My name is Landon Hamilton.
I'm a ghost.
I died five years ago, except I didn't get to rest in peace like most of the departed. Instead, I was tapped by Dante (yes, that Dante) in Purgatory to become his champion and save humankind from the rest of the Divine - you know, angels and demons and their mortal followers.
It seemed like a great deal at the time. I would answer my calling as a diuscrucis (a perfect balance of angel, demon, and human) by getting sent back to the mortal world, inheriting the "magic" to bend the universe to my will, and saving humanity from devastation.
Hindsight... it sucks.
Yeah, I saved the world; but my vampire almost-girlfriend, Rebecca, stabbed me in the back (literally); I was forced to kill my angel best-friend, Josette; I've got a snarky werewolf taking up residence in my soul; and to be honest, I'm getting tired of the whole damn thing.
I don't eat, don't sleep, and barely feel. I've become obsessed with the Demon Queen's warning, and the only thing keeping me hanging onto any shred of my humanity is Josette's daughter, Sarah.
Except...now she's gone.
She was taken right out from under my nose, and I don't know by who or for what purpose. What I do know is that I'll do whatever it takes to get her back, and there isn't an angel, demon, or god that can stop me.
It's a good thing I've still got my anger.
Betrayal is the second book in the best-selling Divine series, a contemporary paranormal and urban fantasy set in New York City and Paris, France. It is suitable for adults both young and old.
©2013 Michael Forbes (P)2014 Michael Forbes
I would definitely recommend this to a friend. We have a really solid group of characters immersed in an amazing story. It's a must-read!
Landon. He's the main character so he obviously gets the most screen time. Saying that picking him out also brings with him the characters in his head which I really enjoyed watching him come to an understanding with (on one side) and getting reunited with on the other side. You can see him evolve his personality from almost a soldier or an enforcer to someone taking more interest in the personal elements of the balance that he keeps.
Brilliant performance. He brings the characters to life, really enjoyable narration in general as well which makes it a great book to listen to.
The only thing keeping me hanging onto humanity is gone. How do I maintain my balance?
This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost.
The first book (Divine) was good. The second, I just couldn't put down (Betrayal) and I've just started book three, Broken.
The plight of Langdon and Sarah seems impossible. But the characters seem so real. Their thoughts and feelings, the remorse and the internal battles make them come to life.
"A good follow-up to the previous book."
This is another excellent novel in this series. If you liked the first book in the series this one definitely will not dissappoint you. The world is vibrant and the cosmology of the series is unique and keeps getting more interesting as the series moves forward.
Heaven and hell continue to war, but the main character finds out there is another faction in play that has been manipulating events all along. The action is non-stop and the author writes a very tight novel. He can balance character development with action so one does not overpower the other.You really get a series of danger and loss that a lot of novels don't provide and feel that something truly bad can happen to any character at any time. That is a major improvement over some of the more Mary-Sue esque main characters in other series.
The only negative, and why I gave the story 4 stars instead of 5 is that the main character is a lot more whiny in this novel and it gets irritating after a while. That isn't to say there isn't a reason, just that it drags the story down a bit. Once you get past that the story moves at a breakneck pace. The narrarator is excellent and does a great job with a wide variety of voices and accents. Each character is unique and not at all cartoony.
The best part is that there are so many plot twists and turns in this novel. I was caught flat footed several times with surprises in this book. I read a ton of books and finding one that keeps you guessing without being obtuse or blaming everything on a charater you didn't or barely see is great (although that does happen once). I definitely recommend this one, it is well worth a credit.
"Upping the ante in every way"
This book is really fun. It takes the premise of the first book (being stuck between good and evil, keeping it balanced) and ups the ante. The stakes are higher, the action is more intense and quick paced and it even expands the cast of characters fairly significantly.
The book takes place 5 years after the previous one. Even knowing that it takes a little to play catch up as many things have changed. The author, Forbes, does well to catch you up and the jump allows him to play with the story and change dynamics of the group, which wouldnt have been possible if the time jump wasnt there. It actually important to the story because of the development and change in one of the characters over that 5 years.
It ends of a cliffhanger, but I feel this end point was much better than the previous one. It made sense as a point to end the book. certainly looking to pick up the next one soon.
The narration is great, like the previous book. As is the sound production. The minor things that annoyed me last time are less prevalent - the main one was a laugh thing that was done. that wasnt there. maybe the characters didnt laugh as much as much, or maybe the narrator, hays, decided not to do it this time. Not sure. The expanded cast of characters is done well with each having their own accent/voice/style to tell them apart. One female sounded off - it was a character who is now a teen after the 5 year jump but still sounded young girly. But that was not a big issue in to me.
Overall, certainly can recommend it.
"Dante and the crew are back for more"
Demons, Angels vampires, archangels, lucifer, the beast and more. This is what our hero faces. Old allies return, new powers discovered, betrayals at their deepest levels and a cliffhanger ending that will leave you shocked and waiting for the 3rd book to reveal what's next for those who are still with us...the author and narrator pack another dynamic punch with this 2nd
Installment of the divine series. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review
"Way better than Balance Book 1!"
So I wrote a pretty good review for the first book in the divine series, Balance. The narration was great and the writing was pretty darn good. I was thrilled with this one though. Here is what is great...
1.) The writing has improved from Book 1. Not only is the story more complex and nuanced, but the author does a much better job of fleshing out the scenery and characters.
2.) The narration is FREAKING AWESOME. I listen quite a few audible books since I am a commuter. In order to be good as a narrator you must do one of two things; be British or utilize voices and audio techniques to help relay the scenery that the author tries to build in his writing. So Jeff Hays is not British, but the use of character voices is amazing and matches the first book (It's really annoying when narrators change the characters voices across a series). Furthermore he does a great job of making it obvious through audio techniques that someone is on the telephone for instance rather than leaving you wondering "wait are they actually in the room?".
Overall this an awesome book. I highly recommend it!
"Great addition to the series - Fantastic Narration"
Great second installment. Just as well written, interesting and entertaining as the first book. Great story plus fantastic narration equals an extremely enjoyable listen.
This book starts 5 years after the first book ended. While the author goes over the basics of the first book to get you refreshed with the story, I would definitely start with the first book in the series.
The story starts out at a fast pace and just keeps going. It's full of surprises, twists and turns and suspense that keep you glued to the story. A couple of the loose ends from the first book are answered/resolved in this book. There is still an unresolved issue at the end which will lead into the next book. So a cliffhanger.
While heaven and hell are still fighting a never ending war between good and evil, Landon is just going through the motions of keeping the balance as the Diucrucis.
When the one thing he truly cares about has been kidnapped, he will save her no matter what he has to do or who he has to kill.
Jeff Hays does another fantastic job with the narration on this installment. As usual. Great character voices, all of them. I don't know how he works his magic for all the characters but it is amazing. He doesn't just narrate the story he brings it to life. Always a pleasure listening to any book he narrates.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com
"An outstanding Urban fantasy novel"
Landon Hamilton is on a mission. That mission is to keep the balance between good and evil in the world. After his death five years earlier, when he was returned to the mortal world from Purgatory by Dante, as a diuscrucis, a perfect balance of angel, demon and human, Landon has worked and grown in power keeping the balance of good and evil. When the only other diuscrucis is kidnapped, Landon will stop at nothing to find her. Along the way, he has to face enemies from his past, as well as new enemies he may not be powerful enough to stop. It doesnt help that the vampire he was growing to love and that betrayed him those five years ago is in the middle of the conspiracy. Can Landon defeat the ultimate evil? Well, give it a listen and find out, its worth it. The plot is fast paced, chock full of interesting characters. It is amazing to see Landons character growth from book 1 to this one. The setting is realistic, with a fully realized magical world just under the surface of ours. As far as narration, Jeff Hays was at the top of his game. I especially liked his voicework when it came to Josette the Angel and Landons own voice. A must read series for any fan of Urban fantasy.
"All in the Family"
The voice talent of Jeff Hays. First and foremost, to me, the narrator makes or breaks an audio book. That's so obvious to not even need to be said. I've listened to quite a few Audible editions of M.R.'s and of Jeff's work. Contentwise, Betrayal was my least favorite, yet it was still enjoyable enough with the great voice over talents to finish listening to. And brought the overall rating up.
With all of that being said, there is still quite a bit going for this series. So, YES, I would recommend Betrayal to a friend, to maintain the continuity of the series. There was another cliffhanger ending, but it also resolved some situations from the first book in the Divine series, "Betrayal".
Actually, I'm into the "ensemble" cast. They are wildly creative, so it's fun to hear the interplay. There is A LOT of conversation. So, Jeff was able to strut his stuff. Enjoyable.
In the Garden of Love and Hate, Good and Evil battle
Though not my favorite, Betrayal Book Two was still worth a listen. It's always worth the time when Forbes and Hays collaborate.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
"As good as the first"
The story continues very well between the two books. A bit of time passes between them that allows the reader/listener to have a reason to get to know Landon a bit more again. Many things from the first book came together in this one, some if which are a bit unexpected but fitting.
I think the only downside would be the ending. Which was a much bigger cliffhanger than the last. Sure it isn't a bad thing, but it left me wanting an hour or two more. All the more reason to start up the next one I suppose.
Hays puts on another fantastic performance. He has a way of capturing the right voice for every character. Male or female. Not to mention his work on the music in this series. The opening and closing songs in betrayal set the mood perfectly. It's a nice cleanser at the end of the book as well. Something nice and light to settle the mind after being so into the moment.
"Not as good as the first, but still enjoyable."
Yes I have enjoyed the two books I have read from this author and I will continue this series after taking a break to listen to some other books. I find Forbes to be a good author who writes well rounded characters, although this book I found lagged a bit because he spent more time discussing the merits of good vs. evil and what evil and good meant.
I still enjoy the main character Landon but I quite liked the way Jeff brought the character Ulnix to life. Jeff seemed to really imbue a lot of personality into the words that the author had written and to me Jeff seemed to relish portraying a character that was "evil" in the first book and for lack of a better term became more "balanced."
There were a few places that I became extremely frustrated with the main characters actions. A few places I wanted to say, "Take your head out of your rear and pay attention Landon."I felt very frustrated with some of the obvious points that the main character missed and a few times in the book I actually was somewhat bored waiting for a character to emerge that had been foreshadowed heavily.
M.R. Forbes was still able to provide some very interesting twists to the story, but I definately found the foreshadowing a bit too much at times. It might also be because I had just finished reading the previous book the day before.
I didn't think the book was as strongly written as the first book, and I found the main character to be somewhat dense in places. The author delved a bit to esoterically into the battle between good and evil and what makes someone good or evil, but overall I enjoyed the book.
I found Jeff's performance of the book to be very good, although I felt it wasn't quite as spot on as the first. I did notice some small nit picky things such as the beginnings of some of the chapters the voice of Landon seemed to start out a little deeper but within a sentence it was back to the normal pitch.
I still very much enjoyed Jeff's ability to perform both the male and female voices and all the accents with skill and he did a great job imbuing them with life and matching each voice to the characters personality. I especially enjoyed the way he built on the character Ulnix and also portrayed the character Lilacs.
"Interesting part of the series but not my favorite"
This starts and it took me a minute to realize that they had jumped five years into the future from book one. Fortunately, M.R. Forbes gives enough information to catch the reader up to speed without dragging the story down. I found that I really needed this because I could not remember book one! This is the hazard of reading so many similar books! Again, it was fortunate that Forbes took the time to make sure the reader knew what was going on. I know I needed that.
Once I got up to speed, I was really able to enjoy the story. Remembering that Landon is a diuscrucis and had to maintain balance really brought it all around. I loved the first part of this and how Landon deals with the crap that is thrown at him.
The problem is that he never makes choices prior to something happening. He is constantly reacting to “so and so” and thus not able to make his own choices. He has a choice to do something about missing girls and decides to let it go, that is, until one of HIS friends goes missing. A lot of the plot is like this and it gets frustrating fast.
For some reason I consistently compare Landon with Bill the Vampire by Rick Gualtieri. The characters are quite similar but what Landon is missing is the growth that Bill somehow finds. It does take Bill a while, and he is still a complete idiot, but I wonder if Landon will be able to move through a character arc and show some growth?
Sadly, the seemingly lack of growth for him in this had me frustrated. I enjoyed the story, especially the narration, but Landon just frustrates me to no end!
Speaking of the narration. Once again, it is done superbly! The voices are differentiated in a subtle way so I can tell the characters apart. What is even more interesting is the fact that the audio has certain effects over various things that happen. When a soul connection is made with Landon there is a sort of echo. This part I did not totally love and the echo was quite weird but it did help to understand what was happening. It is almost like a cell phone usage where someone has a little background noise coming from the phone. Nothing to call the phone company about, but enough to know you’re on the phone. These types of little additives really help to set this audio apart from other stories. It helps keep me involved with what is happening.
Funnily enough, even though this second story was not my favorite, I loved the ending. It’s again a cliff hanger but I liked it better than the way book one ended. I’m just hoping that Landon will start making better choices in book three. I keep wanting to smack my forehead every time he makes a mistake!
In short: Interesting part of the series but not my favorite. You’ll want to read these in order to understand the full story.
Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.
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