Cooper Causey spent a lifetime eluding the demons of his youth and suppressing the destructive power inside him. But a disconcerting voicemail lures Cooper back home to the coast of South Carolina and to Warfield, the deserted plantation where his darkness first awakened. While searching for his missing grandmother, Cooper uncovers the truth about his ancestry and becomes a pawn in an ancient war between two supernatural races. In order to protect the only man he's ever loved, Cooper must embrace the dark power threatening to consume him, and choose sides in a deadly war between the righteous and the fallen.
What does Gary Furlong bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
The narrator, Gary Furlong, nailed the voices and accents in this story. He gave voice to the characters and brought the story to life for me. Gary invokes the emotions and anxiousness of the characters he portrays. I felt like i was right there with Cooper battling Alexander.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
The action and intensity in this story made me want to listen to it in one sitting. I even found myself dreaming about the characters at night.
Any additional comments?
Blood Divine was my introduction to both the author and the narrator. I am definitely adding author Greg Howard to my TBR list. He weaved together complex character with a thrilling edge of your seat story that Gary Furlong then brought to life with his fantastic voice.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
4★ Audiobook⎮ Blood Divine has everything that I love. It combines paranormal elements with a Southern Gothic setting. There are witches, ghosts, and vampires. Best of all, it’s a generational tale about a family that carries a coveted supernatural bloodline.
Blood Divine was the perfect listen for August. August is that weird time of the year when summer is coming to a close and Fall is just around the corner. I love listening to Southern Gothic stories in the heat of the summer and spooky paranormal tales leading up to Halloween. Blood Divine was the ultimate crossroads for those indulgences.
My favorite thing about Blood Divine was the family angle. I love when stories give me the urge to map out a family tree. The Phipps family goes back for generations, several of which are named in the story. Understanding the family is essential to understanding the story. I just thank God there was no incest in this one. Those trees are a nightmare. Sideye: Anne Rice.
I was initially hesitant about Cooper, the protagonist, because he seemed like the love ’em and leave ’em type and there’s only so much of that I can take. Cooper’s character development was a lovely surprise. He was much more palatable after a certain officer of the law entered his life again. I became extremely emotionally invested in their relationship and loved the turn it took near the end. There was the briefest of hints of a love triangle formation, which (given the characters) I would have been more than fine with, but Howard decided to take things in a different direction. In the end, I can see that it was the wisest choice for everyone.
The secondary characters were more prominently portrayed than typical secondary characters. That is to say that they felt like much more than “sidekicks”. It almost seems as if each of them deserves a series of their own. Howard has a knack for developing distinct, individualistic characters. Any one of them could have anchored the story on their own. Because of this, I wanted more from each of them. But because there was so much action, there wasn’t a lot of time for in-depth backstories, which would have considerably slowed the pace. Howard did a fine job of giving just enough information, explicitly or implicitly (through character actions), to keep the listener up to speed. So much of these characters’ personas were shown rather than told. In the case of Blood Divine, actions really were louder than words.
Blood Divine was a very plot driven story. There was a lot going on. Howard spent his time developing the world as a whole and introducing the listener to the various species that inhabit his world. I wish there had been more focus on developing the many interesting characters, but I’ll have to be patient. There’s so much untapped potential here. Blood Divine seems like just the beginning. I can’t wait to see how Greg Howard fleshes this story out.
Narration review: As soon as I saw Gary Furlong listed as the narrator, I knew I had to hear Blood Divine. I loved Furlong’s performance in Timekeeper. Once again, I was impressed with his ability to provide such varied character distinctions. When reviewing his narration for Timekeeper, I marveled at his ability to trade his natural Irish accent for an English one. After hearing Blood Divine, I feel like Furlong is just showing off. Not only did he perform the entire story with an American accent, but he also performed much of it with a Southern accent! I was only able to catch one word that wasn’t properly pronounced: Aunt. As an Irishman, Furlong most likely had no way of knowing this, but it should be pronounced like “ant”. Don’t ask me why. Other than that, Furlong did a thoroughly convincing job. ♣︎
➜This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its author, Greg Howard, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Greg!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This paranormal mystery has some Southern Gothic flair to it while also being set in the modern day world. Cooper Causey starts off as a bit of a man whore, flitting from man to man in a string of one-night stands. Part of him knows he wants a deeper relationship yet he runs from the idea of it. Then he gets a very strange and a little frightening voicemail from his granma, his only family left, and he hightails it to South Carolina and then Warfield to rescue her. Turns out Granma Maymay (as the locals call her) had some secrets! I can’t recall her real name – Anne-May? Lilly May? I think it was Granma Lilly May so I’ll just call her that.
What a treat this book was! The dark Gothic style to it pulled me right in. I love that there’s family secrets Cooper has to dig up even as he has to decide whether or not to keep his own secrets. He’s gay and he doesn’t know how Lilly May will take it. Silly Cooper! You’ve got much bigger problems on your hands!
So he calls the cops to help locate Lilly May and in walks 6 ft 4 in tall, all muscle, Chief of Police Randy. Yep, Cooper had a crush on him in his teen years and it seems that crush hasn’t faded. Definitely a complication when Cooper doesn’t need one, but a very handsome complication. So, the police are doing their thing when Betsy swoops in and rescues Cooper from Alexander and Stephen (our two main nemeses).
That’s when Cooper has to learn all about the Anakim, which are basically vampires, and how Betsy and her crew have been working hard for centuries to eradicate them from the planet. Cooper’s bloodline has special powers and are called the Divinum. Cooper’s blood does special things for the Anakim.
The story becomes a bit of a hostage swap game as Alexander demands Cooper submit to him as a blood slave in exchange for whoever he has captured at the moment. Yes, there’s plenty of flirtatious and lascivious comments, some double entendres, and some outright compliments between all the men. They often lightened up the mood, putting a little humor into the story line.
I especially liked the two old lady ghosts that set up watch and info center at the Phipps house (Lilly May’s place). Now these ladies don’t like to be called ghosts as that’s an out dated term and considered a little insulting. They prefer to be called spirits. So even as Cooper is learning his ethereal political correctness, one of these old ladies uses out dated terms, such as Negro, which was commonly used when she was alive. Cooper tries to bring them up to speed but eventually shelves it for more important matters. This whole situation gave me a bit of a chuckle.
All together, it was a very good listen. I liked the mystery, and the mystique, the jokes and the underlying seriousness to many of them, the bad guys and their minions, the good guys and their complicated motivations. The story wraps up several major points but leaves plenty open for a sequel. I do so hope things work out OK for Cooper!
The Narration: Gary Furlong is the reason I decided to give this book a listen and I’m very glad I did. The story was engaging and Furlong added to that with his excellent narration. He was perfect as Cooper while also keeping all the other characters distinct. He performed a few regional accents and his female characters were believable. I really liked his voice for Randy both when he was pissed off and in his softer more intimate moments.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Greg Howard. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Spooky and supernatural, this tale is perfect for an October read! What would be your first thought if you returned to your hometown because you suspected someone that you loved was in danger. If you received several missed phone calls and a voicemail that says "he's back"? That would totally freak anyone out right? First, who is "HE" and then second, why would he want your family? Knowing that not all of the his family's story had been told, Cooper has so quick catch-up of his family history that needs to happen before he can have any chance of saving his family and friends. From what? He has no idea, but he knows that he will soon find out and the secrets that were kept may be older than he could have imagined.
Cooper is not a happy man. In fact, he sleeps with men left and right because they can't compare to the one love of his life that he thought he had when he was young. Moving out of town, he tries to replace the feelings with meaningless sex and what-not, but that all changes when he gets a disturbingly large amount of missed calls and unusual voice messages from Lillie Mae. His only living relative, wonderful Lillie Mae who sounds frightened and frail over the phone. He has no other thought in his mind other than to get out of there and go back home. At first, he contacts the local police department only to discover the man that he has been trying to replace ever since childhood. This man, is the one and only head honcho of the police department...what a coincidence! Cooper soon finds out that coming back to War field was a mistake, actually it was more of a trap, but he knows that he can't turn around and book it out of town now after everything that he's learned.
Howard has a superb story-line and exceptional character development. All of his characters are mysterious, and intriguing with personalities that are memorizing. This review is complimenting the audiobook. The pace was absolutely terrific; it was fast-paced and the narrator was highly entertaining. He changed pitch and vocalization for every character and added sounds for special effect. Furlong’s representation of each character seemed to be spot-on! If you are a reader of paranormal mystery and the supernatural, you may want to pick this one up.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Blood Divine by Greg Howard, narrated by Gary Furlong.
What made the experience of listening to Blood Divine the most enjoyable?
It was the great combination of the author's words and the narrator's interpretation of the characters.
Who was your favorite character and why?
It was hard to say because all the characters are important to this story but if I have to choose it would be Cooper. The unbelievable becomes his world but he has to believe in order to save him, his family, and his friends.
What about Gary Furlong’s performance did you like?
He was a perfect choice for this book. He does a great job in giving life to a book that if I had read it would not have had the same effect. He also changes the tone of his voice, a great job with accents and even a passable job of doing a woman's voice. Because of Mr. Furlong, I thoroughly enjoyed a book that is outside my normal romance genre.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
There were a couple times that I chuckled but not outright laugh. Did I cry? No but it did hold me entranced. I'm surprising myself by saying this but it is a book that I would listen to again. It also had me looking forward to reading more by the author and listening to more of the narrator's work.
Any additional comments?
This book is very creative. It takes both our country's history and biblical history and mixes it with science fiction, the paranormal, and fantasy. It shows that we need to pay attention to the stories that are passed down generation to generation. You never know what you may have missed in your family history. It's what drew me in.
If you want to give yourself a scare, say for Halloween, why not listen to this at night. Maybe even sit in a cemetery and listen to it. Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings because you never know what will pop out at you.
There was nothing that I didn't love or enjoy with this one and that was a complete surprise to me. If not for being part of a tour of this book, I probably would never have listened to Mr. Howard's book. It was a great reminder that sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and take the chance on an author who writes something different than what you're used to. Otherwise you might miss something like Blood Divine and that would be a shame.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Audio Copy of this book.
This was a really excellent urban fantasy story. Our hero Cooper Causey is a really likable curmudgeon, hiding away from the world in a series of meaningless sexual encounters, before he's dragged into a supernatural war and his own past.
Cooper is a refreshing protagonist, in that he feels very original and well rounded, largely free of well worn tropes. When his beloved grandmother goes missing he discovers his bloodline can be traced back to angels and the special properties of his blood has made his family a target for fallen angels that are basically vampires. The one weakness of the story was a rather large and lengthy exposition on the entangled histories of his family and the supernatural beings that left my head spinning a bit, but I was still able to follow along.
At his side is his first and only love, his dead older brother's best friend, Randy. Cooper made a clumsy pass at Randy years ago after his brother's funeral and they haven't spoken since then. Randy is now a cop and recently divorced, and of course Cooper's love isn't nearly as unrequited as he thought.
There's minimal sex in the book but it's more than made up for by the powerful chemistry between the two men, and the strong plot and characterization.
The last section of the book takes some unexpected twists and turns that were pretty exciting and things end very satisfactorily but left me really hoping for a sequel to see what happens next.