How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember? Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past and the only clues to his identity were a piece of paper with his name on it and a propensity toward magic. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer and a successful thief for hire, but it turns out that those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet. When they cause a job to go bad, threatening a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her. But with his enemies closing in and the barrier holding back his memories beginning to crumble, Nate is forced to confront his forgotten life in the hope of stopping an enemy he can’t remember. Crimes Against Magic is a dark, fast-paced urban fantasy torn between modern-day London and fifteenth-century France.
©2013 Steve McHugh (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Reviews are just opinions and I appreciate anyone who takes time to write one. With all due respect though I have to disagree with the comparison of this series with the Dresden Files. Both series are urban fantasy with a magic-wielding male protagonist and that is about all they have in common. If you are looking for the multi-layered characters, intricate plots, fascinating magical system, snappy dialog, and interesting settings that have developed in the Dresden Files, you won't find it here. Hellequin may interest you if you like the graphic novel format - it reads much like a graphic novel translated to book form with a whole series of action scenes strung together, cartoonish characters (voluptuous women, violent men), and very little use of setting. (The story uses multiple periods in history and multiple geographical locations and yet is never evocative.) I am all for an action-packed novel, but the action sequences in Hellequin are all the same - someone is kidnapped and tortured, some woman throws herself at Nate (our "hero") and they have sex, Nate beats up the bad guy. There is some graphic sex, but no sexual tension in the story. There is a lot of action, but no suspense because Nate wins hands down against every "critter". The magical system is inconsistent and Nate seems to find a new power around every corner.
I usually really like James Langton's narration, but I agree with another reviewer that he was the wrong choice for this book. His posh British accent doesn't work with an anti-hero who is long on violence and short on finesse.
I got the first two books in an Audible 2-for sale and they were OK for the price. I won't get anymore in the series. If you love Dresden, you won't necessarily love Hellequin. (You won't even know what Hellequin is until book 2.)
What is there to say, I am a 40-something professional man with kids who like to listen to light books while on the bus to work.
This take on the paranormal detective/mystery novel is one of the better worlds I have come across. In a nutshell, in this world all the old legends are true, the old gods are/were real etc... and now live in secret in the modern day world. A secret hidden island/land, called Avalon, is where the seat of power that rules these hidden entities resides. Our intrepid Hero runs afoul of an evil cabal out of Avalon, and must fight his way clear. What made this book for me was our intrepid hero. While he is definitely a "good guy", he is no overgrown boy scout. He is dark, angry, and at times vicious. He is more avenging angel then superman, if you know what I mean. The story itself while at times dark, is well written, intriguing and easy to follow and never gets so dark that you want to fast forward. Mr. McHugh is an excellent writer, who is able to keep his language simple while still remaining very descriptive as he paints his world. If you are looking for a light adult listen, I can highly recommend this book. I have already purchased the second novel and am looking forward to it.
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
I was only able to give this book 4 stars for Story because although I really liked the book, it felt somewhat incomplete. Maybe it was the way it swapped back and forth between the two time lines, I don't know. Please don't misunderstand, I did like the book a lot, but each time I started really falling into the one time line story I was pulled back into the other. The two stories were well thought out and presented, my complaint isn't there....it's just that, well, maybe I'm not a fan of the split time line method.
That said, I still had to rate the overall and story a full four stars. It was that good I think.
The performance I gave 5 stars because the narrator is truly an artist. His narrating was good enough that often times I forgot I was hearing a reading, he had me so engrossed in the story.....know what I mean? It's hard to explain but please trust in this, James Langton is an artist and he really brought out the best in the novel.
I write reviews to help readers, not to win votes. My reviews are my honest opinion whether popular or not. I hope they help you. ;)
I like the main character he is interesting and you want to learn more about him.
The fight scenes are excellent. I particularly like the scene against the werewolves early in the book.
This is the first I have heard of his work. I'll be honest, the guy has a thick accent and takes a bit of getting used to before you can settle in to enjoy the story. He range of voices is somewhat limited but good enough for this book.
This is a fun book and the narrarator does a good job. I'd have given the narrartor a higher rating if he had a bit better range and his accent were not so thick.
The story uses the worn out old amnesia trope. then again, it's a trope because it works well in novels. The story is interesting and leaves you wanting more. This one is worth a credit.
If you are waiting for Skin Game by Jim Butcher to come out and are looking for something to read, this is it. I have been looking for something like Dresden for years and I finally found it.
I started this series with the recommendation from a forum with regard to finding series that were similar to the Dresden Files. I was NOT disappointed at all. Nate is quite the wizard/mage but in this first installment the author reveals how he came to be without being trite or patronizing the listener/reader. I enjoy the references to past historical/mythical figures and the fact that he keeps the listener's attention to the present problems facing the character. It's a great listen/read, definitely worth the time and effort to listen. The narrator has a tough British demeanor that isn't over-the-top nor is it "wimpy" as some Brits have a tendency to sound like. I suggest that if you're looking for a good listen/read, this book will fit the bill.
This was a strange listening experience. I want to say up front that I liked the book. However it is definitely a mixed bag. And I definitely understand some of the comments Im seeing being written about the content.
First, the narration struck me as odd in style. Langton has a "very proper" british accent. While he's easy to follow and understand, I was originally having a problem with his stylistic approach to the content. The story has a "gritty" feel to it, however Langton's reading style reminded me of someone reading "Winnie the Pooh". A very odd paring. And when Langton tries to adopt a "hard" tone, it sounds a little forced by comparison.
However Ido have to say that after a few chapters I started feeling like the tone was more of a British "understatement" style, which I like, and I got a little more in tune with the subtle sarcasm and ironic commentary. But Im not entirely sure whether that was me dealing with the narration or if it was Langton shifting the emphasis of his reading.
The story writing here is strong, and the characters are interesting and fun to follow. But it does jump back and forth in a timeline with different character story lines. It can be difficult to follow but thats not necessarily the problem. The real issue is that this timeline jumping doesn't do that much to propel the story. And frankly isn't that necessary to the overall story arc. It does help to define some character development, but Im left thinking that all that jumping around wasn't necessary and that the story could have been better served using a different approach.
But, overall its a pretty fun listen. I may or may not continue the series. But Im glad I read this one.
Doc in the Box
This is the first book of the Hellequin series that opens a door in to a fully fleshed world that lives underneath the skin of ours. I purchased this on Audible because it popped up on my feed based on other fantasy that I had purchased and it had good reviews and was cheap, like 7.34 cheap for an almost 11 hour book.
What can go wrong?
In the present, the main character, Nate Garrett, had woke up 10 years a prior with no memory of who he was and found out that he can do magic and has since turned into a magical thief for hire. Then the next chapter takes place in the middle ages and he is a warrior sorcerer who is the is the hit man for Merlin. In the present, his past catches up with him and the stories come together to something that links these two times together.
This book was information dense, meaning if I wasn’t paying attention, I would miss plot points. I tend to fall asleep with my MP3 player on a 15 minute timer and this book kept me up for hours past my bedtime resetting the timer. This is sort of the way I judge audiobooks, this was fast paced, the plot twists were devious and what plot holes it had were totally left there intentionally. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
Advice? Pick it up while it’s still cheap in any format and hold on.
If you are looking for a present day, action packed series, then look no further. Crimes Against Magic is an excellent book with my only complaint being that Steve has only two books in this series.
Yes. The story was exciting and action packed. I liked the world building and the characters are interesting.
It had great action without sacrificing plot.
There was a scene where the main character is getting beat up and his instincts kick in from his forgotten life. It turns out that the is a bad @ss, but really had no idea where it came from.
I wish I had the time push through the entire book all at once. I had to make myself set it aside to go to bed.
I love the story! I love the characters. I love the reader! Unexpected stuff happened. I love the idea about living through the centuries, I listened to this one and immediately bought the second one, which is as good! Waiting for the next book...
This book is a fantastic mix of supernatural beings. Utterly believe able and a joy to listen too. As soon as I finished this book I was completely hooked and so went on to buy book two and three of the trilogy.
I particularly enjoyed how the book wove together a take of the present and the past -1400's.
No I haven't but I really enjoyed his narration and will certainly be searching for more in the future.
This isn't really a story that moved me but certainly had me hooked from the very beginning.
Absolutely fantastic book and would highly recommend.
"Extremely good listen"
I would recommend this book as a good listen. It was easy to follow the characters and the motivation behind them.
Holly as she seems to be an unsung hero who ends up losing her heart only to lose it.
Depicted the characters well as if he assimulated the characters and voices
The book kept my attention and did not drag was a good listen I hope the other books in the series do not disappoint.
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