Dana reviews the audio of Cronin’s Key II by N.R. Walker (Published by Tantor Audio, August 1, 2017. Length: 7 hrs 42 mins. Narrated by Joel Leslie. Book published May 22, 2015. 253 pages.) An audio copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read the ebook reviews of the Cronin’s Key series click on the titles:
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, amid a war with the Terracotta Army, they will find out just what the Key is – and what Alec means to the vampire world.
The narration: As always Joel Leslie did a wonderful job narrating. I have always praised his multitude of accents but in Cronin’s Key II he really pushed the limits by having a conversation between several characters at one time with over five different accents among them. It was quite impressive how well he kept it all together. Joel is a great voice actor whose narrations should not be missed.
The story: I read the Cronin’s Key series two years ago when it was released and recently listened to the audio of book one. I was excited to be offered book 2 for reviewing purposes. I love books that fall under the paranormal umbrella and always loved vampires in particular. I read them in YA series when I was younger and not so younger, I read them in m/f romance novels, and now I read about them in m/m romance books. Vampires can be scary creatures but often they have this mystique and romantic quality about them (in most books) that they can fit into any genre.
One of the things I like best is when a vampire can bite for pleasure, as well as sustenance, without killing. In N.R.’s word building a vampire’s bite is deadly and I admit I was disappointed just a little. Biting to me is sexy and I wanted it to happen during their intimate moments, but in book one Cronin could not do that to Alec until he used his human blood to save the world first. (If you haven’t read book one it is a series that must be read in order.) When Cronin’s bite didn’t take and Alec remained human it was a surprise and a mystery to the two men and their close friends, Jodis and Eiji. For me it meant that my wish came true though and I loved that biting became part of Cronin and Alec’s sex life. For those who don’t really like their main characters to be killers, the vampires have compromised by only taking out the most nasty offenders on the streets. It does make it more bearable for me and Alec comes to accept it as a necessity for his lover’s survival.
The plot in this story reminds me of Indiana Jones meets Twilight meets m/m romance. It is not just paranormal but there is a lot of action/adventure as Cronin, Alec, Jodis, Eiji, and many other vampires band together and fight against an ancient evil trying to destroy them using a resurrected vampire, Ghengis Khan, and the Teracotta Army. Discovering the why of the attacks and Alec’s purpose to remain human also adds an element of mystery. N.R. created such a well rounded story that amazed me. When you read a lot of books, it’s easy to forget how enjoyable a story is when you haven’t read it in a few years. The audio brought back how much I loved this book and series.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.
She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.
She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.
She’s been writing ever since…