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Banebringer

The Heretic Gods, Book 1
Narrated by: Eric Bryan Moore
Series: The Heretic Gods, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Book one of The Heretic Gods

Banebringers. Source of the bloodbane who stalk the land. Cause of a thousand wrongs. Despised. Cast out. Hunted.

Vaughn never asked for the powers of a long-forgotten moon goddess. But rarely do the gods give humans a choice when using them in their machinations. Now Vaughn is a Banebringer, loathed by all who discover his true identity - even his father, a man obsessed with his own power and bent on destroying Vaughn's miserable life.

Vaughn is desperate to end his father before the madman ends him. But to do so, he'll need the skills of Ivana, a vindictive assassin with her own scores to settle. The only question is whether Vaughn can keep himself from becoming another of her targets long enough to see his father eliminated.

©2018 Carol A. Park (P)2019 Carol A. Park

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Great Story & Narration🎧 Fascinating & Captivating

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Carol A. Park creates an imaginative world with interesting characters and storylines, as well as terrific world dynamics and what a “Banebringer” is, how they come about and what they can do. She has wonderful writing style, descriptive and detail orientated she builds her story in a way that makes you eager to learn more. Her characters are complex and continue to develop as the story goes on. The two leads are my favorite characters, Vaughn and Ivana aka Sweetblade, I loved how they met and how their relationship built over time. There is so much to depth to these characters it was great to learn more about each. Ivana history and how she became who she was, an extremely strong and independent, cunning woman who is quick on her feet. Vaughn is such a nice guy, I liked his attitude and how he did not give up on his mission or on Ivana. His father was a real piece of work, we are shown what power hungry people do to remain in power, the way of their world made up of lies, prejudices and hate. That said we are also shown goodness, what some do to survive, prevail and help others in need. I highly recommend this book, there is never a dull moment, it is beautifully plotted, with plenty of drama, angst, action, a bit of mystery, suspense and some touching and heartfelt moments. I hope to see more of the two lead characters, there is definitely something between them, a trusting bond was formed, they just need to get past their own barriers, especially Ivana. Thank you Carol A. Park for this fantastic story.

I listened to the Audible edition, Eric Bryan Moore is a fabulous narrator and voice artist. He brings these characters to life, giving each their own voice and personality. He did an amazing job projecting the emotions and attitude of the characters as well as the drama of the story into his performance. His portrayal of these characters were pure perfection, I loved his Vaughn, how he humanized him, also loved his Ivana, grasping her strength, hardness and determination. He is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for this fantastic listen🎧

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Excellent book in all ways

Banebringer is a book that was on my radar for quite a while, especially with such a cool cover and a few good reviews from trustworthy sources. Here are just some of the ways in which I think the book shined:
- Well-written characters that are flawed, are willing to explore their motives and biases, and who ultimately land on the side of a code of morality.
- A world that is both well outside of what could be humanly possible, and yet strangely comfortable and plausible.
- A multi-layered, multi-faceted plot that has plenty of unpredictable moments, and is full of political and familial involvement.

While the best books will need to hold up in all those areas, I will always be drawn most to books that handle its characters best. This book did that extremely well, most notably in its main characters. I was especially compelled by Ivana. She was written with such a complex backstory that was revealed in small tantalizing glimpses as the story progressed, and by the end, her motives that were shown throughout became not only clear, but filled me with so much respect for her. She has flaws, and she does not let many people get close to her, and that makes her very relatable. I found myself running the gamut of emotions around her arc from frustrated to disappointed to simpathetic.

The world was full of texture, nuance and depth. Just one example was the magic system. It felt somewhat fresh and new, authentic and viable. I especially loved the twist that demonic creatures would be unleashed into the world if certain individuals were killed. This added a layer of consequence to every action, and prevented fight scenes from simply becoming a bloodbath. Speaking of the creatures, there were so many unique and interesting monsters that were a treat to read.

Finally, I loved the tone of this book. This a world with its share of darkness and struggle, but it wasn’t grim. (After a run of several grim books I have recently read, this struck a perfect balance between morality and a broken world.) I loved that there was a little hope interwoven through this book, a willingness to stand up for those who are disadvantaged, and a commitment to what is right.

This is a book that I easily recommend, easily giving it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am very curious to see where the series goes from here. I would like to thank the author for the copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Strangely Fun

Enjoyed this strange and different book. Narration was spot on. Really good story.

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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Highly entertaining!

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were lovable and I love how they were moving beyond their prejudices and forming friendships and relationships. I was hooked from the beginning and I highly recommend this

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A Banter-Filled Romp with Shots of Action

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

I found this book to be charming and witty. Its use of both light and dark humor were well balanced and kept a bit of an edgy feel throughout the story. The concepts behind the Banebringers and Bloodbanes were intriguing and left me with many questions as to the hows and why's, which in my opinion is a good thing, these questions help to leave an open avenue for the author to continue the series and and potentially shed light on the subjects.

Eric Bryan Moore gave a wonderful performance in his portrayal of the characters within. He kept his pace even and his sense of presence never wavered that i could hear (IE: his voices for characters never got mixed up). I have no qualms or complaints about his efforts in this production.

My only real gripe with the story was the MC's flip-flopping disposition in regards to the female lead. One moment he is the living embodiment of Casanova and the next he is a fumbling, bumbling teenager with a penchant for opening his mouth one too many times and making that one extra comment that spoils the scene. Though this was likely intentional, it was frustrating for me personally. I yelled at the main character more than a few times...

In the end, I found this to be a great title and I'm personally looking forward to further installments of the Heretic Gods series.

To Carol A Park and Eric Bryan Moore. Thank you both for bringing life to this story and inviting the rest of us to share it.

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An excellent beginning

First to get it out of the way, "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."
That being said, This story is a wonderful introduction to Carol A. Park. If you haven't heard of Carol yet, you most definitely will soon. This new author is one to keep your eyes on.
The book Banebringer quickly draws you in and carries you along to a very satisfactory conclusion. The character development is solid. the plot flows smoothly, and the world mechanics are well thought out.
There's is some light romance, nothing over the top or contrived. Some violence, but then again nothing unnecessarily graphic. So this is a book parents will not have to be concerned about.
The narrator Eric Moore delivers a spot on performance that breaths added life to this gem. This is my first encounter with Eric and he delivers a performance that may having you wanting to check out more of his work.
I look forward to more from Carol. If Banebringer is anything to go by, it should be interesting .

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Great first book in a fantasy series

Disclaimer: This audiobook was provided at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

The book hooked me pretty early on with the unique twist on magic in the form of blood/ether and Banebringers/Banebloods. The connections made between everything were very clear, and there were some pretty cool lore based explanations for the magic system. I liked the character developments even with some of the more classic tropes popping up here and there. It was a fun listen for the near 15 hours over 9 days. I am eagerly hoping that the second book will be adapted to audible as well.... and I hope that it uses the same narrator. On the narration front, Eric did a great job. I liked the voices and the expression of the characters.

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Almost up there with my Fantasy favorites ....

3.5 stars. I liked this. It didn't feel like 500+ pages. BUT ... it didn't GRAB me like some other epic fantasy stories I've read. I just never quite connected with the characters the way I have with [book:Enchantress|22617388], [book:Finnikin of the Rock|4932435], [book:Three Dark Crowns|28374007], [book:The Hundredth Queen|40706756], [book:Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set|6604209] ... this DID remind me of the Mistborn series a bit. Burning aether (Mistborn would consume and burn metals for different "powers") ...

I got a little confused at the names, as they were unique and each many seemed to have several (ie Vaughn/Teyrnon/Heilyn) plus the "Da" "Dal" (Mrs/Mr titles?).

The Banebringer idea was interesting and unique - as were all the different types of Bloodbanes.

I received the audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. I liked the narrator. Very good. I also was able to snag the Kindle copy, as it's included in Kindle Unlimited. I didn't really refer to the text until I was done (sometimes I need to if I feel like I missed something in the audio, which is easy to do). Looking back over the text ... I wonder if I would have caught more/connected more reading it myself. Just a little slower, more concentrated (I admit I'm multi-tasking while listening and I can get distracted ... but then again several of the books mentioned above were all experienced in audio format).

I am interested in the sequels ...

Parental Perspective: On AudiobookBoom, it was labeled L/V for language/violence. I don't recall language - I guess "damn" was there a bit, but no F-bomb (usually the proFanity when listed). A bit surprised S/Sex wasn't listed, because it was quite prevalent throughout, somewhat explicit. Of course there is violence when one of the characters is an assassin and there are monsters.

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A fascinating and brilliantly crafted dark fantasy

Here we have a complex and fascinating story with brilliantly imagined characters and plenty of mystery.

Eric Bryan Moore's narration of the audiobook is very good. As is common, he struggles to create believable opposite-gender voices, but otherwise his voices are distinct and well crafted. His vocal inflections are on point and his tempo shifts throughout the text easily convey the tension of each scene.

From the very beginning, Vaughn is a fascinating character that clearly has a deep and sordid past, while generally (at least trying to be) a good person.

It's not immediately apparent just what it means to be a Banebringer, but clearly it has its uses.

Ivanna, on the other hand, at first appears to be a walking contradiction. A mixture of qualities that seems all-but-impossible. Before long, however, we see that she, too, is largely a product of her environment.

The political and social/cultural structure of the world is fascinating and original, as is the magic system. It's really unlike anything I've ever seen, yet somehow also feels eerily familiar.

I must confess, however, to a bit of disappointment concerning the banebringers. I was really hoping for a clear explanation of just what exactly they are, where they come from, and how they're made.

Now, as the story progresses it becomes increasingly clear that there is far more going on than is readily apparent. What began as a simple revenge story quickly becomes far more.

I have to give the author props. This is the first time I've read a book with such an obvious romance subplot that had a believable reason not to reach its culmination in record time!

Although at times I wanted to scream at Vaughn for being an idiot, the whole thing is very well constructed and at times actually rather sweet.

Well done!

The closest thing I have to a criticism is there are a number of points where we just skip over days, weeks, or even months with no real inkling as to what was happening in the interim other than a vague, nebulous idea of "preparation" or "research."

Finally, the ending.
Again, more details would have really heightened the experience, but between the last two major climaxes in the book we come to a pretty epic conclusion to this fantastic story. It brings together several plot threads to provide a very satisfying ending while still leaving tons of room for the continuation of the story.

I'll definitely be reading further in this series!

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A fun blending of fantasy and some science fiction

“Banebringer” is the first book in the Heretic Gods series and the premiere audiobook from author Carol A. Park. To me, the fantasy story felt a bit like the Mistborn series from author Brandon Sanderson when it comes to its use of magic, whereas the rest of the story is rather unique. The book is masterfully narrated by Eric Bryan Moore; who I enjoyed very much from the Damian Stockwell series of audiobooks. If you are looking for a new fantasy story with a bit of science fiction mixed in, you might want to give this book a listen. After completing the audiobook, I found the overall feel to be a fantasy Romeo and Juliet coming of age type story with a much happier ending.

The story consists of a pantheon of gods like those found in a Greek mythology tale. These gods have the ability to grant or force upon humans’ specific powers based on what they are a god of; for example: water, sun, moon, etc. An individual in exchange gives this god their loyalty and devotion. When an individual has been blessed (or cursed) by the gods, they become a banebringer. What makes banebringers so dangerous is that if one is killed, on purpose or accidentally, a powerful beast is released causing havoc and destruction to those around. Because of this rather negative byproduct of killing a banebringer, often people remain clear of them, or if known, they attempt to sedate the individual to limit the risks of releasing the creature within. This story follows Vaughn, who is a banebringer not by his own choice, but this power was thrust upon him by a long-forgotten moon goddess. He is the son of a king, yet because of this power given him, he is now on the run for his life.

The story brings together two very unique and different people. Both are trying to make right past wrongs along with discovering not only new things about themselves, but those journeying with them as well. One has the potential of becoming a future king (Vaughn) and the other is a very skilled and competent assassin for hire (Ivana). What you will discover early on is that these two are like trying to mix oil and water. Each has their own agenda and yet neither is able to accomplish their intended goals without the help of the other. Just as a story consists of many stages, we are given a view into the many stages of relationship building between our main characters and there are many ups and downs along the way. We find the many connections both learn about the others past and even present struggles. We see them move from selfish desires to selfless ones as the grow and mature. I can say that I found the book to contain a bit more romance than I would have expected in a book of this genre, although it was always there in the background, it was not overly expressed.

Add to the deep character development, detailed scenery and well-defined goals, you also have a dark hidden and covert group called the Conclave. This is one group of people you did not want to upset or get on their wrong side. I would have liked to have had more details released on this secretive group, however I suspect some of this will come in future books in the series. What I found somewhat interesting were some of the more science fiction elements sprinkled within the book. My preferred genres are both fantasy and science fiction, and I found this book even better by blending them into one. There was research, experimenting and some technology used to discover and uncover things about banebringers. The magic system relied on ether and other physical properties which could be investigated and tested.

Regarding the audiobook’s narration by Eric Bryan Moore, it was deep, rich, and engaging. I felt that he understood the characters and was able to bring them to life with his performance. He did an excellent job of giving the different characters traits and unique voices making it easy to distinguish as the story progressed. I also though the use of inflection was spot on. I could feel the times of action, emotion, and tension the characters faced. The audio quality was professionally produced with no noticeable audio artifacts apart from a slight added patch. Apart from this, the narration was exceptional.

For parents and younger listeners, I do not recall the use of vulgar language nor do I have it marked in my notes. There is some light romance along with aspects of mature material often found in a coming of age book.

In summary, the book felt a bit longer than it could have been. Yet, I thought the author did a good job of focusing on the importance of companionship, dealing with current and past emotions along with some added romance. While listening, you get a good understanding of the pain of opening up new wounds and making oneself vulnerable once again to others. I found the action to be exciting, the character development to be well-done, and the purpose defined. It is a solid story that could have been a bit more concise in areas, but I think for a premiere work, it is a good start to a new series.

Disclaimer: This audiobook was provided at no charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

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  • Syed Sahaf
  • 01-03-20

Amazing

Really loved it, found it very satisfying and enjoyable to read. The world-building is also incredibly strong and I found myself completely immersed in it. It's a darker world that lends itself to dark fantasy well without falling into the straight-out grimdark category, and it has so much detail that really makes this feel like a complete world