The Bureau

Volume 1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
Categories: Romance, Paranormal
4.5 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This collection contains the first three Bureau novellas:

Corruption

Once a proud demon of the night sky who carried nightmares to humans, Tenrael has spent decades in captivity as the star attraction of a traveling carnival. He exists in miserable servitude to men who plunk down ten dollars to fulfill their dark desires.

Charles Grimes is half human, half...something else. For 15 years he’s worked for the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, ridding the country of dangerous monsters. When his boss sends him to Kansas to chase a rumor about a captive demon, Charles figures it’s just another assignment. Until he meets Tenrael.

Clay White

Someone - or something - is murdering young men in San Francisco. Clay White has been fired from the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs, but he’s determined to track down the killer. When he comes across a vampire named Marek, Clay assumes he’s caught the perp. But the encounter with Marek turns out to be more complicated than Clay expected, and it forces him to deal with his own troubled past and murky psyche.

As Clay discovers, sometimes the truth doesn't come easy - and the monsters are not who we expect.

Creature

Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who - or what - he is. Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.

When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream - to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs - all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him.

Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man - and what a monster truly wants.

©2018 Kim Fielding (P)2018 Kim Fielding

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

Really good!

I really liked this one, good storys that bind together and perfekt charachters.
Joel Leslie did an amazing job to keep track of all the voices, and I grow to love his work more and more!
Only thing I didnt like was that chapter
22-23, 26-27, 29-30 and 31-32 was all duplets. I dont care much if it happens once but 4 times was enough to make me annoyed since I basically listened to those parts when I was driving.
Other than that, get this book, it was a great!

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderful though bit of a tech issue in last story

Love the stories, as always Kim Fielding builds a fantastic world and Joel Leslie does an awesome job bringing it all to life. However, the doubling of the chapters at the end is a bit of an issue. Though that is only a minor irritation. I’m looking forward to more tales of The Bureau!!

4 people found this helpful

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A fantastic raw fantasy tales that touch your soul

Knowing Joel Leslie and Kim Fielding as talented narrator and author, respectively, this book promised to be a good one. I was poorly prepared for the whirlwind of emotions and intense rawness these three stories brought. At first I was sure that the first one is my favorite but by the end I knew that CREATURE was the one. I found a great deal of symbolism in this story, John was such an interesting relatable character. He was so gentle and sensitive, lyrical and with a beautiful view of the world around him.
Each story had it's own mystery, including the elusive time frame the story takes place at. This made the stories timeless in a way, with only small clues as to the year it takes place at. The Bureau is a fascinating, frightening agency and each story shows another view of it and the supernatural world fielding created.
In all three stories, the question of what is human is the main focus for the heroes, some human and some maybe not so much. Each story is well written, the characters well rounded ans intriguing. The connection between the stories is there but they are stand alones, each showing a new angle, creatures and range of emotions.
Joel Leslie brings a wide range of accents, tones of voice and emotion in his performance that infuse each character with life. He tackles daemons, vampires and cruel ignorant humans with the skill and finesse I have learned to associate with his performances.
There could not have been a better narrator to bring life the rich world Fielding created.

3 people found this helpful

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When men fall in love with monsters

Dark love stories of monsters and men. The last story, Creature, was the best of the three and is worth grabbing this book for that one alone.

The narrator is very good at making very different voices. You’ll never get confused as to who is speaking.

2 people found this helpful

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Most Enjoyable Read

Kim Fielding is a classic storyteller, and these tales are among her best. Having read the three works separately in the past, it's only in enjoying them together in one volume to do I see the recurrent themes of redemption and good versus evil. I think my personal favorite is Kim's re-imagined Frankenstein. Talented narrator Joel Leslie brings his particular brand of magic to each character, making The Bureau: Volume I a book I'll go back to again and again.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent lilttle collection

If you like your romance with a little paranormal thrown in, this is a great collection if short stories.
Each story stands on it's own and Kim Fielding has a knack for writing the best and worst of "humanity".
Joel Leslie's performance brings a unique voice and life to each of the characters.
I do wish the stories were longer and there were more in this series though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kp
  • 08-01-18

What a ride!

This is a great collection of stories and Joel Leslie does an amazing job of bringing them to life. I was captivated from page one and that didn't let up until the end.

1 person found this helpful

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Well crafted trio of stories, excellent narration!

This is a collection of stories that introduce the Bureau of Tran Species Affairs. The stories are a little dark, somewhat film noir-ish, but interesting. I read and enjoyed Creature, (my favourite of the 3), as a standalone, so when I saw that Joel Leslie was narrating the trio of stories, I was more than happy to experience the collection. The stories connect, but are definitely self-contained standalones.
What can I say about *'a Joel Leslie performance' that hasn't been said before? He brings life, character and a wealth of acting experience to the stories he narrates; so much so, that one becomes personally invested in the characters. In this case, he made me want to take Tenrael (Corruption) home to care for. And John (Creature), you could almost 'see' how he bloomed under Harry's care - I could feel the affection and emotion he felt for Harry and life (such as it was) in general.
Joel Leslie, simply put, is a pleasure to listen to.
*Mr Leslie should trademark that phrase, btw :)

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent collection of stories!

I read each of these stories as they came out and loved them... now the audio version makes them even better!

Corruption is the first of the three books, and does take place first in the timeline. This one introduces us to the Bureau of Tran Species Affairs, the organization created to deal with the monsters in the world... Charles Grimes, who is not quite human himself, is sent by his boss Townsend, to kill a demon. What he finds is Tenreal, a demon who has been captured, sold, and tortured by humans for years. Instead of killing him, Charles..... well, you'll just have to read it!

Clay White may be the second book, but it's the last one in the timeline. Clay is no longer an agent with the Bureau, but after so many years he can't stop trying to save people. He's poking around in a club in San Francisco trying to locate what is killing young gay men. He meets Marek, an ancient vampire who helps him... in more ways than one! Clay gets some help from another source that I won't mention due to spoilers.

Then we have Creature, the final book in the collection, but the middle book in the timeline. And my favorite of the three! Harry has left his home looking for a better life in Los Angeles, and had hopes of becoming an agent for the Bureau, but as Townsend tells him, he's too soft. When he is at the end of his rope, Townsend offers him a chance to become an agent afterall. His mission is to attract the attention of a man who has been attempting to raise the dead and make a creature of sorts. Townsend sends Harry to Portland with a creature the Bureau has been storing for an unknown number of years. That creature turns out to be John... John changes over the few days the two are together, turning from an emaciated collection of bones and skin, to an intelligent, curious, caring partner for the lonely Harry. Harry is able to find Swann, the bad guy and.... you'll have to read it to find out what happens to Harry and John!

I went through an emotional rollercoaster ride with these books... I was disturbed and horrified to see what humans can do, both the Tenreal and John. I was distressed for Charles, Clay, and Harry, who while different, have a common bond of loneliness. Actually Tenreal, Marek, and John share that bond now that I think about it. All of these beings, human and otherwise, are all a mess! Then there was the happiness I felt at the end of each story. Without giving too much away, I will say that each story does have a good ending.

I was also interested in Townsend. He appears to be human, an obnoxious, smoking, drinking human, but he's been around a long time. What is he? We don't really know!

Kim Fielding is one of my favorite authors, and these three stories are excellent. While they do tie in together, they are clearly individual plots. Each has a beginning, middle, and happy ending, with background to the characters, a little sex, emotions, darkness, light, and bonding between the characters.

Then we have the narration.... Hello! It's Joel Leslie so it's perfection. His voices are amazing, each fit the character, in accent and intonation. Especially John, as he changes, so does his voice. Joel Leslie is able to put so much emotion and passion in his voice in every book he narrates, from college age men, to Australian ranchers, to British billionaires, to demons, vampires, and lonely humans. His passion for his craft is evident in every book he narrates.

I have both read and listened to these stories and can tell you they are wonderful, in whichever format you prefer!

1 person found this helpful

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Secret Agent Man

This audiobook contains the first three books in the Bureau series.

The first story is about Charles Grimes and his hunt for a demon who is rumored to be an attraction in a traveling fair. His search will lead him to question not only who the real monsters are but his future as well.

The second story is about Clay White an agent for the Bureau and Marek a vampire. There are men being murdered and the Bureau thinks a vampire is involved. Clay has to decide if he can trust Marek or if he is the killer.

The last story is about Harry a down on his luck guy who has applied for a position at the Bureau and been turned down. Harry is approached by Chief Townsend about a case and offered the possibility of a future job as an agent if he finishes this case successfully. There is speculation that a necromancer is trying to raise the dead and Townsend wants Harry to find out if there is any truth to the claim. John is what most people would consider a monster. He was raised from the dead and has been kept locked away since his capture and his creator's death at the hands of the Bureau. Harry is to take John and use him as bait to lure the necromancer into spilling his secrets but no one except Harry feels any concern for John's welfare.

I really enjoyed these stories and how you can find light and goodness even when all seems lost. Each story is complete but the characters from previous books make appearances and tie in to the newer stories. Harry and John's story was my favorite with Harry's generosity and willing heart revealing the true man that John was all along. I hope we get more stories in this series and I enjoy hearing how our guys from previous books are doing.

This is the first audiobook narrated by Joel Leslie that I've listened to and I think he did a wonderful job. Each character has their own distinct voice and this makes it so easy to get wrapped up in the magic of these stories.

I received a copy of this audiobook but this is my honest review.