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Quite often these days, urban fantasy tends to end up being vampire romance or supernatural detective like the dresden files, luckily for me, this novel tends take more of the latter approach.
There is a varied cast of characters in the book led by the titular Wanderer named Raphael (or Rafe) Semmes, a man brought back to life to act as an immortal troubleshooter for the personification of Fate aid by his Manticore familiar named Beast who spends most of his time in the form of a Harley.
This opening novel in the series does a very good job of starting to explain some of the mythology, the mechanics and rules of magic in this book's world without overloading the reader right from the outset. The overall arc of the series and what are likely to be recurring plots were set down in this book, but were not pushed forward at the expense of a strong and entertaining main story.
One area that I didn't find as good was when the author seemingly felt obliged to try and appeal to the supernatural romance readers, these scenes mostly came across as somewhat tacked on and slightly superfluous to the overall story.
The performance of the narrator was a good one, the main characters all having their own distinct voices established already and I hope that he continues to read the rest of the books in this series when they are released.
In summary, this was an enjoyable book that also sets the stage for the rest of the series and I was eager enough to keep listening to it that I finished it in only a couple of days, whereas most audiobooks tend to last me nearer a week.
[Note - "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."]
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This action packed book, while set in a real location with a plot hatched purely from fantasy, tackles big themes such as predestination versus free will. Bamberg will fully immerse you in this world and take you to the brink of the end of the world.
I Want A Manticore-Possessed Harley!
This is the first book in the Wanderers Series. This is a continuing story line and characters, so even though it is not a cliffhanger at the end, there is also no HEA either.
♥ Story ♥
This story’s mythology is based around Norse traditions of the deities claiming fallen warriors as their champions. Most people are only familiar with the Valkyries, but just like the Greeks there were many deities to pray to that all came with their own entourages.
That’s where Rafe finds himself, as the minion of the Fate Verðandi. Who I have to say is pretty bad leading her Wanderers. Rafe has gone over 5 years without any contact or messages from her. As a Wanderer, he is to keep the status quo of good and evil by destroying demons that are causing havoc and disturbing this balance.
Rafe has been alone since his mentor was killed so is not in tune with the danger that is coming his way. Someone is trying to set in to motion the events that will lead to Ragnarök. For those that are not aware of what that is, it is the Norse equivalent of the end of days. It’s the final battle for the right to rule the world.
Needless to say, this is a bad thing. In trying to stop the first step in the end of the world Rafe has his trusted familiar Beast, that is a manticore who most often is in the form of a Harley, which makes for some humorous scenes. He has to team up with some overly horny witches, seriously they will not leave the dude alone, to try and prevent the first essentially “seal” from being broken.
The mythology is solid, and there is a lot of action, but I feel like this title suffers from first-book-itus. Too much info dumped over too long of a time, pulled the story down with it. It’s still a good start to a series and I’m looking forward to the next one.
♥ Author ♥
This is my first read/listen by Richard A Bamberg and I think it’s a great start. Very creative world building. I’m very curious to see what book 2 brings.
♥ Narrator(s) ♥
Johnny Mack is great as always. I have listened to him in other books and he just has that perfect amount of gruff to his voice that can be both charming and sultry in the same book.
Ebook obtained through Kindle Unlimited.
Audiobook obtained for free at my request and I am voluntarily leaving this unbiased review
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This story was a little slow grabbing my attention, but once it did, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I need to know what happens to Rafe next!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful