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.
SO MUCH FUN! The story is a solid good vs evil with over the top (but still so easily believable) action and characters. The characters are all carefully crafted and "complete," so that we can easily identify with and understand their motivation. The narration is probably the best I've ever heard - Bronson Pinchot is perfect for this. I spent every moment of my commute for the last 2 weeks hanging on his every word!
And the fight scenes?!? Unbelievable exciting - detailed, fast paced, with tons of unexpected twists and turns.
Did I mention that this book is SO much fun?!? Great story, great characters, and amazing narration. I can't wait to start Book 2!
Bronson Pinchot is now my favorite narrator. I can’t convey the mastery Mr. Pinchot brings to this reading of one of my favorite authors. His characters are nuanced and very distinct, he does great female voices. Had to buckle down and get this finished, it was keeping me from the rest of my life. I really enjoy the little bits of gun lore and facts.
As an aside, I also think the 1911m1 is the finest firearm ever made.
fun story line
He tried to make each voice different. I was not impressed.
The blending of magic, physics and ballistics was very entertaining and unique. They say 'write about what you know' and Larry Correia demonstrates that he definitely knows guns (and makes you wonder if he actually knows magic.)
Bronson Pinchot's narration was fabulous. Every character got its due. Even minor characters were given distinct voices and speech characteristics. Pacing and emphasis was great during action sequences. I've heard some narrators read action sequences as if they were reading the Sunday paper aloud. Mr. Pinchot emphasized the right phrases, put inflection in the correct place and actually (I don't know how else to phrase it) 'slowed down' during the extremely heavy action sequences just enough to allow visualization and comprehension of the scene. A top-notch performance.
I finished this book in 4 days. (I normally listen to audiobooks during 30 minutes of commuting and 30 minutes of dog walking per day.) I was listening at every opportunity and couldn't wait to hear what happened next.
I discovered this book through a podcast called Writing Excuses. They had Mr. Correia on for a few episodes and listening to him describe his process of writing this book instantly made me interested. Not only does he seem like a fun and interesting writer, but his passion and creativity for his writing came through during his discussions on the Writing Excuses podcast. Highly recommended for those that want to know more about Mr.Correia and his writing.
Story was probably even better than I realized, but the narrator made it hard to concentrate. His characters often sounded the same and he read the main character in Forrest Gump's voice. Not to mention he would read lines deadpan and monotone that began with, "he shouted" or "she screamed out". First time I've ever been truly distracted by a narrator. I'll be reading the second book in print form.
Creative Urban Fantasy
The growth of Faye as a character
He gave each of the characters a very unique voice and personality through his performance
One of the best pieces of crossover fiction ever produced
I listed to this on Audible and while it took about 2 hours to get rolling once I fell in love with the characters I was hooked. This book was not at all what I was expecting in the best way possible. The narrator is particularly fond of souther accents, but once I grew accustomed to his slightly slower pacing the last half of this book was amazingly exciting and somewhat surprising.
There's not too much to this book, pretty simple writing and characters. Good for a book you don't really have to pay attention to, pretty entertaining.
Geek, Gamer who hates wasting credits.
This is a fun book, with interesting takes on were history would have gone if man had developed magic and not technology. The characters are a little thin. But it is action pack and well read and a fun. It is 1st in a set so I can forgive the thinness of some of the characters because I am sure it will develop over time.
Audiobooks are my drug of choice
I'm a huge fan of Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series and that is what drew me to this. I must say I started and stopped this a few times before I finished it but it was definitely worth listening! The story really picked up for me near the end of the first part. After that it was non-stop action! I loved the action sequences and the smart-ass one-liners. Any one who's read Mr. Correia's other books knows they are in for lots of action and cool shoot-em-ups. The characters are quite interesting and I looked forward to finding out all there was to know about them. Bronson Pinchot does an amazing job at narrating this. I'm eagerly awaitng the release of Spellbound, the next in the series, in November.
I got to the end and was disappointed that this is book 1 of a series yet written. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listen, with purposefully cliche' characters (much like Harry Dresden is cliche' for his genre) and an awesome premise of magic. It was truly a delight to listen to and I greatly anticipate future books.
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