A dead sorcerer in the underworld named Henry Winslow, a contemporary of Aleister Crowley and former member of The Golden Dawn, steals a spell from the Forbidden Texts in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Thrice Born. He divides himself into three aspects and goes back in time to steal the Emerald Tablets of Thoth from the Great Pyramid of Giza. He wants true immortality and to change the course of history.
Jonathan Shade's old friend, Sharon, shows up with the master of time, Chronos, to send Jonathan and his team into the past to find and kill Winslow.
Jonathan and Kelly arrive in Egypt during the reign of King Tutankhamun. As they appear from nothing, they are mistaken for gods, but when Tut is murdered during a chariot race, things get out of control.
At stake is, well, everything. Because if Winslow succeeds, the world as we know it will no longer exist, wiped from the sands of time.
©2014 Gary Jonas (P)2016 Gary Jonas
Note: This is Book 4 in the series and I recommend reading the previous books as there are major things that happened in previous stories that affect characters’s decisions in this book.
Private investigator Jonathan Shade starts his day off having a serious argument with a witch and the ghost of her son. Things only get worse when Sharon and Chronos show up at Kelly’s dojo and force Jonathan and his friends into taking care of a little problem for them. Henry Winslow, a powerful magician, is attempting to become immortal. To do so, he split himself into three aspects and placed each one at a different time and place in the past. Now Jonathan and his friends must travel back in time and kill each aspect.
This was a fun addition to this urban fantasy series that I have enjoyed so much. Jonathan has done a smidge of time travel before (a fact that he keeps hidden from his friends) but this time he and Kelly (a magically constructed warrior) are sent back into ancient Egypt to find Winslow and kill him. Meanwhile, Brand (also a magically constructed warrior) and Esther (a ghost who is tied to these old typewriter keys) go back to the 1870s. Reina (who isn’t of this world and has some special abilities) heads to the 1920s.
Let me get my one criticism out of the way. We have three main ladies in this series now: Kelly, Esther, and Reina. For some reason, the author chose to write them all as being in love with Jonathan and that really comes to the forefront in this book. It’s silly and not really necessary for the plot. Plus, there are other interesting men, so why not spread the joy?
OK, back to the good stuff. Most of the book is spent on Jonathan and Kelly in ancient Egypt. I really enjoyed the scenes where everyone was getting ready for their trip and had to dress the part. Reina got a flapper dress plus some practical wear. Brand had some rough yet really durable clothes. Meanwhile, Kelly and Jonathan were given revealing (by today’s standards) clothing that was the norm for King Tut’s time period. Eventually, Kelly and Jonathan rebel and a compromise (sort of) is made. In the end, it didn’t matter much because the two of them materialized in front of people and therefore, folks thought they must be deities.
We get a little bit of time with Brand and Esther in the 1870s. They soon land in some serious trouble with Priscilla and Edward that they weren’t expecting. Brand used to be a very strong warrior, but at the end of the previous book, things changed for him. Now he finds himself in a next to helpless position but I think he’s too stubborn (or dense) to notice. He keeps on thinking, bidding his time, quietly flexing those muscles.
Meanwhile, Reina goes to the 1920s. She doesn’t know much about this time period and she’s never been to New York city. We only get a smidge of her story and she swiftly finds herself in trouble. I was surprised at how quickly she was subdued and also a bit disappointed. Not much is being done with this character that has so much potential.
It’s a swift moving plot with fun characters and I like that Kelly and Jonathan continue to be at the heart of the story. I also like that things between Jonathan and Sharon are unresolved. Her previous betrayal still rankles him (as it should!) and I look forward to seeing how the author deals with that. The ending was great! I loved the last big fight scene and how things in Egypt resolved themselves. This book does leave us on a cliff hanger, so I’m really looking forward to having Book 5 in audio.
I received a copy at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Joe Hempel continues to be the perfect Jonathan Shade. Also, he’s the perfect Kelly Chan, with her light Chinese accent. He really pulls it off well. I also liked his ‘dumb jock’ voice for Brand (which suits his humor and character well) and I continue to like his light Southern drawl for Esther. All around, it’s a great performance.
This is the first book I listened to in this series and although I think it’s best to have read the previous three, I was still able to follow the story. I found this audiobook interesting, suspenseful and highly entertaining. The characters have a great relationship and the banter between them felt natural to what most of us do with good friends or rivals. The story is unique and the historical references added a lot to the plot. I also really enjoyed the narrator, Joe Hempel. He has a great way of delivering the story and he made the story easy to follow by giving each character a unique voice. This made it easy to follow the story. I highly recommend this audiobook. I also have to mention that this audiobook was given by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
Another enjoyable story in the Jonathan Shade series. It can be read as a stand-a-lone but you will get much more from it if you read the books in order as there are threads that do continued to build from one book to the next. Shade is a well developed, appealing character; he is funny, sarcastic but he is true to his friends and has a strength that shines. The secondary characters are also appealing and you can not help but grow fond of them as you follow them all through the various dangerous situations that Shade seems to manage to get into. In this book the friends are split up and sent to different eras in order to stop a master wizard but things are not as simple as they thought or go as straightforward as planned. I think it is the humour I like most about this series and the narrator portrays that sarcasm and humour very well. He gives individual voices to the characters and his inflection brings out emotions well, I especially like how he does Kelly's accent, it shows her personality perfectly. Humour, suspense, great characters and interesting snippets of history draw you along and keeps you listening but it does have a cliffhanger at the end. I'm not really a lover of cliffhangers (hence the 4* rating) but I can put up with them as long as it isn't forever until the next audiobook comes out. Having said that, this is still a really enjoyable, entertaining story and I will defiantly listen to the next audiobook when it is released. I received the audiobook in exchange for my honest opinion.
I loved the originality of the idea of dividing into aspects and visiting different times in history simultaneously, although I heartily disliked Winslow as a person. I also liked Jonathan's inner snarkiness. His first reactions were often the same as mine.
The inventiveness of the storyline reminds me a bit of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim novels. Odd and unexpected twists.
Joe has quintessential American snark down pat. He could practice different voices and cadences, but did okay.
I received this audiobook free in exchange for an honest review.
This is the fourth Jonathan Shade novel I have read and I really enjoyed it. I loved the sarcastic wit of the main character. All the characters are pretty fun. I highly recommend reading the previous books in the series before starting this one as it is more a continuation, rather than a stand alone book. There are fantasy, humor, and supernatural elements throughout the book. One thing that really made me like this book is that part of it takes place in Egypt, and anything about Egypt fascinates me. Beware, though, that this book ends with a cliff-hanger. Now I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book.
I listened to the Audible audio version of this book narrated by Joe Hempel and I liked his narration. He does a good job giving a unique voice to each character, his pacing is great, and he makes the story come alive.
Overall, this book (and the rest of the series) is a fun read, and if you enjoy paranormal fantasy, I recommend this book.
Denver, Co metro area resident for over fifty-five years. Retired, Mid 60's, Male, own over 9,600 Kindle books, and over 400 Audible books.
The on going adventures of paranormal investigators that I have grown to enjoy. Home-based in the greater Denver, Colorado area who time travel to catch up with a complex bad guy. References to aforementioned Denver locales, Aldous Huxley, the Three Stooges - nyuk, nyuk, nyuk... Lord of the Rings, Egyptology, popular culture.
The other books in the Jonathan Shade series - Modern Sorcery, Acheron Highway, Dragon Gate... there are eight books in the series. Some haven't been translated to Audible books yet. But soon I hope.
Joe Hempel has narrated the entire series. so far. You can hear it in his body of work here, he enjoys this series. He embodies the traits of the great voice work talents. Versatility in his choices of character representation, prep work / familiarity with written substance and the narrative skills to keep it flowing in an entertaining way. He has something more too, he has the uncanny ability to put across the essence of a writer's characters and story. He brings them to life.
This is the beginning of a new direction for the series. I like it! There are still the elements of humor which have made the whole series very good. And it expands the books to different interesting locations and historic avtors in the locations.
If you're not familiar with this series, take a chance. I think you will enjoy it immensely. Gary Jonas has a sly wit in his writing. Adventurous, and Jonathan's "posse" work well together.Joe Hempel provided this audio book. Thanks, Joe! Much Appreciated!
Love this series. The books are easy to listen to, my only criticism is this book felt too short. It isn't it just a good listen and pace is kept going through every chapter.
definitely going to listen to the next instalment.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
""Because dead people don't get up and walk ...""
Poor Jonathan Shade: for the son of wizards without any magic of his own (other than being impervious to the magic of others), he does seem to find himself having to save the world rather frequently. This time he and his companions must go back in time to stop another dead wizard from gaining immortality and changing everything as they know it. And not just once, but three times.
This book is obviously the precursor of a series within the series (this is book four) as only part of the task is here attempted, with Shade and the fearsome fighter Kelly being transported back to Ancient Egypt in search of the villainous Harry Winslow. As in book three, the story is told from the alternating perspectives of the protagonists, which not only drives the story forward but adds extra insight into the characters themselves. Although mostly concentrating on Kelly and Jonathan, the rest of the gang - Esther, Brant and Rayna, - also make welcome appearances and we learn some especially I interesting details about Esther's past which are sure to resonate in later books.
As always, the narration is superb, with Joe Hempel's adroit voicings of each protagonist such that he becomes each character he assumes at the time.
I was fortunate in being gifted a complimentary copy of Anubis Nights, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an honest review. My thanks as this is a fun book in a very enjoyable series, with great characters, fast paced action, quirky situations and comedy, too. Best if read in series sequence, though not totally essential.
I am looking forward to book five.
"My First Jonathan Shade Novel"
This was my first Jonathan Shade audiobook. Its a good solid urban fantasy novel with some Egyptian and wild west time travel thrown in for fun.
Joe Hempel as a narrator was excellent and made it it easy for the different simultaneous strands of the story to come together. Multi strand frequently cut audio stories can be hard to bring off and can leave me cross eyed and disengaged. But this was done well and added the the novel. I enjoyed myself.
I always feel guilty reading urban fantasy books. I feel i should be reading something more improving. But life is just too short. This was fun and enjoyable and i may go back and get another when my audiobook backlog settles down. Definitely something to keep you going until the next Harry Dresden.
Please note that This review was undertaken as part of the Good Reads Audiobook review Programme
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