A husband armed with a sword hacks apart his wife in a Denver grocery store. There are dozens of witnesses, and the crime is captured on the security cameras. To the police, it's an open-and-shut case.
To Naomi, the daughter of the couple, it's evidence of dark magic. She hires her ex-lover, a private investigator named Jonathan Shade to prove her father is innocent.
Shade specializes in paranormal cases, but he isn't buying it. Still, he takes the case, hoping to rekindle their relationship. Instead, Shade finds himself mixed up in supernatural intrigue with wizards, magically engineered assassins, and an ancient sorcerer returned to life who's willing to kill anyone who stands in his way.
Too bad Shade doesn't have any magic.
©2014 Gary Jonas (P)2015 Sky Warrior Book Publishing, LLC
Writer, reader, now an avid listener, why hadn't I discovered this before!
Of course when you start following a narrator, you begin to see all the books they've done. this came on my newsfeed, and I thought okay why not. So I started to listen to it... I didn't take much notice of the title, just more the 'jonathan shade-novel' and knew it was part of a series, I mean come on guys, the more series I listen to the more complicated my listening life is.
However, in all seriousness, I had no idea it was paranormal and no idea what this book entailed. So from the very first 'Ester poked her head through the wall' I was laughing at her, Jonathan and my own stupidity for not even realising this was paranormal. I presumed it was a normal PI kinda book. And I was very pleasantly surprised.
Joe does a great narration, and that's one of the reasons why I picked this up. His characters stand out a mile, but I've gotta say that fact is marred by the 'I said, she said' you know when each character is speaking, and it got in the way a few times through this book. Of course not Joe's fault, more down to the author. I could after listening to some of Joe's other books tell this was an earlier version of him as a narrator, so I've still rated it according to all my thoughts.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the characters of course, Jonathan is a great guy, he's his personal issues, and his life is plodding along, all until an old flame walks in and wants him to investigate the murder of her mother by her father. The murder itself is brutal and horrid to listen to, but it adds in some great tension. Naomi isn't however letting Jonathan and his team in on all the facts and she's quite the secret keeper. Of course only his team keep warning him that there's something off with her and because he's still got love blinkers on, he doesn't listen till it's too late.
I admit here, one of my fav characters, is Kelly, she's the total kick ass woman we all love in these books, strong, not afraid to give an opinion and really not afraid to get stuck in and use what she's got to get the information they need.
Ester comes pretty close as a great lovable character too. :)
I admit, Joe you've got me wanting the rest in this series, it's action packed the characters are awesome, so much alive that you'd think they were real people. Goes all fangirl at the great storytelling and narrator acting. Haha now I gotta go pick up the others.
A thrill filled story in the world of wizards.
Jonathan Shade is the son of two powerful wizards but has no magic himself, unless being able to see ghosts and being totally impervious to magic counts. He runs a P.I.agency. He is still hopelessly besotted with his ex girlfriend, so when her father murders her mother then kills himself, she goes to Jonathan for help. But she is not being completely honest with him: there is an ancient and powerful sorcerer re-entering the scene. Lucky, then, that Shade has Esther, a helpful ghost and devoted receptionist secretary, and friend sword wielding warrior, Kelly, who feels no pain, to help him. Pity about Naomi, the ex.
Written with wit and quick repartee dialogue, this is a book to savour and enjoy, filled with colourful characters, surreal but also very human (even the ghost - perhaps especially the ghost),.caught up in a power struggle which threatens to kill them all. There are fight scenes and funny chases, twists and turns, and always the delightful interaction. Never a dull moment.
Joe Hempel, the narrator, captures it all. His performance matches the pace of the story throughout and everyone has their own distinct voice but, more than anything, he is Jonathan, whether wise cracking, afraid or recalling the past and longing for his girlfriend. A masterly reading.
This audio has everything for a light-hearted, enjoyable listen: thrills and action, murder and mayhem, delightful and despicable protagonists, a rompingly fun mystery, all deliciously delivered by an excellent narrator. What's not to like? Highly recommended, especially to Dresden File fans.
My thanks to the rights holder of Modern Sorcery, from whom I received a complementary copy, via Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an honest review. This I have given. Now, what is the title of Book II...?
Love it, so many twists and turns. The narrator brings the characters to life. It was not an ending I was expecting and I'm just about to order the second book to see what happens next to Jonathan, Kelly and the ghost. As for Sharon her story has only just begun to unfold I think.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com
Dresden fans rejoice!!! There's a new paranormal- ish private investigator in town! Expertly voiced, from the homicidal Asian woman to the creepy ghosts, to the main male character! I almost didn't stop to review after book one! I bought this book on sale, as a whispersync, based on a Facebook ad. Well worth it, and thoroughly enjoyable! Loved it!
I thought the mix of magic and mythology was blended masterfully. The plot and sub plots pulled you along page by page and it was easy to be caught up in Jonathan's world. Character development was three dementional and you felt as if you knew each one personally I want to know how the magical world collides with mythology.
"A Great Urban Fantasy!"
I received book two and three through audiobook blast for free in exchange for leaving a honest review. I really liked the stories, so I went back and bought book one. Each book ranges from five to seven hours long, which is perfect for the days I do not want to start a really lengthy book. The stories kinda remind of the Dresden series, however, there are some differences. Johnathan Shade is a PI who often takes cases that involve the supernatural; however, he has no magical abilities and is immune to magic. This comes in handy when others are trying to harm him with magic, but on the flip side because he's immune to magic, it cannot be used to heal him if he's hurt.
Modern Sorcery is full of action, plenty of plot twists and of course Jonathan's signature wit and sarcasm. I love how Jonathan and the other main characters are developed throughout the series and each story has a tough villain that is not easily beaten and will challenge Jonathan and his team. Sometimes the losses will be great and not everyone will have a HEA.
The narration was great and Joe's performance only gets better as the series progresses.
I will definitely be on the lookout to see if the other books in the series comes out in audio and recommend this series to any Dresden or urban fantasy fan.
"Eclectic characters and a great plot"
Set in modern day Denver, this urban fantasy audiobook kept me entertained with its eclectic characters and interesting storyline. Jonathan Shade works as a PI who specializes in paranormal cases; he himself can perform no magic, but to his advantage, this also means he is immune to all magic. His side kicks are Esther, a ghost from the 1920's who is "attached" to an old typewriter and Kelly, an engineered Sekutar warrior, who is also Shade's Martial Arts teacher. When ex-fiancée and wizard, Naomi, (who dumped Shade because of his lack of magic) asks for his help in clearing her father of murder, Shade's friends think he has gone insane when he agrees to help her; drawing himself and his companions into the hunt for the resurrected ghost of a powerful wizard who is possessing and killing people. This fast paced, entertaining story has humour, action, magic and some surprising twists. At first I thought I had missed a book, as the major characters all have some back history, but this is the first book in this series and there is no prequel that I could find. I actually liked the depth that the back history gave the characters, it's a little mystery within the story; how did Shade die, how did he get brought back and what did Sharon, his "librarian" friend, have to do with it? Shade is an appealing character with a sarcastic humour and some great one-liners that the narrator manages to pull off very well. Kelly's tough, no nonsense persona and "let me kill them for fun" attitude is also exemplified by the narration, as was her accent. Esther is one of my favourites, she is a fun, somewhat quirky character that you can not help but love. The only character I though lacked substance (no pun intended) was the ghostly villain, though well narrated, I found he just didn't have the same depth as the other major characters. Joe Hempel does a great job of narrating the book, especially with the female voices. He gets the emotions right and gives each character a distinct personality. I enjoyed this book; it had a good plot and the author is creating an interesting world with some captivating characters. I look forward to the next in the series. I received this audiobook at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
It was different. You have a PI, Jonathan Shade, whose only claim is that he is immune to magic. So whenever someone is throwing magic around he is tries to engage them in a fist fight, and he has skills. He has the PI thing with entourage of talented individuals; a ghost who is tied to a type writer and his sensei, Kelly Chan. Kelly is indomitable with her sword skills, opinionated, and the best friend Jonathan could have.
This is the first of a series with the characters working together. Situations are set for them for them to a work as a trio. The ghost loose her tether and the sensei’s evaluation of people is proven right on the button so Jonathan will need her to stay grounded. I love Kelly. Her go to action is to kill someone. And Jonathan … well he knows what a fool love can make of someone.
Yes, there is action and magic. I did not get that all time connection with the plot, which is why I did not give 5 stars. I am interested in how they will make a one-person PI service to a working group.
I start listen not expect much, but this book was great!! I love the twists and trurns, the character's. well worth the listen.
"A worthy addition to the urban fantasy genre!"
Set in modern day Denver, private investigator Jonathan Shade is hired by his ex-girlfriend Naomi Miller to look into the murder of her mother Cathy by her own husband David. Plenty of witnesses and the store camera all say there’s no doubt as to how it went down. However, Naomi won’t rest until someone looks into the paranormal side of things. Jonathan doesn’t think there was any magic involved, but he hopes the case will give him a chance at getting back with Naomi. As he digs into it, more and more mysteries pop up, along with enemies willing to kill him and his friends.
This was a very entertaining urban fantasy. I listened to it in two large chunks (had to sleep in between) and am already queuing up Book 2. First, I really enjoyed that all the major characters jump on scene with back histories. That definitely added depth to the story. Jonathan has this old history with Naomi that can’t be ignored due to present circumstances. Kelly Chan, Jonathan’s business partner, also has a a most interesting past, being a kind of supernatural guardian warrior called a sekutar. Then there is Esther, a ghost from the 1920s that is tied to an old typewriter. Later, the librarian Sharon comes into play, but she doesn’t work at a normal library. Each character brings a little something to the table as soon as they walk on the stage.
The book has a really good balance of action, character development, and time for contemplation and problem solving. I was never bored and I never got battle fatigue. As the story moves away from the initial murder, we learn about a long-dead powerful wizard that may some how be involved. Of course, figuring all this out means digging into the secrets of the wizard community, and they are a prickly bunch. Jonathan heads over to Dragon Gate Industries (DGI) to chat with Al, who was at the murder scene. I liked that it was hard to tell where Al stood on all this. I was kept guessing throughout the story if he was a friend or foe. And he wasn’t the only character that had me guessing! Others, such as Anselma (head of DGI) and Cantrell (who has a Western drawl) seemed they could go either way.
Then there is Kelly Chan. Wow! She runs this martial arts dojo and also acts as Jonathan’s personal body guard. Her sekutar powers allow her to take injuries that would completely disable mortals. She has opinions. She’s not afraid to share those opinions. Sometimes her method of sharing means shoving you up against a wall and putting a weapon in your face. No worries. She’s just making sure you’re listening. I really enjoyed her character. She brought a lot of blunt humor and blunt force trauma to the tale.
We have great characters and a great plot. This is where some authors stop. It’s not a bad place to stop, but I definitely appreciate that this author took it to the next level. He gave us a worthy bad guy. This bad guy isn’t easily tricked or trapped or defeated. Nope! Our heroes have to put their heads together and set aside some grudges with part-time enemies in order to stand a chance against this guy. Also, not everyone gets out unscathed. I truly appreciate that last bit because it makes the story poignant. That added weight makes me care for the characters that much more.
Go check out this series. If you’re looking for a new urban fantasy to satisfy your craving, then you won’t be disappointed in this one.
I received a copy at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Joe Hempel did some fine work on this one. I have listened to several of his books by now and I think this is his best work yet. It’s obvious that he enjoyed narrating this novel as much as I enjoyed listening to it. His character voices are all distinct and his female voices are believable. He had to do some accents as well and they were done well. Kelly Chan has a light Asian accent and the ghost Esther has a 1920s vocabulary of sayings and a distinctive accent. Hempel also did a great job of imbuing certain scenes with the right amount of emotion.
"Excellent beginning to a series"
This was a very good listen. The pace was steady and the narration was perfect. It reminded me a bit of The Dresden Files. I look forward to the next book in the series.
"This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
"Lots of action"
Book sets a good pace withs lots of action. Likable heroes, loved the ghost. Hope the second book is out soon. "This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast."
"I LOLed and earned several questioning looks"
Jonathan Shade is a private investigator with a twist – he gets the cases with a paranormal twist to them. Why? He’s good at it, he’s the son of a powerful wizard family and while he does not have any magical powers of his own, he knows enough about it to solve mysteries. When a husband enters a Colorado grocery store and hacks up his wife – both of whom are parents to his ex-fiancé – well, Jonathan has no choice but to get involved.
Naomi, his ex-fiancé hires him to prove his father’s innocence (the proof is in the camera evidence – he did it!). Thus begins his involvement and near misses with death with members of the Dragon Gate Industry; owned and ran by wizards and other magical members of society Dragon Gate Industry. A long dead and legendary sorcerer appears to be back and is hunting Shade - Shade has that effect on people.
Shade has connections too – like Charon, the ferryman of the underworld now known as Sharon the librarian; Kelly, a genetically produced mystical assassin/warrior; Esther the ghost and more.
Shade is a laid back, smart mouth man who takes sarcasm to new levels; his friend Kelly is a butt kicking assassin/warrior who begs to kill; Esther his own personal ghost swoops in and helps save the day more than once! Together this team of private investigators is top-notch, action-packed, and fun!
Gary Jonas creatively weaves a supernatural story that captures his audience with realistic dialog and action. His characters are well-developed as is the plot. He skillfully weaves a supernatural story around the myths of old intertwining the two and placing them in today’s society.
I enjoyed reading Jonathan Shade and look forward to the next in the series. I am positive that the next book(s) will not disappoint! I laughed out loud and earned several questioning looks, but it was worth it!
Joe Hempel did a superb job of narrating. He took the character Jonathan and made it his own. As the listener I could not help but be swept away into the story as Hempel took control and became Shade. This is not something that is done easily but Hempel succeeds where others fail.
There were no issues with production.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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