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Balance by M. R. Forbes

Balance - M.R. Forbes

Angels and demons walk the earth and most people are lucky enough to not know this. However, our main character, Landon Hamilton, becomes rudely aware of this when he learns his own heritage. Yeah, he’s no saint, having done a little prison time for his money theft via computer. He stole from little old ladies and kids’ future college funds. Now he’s out on probation and not allowed within 5 feet of a computer for several years. But he’s got bigger issues in his life, like both demons and angels wanting him dead. He learns of all this when he ‘dies’ and he meets another that was once like him. He’s given a choice and he chooses to return to Earth with his new powers.

This is an interesting new take on an age-old conflict: Good versus Evil. The only person who can save humanity is this mix of devil and angel, and throughout this tale he befriends members on both sides of the conflict. Landon collects an eclectic group of allies along the way. There’s Obi, an ex-military paranormal specialist who is also a computer hacker and weapons specialist. Then there’s Rebecca, a vampire with a few secrets that could be our hero’s undoing. Josette, an angel, starts off wanting Landon dead but is eventually swayed to give him an assist in his quest to find the Grail (yep, that one!) and maintain the balance. Also, she has a dirty little secret that surprised the hell (or heaven) out of me.

Once we have the set up, there are some parts of the story that are a bit predictable. However, with that said, I didn’t mind in the least because I quite enjoyed the characters. M. R. Forbes has wowed me with his other works (Starship Eternal and Dead Lucky among them), so I was expecting a lot from this story. While this story wasn’t quite as good as the other two series, I plan to continue on with it.

Landon has the most depth of character, being this guy who can see the benefits to being a bit selfish, a bit of a lawbreaker at times. Then he also has a code, lines that he won’t cross. Meanwhile, demons and angels alike want him dead because he’s seen as a threat or an impediment. The tale has plenty of fight scenes and not too much introspection. There’s also touches of humor here and there (points for the Star Wars references).

Towards the end, it’s Josette who steals the scene. Her choices at the end of this book really added weight to the tale. It will be very interesting to see what the ramifications are in the next book.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Narration:  Jeff Hays continues to wow me with his abilities. His female voices are simply uncanny. I know it’s him and him alone narrating this book but I still found myself double checking the credits. His voice for the angelic Josette was excellent. I also liked his rougher voice for the practical Obi.