Ezra Keene is an artistic 16-year-old who wants nothing more than to settle in at his new school and put the tragedy of his brother's death behind him. He awakens one night, reeling from a hazy dream, to find his fingers blackened with pencil lead and a new drawing in his sketchbook - a drawing that depicts the grisly murder of someone he knows. The next morning he is shocked to learn the picture has become a reality.
Ezra has reason to believe the father of a classmate, an eccentric German scientist, is somehow involved in the slaying, but he needs something tangible to bring to the police. He sets out to discover the truth, but what he finds instead is that something much more sinister than murder lies at the heart of this mystery. Monsters exist, magic is real, and sometimes there are worse things than death.
©2014 S. Lee Benedict (P)2015 S. Lee Benedict
Author, Audiobook Narrator
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com but I would have gladly purchased this - it was amazing!
Dang was this book good! There are so many reasons I loved this book! The writing was fantastic. It had a great flow and was very fun and easy to read but could also be fantastically descriptive at times sketching out what was going on in the story. The author was really good at changing his tone and diction when the third person point of view changed to a different viewpoint character. Even though it was in third person that had a very distinct flavor and great words that only went with certain characters. You really felt like you were getting the story from the distinct point of view every time and it really gave you a way to dive deeper into the creepy world of Rhapp's Barren.
The main character Ezra was awesome. He is discovering some huge things about himself in this book while he and his parents deal with some powerful grief. He's an artist too, and being an artist myself it was really fun to read about him carrying around a sketchbook and showing people drawings of architecture he had done. Later in the story his drawing leads to some very dark creepy truths but you'll have to read the book to find out about those. Also he meets a pretty special girl in the story and seeing their friendship develop and grow among all the crazy supernatural stuff that's going on was grounding and wonderful in this novel. I really liked her personality and her dialog added a lot of fun and humor to the story. There were so many themes touched on in this book too. Family, friendship, loss, even bullying. This is a very well written well rounded story with a lot to offer. I can't wait to read the second one.
Touching more on the characters, there were so many great ones! I loved the police officers and the break their scenes gave to the growing crazy supernatural stuff Ezra keeps discovering. The more police procedural scenes were fun to read and really well done. I loved the two cop partners and how different they were from each other. Even though they were more minor characters in the overall story they were fleshed out really well and I liked them and cared about them. Then there is the family of freaks Ezra meets who have many secrets that you'll have fun discovering if you read this book. I call them freaks but they are like friends to me know having read the book. They all have different... abilities I'll say because I don't want to spoil anything in the story - and their story was really cool to uncover as I read through the book. I can't finish mentioning the great characters without saying how cool the bad guys were. A very powerful evil magician and his two terrifying accomplices. A little tiny wooden dummy man who doesn't let his size stop him from being someone you wouldn't want to meet and a huge ghastly hulk of a man who can literally rip your heart out of your chest with his bare hands.
I loved the dark supernatural thriller and the police procedural elements in this book. It was cool to delve into the deep dark world of magic and monsters and then switch to the view of that same world through the skeptical and organized view of the policeman trying to pick up the pieces after these supernatural monsters had committed gruesome crimes.
This book had some pretty amazing action scenes. Guns, swords, magical energy, plants coming to life and snatching characters up - there were a lot of very intense action scenes in this book that were very exciting and very well done. All of them grew the characters, taught them things about themselves, and ramped up the tension in the book.
I read this book by listening to the audiobook and the narrator R.C. Quartermaine was spot on for this one. First his narration. He has a great deep voice that really tells the story well. His voice makes the story very interesting to listen to. I could listen to him read fiction for hours - well that's what I did for this book. Then when he does the character voices he adds another layer of awesome to the listening experience. Some of these characters were monsters, some of them were people of different nationalities like Irish and German, some were policemen, teachers, parents, and teenagers. He nailed the different tones for the different age groups and kinds of characters. He did really great monster voices that were very different sounding from the rest of the characters but not corny or over the top. They were actually pretty scary sounding which was awesome. And the different accents he used for the many German and one Irish character were great. Very well done. I particularly like his voice for a nerdy guy who worked at the history museum. The audiobook is a real treat to listen to and was very well done. R.C. Quartermaine is a talent I plan on listening to again.
The ending was very satisfying. It wrapped everything up well but still left a huge danger that the characters are going to have to deal with at some point in the future, but the ones who survive to the end of the book are left in a great place. I love it when a book can make me laugh even at its darkest most intense parts and this book did that for me at the end. Some of the things Ezra said and the ways he reacted to what was going on were priceless and had me rooting for him and laughing really hard. It was awesome and put a smile on my face.
Wow. Fantastic book. I'm looking forward to more from this author. He is talented and tells a great dark fun creepy funny awesome story. 5 stars all the way. Loved this book.
This was an unique young adult paranormal thriller. It had a touch of Frankenstein and much more. An evil necromancer is trying to open a portal to another dimension to gain power. To erase the seal that keeps the doorway closed requires human sacrifice.
Ezra is a gifted artist and also has a psychic gift which he is just now coming into. Through the efforts of a dedicated detective, Ezra, his girl friend and the necromancer former mentor and now adversary and his family will the necromancer be stopped?
There is a lot of action and there is a question at the end regarding one of the heroes and if he actually died, leaving way for a sequel.
This was an action packed suspenseful horror/thriller and I am eagerly awaiting the next book of the series.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
Great book. The author did a great job of keeping me guessing and listening to learn more. The narration was spot on. Give this one a listen.
I received this in exchange for an honest review from Audiobook Blast and S. Lee Benedict.
The Heart Thief is was certainly a surprising listen! Right from the opening chapter I was pulled in and there were so many twists and turns that I had a hard time putting it aside.
The Heart Thief follows Ezra Keene, and a few adults, as they slowly learn the truth of their sleepy town and what is behind a string of gruesome murders. I knew right away I’d either really enjoy this one or hate it entirely, but either way I knew I was in for a ride. Then book opens with a gripping chapter on the history of Rapp’s Barren, giving hints at what to expect in the modern day story. I loved all the nods and references to other sci-fi stories out there like Star Wars and H.P. Lovecraft. I also really liked that this wasn’t a straightforward paranormal mystery but had horror elements and plenty of build up/action to feast on. It’s definitely not lighter fare but I personally really loved the creepy atmosphere and characters, and the tension was perfect for the Halloween season. The writing ws also fantastic with it’s quick pacing and attention to detail.
Ezra is an easy character to like, he’s down to earth and has a bit of self inflicted sass that I find really endearing in characters. He’s brave but not a show off and capable of thinking before he speaks, which I’ll be honest and say is sort of a rarity in itself. I also really liked Wolfgang even though he’s really quiet, his backstory and reason for being reserved was somewhat heart wrenching and I found myself happy that he found an unlikely friend in Ezra. The villain in this is really messed up, and I mean that in a good way. I love a bad guy who likes to test the limits of what they can do, a comfortable villain is a lazy villain.
The narration is excellent, with plenty of different voices all with their own little flair. My favorite being Wolfgang and his family, and the villain himself who I thought had the right amount joyful hysteria to really make that character even creepier.
Overall I’m super happy that I decided to request this one, and I’m excited to see that it’s going to be a series as well. I had my initial reservations about it, but it turned into a fun listen that really made a slow day at work much more enjoyable.
I was provided this audio book at no charge by the author of this book in exchange for an unbiased review of this book.
I loved this book. It has a lot of variables and has alot of great elements action, suspense, coming of age story, and paranormal sciences.
is very believable and relatable, great to read, very developed and depicted so I could almost see the town, forest, cemetery, and the museum.
Ezra, Emma, and Wolfgang have adventures that made me not want to put this down till I was done.
I am addicted to books. Nothing makes me happier than crawling inside a good book.
The ability to alter the voices especially the German accents.
The connection between brothers Ezra and Tobias.
No I've not listened to his other performances. Nothing to compare to.
No due to the length of the book.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.
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I don't have a print copy of the story to make comparisons to, but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook.
This book just comes shy of being superhero fiction, and I actually was reminded of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson as I was reading it; not in content of course but rather something about the writing style and mood.
I really liked the action of the opening scene even though it's not about the primary characters and it isn't immediately obvious why it's important to the story.
I'm no good at tag lines but if I were to paint this story I would do so in soft pastel blues and grays against a rainy gothic city background. As the scene shifts a splash of harsh red and the shadow of an unseen monster just outside of site.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.”
The Heart Thief: The Rhapp's Barren Triptych, Volume 1 written by S. Lee Benedict and narrated by R. C. Quartermaine is speculative fiction at it's best. Mr. Benedict does an excellent job fusing elements of Pulp Horror, Science Fiction, and Urban Fantasy together.
It's an action packed, plot driven young adult novel that's not bogged down by excessive info dumping or maudlin romance. The book moves seamlessly from beginning to end and although we come to a satisfying stopping point at the end; we are also left with a hook to reel us into the next part of the story.
As for the narration, The Heart Thief is told through multiple points of view both male and female. Thankfully R. C. Quartermaine handles these shifts in a masterful fashion and each person has a distinct voice. I was never left wondering who was speaking. His voice is very, very pleasant to listen to.
Some of my impressions while reading the book:
2.0% "Has an action packed prolog and my first impression of the narrator is really good."
12.0% "Very easy to listen to so far."
37.0% "Ghoulish villains abound, oh my..."
62.0% "Very interesting story so far... it's sort of got a pulp hero / weird science slant to it. Ha-ha, I can't help imagining the family as looking sort of like the Addams family though..."
76.0% "I should be sleeping... I'm going to be so dead tired tomorrow..."
Recommended to fans of Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart, Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and other readers of highly imaginative fiction.
This was a really interesting book! The mix of real world and the world of magic/supernatural, was different, and I really liked that. There were also supernatural elements that aren't seen as much as witchcraft and magic in books.
The narrator, R.C Quartermaine, did a wonderful job giving each of the characters a signature sound or "voice". Some of the more sinister characters were especially well done.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom.
Action, Suspence, . . .Magic
I enjoyed the journey that Ezra takes in the book. He is new in his school which is hard on anyone, especially hard on someone dealing with a death. To find that the nightmare that you drew actually happened and all the other oddities including one of his classmates. It would ruin the story to give out many details. So I will say I found the book engaging and satisfying.
I don't believe I have ever listened to R.C. Quarter wine before. I was happy with the narration. The characters were easily identified by his voice changes.
There are monsters in the shadows! Beware!
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher, and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
I was given a complimentary copy of this audiobook for my honest review from Audiobook Boom.
The Heart Thief has an intriguing premise and the cover gives it an ethereal feel, so I expected a whimsical paranormal YA. But this isn't too whimsical, and I would say a bit dark and twisted for a YA novel. This book was a gruesome part police procedural with a creepy serial killer, part paranormal with magic and demon realms and mad scientists.
The main character Ezra has a special ability that he only begins to manifest and explore as this inhuman monster creature is literally tearing hearts out of people's chests. These events are described in quite a bit of detail, and poor Ezra wakes up to drawings he has made of these murders. He teams up with a cute girl from his class and a family who is very suspiciously awkward, and cold to the touch, with some interesting abilities of their own.
So like I said, really interesting premise. The idea is quite Buffy or Supernatural. And that is right up my alley. So I really wanted to enjoy it more, but it was mostly just alright for me.
The story itself kind of dragged for me because the madman kept collecting these hearts, from a specific bloodline of people, and it seemed like no one could stop him. Not even the other doctor who followed him out to that little town. He almost just stands by. That bothered me a lot. DO SOMETHING, don't just observe and have Ezra astral project himself to find the lair. It felt like the cop was the bigger hero, and he even couldn't do much against the magic and the UBERMENSCH.
The set up for the series of demonic realms and all is quite fascinating, and some interesting bombs were dropped at the very end. But I think me and this writing style don't get along well. I want more Buffy, and less Law and Order. The narration was good for what this was, but the style didn't help the police procedural feel of this read. The narrator did great with accents, though!
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