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By Ray Johnson on 05-30-18
Building a better you through blood and bodies
I picked up the kindle version of this book months ago, but never had time to read it. The cover had caught my eye, and the title sounded interesting, so I grabbed it and planned on reading it as soon as I could. Then, I slowly found out that I no longer had time to read. Books were out of my purview. Then I discovered audible, and began my "reading" career, only as a listener now. One day, as I was looking for new books to listen to, I saw this book, by Schenk and thought that I had to grab it as it still called out to me. I got it, and listened to it all in one day. I knew I could tell a good book by its cover, because I really fell in love with the unique world that Schenk has created.
First off, props for the cover. It is creepy and demonic looking, and it looks like that poor fellow is having his sould sucked out by the beast behind him. It most assuredly grabs your eye and makes you want to see it, and is of high enough quality that it doesn't look cheesy or cheap. No, the cover is perfect for this book, and what is contained therein. I always appreciate a good cover, but do not add or subtract stars for their quality.
The writing is simply superb. It is rich, verbose, detailed, and emotional. The world is unique and new, but carries a familiarity that makes you comfortable there. It is a world that you get to see a good chunk of too, with our protagonist, Seth, on the run and being forced to flee on a ship for his life. Seth is a young man who is beaten, robbed, and sent into slavery for the simple crime of naivety. His master decides to steal his soul/memories/skills for himself and summons a dark creature to "take the body, but give him the rest", but Seth somehow manages to intrigue the demonic being, and it frees him and kills his master. Seth then goes on the run, fleeing from forces and people he can barely understand.
The book the becomes a shifting bog of quicksand in which Seth must be ever vigilant of where he steps lest he be swallowed whole. He never knows who he can trust, and the fact is he may only be able to count on himself when it comes right down to it. Still, he does make some friends when he frees some other men from slavery, and it looks as if there might be a bond there. The real trick is that Seth must learn to balance the hunger of his beast and that of his own, for there are people that beings such as himself find irresistible and simply cannot resist taking for themselves. Seth, however, might just be above such animalistic drives. At least it seems that way for now, but it looks like he is going to have a very long life ahead of him, and people change. Can you see just how much depth there is to his character? In the plot itself? This book drags YOU in, and I worry that it takes everything else and just leaves the body. You will be drawn in te longer you listen, too.
Tom Adams kills the narration. He plays Seth, the Demon, ladies, lords, and children and you barely notice that it is the same man talking. He is so full of voices, and has such emotional range. His intonations and inflections really bring Seth to life, and the man knows how to pace a story. He certainly keeps you riveted on the edge of your seat. I have never heard him narrate before, and I am glad I got to listen to him. he really made the book fun.
It looks like there are a few more books to go in this series. I, for one, cannot wait to see what happens next. To see if Seth can overcome his personal demon's desires, and what he will do about the dark brotherhood that seeks him. There are many possibilities and directions the story can go, and I do not have a clue as to what is going to come next! That is exciting.
Do not miss out on this wonderful new series. If you love fantasy or even horror then this book is for you.
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