Book 1 in the best-selling Bite Back series "Vampires are the flickering illusions of Hollywood. They don't exist. We do. We are the Athanate."
For Amber Farrell, post-military life as a PI has its ups and downs: She's been hit by a truck. She's being sued by a client. Denver's newest drug lord just put out a contract on her. The sinister Athanate want her to come in for a friendly chat. And it's only Tuesday. Enter Jennifer Kingslund: rich, gorgeous - a tough businesswoman who's known for getting what she wants in the boardroom and the bedroom. Someone's trying to sabotage her new resort and destroy her company - and she wants Amber to find out who. The answers lead Amber past Were and Adept, right back to the Athanate - and a centuries-old war that could threaten not just Denver, but the nation that Amber swore to protect and serve. And all sides want to claim her for their own...
©2011, 2014 Mark Henwick (P)2014 Mark Henwick
I really enjoyed the story here, a nice twist on the usual vampire story but the narrators voice was very monotonous and her characters were a bit stale at times. Also you know those snappy one liners.authors put another end of a chapter....they were delivered almost an an afterthought....not sure whether to listen based on narrator might get the paper book instead tho as I'm intrigued to see where Amber goes next.
What a great story, narrator very good, highly recommended . looking forward to the next book.
Great book well written, Looking forward to the next one. Great for lovers of Twilight style books.
I was given a promotional code in exchange for a fair review.
Some time ago, I stumbled across the Athanate books and very much enjoyed them. Book 4 will be published soon and I will get it. In between, I have been listening to the audio books and I felt that that story went very well with this format. To me, it brought the story a little bit more alive and I very much enjoyed listening to them. So if you have the chance, go grab them!
"A good entry into Urban Fantasy"
I was in the mood for some urban fantasy and thought I'd take a chance on this based on reviews on Amazon. And I am glad I did. Its not a ground breaking book and some some cliche's to it, but it works very well and is a page turner. The author starts out with something unique, which is he gives us a competent female lead. In too many books with female leads they characters tend to start naive and make bad choices, the main character here, Amber, is competent and collected. She deals with some wild changes but doesn't seem to make too man off the wall choices.
The world building is also well done, familiar enough to think you know it, but with enough uniqueness to make it interesting. A number of super natural beings are introduces, some of which would be considered 'traditional' but without a huge amount of explanation. Instead of being annoying this leaves you wanting more and looking forward to more detail in the following books. The pace seems good though I do feel the end was slightly rushed, but not badly. The ending also clearly leads into a new books, which since this is listed as 'book 1' is to be expected. But I would have like a little but of closure as I wait for the following book.
If I were to complain it would that the author uses Amber's military background too much. I wish he would have chosen a more realistic military background for her and then used it a little more sparingly. I like the weapon depictions in the book, which are mostly accurate. While wildly not practical I liked seeing the HK MK23 used in a book like this. All and all I was happy with it and look forward to the next book. I hope it gets better, second books can usually go either way. But I look forward to seeing more of this world and it's characters.
"Awesome Detective/Mystery with touch of Paranormal"
I loved this book!! There are more in series but not on Audible 😭. Good news is that this was a complete novel and while obviously intended to be an ongoing series - there was no cliffhanger.
The narrator, Kimberly Henrie, did a great job! All the characters were distinctive and appropriate. I hope Audible will obtain the rest of this series and with Ms. Henrie narrating.
The synopsis is available on Audible so there is no need to waste space here retelling it. I'll just say that it was extremely well written - both the story and the writing itself. Never once did I find myself cringing from poor grammar or sentence structure. The story was engaging from the very start. I was NEVER bored - which is a rare thing. Although the main character was female, the author never once had her do anything stupid. As an intelligent female myself, I am extremely thankful to Mark Henwick for the creation of the creation of Amber Ferrell. I've never understood why so many female writers create such annoying female protagonists who are either total uh... witches or simply "Too Stupid To Live".
It was a pleasure listening to this book! I listened into the wee hours of the night until I forced myself to put it down last night for essential sleep before picking up again this morning.
This book is DEFINITELY WORTH A CREDIT or an outright BUY.
AUDIBLE: Please approach Mr. Henwick to release the rest of this series on audio.
"A sexy and sophisticated Standout!"
The three things that stood out about this audiobook (Sleight of Hand: Bite Back, Book 1): The heroine, the complexity of the conflicts she faces, and the narrator.
Let's take them one at a time. Our MC is Amber, and I approve. First of all, she has a Pretty Name. I find it hard to connect with so many main characters right out of the gate -- just because they are given dumb clunky names. In Amber, author Mark Henwick has created a heroine who is immediately likable through the simple technique of making her *gasp* Actually Competent. Right from the get-go, she has her spit together. I think that too many authors, wanting to depict a character arc, start their H out making really stupid decisions, avoidable mistakes, and childish judgments. Amber's maturity, commensurate with her life experience, is a breath of fresh air.
Gotta hand it to Mr. Henwick. He threw so many difficulties at our protagonist that I was on the edge of my earbuds the whole time. Not only does she have problems with her case, her struggling business, and a suspicious cop, but also with a bitchy sister, an aspirant best friend, a twitchy government bureaucrat, a disgruntled ex-client, persistent vampires, wolf-prints, and her inevitably pending undeath sentence, just to name a few. This is why it is such a relief that she has so much emotional maturity. There's no angst, whining, or torrents of tears, which may seem to be "natural" reactions to some lazy authors, but are boring, boring, boring to read about.
I must single out the thing that was unique and so very welcome about this story to me. I LOVE paranormal romances. I have gratitude to live in times when I can have them read to me - thanks Audible. Anyway, back on topic. In this story, our heroine, as a result of a vampire attack, is slowly developing vampire-like physical traits. We all know that blood and sex are linked vampire stories (at least the good ones, *grin*). Well, Amber is "between" men, but her libido is growing inexorably as the vampire prions multiply in her blood. As a result, she is attracted to a woman as well as to a man. This is all presented matter-of-factly and publicly. This just…chimes for me and my private little, ah, reading pleasures. Best yet, when things seem to fall apart for one of her perspective liaisons, she does not Burn That Bridge. Did I mention how much I appreciate Amber's maturity?
I cannot say enough about how much I loved Kimberly Henrie's performance as the reader. Those of us who listen to audiobooks recognize that is there is special handful of audiobooks where the talent is perfectly matched to the material. This is one of those. Kimberly's voice is smooth as motor oil, feminine as chantilly lace, and calm as a sunning butterfly. This is the lady I want reading the phone book to me, yo. She will heretofore be referred to as: Voice Angel.
Boogers in the Bisque:
As much as I liked this book, there are some negatives that simply cannot go unremarked on. The first is the cover. The model is depicted with her finger on the trigger of a gun. The Third Rule of gun safety is Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target (and you have made the decision to shoot). Very bad optics indeed for a book whose MC has Army as well as police training, and there it is, ignorance immortalized right on the dang cover. BAD.
Other small demerits go, sadly, to Kimberly. For all that her performance of this book was heavenly, there were a couple of mispronunciations that stood out. For example, the heroine is invited into the opulent home of her wealthy client, and sits down on an elegant "chase". Needle scratch, Voice Angel! Another small criticism is that she did never picked up the pace or add urgency to the big action scenes - especially at the climax of the book. Oh well, piddly quibbles won't result in any stars being deducted from her rating. Take it from me, Kimberly Henrie has the makings of an Audible superstar.
In conclusion, this was over 12 hours (yay) of pure fun, action, suspense, and sexy tension, with a solid gold performance, and more is on the way with Hidden Trump (Bite Back, Book 2). The minute that sequel shows up in Audible, I am whisking it into my cart.
"A very happy surprise"
I am addicted to this genre, call it paranormal romance or urban fantasy or whatever, and am delighted by the number of talented women writing in this field. In fact, I think I am biased and hesitated to buy this book because it was written by a man. I am so glad I went ahead because this book is awesome and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Amber, the heroine, is well written. Her character and personality are so thoroughly portrayed that I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend when the book ended and I found out the second book in the series hasn't been published yet.
I liked her performance very much. I think she should stretch her talent next time in portraying the voices of the male characters, but with that exception her voice and manner suited the book beautifully.
Extreme reaction, well, I couldn't stop listening, never knew what would happen next and finished it in one day.
Mark Henwick is a really good writer. In some ways he reminds me of Robert Heinlein in the sense it seems he really gets women and likes and respects them. This is someone I wish I knew.
"Great book, snooze narrator"
The book was absolutely fantastic - great urban fantasy with all the right ingredients, plus a kick-ass heroine. However, I had to stop "listening" to it and go to reading on my kindle instead. The narrator was just so freakin' monotone, I literally kept nodding off, seriously - in a book so full of action?! Anyway, loved the book and just purchased the next in series (NEW narrator - YAY!!!).
I loved that Amber is a strong female with no problems taking charge. She can save the day all on her own and doesn't feel the need to whine over her changing humanity. I also like that the book wasn't overly sexual as some other paranormal fiction books can get. The book was great on its own and didn't need that extra bit of fluff.
Amber is great, but all the characters have just the right amount depth and appeal.
I wish the reader added a bit more to her reading. There were times I felt like she was just reading the story not acting it. Mainly in the first few chapters.
I enjoyed this book so much I had to buy the next one in the series as well. I truly hope the rest of the books in this series will be released on audio! Yes, I will buy them too!
"New series to painfully wait for the next one."
I very much enjoyed this book and will most likely listen again when the next book in the series is coming available for a refresher.
Over all I liked the characters and the fact that this is strong female lead with earned skills.
She did a fine job. I can hear other readers read it as well. There are a few pronunciation issues that she could work on but it wasn't bad at all. Amanda Ronconi, might add a little sass Ms. Henrie left on the table.
Yes, I was excited to hear what happened next.
I love finding a new series but hate waiting for the next book to become available. SO HURRY UP Mr. HENWICK!!!!!
I really enjoyed this book. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series...
"Great Start to the Series"
This is one of the best urban fantasy series that I have read in the last few years. Amber is a kickin heroine! The writing is fantastic -- none of the characters seem one dimensional and the female characters in this series are believable and complex. The feel of Denver is well captured and I dig the familiar names and places in the books. I was surprised to find that the author lives in the UK.
The Narrator for this book is a pretty stiff.
"Love love love this series"
This series is wonderful. Strong female lead and not a bumbling lead like so many books use so thanks to the author for that. Lots of paranormal, military under current, and action. Start this wonderful series and you won't regret it.
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