly speaking, no I haven't but I assume I should hear more of him. since his narration goes perfectly with horror.
the story was really really good. although it was a long story but there was not even a second in the story I was bored. I was compelled to the story from the very beginning. the story doesn't waste time on repetition, doubts, or long conversations about whether the characters should really be scared of the scary thing or not. instead, the story prefers the smooth way, combined with horror, anxiety and spookiness. moreover, John Pennington’s narration was firm and confident. I will definitely recommend to anyone who is the big fan of horror.
Yes definitely would, I didn't know what to expect when making this purchase but glad I did. I love action movies and this book made gave me a lot of visuals, felt like I was seeing it right there.
I would definitely have to compare this too Extreme Prey by John Sandford because the intensity of the book and the cliff hangers leave you edge. This book was so dark and intense. It was very deep.
Simon because I feel as if sometimes we all have our own demons we need to face. He reminds me of when we get to that dark place. As a military veteran we all feel that survivors remorse. The changes the character Simon went through through the book was amazing from his feelings for the nurse and being locked away. I don't want to give away too much but you should def read this!
Yes it was I didn't want to even get up to pause it, but had to for bathroom breaks.
Its a must listen it had me hooked!!! I would definitely be listening to this exquisite book again.
I can't believe I only just discovered Brian Niskala! I really enjoyed Rhinehoth! I picked this one up using one of my free monthly credits, and it was awesome! First of all, Mr. Pennington's narration makes Brian Niskala's writing leap from the proverbial pages. It's excellent for this novel. I could barely get out of my car the last couple of days as I listened to this one in the gym and as I drove around running errands.
I usually try not to listen to books that have a more Supernatural bent at home alone, but I wanted to know how this one ended so badly I took the chance. Let me just say, I probably won't sleep too well the next few nights it creeped me out so much. I loved it! I mean, that's the whole point of listening to a novel in this genre, right?!
Anyway, you don't need me to rehash the storyline because the description gives you a pretty good idea about how things unfold, but picking up a copy is well worth it because the telling of the story and the fascinating twists and turns will keep you hypnotized. This could easily be turned into a movie! I'm glad that Mr. Niskala decided to offer an audiobook version. At 10 hours, it was very easy to digest over the last couple of days.
I am a big audiobook listener and this one is absolutely one of my new favorites. Definitely pick up a copy for yourself and this would make a great gift for the people in your life who love this genre as well. Bravo, Brian Niskala! Can't wait for the follow-up!
What I was expecting was a horror, what I got was a full on cast Gothic Horror! Talk about an amazing cast, let alone an amazing story! 5 Stars from performance of the full cast of actors and actresses to the narrator to the story itself! It felt like I was totally immersed into a movie! Subtle sound effects with eerie music in the beginning set the stage for this dark Gothic horror! Very well done, bravo!
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