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Cunning Devil

Lost Falls, Book 1
Narrated by: Gary Bennett
Series: Lost Falls, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

Breaking curses. Battling witchcraft. Revenge. All in a day's work for Ozzy Turner, folk wizard.

Is a witch throwing curses your way? Something scary scratching at your window in the night? Then, I've got just the charm for you.

Mostly, though, I find things. Lost treasures, missing loved ones...if you need something found, I'm your guy.

So, when a grieving father hired me to track down a family heirloom stolen by a sticky-fingered hobgoblin, I was happy to help.

No one was supposed to wind up dead. Especially not me. But they made a mistake when they put a bullet in my stomach and left me for the worms. They didn't bury me deep enough....

If you like Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Shayne Silvers, M.D. Massey, or Orlando A. Sanchez, then you'll love taking a trip to the sleepy town of Lost Falls, where not everything is as it seems.

©2017 Chris Underwood (P)2019 Chris Underwood

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fab start to the series.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Really enjoyed listening to this kept me entertained and I am looking forward to listening to more in the series.
Gary Bennett’s narration was really good too.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Rather enjoyable

It did take me a while to get into this one, I did not immediately take to Ozzy (a cunning man - aka witch) who starts the book off by helping rid his sister of an unwanted house guest (it's more of a cellar dweller actually but you get the gist).

Ozzy removes the unwanted creature and takes it away, which is when things start getting stranger. Which brings me to the subject of 'Strangers' which is what all the wild beasties, ghosties and goblins are referred to collectively. They are The Strangers. Apparently from other planets but I admit, I may have that wrong, it could have been other dimensions. So, all your fae folk are here, goblins, ghouls, witches (not fae I know) hobgoblins and something called raggenwolf, which I admit, is rather puzzling, because all other field spirits (which the raggenwolf is one of) are missing, no mention of weizenvogel, roggenbär or, my favourite the troadhân), so I feel they may be included in future books, I just hope the traodhân will be making an appearance.

The story gets a bit interesting when the Dealer turns up at Ozzy's house, things all start to get a little clearer from here, it takes quite a while for Ozzy's story to emerge but most of it gets spat out eventually.

I particularly enjoyed the last third of the book, when events really picked up the pace and became most interesting with a rather 'cunning' twist at the end, most inventive Mr Underwood, I really enjoyed that one.

I did enjoy the narration from Gary Bennett but am not sure he's the best voice for Ozzy who is described as a large burly man who looks more like a biker than a 'cunning man' (I hate that phrase, it makes Ozzy sound like a weazly snitch) so I thought his voice might sound a little more burly too but either way, the narration is pleasant to listen to.

I recommend giving this one a try if you're a fan of sorcerers in society or mages in the machine or just fancy giving something different a listen, I think you'll probably be glad that you did.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request
and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Out of the ordinary urban fantasy

I read this book on Kindle a couple of years ago. I failed to rate or review it then, but I must have enjoyed it as I have bought and read all the subsequent Lost Falls books.

The main character, Ozzie, is a Cunning Man or white witch:

“We were the ones you came to when your crops failed or your prized cooking pan went missing. We were there to track down your son after he wandered into the woods alone. We broke curses and protected against witchcraft. We provided magical assistance for the common folk, all at a reasonable price. And though we weren’t always trusted, we were always in demand.”

Ozzie is an finely drawn character with a troubled past that slowly comes to light as the story progresses. He and his mentor, Early, see themselves as the protectors of their community of Lost Falls - both of the visible human and of the hidden non-human populations - and that role of protector often puts them in the line of fire, whether from gun, curse, or some sort of magical strike.

The non-human entities are many and varied: hags, hobgoblins, vampires, goblins, ghouls, changelings, a roggenwolf, to name a few, and it is interesting to see how none of these - even those where the most evil has arisen - is portrayed as wholly bad.

The audiobook version, which I have just finished, has a good reader in Gary Bennett. His voice suits the character of Ozzie extremely well, and is pleasant to listen to. Most of the other characters are easy to distinguish, and I particularly enjoyed the voice he gave to the Dealer.

This is a novel that pulls together a complex series of seemingly unrelated incidents and characters, blending them into a startling finale and a satisfying conclusion. It is a good start to a series that continues to improve and enthrall.

The main reason I have not given a five star rating is the plethora of f-bombs, which I find irritating - particularly when I am listening to a book. I have recently re-read the other books in this series and don’t recall an excess of swearing in those, so I think the author must have been more creative in his language as his skills developed.

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  • Carole Wooten
  • 13-12-19

Great start to a promising series!

Every once in a while I am lucky enough to stumble upon a book that really impresses me. This was one of those books. I decided to give this book a try simply because it sounded like it had some promise and I am always on the lookout for new urban fantasy series to try. Once I started listening, I quickly realized that this was going to be a book that I wouldn't want to put down. I really enjoyed every moment that I spent with this book.

I loved this story's setup. Ozzy is a cunning man who is also very resourceful. He tries to help others when he can. He decided to help a man find a family heirloom even though the job isn't going to pay well. And that's when things really start to go wrong. Ozzy will risk losing everything to get to the bottom of this case before long.

I loved the characters in this book. I found myself liking Ozzy right from the start. I loved getting a chance to see what he thought and see how his mind works. Besides Ozzy, there were plenty of other great characters. Ozzy's mentor, Early, kept me guessing and the Dealer was intriguing yet creepy. I loved the variety of beings that show up in this book include hags, goblins, hobgoblins, and changelings just to start.

The story had plenty of action and moved at a pretty fast pace. I was completely drawn into the mystery and couldn't wait to see how things would work out. The book took a lot of turns that I didn't expect and I loved the fact that it kept me guessing.

Gary Bennett did a fabulous job with the narration. I really felt like he brought this story to life. He used a variety of voices for all of the different characters and made everything sound very natural. He had a very pleasant voice that I found easy to listen to for hours at a time. I think that his performance added to my enjoyment of the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a great start to a very promising series. The characters, the mystery, and the world-building were all very well done. I cannot wait to read more of this series!

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author via Audiobook Boom and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Midi
  • 10-12-19

Really interesting - Great start for a new series!

First of all, "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review" - but it in no way affects the opinions I am offering here.

I love the comfort of reading the next book by one of my favorite writers as read by one of my favorite narrators... so starting a new book by an author I'd never heard of, read by someone I'd never listened to before was a bit daunting. However, from the start, the story hooked me and managed to keep me engaged, interested and entertained during a long grueling drive alone in my car for hours.

I liked the premise of the small town of Lost Falls, the overlap of the supernatural world to the regular, the re-working and interpretations of classic creatures from myths and folklore. I also liked the way little bits of the characters' individual stories are slowly revealed as necessary along with the plot. The action scenes are well written despite their complexity between the physical and the magical aspects. The bad guys aren't always that bad, the good ones are flawed, the plot twists and turns... and the Dealer is a pretty freakin' interesting character. I appreciated how the book wrapped up with this tale but set the stage for the continuation of the series without the usual obvious clichés.

The narrator did a really good job without a lot of over-the-top voice 'acting' that this genre can be open to.
All in all, the hours and miles sped by and I was sort of sad when the book ended. Looking forward to the next book in the series. I hope Mr. Underwood writes fast...

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  • Jon Doe
  • 10-12-19

A compelling introduction.

First off, this being an audiobook, I found Gary Bennett's performance to be fantastic. He was well timed, differentiated characters, and left me in the story.

In terms of story, I was not let down, by any means. With echos of Koontz, King, and Rowling, we have a journey through small town magical america that is going to be remembered. I look forward to the next installment in audiobook. Much as I want to learn more about the narrator, the Dealer seems to be the standout role. The use of the cunning folk in such a way is an interesting delve into historical magical ideas, and it leaves me wondering where it will go next.

I requested a free review copy of this audiobook, with expectation of my honest review. Thank you for allowing me to listen to and review the book!

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  • RJ
  • 10-12-19

Canny starter!

We’re invited to enjoy an interesting paranormal fantasy. Our protagonist, Ozzy is a witch turned cunning man; i.e. a cunning man or a cunning woman is a village witch or healer who provided cures, remedies, charms, spells, and divination, usually in exchange for a fee or gift. Retrieved from http://occult-world.com/witch-glossary/cunning-man-cunning-woman/. Ozzy is hired to find an heirloom, but what he discovers is much more involved than he thought. We’re led on a merry chase of sorcerers, goblins, Redcaps, witches, magic, intrigue, and revenge in an effort to prevent a curse from destroying the town. A canny introduction to a new series. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Cindy
  • 10-12-19

The Dealer!

I went back and forth in the beginning. It seemed the MC was experienced one moment then not another. About half way through he pulled it together. Still felt iffy about him. But goodness, the other characters were great. Their personalities kept my interest to the end and The Dealer is tops on my list.
This audio was given to me free and I voluntarily gave this review

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  • Elizabeth
  • 05-12-19

Enjoyed this book

This was a great book. I'll check out more in this series. I really enjoyed this first one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-19

absolutely mesmerizing story.

loved it. had no clue of the author or anything about the story but was hooked from sentence one to the làst word said. story kept you interested and questioning what will happen next the whole time.