Dead of Night by M. R. Forbes

ForbesDeadOfNightWhere I Got It: Review copy

Narrator: Jeff Hays

Publisher: Quirky Algorithms (2014)

Length: 9 hours 53 minutes

Series: Book 1 Ghosts & Magic

Author’s Page


Conor Night is a necromancer, a hitman, and cancer patient. The illegal treatments keeping him alive are risky and expensive. Hence, the need to do odd jobs like thievery and the occasional murder. Lucky for him, he had a great instructor, Dani, who is still around to keep him organized; and he has his corpses, some of which are more useful than others.

A few weeks ago, I listened to the prequel, Dead Lucky, and really enjoyed it. This book follows that up with even more awesomeness. Set roughly 3 years after Conor was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he’s gone to great lengths to keep himself alive. He’s not proud of all that he has done but he is dead set on providing for the family he walked away from. He was lucky to have Dani find him back then, drunk and beaten. She was already a Ghost, having the special skills and training to pull off the difficult jobs no one wants to talk about but so many have a need for. Now Conor too is a Ghost. He’s a complicated character who usually chooses the right thing to do even if it is a difficult path. Yet he is always tormented by the few bad deeds he has done.

Conor isn’t your typical hero. He’s unhealthy. He’s not some hunky hero with a good haircut and abs to die for. Nope. He’s got determination, weapon skills, a reasonable IQ, and his rough humor to carry him forward. I was fascinated by his relationship with Dani in Dead Lucky and that fascination carries over to this book as well. Toss in another potential romantic interest and we see flashes of the tender side to Conor.

The author tosses you into the action, but then provides this rich background for the characters in conversations or small flashbacks as a character mulls over a situation. The job Conor signed on for morphs into something much bigger. There’s mystery and some double dealing. Toss in a few mysterious magic users, a pack of werewolves, a touch of romance, some cyberpunkian info gathering and you have quite the ride!

These fascinating characters, several of which are multifaceted, are set in this future world populated by magical creatures – ogres, werewolves, vampires, etc. The solid plot line makes room for all of that while keeping the story moving forward. There was a very unexpected twist near the end that had me talking back to the book (mostly saying NO! and such). It was well done and it made total sense for the plot. This is an excellent addition to the urban fantasy genre.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Narration:  Jeff Hays was once again excellent to listen to. His somewhat gravelly voice for Connor was perfect, again. He had some coughing fits (in line with the character) that he tossed in here and there, making Conor’s illness that much realer. Late in the story there is a ghostly element that speaks with a chorus of voices and Hays did some masterful sound magic there! I swear, the hairs on the back of my neck went up when I heard that chorus! Hays also has an amazing range of female character voices. I especially like his voice for Dani, being sharp and precise and yet somewhat loving all at the same time.

What I Liked:  Necromancy!; there’s well placed swearing; the cover art; excellent narration; magical urban fantasy setting; the relationship between Dani and Conor; Conor’s past; good use of werewolves.

What I Disliked:  Nothing – it’s a great listen!

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