Narrator: Jason Jewett
Publisher: Blood & Treasure (2014)
Length: 6 hours 47 minutes
Series: Book 1 Sycamore Moon
Small town Sycamore has its secrets. Some of those secrets Detective Maxim Dwyer won’t let be. A biker brawl involving an out of towner and a few members of the local motorcycle club (The Seventh Sons) lets Dwyer pry into the MC’s business. But what he uncovers is not what he was expecting.
I saw this audiobook kicking around the blogosphere and I passed it on by. The description starts off comparing the book to the TV shows Supernatural and Sons of Anarchy. While I did watch the latter, I was a bit burned out of misogynistic MC stories, no matter how intriguing the individual characters. I have only watched a handful of Supernatural episodes, but they were not my cup of tea. But then the author contacted me directly looking for a review and I decided to give it a chance.
Let me tell you I am ever so glad that I did! I so very much enjoyed this book. The characters have meat on their bones, the plot is a full 7 courses, and the setting adds an intense spice to the book. Let me assure you this is no gender-weighted MC tale. This is a detective noir story that happens to have practical werewolves at the center of the mystery. There are female characters in position of power who have real personalities and don’t always need a man to rescue them.
There’s quite a bit of ethnic diversity in this book too, which is another thing I really appreciated. Set in Arizona, the ethnic diversity is an accurate reflection of what you will find in the desert Southwest. Also, the mixing of cultures and backgrounds added to the intensity of the story.
Maxim Dwyer and Diego de la Torre at first start off on opposite sides. Indeed, Diego is in handcuffs and a cell while Maxim gives him the 3rd degree interrogation. Pretty quickly the werewolf aspect of the story comes into play and Maxim is not pleased. One of his men is hurt and his suspects are missing. The trail keeps leading back to the head of the MC, Miss Debbie. Diego also has questions for Miss Debbie about his missing sister. It’s an excellent set up and the plot just gets better from there.
Now I want to mention the practicality of the werewolves. First, there are no sexy wolfy sex scenes. There’s no big moonlight werewolf hunts with terrified and fainting women. Rather, these individuals are ill and carriers of the illness. The Center for Disease Control is well aware of the werewolves throughout the country. There are rules the werewolves must abide by if they don’t want to be hunted down by the CDC. One of these rules is to keep your head down & to stay out the limelight. The MC is skirting the edge of that rule. This was an unexpected and very awesome aspect to the story. In some ways, this practical treatment of the werewolves removed the supernatural element, but it also made the story so much more accessible as a biologist.
All the characters are interesting to some extent and most of them are tortured by something. Maxim’s wife went missing two years ago and no matter how hard he hunted, he never turned up any leads. Diego has this driving force to find his sister. Miss Debbie and the CDC representative have their demons too, ones that will come close to destroying Maxim and Diego. All these little secrets meant that we had little plot twists throughout the story that definitely added to the suspense.
I listened to this book in less that 2 days. Honestly, I didn’t want to put it away but I had to sleep and eat. The noir detective feel to the story caught my attention up right away. The characters held my attention throughout the entire story. The ending, which was indeed satisfying, left me ready to fire up the next in the series.
I received this book free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: I was impressed with Jason Jewett’s narration. There are several Hispanic characters in the book and he did the perfect soft Hispanic accent in distinct character voices. I live in a part of the country where I hear spoken Spanish almost every day so it was very nice to hear the Spanish/Hispanic accent done right for this book. He also had a strong and sometimes harsh voice for the tortured Maxim Dwyer. His female voices were believable.
What I Liked: The cover art; good gender balance; noir detective feel to it all; tortured characters; practical take on the werewolves; CDC involvement; so many secrets!; the ending was satisfying; very good narration.
What I Disliked: Nothing – I was thoroughly entertained by this book.
What Others Think: