NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable. But when an injured man gives him cryptic clues, then turns to dust in front of him, Alec’s view on weird is changed forever.
Cronin, a vampire Elder, has spent the last 1,000 years waiting for Alec. He’d been told his fated one would be a man wielding a shield, but he didn’t expect him to be human, and he certainly didn’t expect that shield to be a police badge.
Both men, strong-willed and stubborn, are still learning how to cope with the push and pull of being fated, when fate throws them another curveball.
Rumors have spread quickly of turmoil in Egypt. Covens are fleeing with news of a vampire who has a talent like no other, hell-bent on unleashing the wrath of Death.
Alec and Cronin are thrown into a world of weird Alec cannot imagine. What he learned in school of ancient pharaohs and Egyptian gods was far from the truth. Instead, he finds out firsthand that history isn’t always what it seems.
History isn’t always what it seems.
With the battle of Egypt behind them, Alec and Cronin are enjoying the thrill of new love. Though fate doesn’t wait long before throwing them back into the world of weird.
They know Alec’s blood is special, though its true purpose still eludes them. And given Alec’s inability to be changed into a vampire, Cronin is free to drink from him at will. But the ramifications of drinking such powerful blood starts a ripple effect.
With the help of Jorge, a disturbing vampire-child with the gift of foresight, Alec and Cronin face a new kind of war. This time their investigations lead them to the borders of China and Mongolia—but it’s not what lies in the pits beneath that worries Alec.
It’s the creator behind it all.
In the underground depths of China, amidst a war with the Terracotta Army, they will find out just what the Key is, and what Alec means to the vampire world.
History isn’t always what it seems….
Twelve months after his change, Alec MacAidan is still getting used to his many vampire talents. While most vampires would give anything to have more than one supernatural power, Alec craves nothing more than peace and time alone with Cronin. But when Alec meets entities from outside this realm, he’s left powerless in their presence.
Zoan are half-lycan, half-dragon creatures that have slipped through time and reality, seemingly undetected by man and vampire. Or have they? They bear an uncanny resemblance to gargoyles, leaving Alec’s view on all things weird to get a whole lot weirder.
This new quest leads Alec, Cronin, and their band of friends to Paris, Rome, and Moscow, where they learn that gargoyles aren’t simply statues on walls. In the underground pits beneath churches all over the world, Alec discovers the Key’s true destiny. Facing the Zoan might take every talent he has. And he may need help from the dead to get them all out alive.
I’m going to review all of these three books at once, because I literally listened to them back to back to back. There was no real way to separate them.
I read the original stories when they first were released as ebooks, and even though I rarely read any sort of paranormal, and then on top of it, nothing that is vampire (literally nothing, this is the only vampire series I have ever read), I consumed these books immediately. NR Walker is such a fantastic story teller. She draws the reader in from the beginning, layers in so much history, and fantastical situations, you don’t know if they may or may not be real, and you honestly don’t want to go look it up, on the off chance you find out it wasn’t real. She sucks you in, grabs a hold of your lapel, and doesn’t let you go until the end of each book. You can say this about all of her books. I haven’t read one yet that I haven’t loved.
Cronin and Alec are so fantastic together, they really do fit as a team. And the secondary characters never feel secondary. All of them feel as vital to the book as the MC’s. There is such history, and backstory, that it literally takes all three books to understand exactly how everyone fits into the puzzle. (And later, you find out even more in book 4, which I never saw coming!)
I’ll admit to having a little trepidation with listening to these stories on audio (I actually bought the first one when it was released, and then didn’t listen to it) because I loved these stories so much, I didn’t want to take the chance that it wouldn’t live up to what I remembered.
And then along came Joel Leslie. When Joel Leslie speaks to me in an accent, I can’t stop listening. I don’t even really want to. His voices are so distinct, so varying for each character, you know exactly who is speaking, without even hearing the “…Cronin said”. His voice is so rich and distinct, that you sink into the story even more than you would if you were reading it. Not all books should be audio, I don’t think. However, if you have Joel Leslie as your narrator, you can guarantee you are going to get a fantastic reading of the book, which will enrich your experience as a reader.
These books are fantastic all on their own. Add in an amazing voice to give the characters life, and you take it to another level.