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.
Good book. They dropped the ball when they had pinchot narrate though. the story is great and i liked the characters,but i started laughing at some parts because of how awful pinchot was.
If you are like me and love the genre, then you will appreciate a paranormal tale that is not over the top in its portrayal of its protagonists' abilities. Magicians hobbled by their humanity. Well Done Mr. Correia.
As usual the narration of Bronson Pinchot, is on the mark, as in Blood Oath etc., etc., etc.,
I got this audiobook on the recommendation of a co-worker who had read the paper version. I was not disappointed. The story was great - I had a hard time turning it off. To top it off, the narrator did an amazing job of voicing all of the different characters.
this is an odd one. you know that bit in beverly hills cop where bronson pinchot (serge?) acts everyone off the screen by simply asking eddie murphy if he wants a cup of coffee?, well, this whole book is a bit like this. whilst it's brilliant in a very small dose, 15 hours is a bit much to take. in short, the narration was totally over-acted. i nearly gave up, but stuck with it because the story and world-building were intruiging and brilliantly constructed. but the narrator really needs to tone it down! the main characters (in particular sullivan's drawl), really detracted from the story and kept taking me out of the flow of the book.
also, the summary and picture are totally misleading and really undersell the complexity and depth of the story. in the end i really really enjoyed this and would have given it 5 stars if not for the narration.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
Overall this was an alright book but I didn't care for some of the content and narration. I think I liked the premise and story line over all, but I was really up in the air about it until the end. It is hard for me to say Bronson Pinchot (the narrator) did a bad job, because he put a lot of effort into this book. However, some of the characters he performed I just didn't like.
The story is based in the early 1900's in America, where magical talents suddenly have come about, and the world is trying to deal with it all. A lot of events in our normal time line are altered and the rival power in the world is Imperial Japan. There are some racist attitudes towards that country from characters in this book thusly. This is not a children's book and there was a lot of death and murder. There was a satisfying conclusion. Similar to Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series, I felt like there was a deeper wonder and intrigue to be found as the story proceeds, with promises of greater battles to come in future tellings in this universe.
Now, the things I didn't like included some of the characters like the girl Faye, who ends up being one of the main characters. This dislike is due to both narration and writing. The "I reckon" accent, attitude, and voice simply were not appealing to me and the "okie" / gangster like attitude of the characters didn't resonate very well with me either. Some people have remarked she is more real and true to a female character, but it is very hard for me to comment on that fact. I thought she came off fairly foolish and unintelligent; but perhaps this is due to my local and upbringing. I suppose I have some fairly different view points than Mr. Correia and I do see some of his biases show up in his works and his fans. Also, if you have read his other works, like the monster hunter series, then you will see some parallels. One of the main characters, Jake Sullivan, is very similar to the main character in monster hunter series with exception to a few more annoying traits that have received some criticism in the past (from myself and others) having been altered. This improved character is supposed to be a man of few words, intelligent, well read, duty bound, and a brute. Oh, and eats a ton of food. Well, now that I think of it, maybe a lot has not changed there.
Lately, Larry Correia has seemed to become more publicly pronounced with his right wing political beliefs, especially related to gun rights. I can't say I agree with him, but I like to keep my fantasy reads and reality in the right place. But, if there are ever any zombies or magical creatures roaming the Earth in the future I will change my opinion on such matters. Nonetheless, I feel this is noteworthy because his attitude blends into his writing occasionally and it is something to keep an eye on in his future works. I would suggest if you are new to this writer to try his Monster Hunters International series first because the series becomes very good.
The story was good. It's a fun read. The narrator, on the other hand, makes many of the characters sound like a cross between Forrest Gump and Elmer Fudd. On the whole, though, the story is what counts so I didn't take off any points for the narration.
If you were to tell me that Forrest Gump and all his cousins read the character parts, I would believe you. I have loved the Monster Hunters series from Audible, but I could not continue listening more than two hours worth. Wasted money and time on the performance, but the story might have been good if I had liked the hero played by Forrest.
The pace of the store was too slow for me
No. The pace is too slow and the voice Mr. Pinchot used for the main character didn't suit me.
He has range.
The use of similar slow witted speech for multiple characters made listening to the book unbearable.
Perhaps the story develop if I read it myself.
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