Saturday, May 2, 2020
The Bookwyrm's Review of Fade by Daniel Humphries
Author: Daniel Humphreys
Length: 218 Pages/ 6 Hours, 41 Minutes (Audio)
Publisher: Silver Empire
Release Date: May 14, 2018/ June 6, 2017 (Audio)
Narrator: J. Scott Bennett
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Buy on Amazon
I have been a fan of urban fantasy since before it was even considered a genre. I am always on the look for a new series, and Daniel Humphreys delivered with the first book in his Paxton Locke series.
Paxton Locke lives a strange life. Being able to see the hidden supernatural forces of the world since his mother tried to sacrifice him in a summoning ritual, in which she did sacrifice his father, Paxton is no fan of the hidden forces of the world. He travels the country, helping move ghosts on to the afterlife, mostly in secret, as he is living as off the grid as as much as possible in his small Itasca RV.
Its on one of these cases where Paxton's life takes a dangerous twist. The ghost of a murdered boy leads him down a path that points to the worst events in his own life: the night his mother tried to kill him, turning his hair white in the process, and granting him several magical abilities in the process, all at the cost of losing his father to his mother's mad scheme. The path leads him to seek help from the last person in the world he wants to see, his mother, serving life in prison after Paxton "helped" her confess to her crimes. Following the clues leads him to a ghastly scene of murder that is somehow connected to his mother, and he ends up returning to his own childhood home to confront his own ghosts. What follows is a harrowing series of events, as Paxton faces down an evil he didn't see coming, that if not stopped, could have far reaching consequences not only for Paxton but a much larger part of the world.
CHARACTERS AND WORLD BUILDING
This is one of those books that is very character driven. Its not a flashy urban fantasy like the Dresden Files or the Iron Druid. Paxton is a very grounded character, dealing with the trauma of his family life by trying to help others. He is a nicely rounded character, having various strengths and weaknesses. As easy as it would be to paint him as a white knight character, its would be incorrect, as Paxton does have some all too human flaws. The various secondary characters are also well written, getting their moments to shine or fail. The villains are also very well written. I'd actually say they are some of the best villains you're likely to see in any fantasy setting. They are written as much more than just mustache twirling baddies, and they play very well against Paxton's character.
The world building is well done, creating a layer of supernatural under the veil of the world, without going all out like the aforementioned series. It's a world you can see if you look out the window, if you just imagine that ghost's, witches and a few other supernaturals existed. Definitely a world its not hard to immerse yourself in.
The narration is handled by one of my favorite narrators, J. Scott Bennett. He has an amazingly smooth voice that really pulls you into the story. He does a nice array of voices for the various characters, giving them each a life of their own. His narrative pacing is excellent, which is not surprising, considering how much non-fiction he narrates. Definitely a strength of this version.
Any time you go into a new series, its a crap shoot whether it will be something you enjoy. This is such a well written debut to the series that I think it will appeal to a wide range of readers. I definitely think that fans of urban fantasy will find something to enjoy in this book, whether it be the story, characters or the world building, and the audio version is definitely worth checking out.