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The Jonathan Shade Series: Box Set - Books 1-3

Modern Sorcery, Acheron Highway, Dragon Gate
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
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Summary

The first three books in the Jonathan Shade series.

Includes:

Modern Sorcery

Death by dark magic

As soon as I get over my ex, her father hacks her mother apart with a sword.

She hires me to prove dark magic was involved. Hey, it's what I do as a paranormal investigator, so I get why she thinks I can help.

But my secretary, Esther, a ghost from the 1920s flapper era, and Kelly Chan, my magically engineered protector, are dead-set against me getting involved. With all the deadly magic flying around, they may have a point.

Because the sad truth is, I don't have any magic of my own.

Acheron Highway

"He stole my heart, Mr. Shade. I want you to find him and steal it back."

Between the crazy dead lady with a necromancer for a stalker, and a lovesick goddess, who wants me to turn over her lover, I'm buried in relationship issues.

Dead people won't leave me alone. Zombies, skeletons, anything that can shamble out of a grave, but are they working for the goddess or the necromancer?

One thing's for sure. There are no safe exits from Acheron Highway.

Dragon Gate

Ritual murders, guilty clients and inhuman attackers, oh my.

Stephen Noble, a rich old guy on the board of Dragon Gate Industries is executed by a clan from another dimension. Since I still owe a favor to the company, they hire me to provide executive protection services to the dead guy's grown kids. Graham and Rayna.

Rayna is hot, so that's all right, but Graham is a jerk. And it turns out they stole a dragon from the Marshall Clan and brought it to Boulder, Colorado.

Yeah, you heard me right. I said dragon.

Now Kelly and I are faced with protecting spoiled rich people from a team of assassins and the blood-hungry beasts they brought with them. Those things will kill anything in their path.

©2018 Gary Jonas (P)2018 Sky Warrior Book Publishing LLC

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

PI is a popular job in urban fantasy

Despite snarky PI of some sort being so frequently a choice for the main character in an urban fantasy series, it works well in this one because the main character is generally interesting enough that you want to read more about him and his supporting cast, with some notable exceptions the stuff he encounters tends to be a notable threat to him too. That notable exception being a slightly disappointing use of time travel to immediately undercut a dramatic moment, but generally this is not a hero that is going to power through his adventures unscathed.

Given that this is a collected edition of three books, it obviously provides great value and shows a progression in the style as we go through them, particularly in the 3rd where the author switches things up and has some chapters being told from the perspective of the other main characters in an enjoyable manner that is only slightly spoiled by the announcing of the perspective each time when the strong and distinctive performance of the narrator renders such an affectation strictly unnecessary as you are fully aware of who is speaking by the changes he makes.

Overall, an enjoyable set of books with a strong performance of the narrator serving only to further enhance that enjoyment, I will be looking out for more of the book in this series for certain.

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

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Three entertaining stories in one edition

I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

As there are three novels featuring the same character I will not review each individual novel, but review them as a series.

As an avid listener of audiobooks one of my favourite genres is supernatural/magical. I've listened to Charlaine Harris (Trueblood novels) Benedict Jacka (Alex Verus series) and Kelley Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld) and despite their many differences I've enjoyed them all.

I was therefore thrilled to find another author who has been able to create characters that I can sympathise and empathise with despite the supernatural elements of the story. Gary Jonas has introduced us to a man who has a terrible sense of humour, a slightly disreputable reputation as a PI, some amazingly different friends (indestructible warrior, ghost and the ferryman himself) and has provided each of these characters with their own quirks, styles and backgrounds.

I've already checked to see if there are more in the Jonathan Shade series as I want to know what happens next for him and his friends and my next credit will probably be for the next three novels (also in a box set).

For review purposes I need to mention the narrator as we all know that they can make or break an audiobook for any listener. In this case I think Joe Hempel had just the right tone, accents and style to fit the Jonathan Shade series and I was pleased to see he narrates the next three novels as well.

If you like bickering characters (no nasty aspects, just friends who know each other too well), silly quips done when fighting (think slapstick comedy), well drawn characters you can follow, this series is definitely for you.

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  • cosmitron
  • 06-04-18

Interesting series if you enjoy this Genre

If you could sum up The Jonathan Shade Series: Box Set - Books 1-3 in three words, what would they be?

Creative,interesting,strange

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No but the narrator is very talented and helps the listener to continue with the book.

Which character – as performed by Joe Hempel – was your favorite?

N/A

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No but for this genre it was a good effort by the Author and the narrator.

Any additional comments?

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

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Deanna Cutshall
  • 26-04-18

Explosive!!!! Absolutely Loved!!!!

What did you love best about The Jonathan Shade Series: Box Set - Books 1-3?

Everything!! I loved the characters & the story lines. So good.

What did you like best about this story?

The stories were very interesting. I love PI & everyday people solving crime books. These 3 exceeded my expectations. The characters are so endearing, flawed but real.

Have you listened to any of Joe Hempel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

These were my first books read by Mr. Hempel. He was GREAT!!! He really brought a lot to the books that just reading them wouldn't provide. I will be listening to more books read by Mr. Hempel.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did. I laughed, I cried. I had to pause & take my headphones off to process the stories. Just so good. These are some of the best books I've listened to.

Any additional comments?

I loved everything about these 3 books. I will be getting more of this series. I was hooked at second one. I highly recommend these books & series. I just can't say enough about them!

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Shieldslinger
  • 12-04-18

Lots of fun! A bargain at twice the price!

This omnibus edition of the Jonathan Shade series (books 1-3) is a blast to listen to.
Wise-cracking Jonathan Shade may be the next big thing in urban fantasy. Great dialogue, fast pace, leaves you wanting more.
Hempel is an excellent narrator. Each character has a distinctive voice.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Teresa
  • 12-09-18

This First Part of this Anthology is a Winner.

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

We have the mystery, the supernatural, the magical, and the romanticism all wrapped in one in this first part of the Jonathan Shade's anthology. I love the characters that Gary Jonas has created, from Esther, the friendly ghost, to Kelly, the magically engineered warrior whose heart only melts for Jonathan. In fact every heart seem to melt for him, even his clients and the incorporeal maidens he encounters in his adventures. He has to be an handsome dude... He definitely has a very keen sense of humor not always appreciated I must say. He makes you smile and even though he is "almost" a super hero as magic cannot affect him after a trip to the underworld, he is still human enough to fall for beauty and false promises.
The way Joe Hampel interpreted the narration is superb and brings the entire series to another dimension (no pun intended).
Looking forward to the second part of the anthology, so here I go...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raul
  • 07-05-18

Way better than I expected!

The series was a pleasant surprise. It had a good balance of action, humor and magic. Though the phrase "happened faster than it takes to write/say it" was somewhat over used. It was almost at the Dresden level, a very solid urban fantasy. I particularly liked the Rudeus moment where he goes back to the past with knowledge of a terrible future to change it for the better.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • robin nelson
  • 02-05-18

Gives you a whole new definition of the River Styx

I couldn't any of them down down! Fantastic characters brought to life by the writing and the narration of each was stellar!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheri
  • 02-05-18

Love this series - books 1 and 2

Who was your favorite character and why?

Esther is his ghost secretary -- she adds a touchstone necessary for the plots to develop

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Throwing Shade at Shadows

Any additional comments?

I have really enjoyed the series but WHY oh WHY do authors think multiple POV is a good storytelling tool ????? Yuck. Hoping 4-6 avoid this overdone trope.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle Titherington VanDaley
  • 02-05-18

Private Investigator + Magical World = Great Read!

Jonathan Shade is a wise cracking private investigator who has knowledge of the magical world so he is pulled into many crazy and otherworldly investigations. I really enjoyed this box set, it kept me engaged and invested in the characters. I would recommend reading in order to get the full story. The narration is on point with easy to understand and distinguishable character voices. I look forward to more in this series and from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob Cooke
  • 28-04-18

What an awesome story from start to finish!

This book had me hooked from the offset and kept me listening the entire time.
I love the mixture of crime, thriller, fantasy and action genres all with a running comedic relief.

The characters are well developed and feel realistic allowing you to connect with them further engrossing yourself in this fantastic story.

Story line builds and builds always pulling you along with some amazing twists you do not see coming at all. It never feels slow or drawn out, it develops organically and explains itself in time.

The narration is superb giving an immersive experience. All characters sound unique and there is no confusion as to who is speaking and when.
Joe seems to have captured the essence of the characters and truly brought them to life.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • 23-04-18

I think I may have OD'd on too much Jonathan Shade

This box set was really a treat. I may have OD'd a bit though. The first book was good and introduced us to Jonathan Shade, his world, and its inhabitants. I'll give you a hint: there's magic.

Book two was a bit dark Too dark.

Book three was redemption with more magic and dragons thrown in for good measure.

I loved the narration. It's one of the reasons this listen works

1 of 1 people found this review helpful