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Urban Fantasy Audiobook Review: The Brotherhood of The Wheel by R.S. Belcher

The Brotherhood of The Wheel by R.S. Belcher 

audiocopy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
A unique new urban fantasy by the author of The Six-Gun Tarot, exploring the haunted byways and truck stops of the U.S. Interstate Highway System.

In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon--a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order's original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.

Theirs is a secret line of knights: truckers, bikers, taxi hacks, state troopers, bus drivers, RV gypsies--any of the folks who live and work on the asphalt arteries of America. They call themselves the Brotherhood of the Wheel.

Jimmy Aussapile is one such knight. He's driving a big rig down South when a promise to a ghostly hitchhiker sets him on a quest to find out the terrible truth behind a string of children gone missing all across the country. The road leads him to Lovina Hewitt, a skeptical Louisiana State Police investigator working the same case and, eventually, to a forgotten town that's not on any map--and to the secret behind the eerie Black-Eyed Kids said to prowl the highways.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


* * *
  What an awesome, gritty urban fantasy, peeps! 

R.S. Belcher is an unknown to me author, but I remember that Six-Gun Tarot did get really good reviews from the blogs I trust, so I decided to give this book a go. In many ways it's UF at its purest: hard-driven, packed with elements of horror and really rich on details. God, at some point it reminded me of Buffy so much!

Jimmy is a slightly overweight, middle-aged tracker. An average man who is also a Paladin entrusted to keep the roads of America safe. He drives a rig to pay the bills, but from time to time misses his pick up and drop off times because he needs to stop a serial killer or bring a ghost of a hitchhiker back home. When aforementioned ghost leaves him with a cryptic message and a plea to stop The Deer Man, he gets involved into an investigation which spans across US and involves multiple disappearances of kids.

At some point he is joined by Heck, a young MC member whose destiny is to become his Squire, and who has his own secret powers; Lavina, a fiery state trooper, who tries to find a missing child; and Max (an equivalent of Watcher to Jimmy's Paladin) who looks like a bookish librarian, but totally kicks butt with her mad knowledge skills. *grinning maniacally*

The villain in The Brotherhood of The Wheel is superbly done. He is pure evil, and even the way he talks in the audio version makes you shiver. By the way, great narrator! Really well done. 

The whole book is rich with great characters, breathtaking races and fantastic fights. The atmosphere is also terrific.I am totally fascinated by the world-building and will be reading next instalment in this series. This is my type of urban fantasy. Recommended.

* * *
Какое же это крутое, жёсткое городское фэнтези, дамы и господа! Вот читала и радовалась.

Р.С. Белчер - автор мне неизвестный, однако я видела позитивные отзывы на одну из его других книг на блогах, которым я доверяю, так что я решилась дать ему шанс. Во многом, книга эта - городское фэнтези в чистом виде: крутосваренное, полное нон-стоп экшна, перемешанного с ужасом и богатое на детали. Мне как-то оно очень напомнило Баффи.

Джимми - полноватый дальнобойщик среднего возраста с хроническим недосыанием на дорогах Америки. Однако он также - Паладин, который держит магистрали страны в безопасности от паранормальных и человеческих угроз. Когда призрак подростка хитчхайкера просит его довести её до дома, она оставляет ему загадочное послание о паранормальном убийце, которого необходимо остановить. 

Джимми начинает расследование в исчезновение множества детей на дорогах Америки и превращение их в современных мифологических монстров-теней. Вскоре к нему присоединяются Хек - парень из байкерского клуба, судьба которого - стать Сквайром Паладина; Лавина - полицейский, ищущая пропавшего ребёнка и Макс (эквивалент Джайлса в Баффи), которая несмотря на свою внешность библиотекарши надирает всем задницу своими потрясающими знаниями.

Кстати, злодей в этой книге шикарный. Даже его голос выписан так, что муражки по коже пробегают. Спасибо рассказчику, он просто раскрашивает содержание этой книги своим голосом и многочисленными акцентами. 

В общем, ожидайте, хард-кор хоррор, классные битвы, бешеные гонки и интересных, богатых характеров. Мне очень понравилось, несомненно буду продолжать эту серию, и вам рекомендую.

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