Possession is nine-tenths of the law.
Spencer Bailey has spent his entire life under government oversight for something he can’t change: his magic’s affinity for breaking souls. After surviving the end of the world, Spencer joins the Supernatural Operations Agency with the intention of keeping his head down and his hands clean.
Tasked with tracking down a stolen artifact, Spencer wants to run his first case with the SOA by the book. The master vampire of the Seattle Night Court won’t make that easy. Takoma is demanding and possessive, used to getting what he wants, and he lures Spencer into his Night Court with the seductive promise of freedom.
In the Pacific Northwest, ghosts are crawling out of the woodwork, demons are on the rise, and Spencer can’t afford to make a mistake. Torn between the life he should lead and the one Takoma is offering, Spencer has to make a choice that won’t break his soul, but it might just shatter his heart.
good to be back
From Spencer’s first appearance, I found him an interesting character—with the snarkiness and skill to match Patrick and a nuanced, intriguing form of necromantic magic, I was so happy when his story was announced. In “Resurrection Reprise”, Spencer’s competence, tenuous standing with the government and danger kink are on full display. Bc ppl with magic dealing with the dead are typically killed as children even in the US, occasionally their lives are spared, but they are beholden to that government and monitored for life so long as they are useful.
Although instrumental in stopping Paris from being overrun by tens of thousands of zombies and defeating the Dominion Sect and the hells during the Battle of Samhain, to maintain their political standing, the government punishes Spencer by forcing him out of the international branch of magical governance and binds him to only traveling in the states. Now part of the SOA, his first assignment sends him to Seattle to find a powerful artifact capable of making demonic possession easier, putting him back on the radar of the master vampire, Takoma. Spencer is attracted to dangerous, domineering ppl and master vampires top that list. Having met Takoma during the Battle of Samhain, Spencer appreciated how Takoma protected his six while he was busy breaking souls, and from their first meeting in Seattle the attraction to the bossy vamp is immediate.
For Takoma, he was impressed by Spencer’s dedication to protecting everyone, humans and monsters alike and appreciated Spencer’s lack of fear and willingness to treat vampires with respect. Having Spencer in his territory and within reach makes him covet the man and his magic even more. Knowing how quickly the government can turn on ppl, Takoma is determined to seduce the man to his side and make sure Spencer knows he’ll be waiting for him when if the government comes for him. Turner does a good job making Takoma’s unyielding personality and Spencer’s desire to submit to him palpable.
As vampires in this universe have been mostly shown to be antagonistic, overly aggressive and cold, it’s nice to see how they operate from their perspective. Given that Takoma's been a vampire and leading his night court for over a millennia, being used to getting what he wants and master of his domain definitely fits his personality. However, Takoma’s tendency to choke Spencer into obedience even before they are anything to one another didn’t get me hard like it did Spencer so at times his behavior rubbed me the wrong way. Yet, Turner conveys how into the dynamic the MCs are and how perfectly they fit very well.
Though one aspect of how the antagonists would get the upper hand was surprisingly signposted with repetitions, overall, I enjoyed the case and found the animus and lengths that the baddies would go to for revenge ridiculous, but in the sense that ppl’s feelings of entitlement and warped belief in their own rightness and justification of their actions so wild but unfortunately believable. It was also fun to get cameos from the Soulbound gang, and I loved seeing Wade so confident and comfortable in his skin.
Gary Furlong has always been amazing in this series, and he brought his A game back again. It’s not just his character voices that always seem so spot on, it’s his inflections, comedic timing and how he infuses even pauses with the perfect emotional weight. I’ve loved every one of his performances I’ve listened to and this is no exception. I think I even liked the book a bit more for experiencing it this way my third time around. Though a complete story, there are hints that another adventure for Takoma and Spencer could happen, and I would happily devour that too, especially with Furlong in my ears.
Brilliant Story & Narration🎧Gripping & Fascinating!
Hailey Turner pens another winning novel, a fascinating paranormal urban fantasy that is captivating from start to end. It is a standalone set in her “Soulbound Universe”, a world I am new to and I did not feel lost or if I had missed something not having have read the “Soulbound” series. The only thing it did make feel was that I need to get that series pronto! This book is Spencer Bailey’s story, he joined the “Supernatural Operations Agency”, if you can say join, because of who and what he was there was not much of a choice. Regardless, he plans to go by the book and stay under the radar. His first assignment is to locate a stolen artifact, and it brings him to the Pacific Northwest and right into the territory of the master vampire of the Seattle Night Court, Takoma. OMG, who would have thought the chemistry between a soul breaker and a vampire could be so hot, the push and pull between them was amazing. I loved everything about this book, from Hailey Turner’s wonderful writing style and descriptive details, to the fantastic characters and storylines she created to the perfectly cast narrator who brings it all to life from the pages to your ears. The plotting and world building are phenomenal, as are the character growth and development. It is an action-packed story with non-stop drama, some thrilling and suspenseful moments, some humor and wit, heartfelt emotions and steamy romance. Besides the fabulous two lead characters, there is Fatima, Spencer’ psychopomp and sidekick. Hailey Turner, thank you for another fabulously entertaining story and the wild ride.
🎧📚🎧And for the fantastic narration, Gary Furlong talent knows no bounds, and he does an amazing job portraying these characters. His versatility was impressive and truly shined as he gave each character a distinct voice and played each role convincingly. He was fabulous with the back-and-forth dialogue, switching roles effortlessly and never missing a beat. Furlong sets the perfect tone for the story, captures all the characters’ emotions and projects them into his performance, having you feel them all. He is an entertaining storyteller and his narration enhances an already brilliant story to another level. Thank you for another exceptional listen.