Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who's more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves.
He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or "Stiff") from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner's retirement party, and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness' idea of the world's hottest guy.
Solving murders is a snap when you can ask the victims whodunit, but this killer's not leaving any spirits behind.
Warning: This audiobook contains explicit adult content.
©2006 Jordan Castilo Price (P)2014 Jordan Castillo Price
Writer and reader
I already know the book well, so it was great to hear the words come to life. The narration works well for the character.
He captured Vic's tension and nerves well, along with the edge of cynicism. I was a bit more mixed in my reaction to the other character voices. Some I liked right away, others I took a while to warm up to. One I'm still not on board with. But the voices were all clearly differentiated and the narrator handles the opposite sex voices well.
At just under three hours this one can be listened to in a single session quite easily. I'll definitely try to do at least once when I listen again in the future. I hope the rest of the series will follow!
I must admit, I am a fan of both Jordan Castillo Price's work, and narrator Gomez Pugh, so having their talents in one product is a match made in book heaven!
The story is a wonderful introduction to the Psycop series. Its a quick paced fun listen, centering on Victor Bane, a cop with a strange talent- he can see and talk to dead people. One could see how this would be handy, allowing him to chat to murder victims and find out who dunnit! However, with the murder case Victor has been called in on, he has a problem. No only has his psychic sense been numbed by a special drug he takes to block out the voices when off duty, he also finds that there is no ghost of the victim at the scene. Throw in a wonderful alpha cop, called Jacob Marks, who has the hots for him, and Victor has a lot on his mind, and in his hands!
Gomez Pugh continues to amaze and entertain with his wonderful, clear, well paced performance. I love his range of accents, and his British accent in particular gave me shivers for all the right reasons.
A wonderful M/M paranormal book, and a great listen. I would thoroughly recommend and will delightedly continue with the Psycop series.
Lily reads, writes, and reviews m/m romance.
I hadn't read any of the PsyCop books before I listened to the series on Audible. I throughly enjoyed each story and Jordan's distinctive storytelling. I loved the premise of the series and thought the chemistry between Vic and Jacob was sizzling throughout. Gomez Pugh's performance was fabulous. His narration was spot on for each character. He differentiated each person clearly and made them come alive for me. I pictured everything going on in the scenes and recognized each character when they spoke. Jacob's voice was husky and so sexy. UNF! The production quality was excellent. I will definitely listen to all five superb stories again.
"Perfect narrator for one of my favorite books!"
I've read many of the books in this series. so when I saw the first book available on audio, I jumped on it. Gomez Pugh is the perfect narrator. He really brings Victor Bane to life. He does a great job distinguishing the character voices too. His portrayal of Sargent Warwick and his upper-Midwest accent was hilarious!
AMONG THE LIVING is only novella length, but it packs a lot of punch. We get creepy horror, humor, well-developed characters, some fun sexy-times...everything I like in a book. I love the world this story is set in. The pairing of psychic and stiff investigators is a really cool concept. It’s interesting how the two types of people bring different talents to the table while solving crimes. The psychic investigators also vary in their talents, leading to some interesting plot possibilities. I found it interesting that even thought psychics are utilized in such an important way in this society, they are still feared and discriminated against. I see so many exciting possibilities for where the author can take these characters.
Short review for a short book, but I can’t wait for the rest of the series to continue in audio.
Overall, I give AMONG THE LIVING...
Plot - 5 bookmarks
Character development - 5 bookmarks (considering this is only 90 pages, there is a lot of depth to Victor)
Love/Sex - 4 1/2 bookmarks (the only reason I downgraded it from five is because I’m not fully connected to Jacob yet)
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Matthew Gray Gubler (Victor), Channing Tatum (Jacob), Michelle Rodriguez (Lisa), Cherry Jones (Carolyn)
"Love the Voice Actor - Gomez Pugh!"
I have read Among the Living, so I am familiar with the story. Listening to the audio-book was truly a great way to experience the book. I really enjoyed the voice actor, Gomez Pugh. His voice of the main charcter, Vic, is spot on. I also enjoyed how Pugh brought to life the other characters in the book. Although I blushed, I really enjoyed Pugh's treatment of the love scenes (just right - not over the top or cheesy). I can't wait for the next PsyCop audio-book! I love this series!
Not better, different, and I love both
That is a huge spoiler, so my next best is Vic and Jacob meeting for the first time
The voice of Vic
"Finally, Psycop is in audio!"
Yes. If you enjoyed Among The Living in print or ebook, if you love Victor, Jacob, Lisa, and the others, you have got to listen to the audio. The narrator does a fantastic job with all of their different voices and accents.
Honestly, this is a tough question. I enjoyed the story, (I've already reread the print and ebook several times), I loved the accents for all the characters, and I loved how the narrator portrayed Vic, pretty much as I see and hear him in my head, which is the most important part.
He definitely "got" Vic's voice down pat. He also got Lisa's accent and attitude right. She was great. I actually enjoyed listening to his Jackie the Ghost too.
I think I would take Lisa out to dinner because I want to be her friend, not because I want to ask her questions, so get that thought out of your head! And as she's new to the area and has only three friends at this point, she could use another. Right? Right.
Series/Standalone: Book 1 (These are best read in order)
Genre/sub-genre: Gay paranormal cop story with slight romance
Book Format: Audio
Relatable characters: YES
Ratio of sex/plot: equal
Well written/editor needed: well written
Would I re-listen?: YES
Personal thoughts: Readers of M/M Romance will enjoy this series, though it's not actually a romance. That being said, I LOVE this series. I love Victor, even when he's accidentally spilling food all over himself. Vic is someone I can really relate to, which makes listening to his story that much easier and more fun. I don't know what else I can say, other than I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal, with cops, hot gay sex, an accident prone main character, and all of the ghostly people he comes into contact with throughout his workday. I'm still not sure I like Jacob's voice, 100%, but that's just me, and likely just means I need to spend more time with him to get used to it. His voice reminds me of someone I know, so it's just a little odd for me.
Thoroughly enjoyable. Why did I wait this long to start this series? The world building is so fresh and inventive - I am really looking forward to continuing the series.
And bonus! It's Gomez Pugh - who ALWAYS does an excellent job with the narration.
"Delightful! Yes really!"
I've been meaning to come review this book for 2 weeks now. I am so glad I picked this up and yet sad that I have to wait for the rest to be released. (Which I sincerely hope will be soon!) It's short, about 3 hours listening time, and I listened to it on a weekend drive to visit some family. Normally my drive only takes 2 hours, but I stopped for coffee and gas on the way and didn't even mind getting stuck in traffic on the way so that I could listen to the entire thing in one go.
Anyway, the story kind of jumps right into things with the two main characters which jarred me a bit but given it's such a short story it's understandable. I like that the concept is simple with people having different types of psychic abilities (medium abilities, precognition, lie detector, etc) and that there's different strength levels of ability as well.
The characters are so wonderfully fleshed out. Victor was charmingly awkward and self-deprecating, Jacob was playful and confident. And I have to specifically point out how well the women (Lisa and Carolyn) were written in this book. I adored Lisa and how straight forward she is in the beginning and how ready she is to prove herself later. Her vulnerability is disarming as well and makes her so very well rounded as a character. I look forward to finding out more about her in future books! The reason I point all this out is, I've found M/M-centric fiction has a nasty habit of having their lead men being notoriously misogynistic. That is NOT the case here at all and it was a breath of much needed fresh air. I should add, the diversity in the story is nice as well. The well rounded characters help balance out when the main character, in all his flaws, sees and notes things with some prejudice viewpoints.
Gomez Pugh is a great narrator and I only have to pick at his portrayal of Jacob which kinda reminds me of the actor Patrick Warburton. So it borders more on amusing instead of sexy. ;) Other than that though his voices a great, the reading is clear and he has a very soothing voice as a whole. I sincerely hope he continues reading for this series!!
Overall I highly recommend it even to people who might not usually go for paranormal/supernatural type stories.
"Great in book form, even better in audio!"
The narrator did an excellent job assigning different vocal personalities to his characters, I really appreciate that. I've read this series and knew it would be tough to find the right narrator, but Gomez is perfect. Vic's personality comes shining through, but my favorite spot on voice was for Warwick.
Gosh that's hard, Jordan Castillo Price has such a unique voice in fiction. This is contemporary but not, believable psi-fi, moody, edgy, and hot all at once. Every part of my brain is fully engaged in her story telling. Maybe Jordan Hawk or early Anne Rice would be comparable?
Many, but the power and confidence of Jacob paralleled to Vic's seeming insecurity is interesting. Particularly since Vic was such a rock for his new partner during her crisis. IF that makes any sense.
This is so much more than what some might expect of m/m genre. Yes it's a romance, kind of, but more than that it's enthralling, and imaginative.
"He Sees Dead People..."
Yes. The story is rather unique. It kinda grabs on and doesn't let go. I read the story when it first came out and forgot how much I liked it. Listening adds a new dimension and brings the story to life.
All of JCP's other books. Dark, gritty, and suspenseful.
This is the first time but hopefully not the last. I love his version of Lisa. His Jacob voice is scintillating.
Yes. It's rather short so it was easy to do.
I hope that the entire series is going to be in audio book format - soon.
"When the Story & Narrator Work Together"
Though I've been a JCP fan for a while--and although I own several of the PsyCop series!--this is the first I've gotten around to actually reading any of them. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm really glad that my recent penchant for audiobooks and the recent Audible sale coincided to get me to (re)buy Among the Living as an audiobook.
Somehow I always forget just HOW GOOD JCP is! She has a way of writing screwed up, imperfect characters without woobifying them, without making it a naked and gross play for the readers' attention. Though I wouldn't draw a thick line of comparison between the two, there's a matter-of-factness to her protagonists and their damage that only Gillian Flynn really equals for me, a "this is who I am and suck it if you can't handle it" that's tremendously appealing for me. Victor is not as super-damaged as a Flynn protagonist by any means, but there is a flinching shyness to him that speaks of damage; someone who prefers to stay under the radar because nothing good has ever come from drawing attention.
As well, there's a smoothness here of how JCP integrates plot and relationship. The prose is good, the sex is hot (even read by an audibook artist, more on that in a second), the pacing is page-turning, but feels fleshed out and unhurried. Just right, as the fairy tale says. The side characters--not just Victor's love interest Jacob, but also Jacob's partner, Caroline, and Victor's partner(s)--feel real and fleshed out (aided incredibly by the audiobook narrator, Gomez Pugh). The villain is rightfully creepy and the showdown between him and Victor feels like a natural and earned escalation of the story. The ending is satisfying and, again, feels organic to the story. Though I normally parse my audiobook listening over a few nights as I'm winding down for sleep, I found myself unable to stop listening, and I ended up listening to the entire story in less than 24 hours.
And then kudos must be given to Gomez Pugh. As mentioned, I'm very new to audiobooks. I've had one good experience, one middling and one that I just didn't like at all. Pugh was excellent. Like my other "best" experience, Kevin R Free, Pugh has a way of immersing himself in the voices so that you can forget that it's one person reading the different parts. His voice for the Sergeant, Warwick, is that broad, Southwest Chicago drawl that MOST OF US don't have, but it's definitely Chick-ah-go. His David Bowie voice is a scarily good go. And, most importantly for me, his voice for Jacob is a good one, one that sounds appropriate for the hot, romantic lead that he's supposed to be. Sex scenes on audio can also be a mixed bag. For me, personally, it's been a little weird having a really graphic sex scene read to me, especially since, presumably, there's a line of decorum that has to be maintained by the narrator to remain professional. Pugh did a really excellent job of reading it in a way that was still VERY HOT, but not crossing the line out of professionalism and into porn, if that makes sense. Admittedly, he had great scenes to work with in the first place, but Pugh committed to the reading without making me feel like he felt at all self conscious about reading it OR, alternatively, that he was jerking off in the booth. Professional, but committed, as I said.
With the Kevin R Free book that I read, it was a so-so story with an excellent narrator. Pugh is an excellent narrator who had a much better story to work from, and the combination of the two was an incredibly enjoyable experience. I definitely need to read the rest of the PsyCop series now. Like, now.
"Five stars going super nova!"
Jordan Castillo Price knows how to write a great short story. A rare talent. Add Gomez Pugh and it's almost like watching a movie.
The last one.
I liked his no nonsense narrative, and he had very good vocal range and depth.
Vic, of course.
This is how you write a short story. I'd forgotten how much I loved this series. The narrator is perfect for these paranormal stories. Oh how I love Vic and Jacob. I can hardly wait for the next one. Highly recommended
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