Title: Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen #1)
Author: Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: May 18th 2015
Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.
It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.
But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.
No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.
1st Edition published by Rhys Ford, June 2013.
Now this was some damn interesting world building. Wow. Throw in the always excellent narration by Greg Tremblay and I was one happy reader.
It behooves me to note this isn’t a romance. It’s more along the lines of Rhys’s Ink and Shadows, and has hints of possible romance to happen in the series, but it’s first and foremost about Kai and the world building.
Based in an alternate universe where Kai Gracen is an elfin outcast and a Stalker (which is kind of like a bounty hunter, but much, much cooler) just trying to eke out a living in a world where humans and elfin races are at odds, monsters abound, and violence is the norm.
Kai is prickly, bitter, sometimes harsh and wants nothing to do with race politics or the dark and light Sidhe courts, but when he’s forced into helping Ryder, a sidhe lord, into making a run through dragon territory into the light court to pick up a pregnant human everything unravels and his life will never be the same.
I really enjoyed this, though I’ll admit that has a lot to do with Greg Tremblay’s narration because it is absolutely perfect for this story. Kai has a sort of gravelly slight-Irish accent that really suits the character and helps make listening a real pleasure. For fans of fantasy and audio this should definitely make it on your list!
Okay…so now I’m psyched and really looking forward to.