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Publisher's Summary

Ian Black is an illusionist with a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects that the popular performer's skills extend beyond the stage and that he's the area's mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent. In her efforts to uncover the truth, Rayne is swept into the hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne safe, they discover a force behind the Weir's raging civil war - a traitor bent on launching Earth's armageddon.

©2014 CrossWinds Publishing (P)2016 CrossWinds Publishing

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Magic, adventure, action, touch of romance

Fade to Black
The Weir Chronicles, Book 1
By: Sue Duff
Narrated by: Christopher J Mayer
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary.
I really liked this paranormal book about an illusionist, but his secret is that they are not illusions. He does magic. Then off stage he does help those in need. Unfortunately, a nosy gal is on to him and has figured out he is the one helping people. She didn't know how deep things really went until she started poking around.
A very good and exciting book with fantasy, magic, action, adventure, danger, suspense, and a touch of romance thrown in too. A great story.
The narrator made the book really "POP". Not only could he do all the strange voices but he had to do several women's voices and many of them with foreign accents. LOL. He did them perfect and I didn't stop to think at the time that it was a man doing the voices. It was only later I thought how hard that must have been. Great job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Epic concept! But confusing a first...

This book series has the potential to be epic. But like a jet fighter being launched from the catapult of an aircraft carrier, it thrusts the reader too quickly into the thick - a grand struggle that has been occurring for centuries between two races of super humans.

The beginning of the book led me to believe this was a new take on a super hero in a gritty city. But as the plot started to unfold, the scope of the book changed and expanded drastically. No longer was this story about an illusionist with real powers that used his abilities to fight crime, but there was a huge war going on in the background!

New characters were introduced so fast that I could not keep track initially who was who and what part they were playing in the story. Strange words were introduced. Duok? Pure? Saar? Were these titles or ranks? No translation was offered to what they meant. Was a Saar a general? A prince? A sergeant? We should have known up front, because every time they were used, a small part of my CPU spun off a processing thread trying to figure it out, slightly distracting me and taking me out of the story.

Once that bit of culture shock was overcome, it was easy to settle into the story. The war between races became clear and the book started to feel like a comfortable sweater. Chapters are bite-sized chunks that fit easily into my driving commute times.

Christoper Mayer did a great job narrating this story. His production is professional grade. His attention to detail is fantastic, with no flaws whatsoever. His voice is unique, and followers of his work should have no problem recognizing his voice in other titles.

This audio book was gifted to me by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Pretty Good, But…

“Fade to Black: The Weir Chronicles, Book 1” is a pretty good start to a new series. To the world, Ian Black is a successful magician. An illusionist who is actually capable of real magic. He is also part of a secret organization that’s pledged to protect the earth from another organization that wants to subjugate it. As fate would have it, Ian rescues a college student named Rayne who is also studying for a journalism career. So of course, she latches on to the story of her mysterious rescuer, which then leads her dangerously close to Ian. There are some nice surprises in the course of the story unfolding and some things that I found too contrived. One example of this was Ian’s own inner circle arranging for Rayne to come to his home to get an interview. It may have served author Sue Duff’s storytelling, but given the circumstances of Ian’s secret life, I just couldn’t buy his own people bringing a reporter to his home without even running the idea buy him before hand.

Overall, Fade to Black is an enjoyable novel with an interesting hero type who is not exactly cut from a typical urban fantasy, cookie cutter mold. Also, Christopher J. Mayer does a solid job on the narration as well. It will be interesting to see what Ms. Duff does with book 2.

Finally, this audio book was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audio Book Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Concepts, Intersting Ideas

The Performance by Chris Mayer was great. The writing was good. I just couldn't connect to the main characters. Not sure where the disconnect was. Large cast of characters was a bit difficult to follow at times. Some nice plot turns, lyrical turns of phrase sprinkled throughout that fit with the pace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A unique sci-fi and fantasy story

“Fade to Black” is a story that uniquely blends both science fiction and fantasy genres while taking place in modern time on Earth. Sue Duff does a very good job of blending these two genres, however I would have preferred a bit more magic used throughout the book. I thought Christopher J Mayer did an exceptional job of narrating the audiobook edition. If you are a person who likes unusual stories with a solid amount of action, mystery and a touch of humor, I would recommend you pick up this book. What could go wrong when you have fireballs, portals, and other mysterious or disastrous events happening? You will have to read the book to find out.

The story follows two main characters, the first is Ian Black who is an illusionist with multiple secrets which are revealed as the book progresses. Rayne Bevan is a girl with a knack for uncovering people’s secrets. The two clash as the story unravels requiring both of them to not only save themselves in the process; but the world. I have to say that I really enjoyed the selfless nature of Ian as nearly all of his actions were to help or better others. He kind of took on a super hero in disguise persona. There are a number of secondary characters in the book that are enjoyable and added an aspect of depth to the overall story.

I will say at times I felt very lost and somewhat confused by what was going on in the story because the author drops the reader right into a chaotic world with no background knowledge. It did take a while to begin to feel comfortable knowing where the story was going, and at times the author would throw in an additional curveball when you felt you knew the direction the it was heading. I liked that the story was told using different points of view from the many character’s perspectives, but at times this style complicated things for me. Because of this, I would say that book does take some time to adjust and begin to feel comfortable, however it is worth the investment.

The book contains rather short chapters, and this made it easier to consume in smaller chunks of time. Chapter breaks were also often where the author switched the story’s point of view from one character to another. Once you understood this, it was easier for me to follow the book and expect a change. I enjoyed the complexity of all the characters and the descriptive writing of the author. I did not think things were overly described nor did I ever feel I did not understand a scene. For me, this was just how I like books to be. The book does contain some strong use of language that is unnecessary and may not be appropriate for young readers. Had the author left these would out, I believe the book would have been more accessible to all age of readers.

Christopher Mayer did an exceptional job of narrating the book. The many characters were often clearly distinguishable and often well voiced. I did not like as much the female voices as they seemed a bit higher than I would like and more difficult for a male to accomplish. The audio itself was professionally done and I did not observe any artifacts (pops, clicks, swallows, etc.) while listening to the book. Although the narrator only has five total books posted on Amazon (at the time of this review), the quality was better than I have heard with more seasoned narrators. Christopher did a good job with action scenes and the use of inflection during his reading.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An interesting world with plenty of action

What made the experience of listening to Fade to Black the most enjoyable?

The narration was very good, Christopher J Mayer did an excellent job. The characters voices were all distinct and the female voice were pretty good. The narration was well paced and consistent fron beginning to the end.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It was a bit confusing at first since the story moves between following different characters and there are several story lines that all come together at the end of the book, they were a bit hard to follow at first.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No I didn't and that's why I'm only giving this book 3 starts. The book is enjoyable, but it didn't grab me and make me want more.

Any additional comments?

The characters worked well and the world Sue Duff has created is an interesting one. I enjoyed the book and I'm glad I listened to it, but it's not going to make it onto my list of favorites.<br/><br/>Note: This book was supplied free in return for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good book. Poor narrator.

Love the story and the characters. Well written, this is a series I'd definitely follow. Wish I had just read the book tho. I really didn't care the narrator.

I really didn't care for the narrator. He made it very hard for me to find interest in this book.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great start to a great book series

This was a great start to a very intriguing book series. I can't wait for the next one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful