We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Balance Audiobook
Balance
Written by: 
M.R. Forbes
Narrated by: 
Jeff Hays
Balance Audiobook

Balance: The Divine Book One

Regular Price:$18.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

My name is Landon Hamilton. Once upon a time I was a twenty-three year old security guard, trying to regain my life after spending a year in prison for stealing people's credit card numbers.

Now, I'm dead.

Okay, I was supposed to be dead. I got killed after all; but a funny thing happened after I had turned the mortal coil...

I met Dante Alighieri - yeah, that Dante. He told me I was special, a diuscrucis. That's what they call a perfect balance of human, demon, and angel. Apparently, I'm the only one of my kind.

I also learned that there was a war raging on Earth between Heaven and Hell, and that I was the only one who could save the human race from annihilation. He asked me to help, and I was naive enough to agree.

Sounds crazy, I know, but he wished me luck and sent me back to the mortal world. Oh yeah, he also gave me instructions on how to use my Divine 'magic' to bend the universe to my will. The problem is, a sexy vampire crushed them while I was crushing on her.

Now I have to somehow find my own way to stay alive in a world of angels, vampires, werewolves, and an assortment of other enemies that all want to kill me before I can mess up their plans for humanity's future. If that isn't enough, I also have to find the queen of all demons and recover the Holy Grail.

It's not like it's the end of the world if I fail.

Wait. It is.

©2013 Michael Forbes (P)2014 Michael Forbes

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (433 )
5 star
 (164)
4 star
 (153)
3 star
 (82)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.0 (400 )
5 star
 (153)
4 star
 (136)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (13)
Story
4.2 (400 )
5 star
 (181)
4 star
 (137)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 05-28-14
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 05-28-14 Member Since 2016

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    961
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    264
    209
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    114
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nobody likes me.. Everybody hates me."

    This describes the main character. He goes from being a part-time security guard to being one of 3-4 people who basically have the entire universe against them He has to help maintain the balance between good and evil because if either side wins humanity ultimately loses. Combine this with a scenario similar to Greatest American hero, where the good guy loses the instruction book for his powers and you have an interesting ride ahead.

    This is a well written book. The story is action packed and the author knows how to write a good fight scene. The world is interesting and takes a worn out old trope and breathes some new life into it. The main character has to fight both heaven and hell, so you get a perspective most books never cover.

    The narrarator did an excellent job. He had a great range of voices and each was a distinct character. My only complaint would be that the character development was pretty thin. Hopefully this will improve as the series develops. There is a lot of potential for conflict. Right now the bad guys are winning so it is easy for the protagonist to justify what he does. it will be really interesting if the good guys get the upper hand and he has to start thinning that herd.

    Overall, a fun and entertaining book. Balance is definitely worth a credit if you are looking for a new series to follow.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond 05-12-14
    Raymond 05-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly good!"
    What did you love best about Balance?

    The author was able to take the cliched theme of Heaven vs. Hell and give it a refreshing twist. The addition of a third side to the classic war between good and evil, a side that can never win but must always prevent one of the others from winning, really gave this theme the shot in the arm it needed. Heaven vs. Hell stories are a dime a dozen, but this one really shined. The characters in the story, despite their supernatural nature, were believable and felt very real. The protagonist, Landon Hamilton, quickly becomes a fleshed out and viable character that one can enjoy routing for.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Balance?

    There were several moments that count as memorable and it hard to pick just one. However, the initial scene between Landon and Josette stood out. Their interaction was particularly well written.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Another difficult thing to answer. So many good scenes! If I have to pick one it would be the scene during Rebecca's birthday party. Landon really begins to shine during the climax of the scene, showing that he's more than just a 'one trick pony.'


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found myself laughing often. Subtle and well placed references to modern real-world pop culture not only were entertaining when they came up, but helped make the world the author created feel authentic and just as real as ours.


    Any additional comments?

    There isn't a specific place for this, but I want to point it out. The narrator did an outstanding job in my opinion. His voice characterizations were varied enough that each character felt unique, and he gave each a personality that made them feel authentic. By the end of the first chapter I was sucked into the story, in large part of how well it was being read.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kingsley Henely Brook, Australia 05-07-14
    Kingsley Henely Brook, Australia 05-07-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    780
    79
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well narrated, enjoyable supernatural action story"

    [Just to be above board, I got a free copy from the narrator. I've tried not to let that fact sway my review.]

    First off, the story: Balance is a very quick pace supernatural action story. The story starts where many finish: with the death of the main character. Upon dying he finds himself in purgatory before being told of an epic battle between Angels and Demons. Yes, the same one people have been writing about forever. But this is a little different, in that Landon is told there is actually a 3rd party that is in the battle - one who sole purpose is to ensure that neither of the other sides win and that the fight is always kept in balance. Landon is roped into being on this side (to me a rather depressing thing, because there is no way he can ever win. there is no end game for him). As an enemy of both angels and demons he is sent back to earth to keep the world in balance.

    I found the characters all interesting and varying. the only one that struck me as too unbelievable was the most normal of them all. Or at least the only major non-paranormal one. The friend, Obi, is a ex-military drill sergeant, crack shot, computer hacker, paranormal specialist. There can't be many of those in the world. But then maybe there is only one and the fact that Landon found him is some sort of divine gift.

    The action was great and (mostly) unrelenting. It did slow down at times for a few deeper conversations and moments. And also for a few "info dump" world building moments. The only one of these that felt really off and forced to me was one of the early ones contained in a letter/instruction book.

    The only other annoyance (I'm mostly mentioning things that annoyed, but I really did enjoy the book) was the cliffhanger ending. There was some resolution to the book but not that much. It clearly is set up as part 1 of 3 or something, rather than a self contained book that happens to have a sequel.

    Over all 3.5, edging towards a 4. Audible's lack of nuance in scoring makes me give it a 4.


    Narrator (and audio production): This was really good. It was clear the narrator put a lot of effort into the narration and the production. Effects were used for monsters voices to give them a stronger sound, each character had a clear and distinguishable voice, and inflection on things like sarcasm or fear or anger were clear.

    The only thing of it that I found a little off and jarring was laughter. When characters laughed the narrator did the typical chuckle that narrators do, but also added an additional laugh on top of the narration. Possibly to make the laugh sound more real, but if didn't really work for me.

    Overall the annoyance with that was minor, so I would say narration etc is 4 / 5.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    in1ear (John Row) 07-14-16 Member Since 2016

    Denver, Co metro area resident for over half a century. Mid 60's, Male, own over 9,500 Kindle books, closing on 400 Audible books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    108
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    125
    119
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hey, Hey! Let's be careful out there!"
    If you could sum up Balance in three words, what would they be?

    Good Evil Landon


    What did you like best about this story?

    This was the first book in a series of fantasy dealing with the eternal struggle between Good and Evil with Mankind's existence as the prize. M.R. Forbes is a master at the characters developing, their inner motivation, and action. And much more in his writing.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Hays’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have.Jeff Hays is probably the best narrator out there. I've been amazed with what he can bring to audio book narratives. That being said, though excellent, this didn't give listeners a chance for Jeff to excel at what he is capable of. Don't get me wrong, he did a great job. It was more that the book didn't offer chances at his fortes... imaginative rendering of voices, building excitement in the scenerios, etc. This may sound like negative criticism of Mr. Hays, it isn't meant to be. My answer addresses the question, which asked for comparison. My opinion... Your opinion may vary. lol


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Actually it was fairly early on. Landon Hamilton meeting and talking with Dante. Getting the scoop, as it were. This is the first book in what so far is a six book series. There is a lot of development, character introduction and the like.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't take my critique as negative in anyway toward the work itself, or Jeff Hays' narrative. Both are entertaining. I'm a big fan of Jeff's and though fantasy isn't my first choice of genre, enjoy Michael (M.R.) Forbes' writing a lot!

    Thanks again for the opportunity to listen to this audio book!

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 07-22-14
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 07-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story was a bit one dimensional...."
    Would you try another book from M.R. Forbes and/or Jeff Hays?

    I'll say this, his idea of having a 3rd player in the good v evil tale as old as time was great. BUT his characters all seemed very simple. The lead just going along with everything and not having any intense emotion for this massive change to his life/afterlife was crazy. He sort of doesn't have any real emotion through the entire book except in the end which I can't describe for obvious reasons. That being said, I am going to get the second book in the series because I want to see how or IF the author further describes the mythos of purgatory. Also, I don't understand why the author brought in a character ex-marine/hacker when the lead is supposed to be a hacker to begin with. Its like, why?


    What does Jeff Hays bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know if I can actually credit the narrator on this because I think the tech used to modify the angels/demons voices did most of the work. His voice was smooth and soothing to listen to though. A bit lacking in emotion , but I think that was because of the writing and not the narrators fault.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm going to give the author another chance to hook me into the story with book two. Hopefully he fleshes out the characters and story more in the 2nd.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 04-29-14
    Sara KANSAS CITY, MO, United States 04-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stuck in the middle..."
    What did you love best about Balance?

    The best part of this book is that it takes the mythology of our current spiritual ethos and turns archetypes into relatable characters. In the story it's effortless for me to suspend disbelief about concepts like heaven, hell and purgatory. I feel like the story might be plausible even though I particularly don't really view those concepts as a part of reality, just by the frankness and cadence of the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Balance?

    I found the scene of Rebecca's birthday party was the most memorable, with that world of the well-dressed vampire class. The whole book has that charm of "Interview with a Vampire" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", and the action is just as riveting.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Hays’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to several of Jeff's books now and I find this to be one of his most technically precise performances. I realize this is one of the more challenging pieces for him to read, partially due to all of the different female characters and strange beings and the amount of time he has to focus on portraying them. I like the female character Josette's portrayal the most.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Every day the battle between Good and Evil wages on, but when you look closer you see the real battle is the one fought by those who know it can never stop.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Iriyatesse 07-22-16
    Iriyatesse 07-22-16 Member Since 2016

    I like a wide range of genres. Favorites include Horror, SciFi, Fantasy, Thriller, LGBT, classics and history.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My new favorite"

    This is my new favorite series. The mythology and world created was unique and I quickly fell I love with it all. Lots of well written action, I was never bored. It reminds me a bit of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. The whole idea of maintaining a balance where no one can win is infuriating. But it'll sure keep me coming back for more. I'm very curious to read the rest of these books to see where it's going.

    The narrator gave a superb performance.

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate Jenks 07-19-16
    Nate Jenks 07-19-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Angel's vs Demons at its best"

    I love good vs evil books, but this story brings in a whole new element. The battle to maintain a balance between the two adds a whole new level of tension that drove me up the wall in some parts. The moral dilemmas that the main character has to go through in order to not just do good, but to also sacrifice what is good in order to do what he thinks it's right really kept the story interesting.

    Jeff Hays did a very good job narrating this book. I loved how he used some voice effects when the more demonic or Angelic sides of a character came out.

    I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Anthony 07-18-16
    R. Anthony 07-18-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    Instead of trying to break down in the book and give critiques on its components, I'm just going to state my overall opinion: excellent and entertaining. If you enjoy supernatural fiction, grab this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry groveport, OH, United States 07-18-16
    Larry groveport, OH, United States 07-18-16 Member Since 2011

    Larry & Cheryl. Truck Driver/retired military and Dental Hygenist, respectively. Interests: action, sci-fi, urban fantasy, & historical fict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fresh and unique urban fantasy novel"

    Balance is a very good and unique entry in the already overly crowded urban fantasy genre. Balance is the first book of a 6 book series (so far, as of 7/16). If you are tired of the same old story of a magic using private investigator, give Balance a try. It is an enjoyable and interesting take on Good vs Evil and explores the possibility and responsibilities of a third party in that two party fight. I can see how there are going to be significant moral quandaries in future installments as one party or another gains the upper hand and the protagonist and his allies return balance to the conflict. It will be interesting to see how the protagonist and his allies handle them these moral dilemmas and where it takes them in their personal development.

    Just a few minutes into the story our protagonist, Landon, gets killed. He wakes up in Purgatory and soon learns that he is unique: he is exactly equal parts angelic, demonic, and human and, as such, is needed to represent the cosmic force of balance in the ongoing battle between Heaven and Hell. His mission is to make sure neither party, Heaven or Hell, ever gets the upper hand because if they do, humanity will be the real loser. He is soon thrown, untrained, into the thick of things on Earth and learns that both of the forces of Heaven and Hell agree on only one thing: the representatives of Balance are universally hated and killed on sight. Landon has powers but no idea what they are or how to use them and it is interesting to see how he adapts to his circumstances. Along the way Landon picks up a few allies and their inclusion promises depth and character growth in subsequent adventures. The plot is fast-paced and easily held my attention as I finished this almost 10 hr audiobook in a day and a half. I *greatly* appreciated that the author refrained from making this an angst-ridden novel of “o woe is me, am I Good or Bad?” and had the protagonist accept his role and move on.

    The narration by Jeff Hays was superb. He demonstrated remarkable skill with his voice. For example, a 10 year old girl sounded like a 10 yr old girl, not a man trying to sound like a girl (I am still trying to figure out how he did it!). There were plenty of opportunities for him to show off his talents: cultured Italian accented English, demonic and angelic voices of both sexes, rage, grief, remorse. There were several instances of appropriate and intentional overdubbing (for ex, a giggle/chuckle in the background as the character spoke) and several examples of the use of electronic voice modulation as a were-beast or angel or demon raged and it was said in the text how the character’s voice reverberated… This was an excellent example of how an audiobook experience can be more than just a book read aloud. This was simply a superb performance and it elevated a good book to very good status. I have added Mr Hays to my “Narrators-to-be-watched” category and would gladly base a buying decision on his choice as narrator/performer of that audiobook. The production quality was above average and showed an attention to detail that I normally associate with Audible Studios or Blackstone Audio productions; for production quality, a compliment doesn’t get much better than that!

    Balance is a worthy entry into the urban fantasy genre and a promising start to a series with unlimited potential. The real stars of this book were the interesting premise and the excellent narration. With a lot of the character development and world building out of the way, I anticipate successive novels will be difficult for the listener to hit pause. I am definitely going to be exploring more of this interesting world and conflict Mr Forbes has given us.

    I received this audiobook for free courtesy of Audiobook Jukebox in exchange for a fair and unbiased review and doing so has no effect on my review, positive or negative.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • KEITH
    1/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "decent"

    Good idea, however so many holes in the story leaves you frustrated that he doesnt use his other powers..
    worth a listen tho

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ali
    Yorkshire,UK
    7/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So Many Twists and Turns"

    A story of discovery, that leads you wanting to listen to the next chapter. Nothing is ever quite what it seems. The good guys aren't all good and the bad guys......... Its one of those books I'll listen to more than once.

    The narrator has an engaging tone and pace that keeps you engaged.

    Can't wait 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tony Bough
    7/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "He was an average guy until he died - cool!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I read the first book and it was great. It was even better getting the second book as an audiobook. I love average boy Landon. I also love the grey that this book suggest. We have the black of evil, the white of good but here we see the grey of purgatory. Really good idea! Great characters too!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Balance?

    I don't want to ruin a really good book by telling you the best bits. I really like the way that Landon befriends members on both sides of the good vs evil conflict and how he collects an eclectic group of friends along the way.

    I liked Josette's choices towards the latter end of the novel and the way that they will develop the story further.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Hays – was your favourite?

    They are all brilliant. He breaths life into all the characters. He does men and women in a way that make you feel like they are the correct gender. Landon is obviously the most developed character in terms of the story but as far as the narration is concerned it's amazing for all the characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, yes, yes! Really good. I managed it in 3 sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.