Larry Correia has already made a name for himself in the sci-fi/fantasy world with his Monster Hunter books, but now he's written the first in new series that takes place in New York in the 1930s, filled with dubious federal agents, hardboiled detectives, and dames with a whole lotta chutzpah. Except this isn't quite the New York you might expect, but an alternate universe where zeppelins moor at the top of the Empire State Building, the Titanic never sank and mad scientist Nikola Tesla has created a devastating weapon called the Geo-Tel. Oh, and people have magical powers. They are known as Actives. It's become commonplace for some people to defy gravity, teleport, manipulate animals, and heal by touch. The hero here is Jake Sullivan, a detective and ex-con who is set free by the FBI to track criminal Actives, which J. Edgar Hoover (yeah, he's still around) would like to eradicate.
Actor Bronson Pinchot has become a regular go-to for audiobooks and the reason is obvious – the guy knows how to bring a story to life. Far from his manic days as Balki on Perfect Strangers, Pinchot is a warm, imminently listenable narrator. He's obviously having a ball with Hard Magic, gruffing up his voice for the hardboiled Jake and the various G-men and employing a countrified voice for Faye, a young farm girl who can teleport across great distances and becomes vital to saving the world from destruction by the Geo-Tel. Pinchot gives each character a different voice, so it's easy to keep up with the big cast. Correia writes long, colorful descriptions of his characters and their situations, but those passages never become boring and never get in the way of the action, thanks to Pinchot.
Steampunk lovers will find much to love about Hard Magic, but listners who love big guns and explosions will be in hog heaven. There are epic, cinematic battles including one over-the-top of a dirigible that is audaciously impossible. Hard Magic almost defies categorization, because Correia has no problem blending science fiction with more fanciful fantasy, even managing to slip in double-headed dragons and imps. The second book in the Grimnoir Chronicles, Spellbound, is coming and let's hope Pinchot has signed on for the audio version. Collin Kelley
Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.
Problems arise when Jake discovers the bad girl behind the robberies is an old friend, and he happens to know her magic is just as powerful as his. And the Feds have plunged Jake into a secret battle between powerful cartels of magic-users - a cartel whose ruthless leaders have decided that Jake is far too dangerous to live.
©2011 Larry Correia (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
Once again I am out in left field on this. If I gave a grade for the first twelve chapters, I would give this a five star. The introduction of characters was great. The world Larry builds is creative and cool. Yet after chapter 12, when the characters are established and the world firmly in your head, the writing flounders.
CANADA IS LIKE THEY TOOK VERMONT AND MADE A WHOLE COUNTRY OUT OF IT, ONLY MORE BORING.
From chapter 13 on, it reads like the 1960's Batman. WHAM, POW, BOP. There are lots of chase scenes and fight scenes. The plot meanders. I could not keep my mind from wondering. The main characters seem to be constantly changing what side or sides they are on. I put the second download on fast play but with just two hours left, I could not sit through anymore.
FOR SOMEONE WHO MADE HIS LIVING WITH WORDS, HE SEEMED TO BE SAVING HIS UP.
The narrator talks very slow. While the writing was good, this was okay, I was able to savor the characters, but when the writing went down a couple of levels, the extremely slow narration was awful. I put his guy on fast play and it sounded like normal talking and I'm from the Mid-West, were we all talk kind of slow.
I ONLY WANT TO KILL SOMEONE ONCE, KILLING THEM TWICE SEEMS LIKE WORK.
This has great ratings, but a third of the people who rated this book, did not buy or rate the sequel.
After listening to this book for a little over an hour, I finally had to give up. At first I thought it was the story, but then I realized it was not the story at all, but the narration. I think I am one of very few who thinks that Bronson Pinchot does a horrible job at narrating this book.
Each character came across and either dim-witted/slow or bored/blase. Also, Mr. Pinchot seemed like he had a extreme amount of saliva or marbles in his mouth the entire time. I swear there were times I felt like Alfred Hitchcock was reading this book rather than Bronson Pinchot.
This is an interesting story with interesting characters and if the narration had been better this would have been a great audio book. But, for me this was not the case. Instead I purchased the ebook and read it on my own. This was a much better option.
Get into this book but once I did I loved it. On to the next.
I really enjoyed this book. A nice mixture of hardboiled detective novel with alternate universe fiction and a flip of magic.
The alternate history headlines at the start of each chapter were fun, and the narrator's voices improved the enjoyment of the book by at least 25 %.
This is hands-down the favorite audiobook I have my 160 + library. (I have all the Larry Correia books).
Probably have listened to it six times. Excellent story and Bronson Pinchot is quickly becoming my favorite narrator as well. Does a fantastic job. I even picked up a couple books I normally would not have just because he was the narrator, he is that good.
The author never disappoints. I have never purchased one of his books and regretted it. Everyone could be listened to several times
I've always loved books. Even before I could read I've loved them. Fact or Fiction, I love books. I'd sooner read a book than see a movie.
Where do I start raving about this book? The narrator, Bronson Pinchot (who you may remember him as Balki on Perfect Strangers) creates the best character voices I've ever listen to. Each main character (and there are many) he performs has their own cadence, tone and accent. He is just one of the best narrators I've ever listen too. So listening to this book again would be just as enjoyable as the first. Another reason to listen to this again would be the story and the wonderful and creative characters. Larry Correia's writing is far better than James Marsters' Dresden Files. That's just my opinion, sorry Marsters. I know we live in the same town and everything, I just could never get excited reading your books. But I am excited to listen or read any of Correia's books!
Correia story-lines, for each of his main characters, approaches (the ever present evil which threatens) from a different angle. They have their own unique magical ability, and they have their own reason to fight for their own cause, bad or good. The story showed how family can have apposing views and needs. Some may turn to evil and some to good, and it's not just their own up bringing or nurture which dictates it.
Who was my favorite performance? That is a toss up, it's either Fey or Mr. Jake Sullivan. Fey the 16 something, naive Traveler, but a power-house, Okey? Or the seemly dumb acting Heavy, who is secretly the most intelligent? Both are just amazing. You wanted so much for them to win, and not to die, it just kept you on the edge of your seat through out the whole book.
There are many good laughs in this books, especially due to the naive Okey's exuberance in her performance of her powers. Yes there are many tears and sadness due to the lose of lives in the book. I hate it when a character dies just when you begin to love them.
Get this book, you won't regret it. I'm now a huge Larry Correia fan!
I would consider listening again. Bronson Pinchot's performance significantly enhanced the story.
It reminded me of "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" quite a bit. There are numerous alternate reality stories out there and they are generally not that appealing to me. However, this one had some interesting twists, combined with the magic angle, that made it quite an enjoyable fantasy.
This is the first book I've listened to that was narrated by Bronson Pinchot. Frankly, I can't imagine a better performance by a narrator: he was that good.
Saving the World that Might Have Been
I usually shy away from a book with "magic" in the title or description... just not my thing. However... after taking a risk, I'm happy to report that this is a well-written, well-read story full of fun and plot twists. If you ever got into an alternate reality book and enjoyed it, you're missing out if you don't check out the Grimnoire world.
The bottom line... good writing is good writing, regardless the genre. I'll get the second book in the series after writing this review.
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