Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Templar Chronicles 1: The Heretic by Joseph Nassise

Publisher: GraphicAudio (February 2012)

Narrator: Richard Rohan with full cast (David Coyne, Terence Aselford, Steven Carpenter, Mort Shelby, Bradley Smith, Michael Glenn, Thomas Penny, Alyssa Wilmoth, Thomas Keegan, Nanette Savard, Tim Carlin, Ken Jackson, Alexander Strain, Drew Kopas, Eric Messner, Johann Dettweiler, Joe Brack)

Audio length: Approximately 6 hours.

Blurb from GraphicAudio: At the end of the First Crusade, the church created a monastic military order known as the Knights Templar. Now, rising up from the ashes of history, they are the Vatican’s last defense in the war between good and evil…

Cade Williams is no ordinary man. His ability to cross over to the other side makes him uniquely qualified to command the Church’s special operations division. As a modern-day Knight, Cade can use the curse that has scarred his soul as a weapon against the forces of darkness. But a new kind of unholy war is brewing — and soon Cade may be the last man standing…between the living and the dead.

The desecration of Templar cemeteries has sparked a full-scale investigation. Cade and his team suspect that a cabal of necromancers is behind it all. Their purpose: to claim the legendary powers of a lost holy relic for their own ungodly campaign. For Cade, there’s only one way to stop them — by tracking the dead himself…crossing the most sacred of battle lines…and facing his own terrifying demons.

I had a lot of fun with this book. It had a good balance of serious and action, with a dose of humor thrown in. Cade Williams is a fascinating character, lacking an eye, and burying a scarred soul deep inside. The voice for him was gravelly and harsh, a perfect match for the revenge-driven hero.

Based on the mystique of the Knights Templar, swept up into modern-day, Joseph Nassise plunks us down hard and fast in the middle of a bloody mystery. Templar strongholds are being ravaged - not just attacked, but gutted. Literally. The warriors and the buildings and graves. Cade Williams has been given the nickname The Heretic, though his men of Echo Team never call him that. He has certain abilities, a gruff, non-nonsense attitude, and doesn't attend Mass, all that could add up to his reputation. He also gets the job done.

Cade is called in to find out the who, how and why of the stronghold guttings. He taps young healer in denial to fill out his team and off they go. The tale is full of necromancers, revenants, and messages from the ghostly beyond. Cade in particular is haunted by his past - the violent death of his beloved wife.

The narration, epic music, and background sounds were superb. That combination is what makes GraphicAudio books so darn entertaining. Having a full cast truly takes audiobooks to the next level. Add to that the epic music and all the special sound effects and this book could be downright dangerous while driving!

Pluses: Lots of action, enjoyed Cade's unusual powers of communing with the dead, rough gruffness of the entire world, mystique of the Templars, excellent audio, lush cover art.

Minuses: Very few females and with minor roles (lost love, being eaten, etc. ).