Author: Adam Vine
Narrator: Kevin Meyer
Series: Corruption Cycle, Book One
Length: 13 hours 57 minutes
Publisher: Lilydog Books
Released: July 18, 2017
Genre: Dark Fantasy
A dishonored swordsman running from his past.
A city shrouded in dark magic.
An antihero born.
Daniel Harper was champion, until a single mistake destroyed his fencing career forever. With nothing left to lose, he flees to Eastern Europe, where he can start over… where he can be someone else.
In the exotic, lantern-lit crevices of a nameless city, Daniel meets two people who open very different kinds of doors than the ones he is searching for: the troubled flower girl Kashka, who holds the key to a nightmarish otherworld; and the enigmatic street magician and self-professed love tourist Ink, who has the power to bend others to his will.
As Daniel plummets into a downward spiral of hedonism and dereliction, he is tormented by macabre visions of a frozen world in endless darkness where an evil tyrant has stolen the sun, where humanity’s remnants fight to scrape out a cruel existence underground, and wandering spirits inhabit the bodies of the recently deceased. Daniel is doomed to return to this Night Country every time he falls into a deep sleep. But the longer he spends there, the more Daniel realizes his curse is anything but an accident….
Adam Vine was born in Northern California. By day, he is a game writer and designer. He has lived in four countries and visited thirty. He is the author of two novels and many short stories. When he is not writing, he is traveling, reading something icky, or teaching himself to play his mandolin. He currently lives in Germany.
Kevin Meyer is a devoted Midwesterner, raised in rural Wisconsin and transplanted to Tulsa, Oklahoma over three decades ago. A career-long voice-over and music radio guy, his iPhone playlist ranges from Alice Cooper and Waylon Jennings to Twenty One Pilots and The Zac Brown Band. Favorite reads are dominated by political biographies (Lincoln, Truman, Kennedy)… and Stephen King.
Voyciek lowered the torch, then threw it down. He followed it in, landing six feet below on the lid of the slender crystal box lying half-buried at the bottom. No, not a box. A coffin. A grave, Katherine realized. Someone was buried under the altar. The death mask painted on the coffin’s lid in ripples of brilliant, dancing light depicted a man with a long, plain face. There were dreadlocks in his hair and beard, and his robes were simple, but there was a penetrating humility to his face that caught Katherine off guard. The People of the Sun buried their kings and queens in grand crypts full of riches and splendor, and their priests in the walls of their churches. Why would they bury this man somewhere no one could honor him, without so much as a grave marker, or even a name?
Living in a world that you don’t know much about is hard, but going to an alternate world in your dreams where nothing is as it should be, that is even harder. Daniel Harper, from California, has traveled to a place called Country for work. He meets a flower girl, named Kashka, who befriends him. He knew that she would change his life since he hadn’t dated anyone after his ex-girlfriend passed away two years ago, but with the existence of another world at the edge of his dreams? Vine has an interesting, yet very twisted storyline which makes the title of this book quite accurate.
Dan meets a magician named Ink and becomes obsessed with some nonsense that he seems to spew out during a drunken conversation about something called “the blot”. Not being told too much information, Dan comes to the realization that this conversation that he had with that fellow may not have been an idiocrasy after all. After sleeping with Kashka, his dreams become very vivid and he is able to travel to a foreign world called the Night Country where he has to stand with others against the one they call “the Crippled King”. The only thing is that when Dan awakes, he is feverish and becomes sick. Physical exhaustion takes hold of his body and starts to eat away at his mentality. Can Dan figure out why the sudden dreams are invading his sleep and how to stop his descent into madness before something bad happens, like imminent death?
Vine has an interesting and original story with Corruption. The book lacks character development, but other aspects like scenic detail are vivid and highly creative. Throughout the entirety of this audiobook, “he said this” but the character was actually a woman. This could have been common once upon a time, but really confusing in this setup of the story. The pace was absolutely terrific; it was fast-paced but the narrator did not provide that excitement or call to action with this audiobook. He didn’t change his pitch and vocalization very much for the characters which made it a little difficult to distinguish when someone else was speaking in a conversation. Meyer’s representation of each character seemed to be lacking a little bit of muster and his pronunciations did not quite fit either! This review is complimenting the audiobook. If you are a reader of dark fantasy and post-apocalyptic science fiction, you may want to pick this one up. Since this is the first installment in the Corruption Cycle series, the reader can jump right in.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a three-star rating for Corruption by Adam Vine, narrated by Kevin Meyer.
Q&A with Author Adam Vine
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- No. I’m an independent author, so audiobooks are a “nice to have” rather than something I consciously plan on during the writing process. The audiobook for my first novel, Lurk has been successful – in large part due to the blog tour I did through Audiobookworm! – so doing another one for Corruption seemed reasonable.
- How did you select your narrator?
- For my first book, I received a bunch of auditions and chose the guy who had the best voice for the job and seemed the most professional to work with. Since I had a great experience with him the first time around, I didn’t hold auditions for my next book. I reached out and asked if he’d be interested in working together again, and he accepted.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
- Quite closely, but I don’t micro-manage. He went through the manuscript and we did a feedback round. Then he recorded the book, and I listened to each completed section and noted a few pickups needed, mostly technical errors, as I want my narrator to have as much creative control as possible over their part of the project.
- Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
- Not so much the characters, but because Corruption is a fantasy book based in Eastern Europe that draws heavily from Slavic and Northern European mythology, we did agree on a “pronunciation canon” before recording.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Yes. I’ve spent about four years of my life living abroad outside the United States, with three of those years in Eastern Europe. The name of the country Corruption is set in is not given – it is simply referred to as “the Country” – mostly because I wanted the authorial freedom to change things or play around with the setting as needed, but also because I wanted to make it clear this is a fantasy novel – it is not an autobiography. However, certain aspects of the story were inspired by things I experienced during my Eastern European excursions.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- I would go back to my childhood and start the disciplines I am pursuing now much earlier.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- I would want Dan Harper, the protagonist of Corruption to be played by a handsome everyman type of guy – maybe James Franco. For Kashka, I would choose a native Polish or Ukrainian actress, and select for one who could play up the more toxic aspects of her relationship with Dan. For Zaea, I would choose an actress who is both regal and vulnerable. Emilia Clarke would be my first pic. Not sure who could play Ink.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- I say they’re not living life. Why read one book when you can read one book and listen another? Double your efficiency, haters.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- I went out with my friends for a beer. I currently live in Germany, so we do this even when there isn’t a reason to celebrate.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Write one to two thousand words every day, five days a week, and don’t stop to tinker until you finish the story.
Adam Vine’s Top 10 Favorite Dark Fantasies
- The Book of the New Sun – Gene Wolfe
- A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R. Martin
- Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov]
The Black Company – Glen Cook
The Inferno – Dante
The Heroes – Joe Abercrombie
The Witcher Saga – Andrzej Sapkowski
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
The Vagrant – Peter Newman
- Kings of the Wyld – Nicholas Eames
Notes from ‘Round the Bend
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