Gargoyles! This is a type of creature that you don’t often see in fantasy. There’s so much amazing potential for them as either protagonists or antagonists in fantasy though.
This book came to my attention because the audiobook is narrated by one of my favorite narrators. I read the blurb, and it sounded frigging awesome all on its own, so onto the (veritably ridiculously huge) wishlist it went. When it came across my audiobookboom list, I jumped on the chance to have a listen!
So, as I know I’ve gotta say, I was given a copy of this audiobook for free by the narrator in exchange for an honest review. 😀
Only a rag-tag team of gargoyles stands between humanity and extinction.
Hell has released its ravening horde of demons, leaving most of humanity a puke-spewing, head-spinning mess of possession.
Humanity’s last hope? A team of misfit gargoyles—including a cigar chomping, hard-ass grotesque—come alive and ready for battle during the End of Days. They guard the last cathedral-turned-sanctuary atop a bald knoll in the North Carolina mountains.
Gargoyle protection grudgingly extends to any human who can make it inside the Sanctuary, but the power of the stonecutter blood magic, which protects the sanctuary, may not be enough when a rogue grotesque and his badly-wounded ward arrive.
All the hounds of hell are on their heels. The last Sanctuary is about to fall.
“Do you feel lucky, punk?” Nissa said from the far side of the courtyard, a pistol almost larger than her arm gripped in both hands. “Well, do ya?”
“You’re supposed to ask that before you shoot him,” Tessa said.
“Oh,” Nissa said. “Okay, stand him up and let’s do it again.”
The faeries looked at Antoine, expectant and waiting.
“What? No, I’m not standing the dead meatbag up so you can quote some old movie and shoot his corpse,” Antoine said.
Nissa and Tessa are by far my favorite characters. Foul mouthed and snarky, just like me! 😀
As anyone who reads my reviews… or like… glances over my favorites shelf will know, I love a good snarky character. The snarkier the better. I love characters that don’t take anyone’s shit. So, generally, books with the word ‘bastards’ in the title is always going to be a good fit (hell, I’ve loved every other one I’ve read. What do you mean it was only the one? >.>). Needless to say, I got started on this listen immediately.
Let’s start with narration, because it’s awesome (and is most of the reason I experienced this book at all). Jeff Hays, you talented bastard. Why can’t I quit you? Oh, right… it’s because you’re SO FUCKING GOOD AT THIS. Faaaack.
Every character was unique, the gargoyles (sorry, grotesques. There’s a difference.) were all sort of gravelly-sounding, as described. There were some special effects used for demon voices and the like, which were awesome. The lady folk were all believably enough lady-sounding, the dudes were various levels of gruff, deep and gravelly. Accents were on point. Look, I’ve lived in Texas for almost 10 years and the best I can do accent-wise is to sound slightly less Canadian sometimes, and then really, really fucking Canadian when I’m excited about something or talk to my mom for more than 5 seconds. I’m always sort of goddamned intrigued that someone can convincingly become so many different people all within the span of 7 hours or so. Jeff Hays does it every damn time though. I do read a lot of self published and indie books, and many of them are amazeballs, but I never actually expected to find such fantastic narration of indie and self-pubbed audiobooks. But, I have been pleasantly surprised in that regard (and also quite disappointed on a few occasions, but this isn’t one of those, lol).
Anyways, back to the story! The main character (or one of them), is a no-nonsense, cigar smoking grotesque and I liked him immediately. He seems to actually care for the wards (non-possessed humans who are living under the gargoyles’ protection at the sanctuary of the cathedral in which the gargoyles reside). So, our story pretty much starts out with Morty (I’m assuming things on spelling. It’s short for Mordecai) planning on going out on a trip into the demon possessed wilds of North Carolina to pick up supplies for everyone at the cathedral, because some shit is going to go down, and he’s almost out of cigars.
He stumbles on an unexpected human woman and her daughter, along with their very unexpected protector on his travels, and it turns out that the human is quite important in terms of this whole war with the demons thing. Cut to part two which is what happened at the sanctuary while Morty was out getting supplies, and then cut to part 3 which is THE RECKONING. This one was full of action, some of it more gruesome than the rest, and a fair bit of humor. It never plodded along, it was always pretty exciting, things happened that I didn’t fully expect, and so I can definitely call this one a win!
All told, this one was a quick listen, and was quite an enjoyable use of 8 or so hours of my time. Rock em’ sock em’ gargoyles! 4/5 stars!~