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Publisher's Summary

There is a city in Eastern Europe where American vagabonds go to live like kings.
There is a beautiful woman there, sitting by a window, laughing.
There is a curse in her kiss, that takes the most broken of souls.
And therein lies the Night Country, whose door opens only in dreams....
Disgraced martial artist Daniel Harper was champion, until a tragic mistake destroyed his life. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a one-way ticket, he flees to Eastern Europe, where he can start over and be someone else. But in the lantern-lit crevices of a nameless City, Daniel meets two people who will irreversibly change the course of his future: the mysterious illusionist and pickup artist, Ink; and the flower girl, Kashka, who is far more powerful than she appears.
As Daniel plummets into a downward spiral of hedonism and dereliction, he begins having visions of a fallen world every night when he shuts his eyes, a Night Country where an evil tyrant has stolen the sun, where corpses walk the frozen earth with golden lights in their eyes, and humanity's last remnant must eke out a cruel existence deep underground. It is in this nightmarish otherworld that Daniel realizes his newfound ability is anything but an accident....
Will Daniel kill the Crippled King? Or will he give in to the demons inside him and become the villain?
©2017 Adam Christopher Kennedy (P)2017 Adam Christopher Kennedy
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Lomeraniel on 09-13-17

I was completely absorbed by the story

After accidentally killing his girlfriend on an accident and spending two years in limbo, Daniel finally decides to break from everything and have a fresh start on the other side of the world. Accepting a job as a translator, he moves to an Eastern European country, where he will catch a mysterious disease which will transport him to another world.

It took me a while to get into this book and follow the three different story lines: first, we have Daniel's story in Country; second is the story line happening in the Night Country; and last, the story in the poem Daniel has to translate. We get excerpts from the poem at the beginning of chapters, and there is a duality shared with the story in the Night Country. As soon as I got a grasp about the structure of the book I couldn't stop listening.

The story is set in an European Eastern country, called Country in the book, and the city is simply the City. The city is referred to as the City of Churches, which made me think of Vilnius (Lithuania), Krakow, or Przemysl (Poland). But other references and the use of crowns made me think of the Czech Republic. The fact that everybody drinks vodka made me think of Lithuania and Poland. I know Vine took the liberty of just using Country as a name to avoid being tied to a specific geography, but I enjoyed guessing where this could be set.

I was completely absorbed by the story. I think Vine did a good job in building up the intrigue about the Night Country, and I found the characters there interesting. I had issues trying to like Kashka, and I am still puzzled about Ink. I wondered why Daniel insisted on meeting with them both since they didn't offer much to him. I guess their role is more about the Night Country, and there will be more about them in the next book. The story about the Night Country amazed me, and the details we learned just had me wanting to know more. I hope my questions will be answered in the next book.

Despite the fact that some of the characters were not very likable, I think the characters were very developed in general, especially Daniel. I really cared for him, and suffered seeing how he took wrong decision after wrong decision. The way Dan spiraled down was very well described, and it was easy to connect to him . The torture he felt due to the 'disease' felt very real, and in a way I could almost understand why he did what he did.

I really enjoyed this book and I want to know what happens next, but there are a couple of things that got me puzzled. When does Dan work? In the book we follow him around while he visits the Night Country, and when he goes to bars and drinks himself to death. But when does he really work and translate the book? Also, how does someone get a job as a translator when they do not speak the language? There is a mention in the book about Daniel reading a Google translation of the book while on the plane, and his job is delivering a professional translation. How did Dan get this job when at the beginning he didn't even know a word in Country? It is not that he learned much with time, either, apart from cheers, yes, no, and thanks. Maybe I am missing something here but things just don't add up.

Kevin Meyer delivered an excellent narration, transmitting the characters emotions and interpreting them very well. I already liked his work on Lurk, and I was happy to realize he was narrating this one too. There is just one setback for me, and it is the voices for female characters. They sounded exactly the same as males, and at times I had troubles to follow the dialogs between Dan and the women he interacted with.

Despite the minor setbacks I found in the book I think this is very original fantasy, and I would like to see how it plays out in the next book.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Adam Vine. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By DabOfDarkness on 09-16-17

Unique and engaging!

This story was a bit different from what I normally read. First, you have Daniel Harper, an ex-Kendo champion, who has moved to an ex-Soviet country to work for a publishing company translating local works into English. Then you have the Night Country, a post-apocalyptic world that is dark, grim, cold, and cluttered with scary creatures where the Vermin (the last true humans) do their best to survive underground. Then we have a few bits about a very talented masked swordsman called the Rat Catcher, a nemesis of the Vermin.

This story is full of opposites and it caused opposite feelings in me. I was totally engaged all the way through and yet I don’t really like Daniel. Still, I found myself rooting for him; I want him to pull it together and become that hero this story is crying out for. The ladies at first are all sex objects and silly, one-dimensional things. This does change about 4 hours into the book with the Vermin. Those ladies can take care of themselves and then some! So, at first I was a little turned off the story but once we get some gender balance going on, I really started to love this story.

Let’s talk about the two main story lines. First Daniel is laden down by guilt over the death of his past girlfriend and this colors all this relationships. He seems to have given up on steering his own life and he’s willing to take guidance from anyone, including these two questionable guys he meets at the bar. Ugh! I just wanted to slap Daniel so many times. It’s like he’s ghosting through his own life, not really attached to it. I wonder if this is what Adam Vine wanted the reader to feel about Daniel.

So Daniel starts drinking too much on a regular basis and he asks any woman who gives him the chance if she’s French, because that’s the pick up line he was told to use by his new buddies at the bar. Yep, Daniel is not your typical hero, is he? Anyway, eventually he meets Kashka (who has her own issues) and he spends the rest of the book breaking up with her and getting back together. There’s also the Blot! Hahahaha! I’m surprised that’s the only thing he picked up.

Now to the Night Country. Daniel wakes up in clothes not his own in the freezing cold and right away he has to do a fight to the death with this eyeless hulk of a beastman. Then he comes across Zaea, a woman who also wonders how she got here to this frozen world. I loved the Night Country! Though Daniel takes his sweet time becoming an active participant in his own fate even in this messed up world.

The biologist in me reveled in the beasties of the Night Country. There’s giant mites! Not cat sized, not pig sized, no, they are house sized! Aaacchhhh! Run away! And the Vermin do, taking Daniel and Zaea prisoners as they flee. Now Zaea at first isn’t much more than a pretty face and someone for Daniel to ponder on how to flirt with. Later on she also comes into her own, demonstrating her skills.

The Rat Catcher and his overlord kind of tie everything together with this mystical spiral and some weird traveling and what not. I don’t understand it all yet, but I don’t think I’m supposed to. It does give a magical way for Daniel’s soul to travel between his humdrum translator job and his hopeful hero role in Night Country.

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It’s a bit of a mystery as to where it’s going but I like that’s it’s not your typical quest fantasy story.

The Narration: Kevin Meyer was a decent choice for this book. The volume was steady all the way through and I think there was only one repeated sentence in the whole performance. He makes a really great Daniel. However, his female voices were lacking femininity. Also, he doesn’t have a wide range of voices and didn’t use accents, so sometimes the characterizations weren’t distinct and I had to listen closely to keep track of who was saying what. I don’t know why he didn’t use accents for Daniel’s friends and colleagues in the ex-Soviet country, but perhaps the author asked him not to. He was really great at portraying Daniel’s emotions throughout the story. His narration definitely added to the suspense and the gravity of the tale as needed.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Adam Vine. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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