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Hand of Miriam

A Bayla and the Golem Novel, Volume 1
Narrated by: Doro Jillings
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or "knowing eye". Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem - a mythical man of clay who protected the Jewish community more than three centuries ago. 

The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom - by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet Bayla challenges his mind, body, and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her?  

Besides dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors, and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel. Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other while protecting the world from encroaching evil.

©2013 Eva Gordon (P)2018 Eva Gordon

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

Best of Steampunk,Paranormal,Adventure & Romance!

Eva Gordon is a fabulous storyteller. She creates plots that are multidimensional and complex. This book is no different. It is my first Victorian steampunk book and I think I may be hooked to the genre.

At the start of the book, Bayla is an unconventional Jewish women with a deep interest in archaeology. She and her husband are on an expedition when she finds an amulet of the Hand of Miriam which fuses to her palm. Shortly after she, her husband, their colleagues are attacked by some sort of phenomenon and she finds herself a widow.

By fusing to Bayla, the Hand of Miriam gifts her with the ability to hear the evil intentions and thoughts of others. She can also easily identify non-humans. She initially helps the London police in capturing criminal until the criminals start targeting her.

Her husband left her a significant collection of archaeological finds, including a box that is the key to awaken a golem, a protective creature made of clay. Over the millennia, this golem has been woken to protect the Jewish people from persecution, etc. Now he must protect Bayla. And who is the Golem? He is Gesher, a fallen avenging angel who has to live out his sentence as a golem until his master or mistress gives him permission to break the box that confines him. Bayla grants him his freedom and their adventure begins.

This book is filled with immortals, angels, demons, wraiths, vampires, werewolves, secret societies and more. At no point is the listener given the chance to be bored. The plots momentum builds to an astounding crescendo, leaving me gasping for more. Luckily, while this book appears to be stand-alone (without a cliffhanger), it is, in fact, only the beginning of the series (Yeah!!!)

Doro Jillings does an incredible job of narrating this book. She really breathes life into the story, giving Gesher a larger than life voice to match his larger than life personality, and Bayla her strong, educated Victorian woman lilt.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Can’t wait for the next book.

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

Really enjoyed this book all sorts of twists and turns left no time to get bored . The added storyline of Jack the Ripper made it even more enjoyable .

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Quite good

This was a good enough story but I found that it dragged quite a bit in the middle and could have been a bit shorter. It picked up again towards the end. I really liked the beginning of this novel. It was full of mystery and drama as we were introduced to the characters.

I enjoyed the mix of mythical creatures and Victorian London at the time of the Ripper murders. It was a good premise for lots of action and drama.

Bayla was an interesting and likeable character but I would have liked to read the stories where she helped the police to solve crimes rather than just being told this is what she did.


Although the romantic scenes and dialogue had me cringing there was plenty of adventure and suspense to hold my attention and keep me entertained.

The steampunk elements were fun and including Jewish history and culture in the storyline made it more interesting.

The narrator did a good job and I will probably listen to the next book when it comes out on Audible.

I voluntarily reviewed an audio review copy.

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Very enjoyable.

I received a free review copy of this book and i am voluntarily leaving a review.

I quite enjoyed this book, it's got plenty of depth and the story keeps you engaged, thrilled and thurally entertained. The characters are great and very likeable.
It's brilliantly written and the narration is flawless.
I would most definitely recommend this to anyone.
10/10.

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Profile Image for Sara B
  • Sara B
  • 04-12-19

Very Interesting!

Hand of Miriam is a unique and fascinating story, entailing Jack the Ripper shrouded in the mysticism of the Jewish role. Set in the Victorian era, I found the storyline to be engaging with compelling characters. The plot is well developed, packed with drama, suspense, and adventure. The romantic interplays between Bayla and Gesher are charming, I thought they were great together.

Eva Gordon's writing is clever, clear, and precise. I founded the humor to be dry and brilliant; I thoroughly enjoyed it. The narration by Doro Jillings is excellent. Her telling is done in a way that will draw the listeners into this story.

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

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  • KarenH
  • 27-11-19

This One's for the Serious Scholar of Jewish Lore

I received a free review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Not being familiar with Jewish History and Mythology, quite a lot of the story was a jumble of repeated Victorian gender relation morals. Once getting past that and into the "meat" of the story, we find yet another tale of Jack the Ripper wrapped up in occult mysticism. No discrimination intended in any way, but it was largely a huge muddle. On the plus side, the non-steampunk aspects of the history verified as accurate upon research. The book seems to be well enough written though having a somewhat obscure plot.

While the story itself was tolerable, if somewhat repetitive, the narration fell somewhat flat. The narrator, while sounding appropriately British, still managed to mangle some minor aspects of the English language (ie pronouncing aka as a word rather than the a.k.a. abbreviation for "also known as"). She also had a very minimal range of character voices, often using the same handful for multiple characters.

Anyone more familiar with Jewish tradition and lore might enjoy it.

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  • Crystal Crossings
  • 18-11-19

Wonderful dry humor.

This book was off the wall good it had a little bit of everything fantasy, paranormal, past lives, myths, angels, sadness, and joy how the author was able to put so much into this book is amazing. The author wrote it with such a wonderful dry humor. The one really brilliant thing the author did was get Doro Jillings to do the narration she put a wonderful twist into the piece. I highly recommend read, listen, or do both you will not go wrong. I did receive a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.

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  • LeMiliere
  • 28-10-19

Intriguing and Original

I enjoyed the story of the Hand of Miriam I thought it was intriguing and different. I had no idea what a golem was before reading this book. The storyline flows well and had no difficulty holding my attention. I enjoyed the romance aspect of this action-packed adventure I thought it was touching and well done.

The characters were very well defined, likable and engaging. This was an intriguing story of golems, angels, and demons as well as other supernaturals. Gesher was a strong character and it was amusing when he tried to understand the customs of the time.

I liked the relationship between Miriam and Gesher, I thought they were good together. There was enough danger, twists and turns in the story to hold the listener's attention and add to the overall enjoyment and I'm looking forward to what comes next for Gesher and Miriam as the series progresses.

The narrator is one I haven't listened to before and overall she did a good job although there one or two times I found myself wondering who was speaking, but maybe it was just me.

I was given this audiobook as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review.

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  • Demetra Toula Iliopoulos
  • 28-10-19

This audio will go hand in hand with your ears

I’ve listened to a few Eva audio and read a few ebooks . This one is different then the others that I listened to . It’s full of mystery and many different levels . It’s more like a story with a twist on the Paranormal. It’s on a remake of an old legend, called Golem of Prague . It’s a take on a Jewish story . Eva wrote this a bit different then her normal paranormal.

Heroine is Bayla
Golem was called about by a Rabbi to protect the people from demons or evil spirits . Bayla needs the protection once she does something strange during an exploration.
Does Bayla figure out how to activate the protection.

Doro performance was good . First time I listened to her . Her British accent was good . Her voice is steady and strong

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  • Tammy B Oakley
  • 21-10-19

I liked this book!💜

The storyline was really intriguing as are most PNR’s, however, some times less is more. I find that when there are a lot of different characters I’m so busy trying to remember who’s who that I lose the essence of the story.
I’m thinking this is the beginning of a series hence the reading for all the background & secondary characters.
The narration was really good!

Sisters Spotlight 💜
#ssbookcorner 💜

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  • beckynmatt
  • 14-10-19

It took awhile...

I had a hard time following the story at first, it felt as though the author picked a place in the story and dropped you in. After about an hour and a half or so I feel I had a handle on the characters and their roles in the book thus far. I will say that although I like this narrator in other books, I dont think she was the wisest choice for this one. In the beginning she was reading really fast (which probably contributed to my early confusion), and the multiple voices were awful. For example, one of the main character's voice sounded like a child trying to sound out each word... very drawn out and, well, awful. That said, I honestly enjoyed the story. The book is perfect if you dont want huge emotional highs and lows... sometimes you just need a good plot. I'm not sure if I will listen to this again, but I would definitely read the book.

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Profile Image for Lexi Zieve
  • Lexi Zieve
  • 16-09-19

Adventure with some Steampunk

I enjoyed Hand of Miriam a lot. The characters were very engaging as well as very fleshed out. From the beginning it starts with the action and lulls for a bit then keeps going. The pacing was good there were one or two parts that either felt a little fast or a little slow but over all good pacing. This was a different take of golems and angels along with demons and other supernaturals. Gesher was a strong character and it was fun listening to him try to understand the customs of the time. Him and Miriam were good together and they made me smile. This was a little light on the steampunk but there were definitely elements in this story. There were some twists and turns in the story that added to the enjoyment. A few times it was hard to tell who was talking but overall the narrator did a good job. I look forward to what is next in store for Gesher and Miriam in the rest of the series.

**I received this Audio book at my request and have left an honest review

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Profile Image for Avid Book Lover
  • Avid Book Lover
  • 06-08-19

Great Story!

I loved this story of the Hand of Miriam. Intriguing is the inclusion of the golem, Gesher, as this is the first story I’ve read that explained what a golem actually was. The romance featured in this action-packed adventure is touching and the intrigue and danger included in the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. I received this audiobook at my request and I voluntarily wrote this review

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Profile Image for Kate
  • Kate
  • 06-07-19

A fast-paced steampunk adventure

I was very unfamiliar with the myths upon which many of the characters and storylines in this book were based, so I was starting from a position of shameful ignorance and insatiable curiosity (much as I approach most things!). I have listened to a few steampunk books now, though, with my favourite by far being Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, which also blends action and fantasy with feisty heroines and romance. So I began listening to this books with high hopes for the genre and a keen interest in learning more.

I loved the premise, containing as it did so many things that I enjoy in a novel; archaeology, mythology, steampunk, the supernatural, Victorian London, a Ripper investigation, a bluestocking heroine, and a forbidden love story. And I did enjoy each of these elements, but sometimes the pace galloped onwards so swiftly, with so much going on all at once, that it felt a bit rushed and as if many of the ideas weren't used to their full potential.

For example, the story skips over the interesting bit at the beginning where Bayla discovers the extent of her powers and new sight, and begins working with the police department. It cheats us of six crucial months and a dramatic shift in circumstances, and would - in my opinion - have played an important part in helping the listener build a relationship with Bayla as she took her first tentative steps into her new life.

Similarly, I didn't feel the relationship building properly between Emmet and Bayla for much of the book because of the way it raced along. We were often 'told' they desired each other but it sometimes felt like an observation rather than demonstrable, affecting emotion. The intimate scenes were also a bit flat; I think perhaps the author was unaccustomed to writing them, and the narrator did not inject them with the necessary passion, frustration, and longing.

I did like the strong foundations this audiobook had in Jewish culture and mythology. It was fascinating and gave it a distinctive character that helped set this book apart from other Steampunk novels and Ripper-reimaginings.

However, I found that unless I was paying attention to every moment it was easy to get tangled up. Sometimes mistaking one character for another, but also because there is often very little indication of switches between dialogue and internal monologue. Trying to do other things while listening (usually a key benefit of audiobooks over print) was impossible with this book.

I also believe that it would have been far better with a different choice of narrator. The current narrator, Doro Jillings, has a nice tone to her voice despite the unfortunate lisp, and had an expressive manner, finding a suitable voice for Bayla. Her male voices, however, sometimes lacked distinction during conversations between them, which made it confusing. They were often in need of some masculine resonance - such as one would expect of Emmet's voice, which did not achieve the seductive depth the text claimed it should have.

Jillings read this audiobook very well but did not perform it with the life and vigour that such a fast-paced story really needed. There was a lot about her narration which was very good, but I felt as though it was not the best match for this particular audiobook.

Overall, I really liked the characters and the world they inhabit, and was keen to explore the secret societies, the subtypes of Other Kind, and how the celestial and mythological elements were woven into the story.

I enjoyed many of the ideas in this book and was intrigued by the set-up for future stories (such as the one involving Bayla's naturalist friend with a long-lost Explorer father). With the right narrator and a polishing edit I think it could have been much more compelling, but it was still enjoyable and I would give another book in the series a chance to see how it settles in as the characters develop.

I'd recommend it to listeners who enjoy urban fantasy with a steampunk twist, as my disappointment with the narrator may not be an issue for others and there was enough of merit to be worth giving the series a try.

*I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.