Lots of Vampires. No Sparkles. Serious Snark.
Children are missing.
The police are stumped.
Halloween is coming, and an ancient evil is on the horizon.
The vampires are the good guys.
This is not your ordinary fall weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Vampire private detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood have been hired to save a client from being cursed for all eternity, but end up in a bigger mess than they ever imagined.
Suddenly trapped in the middle of a serial kidnapping case, Jimmy and Greg uncover a plot to bring forth an ancient evil. Soon, they've enlisted the help of a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel, and a strip club proprietor to save the world. This unlikely band of heroes battles zombies, witches, neuroses, and sunburn while cracking jokes and looking for the perfect bag of O-negative.
©2010 John G. Hartness (P)2015 Bell Bridge Books
"I'm walking but I'm reading!"
Not for me. A note to myself to never choose this author again. Badly written, poor character development.
"Hard row to hoe, but well done!"
I don’t care for vampires. They are on the bottom of my monster list. Yes, even the ‘scary’ ones are at the bottom of the barrel of things I consider frightening. That said, Mr. Hartness had a hard row to hoe with me on this one.
All things considered, he did very well.
Hard Day’s Knight was a fun read. The characters were charming, the banter was witty and the concepts were traditional enough to make me gag yet different enough to keep me interested. Every writer needs to make the monster his own, which can be difficult when you’re building your own lore around centuries of legends. I liked how John didn’t info dump his vampire tradition all at once, nor did he beat you over the head with explanations at every turn. He kept the ideas streamlined into either dialogue or narrative, or both.
Humor is a hard sell, but I for one love a funny story. John has a wicked sense of humor, as evidenced by his writing. His quick wit shines through almost every page. True, some jokes fall flat, and you can almost hear the eye rolling wah-wah-wah of a tuba somewhere in the background for a few of them, but even these lines will appeal to someone out there. In short, he is hella funny and this book reflects that.
I have to admit, I love the idea of nerdy vamps. The lead tries not to be the nerd he is, while his bromance sidekick embraces it with an embarrassing amount of zeal. As a fellow nerd I can relate to the love of all things weird and unusual. I understand Jimmy is meant to be the heartthrob, but Greg had far more charm and humanity, making him sympathetic and likable. At times I found myself not caring if Jimmy pulled through or not. His tendency toward being a bit of an asshole left me with a bad taste for him. I understand the need for the balance though. They both can’t be bumbling nerds. Someone has to be quasi normal. My only real complaint about the story is the sudden love interest there at the end. Again, I see the appeal of it and understand it provides a lot of potential plot and character advancement, but to me it kind of seemed tacked on at the last minute. She showed little interest in him, then suddenly she’s all over him? Maybe I missed something. Then again, I don’t like vampires, and maybe the character has a thing for them. Who knows?
Nick Russo did a fantastic job with this one. He settled into the tone of the story early on and kept a tight grip on the tension throughout. His characters were well done and very distinct. Nothing is worse than not being able to tell characters apart when listening to a book. I loved his ladies too. They were feminine without being redonkulous. I will say that I didn’t care for the Mike character’s voice. It was too, I don’t know, breathy for me. I know he was meant to sound gentle and kind, but somehow it came off like he was whispering all of his lines. And the angel was a little too dramatic. These two aside, again, I think Nick did a fantastic job.
In the end:
I would totally recommend this one to both vampire lovers and loathers. I look forward to listening to the next one.
In total, 4 out of 5 zombie hands for the book.
"Original and Great"
This is such a unique vampire story. Throw away with the usual blood sucking views. Relate to it as a funny detective story with two nerds fighting to make a contribution to a crime. After reading the first 30 minutes I purchased the next book.
The list of friends read like the beginning of a bar joke. You know what happens when a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel and Lilith walks into a bar. Unlike most heroes these are everyday characters. Except for Lilith, the characters did not ooze the usual sex appeal. It is a saving the world kinda of story and saving it the nerd way.
If you have to fight the mythical characters of the world defeat them from your comic book knowledge. There is the usual bad ass female detective who is set to imprison our heroes. The heroes have been best friends since childhood and never really grew up. With the best friends, who are vampires, there is their other childhood friend who is a priest. So there is your vampire and priest story.
The fallen angle runs the classy bar along with Lilith, the mother of the vampires. As a vampire how is it that you don't know your mother? Being a fallen angle you have been moping since you have fallen and will not get involved with matters. Your power is more in your anger than strength.
Enjoy the reading/listening.
"SUPER NATURAL SCOOBY SNACKS"
A FOLDER MARKED CLICHE
I love snarky, smart ass characters and Hartness tries very hard to achieve that with his main character James. Humor is one of the hardest things to write and John missed the mark by this much. This was more punny then funny. I would compare this to Kevin J. Anderson's Zombie, PI Dan Shambles. It is cute, seems very YA, and not of the caliber of Sandman Slim or Joe Ledger. He gets close, he is in the same area code, but not the same level.
THERE'S NOTHING SEXIER THEN A WOMAN WHO CAN KICK YOUR ASS
I liked the romance angle that came in late to the show. A 6ft tall, hard core, serious female cop with big knockers, what's not to like. This occurred fairly late in the story, but really added another dimension to the book.
KICKIN CHICKIN = WILD TURKEY
The story does get better as it goes along, leading to a very good climax.
IN A VOICE LIKE A FROSTY JANUARY WINDOW
The narrator is good, but like the story he is not a Ray Porter or Will Wheaton, yet he is in the same area code. I believe Porter and Wheaton could have taken this material and done a lot more with it. Having said that he did make the experience better then reading it.
I PREFER JIMMY
"Good, but not perfect."
This story kinda feels like a "Lite" version of some of the other stories I've read. It's got the snarky protagonist, detectives, supernatural elements, action, and snappy dialogue-but it only has about half the content. The performance and story were fine, I just wanted more.
"An Unexpected Gem"
I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. The usual suspects and scenarios were handled with some nicely unique little touches that, in my opinion, make it rise a notch above many of the other, similar offerings in this genre. The story was not complicated, but I kind of like that about it. It was interesting, fun, and easy to follow. The characters and their relationships to one another, especially the two main vampire protagonists and their childhood best friend the priest, are very enjoyable.
I have to give the author special props for creativity in the character department, I never realized that sweet, overweight geek vampires with superhero complexes were something I needed in my life, but now I do. I enjoyed the style of the narration, and the narrator as well, who did a great job reading this story and really bringing it to life.
All in all I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to more from this series.
"Audio Listen 2-15-2015"
This was sooooo not the mm romance I thought it was. LOL. NOT A MM ROMANCE AT ALL.
But this story of vampires and witches and demons turned out to be an excellent entertaining audio full of action, a little bit of male female romance -rolls eyes and yawns- and just fun.
The main characters were hilarious and the support characters fit perfectly with them. Great audible!!!
"A good quick read"
Very campy and at times a little kid like. But all in all a good book. Can't wait till the next one
vampires, angels, zombies, witches... what's not to like? the only weakness is all the exposition but it is needed in a first book for 'world building'. the nerdy vampires seem to be having a great deal of fun and it was a joy to be taken along on the ride.
I really liked this story and the treatment of vampires. I don't mind a little fast and loose with the traditional vampire motif but going to far afield (i.e. Twilight) sets my teeth on edge.
My only issue was the writing was sometimes, not often but sometimes, a little unpolished.
Overall, it was a great book!
"Really liked hard days knight"
I have been a John G Hartness fan for a while. This series is going to be as good if not better as the rest.
Snarky it is boring, it's not. I recommend this book/audiobook for readers love a laugh out loud fun.
This is a comedic style somewhat like Molly Harper. I felt it was a Dresden look-a-like with vamps. No stress but a reasonable listen
The explanation as to how Jimmy turned his sidekick Greg. Typical student drunk idiocy.
I like the way John doesn't spend pages and pages explaining vampire myths and how they fit into this story. As I read I could see Jimmy and Greg as people, actually I could see my son at university with his mates. The priest reminded me of Michael in the Dresden Books.
The one thing I could not see is how the love interest developed, there was no lead up at all. That part could have been written a great deal better.
Saying all that I quite enjoyed the book.
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