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Following on the heels of Nightwise, this second novel in Belcher’s new series is a pleasant departure from the formulaic Wizard-Detective story depicted in the first book. This sequel expands upon the minor battle between good and evil begun in Nightwise.
Here we learn of the international network of good guys that have been fighting the forces of evil for generations and their equally organized nefarious foes. I now see the first book, Nightwise, in a different light. The first two books feel like Belcher is still introducing the cast for a grand showdown much later. I feels like the early chapters of Stephen King’s The Stand where the stage must first be set—with all the various characters fully operating in their pivotal roles—before the real story can even begin. The characters in The Brotherhood of the Wheel are much more entertaining than the ones in Nightwise, making this a much more engaging and entertaining novel. Other than a strong sense that something big is brewing I don’t know where this series is heading. I eagerly anticipate the next volume.
Bronson Pinchot’s efforts here surpass even his own stellar standards— putting forth one of the best narration performances I have ever heard. He was wonderful narrating Matterhorn. He was fantastic narrating the Grimnoir Chronicles. And he was amazing in the Dead Six books. His effort here is the equal to any of these. Pinchot’s sense of drama and pacing is amazing. He reads this book better than I could possible imagine it in my own head. One brief example: In the middle of the book there is a minor character, an old woman that has maybe two minutes of air time. Pinchot gives her a voice that made me rewind to hear it again. Later I played this scene to a group of friends and all were left slack-jawed when hearing the authentic voice of an old black woman come out of Bronson Pinchot’s voice box. This kind of dramatic involvement is why I love audiobooks. An audiobook is a collaboration between the author and the narrator. R.S. Belcher has given Pinchot a cast of characters on which he can play with. Pinchot’s performance will be the reason I listen to this again; just to remind myself how good an audiobook can be.
46 of 48 people found this review helpful
What an awesome, gritty urban fantasy, peeps!
R.S. Belcher is an unknown to me author, but I remember that Six-Gun Tarot did get really good reviews from the blogs I trust, so I decided to give this book a go. In many ways it's UF at its purest: hard-driven, packed with elements of horror and really rich on details. God, at some point it reminded me of Buffy so much!
Jimmy is a slightly overweight, middle-aged tracker. An average man who is also a Paladin entrusted to keep the roads of America safe. He drives a rig to pay the bills, but from time to time misses his pick up and drop off times because he needs to stop a serial killer or bring a ghost of a hitchhiker back home. When aforementioned ghost leaves him with a cryptic message and a plea to stop The Deer Man, he gets involved into an investigation which spans across US and involves multiple disappearances of kids.
At some point he is joined by Heck, a young MC member whose destiny is to become his Squire, and who has his own secret powers; Lavina, a fiery state trooper, who tries to find a missing child; and Max (an equivalent of Watcher to Jimmy's Paladin) who looks like a bookish librarian, but totally kicks butt with her mad knowledge skills. *grinning maniacally*
The villain in The Brotherhood of The Wheel is superbly done. He is pure evil, and even the way he talks in the audio version makes you shiver. By the way, great narrator! Really well done.
The whole book is rich with great characters, breathtaking races and fantastic fights. The atmosphere is also terrific.I am totally fascinated by the world-building and will be reading next instalment in this series. This is my type of urban fantasy. Recommended.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful