Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 15 hours and 59 minutes (432 pages)
Publisher: Audible Studios
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Grimnoir Chronicles series
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I am a huge fan of Correia’s Monster Hunter International (MHI) series. I have been wanting to read the Grimnoir Chronicles for some time and just finally got around to it. This book is more of a paranormal alternate history of sorts than a horror. It was really well done, but I still enjoy the MHI series a bit more.
I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did a great job with having distinctive voices for all of the characters and portraying their emotion well. I did have a couple problems with the narration. The narrator talks really really slow; so I ended up listening to this at 1.5x on Audible. Also a couple voices for the characters (primarily Jake Sullivan’s voice) are really really low in tone; this made it very hard to understand what Jake was saying. I listen to these while driving and I really had to crank up the volume to hear these low toned voices over the background road noise…and then the other parts were way too loud. So I might recommend skipping this on audiobook unless you are going to listen to it in a quiet area.
Jake Sullivan is finally out of prison on a deal. He needs to help the government solve a certain number of crimes involving magic before he is let go on a shortened sentence. Jake himself is a magic user or active and can control gravity and density aka a “Heavy”. During one of his government jobs he finds out that one of the Actives he’s hunting down is an old flame of his and he just can’t believe she would kill people. He’s troubled by this and when the government renegs on their deal with him Jake is pretty pissed. That’s when he gets an offer to join a secret Organization called the Grimnoir who is in an eternal struggle with the Chairman. The Chairman is an evil entity set on destroying the world as we know it.
This book, like many books being release now, is a mish mash of a whole bunch of genres. There’s a ton of action and gun talk which is very typical of Correia’s book. There are also a lot of superhero elements to the story since all of the characters have very superhero-like abilities. There’s a bit of a gangster feel to the whole story as well. Additionally there are some paranormal aspects with the whole magic thing and the Chairman. There’s also a lot of adventure and some steampunk elements (dirigibles, experimental medicine, etc) and the story is very much of the alternate history variety.
There was a lot I really loved in this book. I loved the idea of magic abilities that are founded in principles that bend science (manipulating mass, gravity, density of objects). I really loved some of the characters as well. Faye is a lot of fun as a character; she is a teen that is a Traveler and can travel through space. She is so happy go lucky and funny and so darn strong; she is a hoot to read about. I also really enjoyed Delilah, she is a petite women who is a Brute and can pretty much muscle anything or anyone into submission. I also really enjoyed the mysterious and evil Chairman; he is a wonderfully complex villain.
There were also some things I didn’t like about the book. I never really enjoyed Jake as a character; he was just so serious and he reminded me a lot of Owen Pitt from MHI. He’s super big, super smart but always underestimated because of his size, and has a special connection to magical powers (all characteristics very similar to Owen). I just never really clicked with him and didn’t really enjoy his parts of the story. I also thought the story was a bit predictable. There were some twists and turns in here, but I kind of saw where everything was going from pretty early on.
Overall this was a very well done action packed alternate history/fantasy from Correai. I would definitely recommend, although I will admit I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the MHI books. I did really enjoyed the magic system in this book and all of the action. There are some awesome character in here as well. I will definitely continue reading the sereis. Recommended to those who enjoy action packed alternate history with fantasy and magic.