Reviewed by PizzyGirl
TITLE: Cronin’s Key
SERIES: Cronin’s Key #1
AUTHOR: N.R. Walker
NARRATOR: Joel Leslie
PUBLISHER: Tantor Audio
LENGTH: 10 hours, 52 minutes
RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2017
NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable. But when an injured man gives him cryptic clues, then turns to dust in front of him, Alec’s view on weird is changed forever.
Cronin, a vampire Elder, has spent the last 1,000 years waiting for Alec. He’d been told his fated one would be a man wielding a shield, but he didn’t expect him to be human, and he certainly didn’t expect that shield to be a police badge.
Both men, strong-willed and stubborn, are still learning how to cope with the push and pull of being fated, when fate throws them another curveball.
Rumors have spread quickly of turmoil in Egypt. Covens are fleeing with news of a vampire who has a talent like no other, hell-bent on unleashing the wrath of Death.
Alec and Cronin are thrown into a world of weird Alec cannot imagine. What he learned in school of ancient pharaohs and Egyptian gods was far from the truth. Instead, he finds out first hand that history isn’t always what it seems.
Why oh why did it take me so long to enjoy this story? I am going to tell on myself a bit here, I have had this in ebook in my possession since the day it was released and even started reading it a few times. But each time it seems something got in the way and I was never able to get past the first few chapters. Well shame on me because this was so much fun and so worth the time!
I absolutely loved this world and the way the author integrated her own version of Egyptian mythology. I loved learning about vampires and the gods. The plot and the way the world building fed the action was so well done that without one, the other would utterly fail.
I loved the concept of fated mates but even more I loved that these fated mates didn’t feel forced. Yes it was instant, but it wasn’t perfect. Alec and Cronin challenged each other and fit so well. Alec fought fate as long as he could but in the end, it was fate that won. And I believed it and cheered this on. I was invested from the get go and never once rolled my eyes or thought that the author used fate as a way to avoid crafting a real romance.
I also loved the way the romance was an outcome of the action and that the action is not complete. Yes, portion one is complete, but oh man I am so ready for part two because I need to know why things are as they are. This was a satisfying ending with a cliffhanger that did not annoy but instead kept my attention and makes me want more right now! I am so glad part 2 is already out in audio!
Overall I really thought this was a well crafted story. It had great world building, an interesting plot, and romance that made me swoon. I loved all the characters both main and secondary and look forward to the next portion of this trilogy.
Joel Leslie is made for these kinds of narrations. He is hit or miss for me on contemporaries, but for paranormal stories with lots of characters and lots of action, he is perfect. I loved his accents and the way he performed this was was spot on. He nailed the emotions and the tension and really made this a fun listening experience.