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Publisher's Summary

"Levi Adams isn't good in social settings, but he's great at killing things. A dark tale of vengeance and redemption (with a healthy dose of ass kicking), James Hunter's MudMan is a knockdown beat-'em-up that doesn't pull any punches." (Domino Finn, author of the Black Magic Outlaw series)

Levi Adams is a soft-spoken middle-aged Mennonite man - at least he tries to be when he's not murdering people.

Levi's a golem, a mudman, crafted from the muck, mire, and corpses of a World War II concentration camp. Killing is just a part of his DNA. He doesn't like it, but unfortunately he's been saddled with a divine commission to dole out judgment on those who shed innocent blood. After 70 years as a cold-blooded murder machine, however, Levi's trying to change his grisly nature. And the AA meetings and church services are helping. A little. But when he runs across a wounded girl, Sally Ryder, during one of his hunting expeditions, he realizes self-help may have to go on the back burner.

Someone is attempting to revive a pre-Babylonian murder god, and the road to rebirth is paved with dead bodies. Lots and lots of them. Now Levi must protect Ryder - the key to an unspeakable resurrection - and defeat a Nazi mage from Levi's murky past. But the shadowy mage holds a terrible secret about the mudman's unorthodox birth, one offering insight into Levi's morbid compulsion for bloodshed. It's a secret Levi would pay anything to uncover - maybe even Ryder's life. If Levi isn't careful, he may end up turning into the monster he always imagined himself to be.

©2016 James A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press, Inc. (P)2016 James A. Hunter and Shadow Alley Press, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Body of Mud but a heart of gold

I first became fascinated with golems way back when I was a kid. I found a book about old movie monsters, and it presented the silent film, The Golem or Der Golem. I was enchanted by the concept of a word bringing life and the erasure of it taking that life away. After that, I always kept an eye out for golems, and I have to say that it is intently refreshing that we get a monster that isn't your typical brand. No vamp, werewolf, ghost, etc. We get a Golem. Of course, there are golems in Discworld, and I relished their appearances and their attempt to become free workers, but the best iteration I have ever seen of a golem came in DC Comic's Ragman. Much like here that golem started out almost mindless, just protecting the people in the jewish slum from nazis, but as time went on he began to become more human, growing features (except a mouth) and almost making it into being fully human. His ending was sad, but it was a great tale about a golem.

Now, the master, James Hunter has taken up the torch and carries on the good fight with Levi Adams, a shapeshifting golem who just happens to exist in the world of Mr. Yancy Lazarus. Can I say hell yeah! Although Yancy doesn't make the scene it's ok, as Levi and his leprechaun pal, Chuck MacLeti, face off against someone you may know from the Yancy Series. Hogg ring any bells? How bout a Hogg Call!

With the sad announcement that the yancy series will be concluding around the eighth installment, I can happily see this series carrying on Hunter's Urban Fantasy world. I hope that is the case, because I will get Yancy withdrawl. Levi looks to be a most worthy successor.

I am not going to recap the book. That is what blurbs are for, check that out if you need to know what the story is all about. I will tell you that the book is typical Hunter (which is a very GOOD thing) fare with fights, blood flying, dismemberments, and utter destruction being rained down, all the while you have some smart acre quips and irrenverence from a certain irish fella. The writing is fresh, and his take on what a golem is and does is pretty dope. Did I just say dope? Sorry, but it is cool, and the character of Levi is captivating. The antagonists are suitably dark and deserving of some muddy justice.

Armen Taylor, who you may recognize from his narration on the Viridian Gate series as well as the War God's mantle, takes up the reigns to speak for Levi and co. I am a little surprised, because, as this is Yancy's world I would have thought that James would have kept things consistent and had Charlie Kevin do the honors. I like things compartmentalized, and seperate if possible. So the choice threw me off.

I must admit, though, that Taylor does a fantastic job here. He's never stumbled or mumbled his way through a book yet, and his voices for each character are distinct and unique. He is very clear and easy to follow, and I really do appreciate his skills. I don't want you to think that he is in any way inferior or superior to Charlie Kevin. I like both of their work, and Taylor always manages to kick a story in the rear and keep it rocking on, he never lets the story lag and always holds your attention.

If I have to complain about anything I think I will say that the cover to the book is not my favorite. It is certainly not up to the standards of what we see with VGO or Yancy Lazarus. Those covers, including War God's, are just beautiful to look at. This cover just looks rushed and cheap. No offfense to the artist, but compare it to any other book that Hunter has released and you will see some quality artwork. I think it is the eyes, something about them does not sit right with me, and that throws the whole thing off. Just my opinion. Not taking any stars away, but I really think just having a brown blob on the cover with some blood splatter doesn't help to sell the book. I'dve like to have seen him smashing someone or something. That might have helped to sell the concept via the picture. Sorry, James. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wasn't sure if I'd like this, but I did!

If you could sum up MudMan in three words, what would they be?

Imaginative, Compelling, Violent

Any additional comments?

I thought this would be too violent for me, but thought I'd take the chance since I really like everything else I've read from James Hunter. I'm glad I did, the story was great, performance was great, and it was really imaginative.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great UF book!

What did you love best about MudMan?

Levi Adams is a golem who goes to church. I thought that was a cool idea.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Levi has the most development and backstory. It might have been the way Armen portrayed her, but the girl seemed like a total B.

Which character – as performed by Armen Taylor – was your favorite?

I wasn't a fan of all the voices. The German one was hard to understand. But that is just my preference when listening to books. I didn't rate the performance on my own preference and Armen does a fine job...if you're into that sort of thing.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I think this would be best as a comic book or graphic novel.

Any additional comments?

This is a great world to get engulfed in. I am excited to check out the other books that James has made in this setting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of bible - some cliche

Bads
I'm not of religion, so the frequent religious references and texts were a bit annoying (I honestly didn't read the summary before getting started). The characters all exhibited some fairly cliche attributes for their types, but the character arch for MudMan was decent. There was an expo dump about 4 hours from completion that I felt could've gone more elegantly.

Goods
The action was all great
Main character development was good (side characters could've had a little more, or at least the supporting character could've.)
Some of the mythos was really cool
Armen's performance is always awesome, he had a good range for everything

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great addition to the Yancy Lazarus universe!

I will say first off that I am a huge fan of of this author's Yancy Lazarus urban fantasy books, so when I heard there was a spinoff in the same universe, I just had to check it out. I am glad I did, because this one went in some wild directions even Yancy Lazarus doesn't go! I am now a huge fan of this character as well, and hopefully, you will check it out and discover how good it is!

Levi Adams is trying to be a good person. He goes to church, tries to live a simple Mennonite life, and keeps under the radar. Unfortunately, he has an unfortunate addiction: murder. Well, not just any murder. You see, since awakening in a shallow pit grave in a death camp in Nazi Germany, Levi, who is a stone golem, has been killing bad guys ever since, starting with the Nazi scum murderers. Levi just want to live in peace now, to atone for his "sins", but sometimes he just needs to kill bad guys. To do that, he goes into The Sprawl , the secret home of the supernatural. There, he can find monsters aplenty doing evil deeds they need to be killed for.

While doing a little seasonal cleanup by murder of some Kobocs, some evil little blue skinned monsters, Levi, also known as Mudman, comes across their shaman about to perform a human sacrifice. The sacrifice, Sally Ryder, is on deaths doorstep when Levi uses his own blood, the elixir of life, to save her. After a hair raising escape, Levi and Sally are off to try and figure out whey Sally was being sacrificed. The answer is terrifying. Someone is trying to break a hugely powerful biblical baddie from the ancient high tech prison in the far end of the Sprawl's wasteland. This does lead to the origin of Atlantis, which was a great shock of a scene. After Sally is recaptured and the ritual is then attempted, Levi and some new allies break in to attempt to stop what will basically lead to an apocalyptic event. Levi also discovers who his creator was, and it is not at all who he expected, although if you have read the Yancy Lazarus books, you will know who it is. Levi has to make some sacrifices if he want to have any chance of stopping these threats, and its a close run thing. Levi has to determine if he will be what he was truly created to be, or if he is a free thinking creature, regardless of instincts. The climactic battle basically determines Levi's course for the rest of his existence.

Like all his book, James Hunter really lavishes attention on his characters. Well described and drawn out, you can really get into their thoughts and motivations. Especially with Levi, you can feel his struggle to fight his instincts to be a monster killing machine, that he feels true guilt and remorse for all those he has killed since he was created. OK, maybe not the Nazis so much, but the others. Their physical descriptions are also top notch. You can really see Levi in his multiple forms in your head, as if he was standing right next to you, as well as Sally, or Dr. Hogg.

The setting, the world building, is an extension of the Yancy Lazarus books, taken in new directions. The prison setting was especially creative, as were its guardians. The underground Koboc Warrens are well described, and not something you'd see in the Lazarus books, because no way would a human, even a mage, want to go down there. Levi, though, can go where others can't. All in all, an excellent addition to this universe.

The narration was handled by Armen Taylor, who also narrated the author's Viridion Gate LitRPG series. He brings a real voice to the monster that is Levi. Speaking without a lot of inflection without becoming monotone is tough, but he hits just the right notes bringing Levi to life. His voice work with the other characters, whether it be Sally Ryder, Dr. Hogg or even the
villain, was all spot on, and really got you into what the characters were doing. Definitely a top notch effort.
If you have read the Yancy Lazarus books, this book should have a familiar feeling, while bringing in all new elements that flesh out the universe. It hits all the right notes, and makes you want to see what comes next, something every author should hope for. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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better than I expected

I just love the story! a golum that was created to kill Nazis decides to be a better man and to control his killing. he really is an unexpected super hero.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not as strong as Yancy

I can't say I enjoyed this one much. The lead character in the story is not really an enjoyable character. The supporting characters are far more interesting and sympathetic.

There were a number of times during the story that the obviousness of the situation made the main character seem beyond dumb. Situations where the character ignores an obvious solution because a more circuitous solution allowed him to show some "new" ability that would have been unnecessary if the simplest solution were used.

A lot of the story felt forced. And the main character felt like he was shoe horned in to fill the role of generic protagonist.

I love Jame's Yancy stories, and I suppose I'm just disappointed with this one by comparison.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

I enjoyed this story. I recommend it to everyone. I would buy more in this series. The narrator did a fine job. Hi Sarah and John.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a good urban fantasy

the narrator was amazing, giving distinct voice to each character. the story was good but I winced at moments of dialog. some of the banter was not up to par with the interesting character development.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • HUTTO, TX, US
  • 12-13-16

Great Listen!

James Hunter's contemporary supernatural universe is truly a fun listen. i highly recommend this and the Yancy Lazarus series. you won't be disappointed.