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Narrated by: Matt Bentley Allegre
Series: Balance, Book 2
Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins

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Three years have passed since Isiah's run-in with Samuel Harrigan and the Devil. He has some time on his hands- a perfect opportunity to track down the Sorcerer, Harrigan's mentor. It should have been a simple enough task, but the Sorcerer has more followers than Isiah ever imagined, and a plan bigger than anyone could have dreamed.

With the help of some powerful new friends, Isiah must track down the Sorcerer and his cult of blood before they change the world forever.

In this long-awaited sequel to the highly acclaimed RealmShift, Baxter once again maintains a breathless pace and blistering intensity, with gods, demons, and humans in the grip of magical conflict. This is dark urban fantasy at its best.

©2010-2014 David Wood- Gryphonwood Press (P)2012 David Wood

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  • Damien
  • 18-12-12

Dark & fast-paced with plenty of arsekickery

It's been a couple of years since I read MageSign and it's predecessor RealmShift. They were good enough then to warrant going onto the "Read again at some stage" shelf but, what with the monstrous construct that is my "to read" pile, that seemed sadly unlikely. Happily, we now have the unabridged audio books which have helped me while away many a dull desk jockey moment at work.

This audio book is, not surprisingly, much like the original text (albeit with fewer pages of course) and if you haven't read this or RealmShift yet basically they are two stand alone urban dark fantasy adventures (although enough of the first book is referenced in the second to make it desirable but not essential to read them in order) with a common protagonist, Isiah. Isiah is a powered-up avatar for an entity called The Balance and is in charge of deeds - both fair and foul - to ensure that spiritual balance is maintained in the world. The story features loads of mythology, speculation on the nature of gods (Similar to Terry Pratchett's Small Gods), lots of swears, a good dose of horror and some epic dust-ups all in the name of stopping a fight-club style anarchist group with a horribly dark agenda.

The narrator, Matt Bentley Allegre, initially grated on me a bit with some odd pronunciations (eg 'surrepetitious' is one that kept cropping up) and a slightly over-dramatic start, but he grew on me throughout the narrative once he settled into his stride and quite suited the dark tone of the story. The only really odd thing was Matt's American accent when he was doing dialogue along the lines of 'and he said "something something" in a thick German accent' but this is something that is common to so many audio books that aren't narrated by Robin Williams.

The story (along with RealmShift) is dark, edgy and well worth the price of admission.