Blog Archives

Jubal Van Zandt and the Revenge of the Bloodslinger + Giveaway


Here’s another “holy s%#t!” book from eden Hudson. It’s a fun sci-fi adventure at one level; but, at a deeper level, it’s a fascinating look into the mind of a sociopath.  Plus, Hudson has a way of writing endings that just slap you in the face!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

jubal-coverTitleJubal Van Zandt and the Revenge of the Bloodslinger
Authoreden Hudson
Series: Jubal Van Zandt, Episode 01
Publish Date: October 14, 2016, Shadow Alley Press
Genre: Urban fantasy, cyberpunk, sci-fi adventure
Cover: Lou Harper
Source: Provided by the publisher

Publisher’s Description: Narcissist, sociopath, and shameless backstabber Jubal Van Zandt is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth…and he won’t shut up about it.

But not everybody in the swampy, soggy, feudal future approves of Jubal’s vocation. The Guild—the religious fanatics who helped rebuild civilization after the collapse—in particular are waiting for their opportunity to slip the noose around his neck.

Which is why when the renowned Guild knight Carina Xiao—a.k.a. the Bloodslinger—contacts Jubal about an off-the-books job that violates Guild Law, he’s too intrigued to say no. He is the best damn thief in the history of the Revived Earth, after all.

Part bizarro ecopunk, part outworld thriller, part odd-couple roadtrip, Jubal Van Zandt and the Revenge of the Bloodslinger is a 150% futurepunk quest for blood and betrayal across the Revived Earth.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Though billed as urban fantasy, I’d label this book sci-fi adventure. It’s not hard sci-fi, but it is set in the future and the protagonists have some cool techy gadgets. Aside from that, it’s an interesting road-trip, assassin/thief, buddy adventure.

Kind of. An assassin/thief buddy adventure where one “buddy” is a narcissistic, sociopathic, jerkwad. And he’s the first-person narrator, so you get a good look at what is going on inside his head (hint: he doesn’t think he’s a jerkwad). Which makes for a very interesting perspective.

Much of the book seems like a comedy, with the wise-cracking, uncouth way Jubal Van Zandt, the protagonist, thinks and speaks. But there are hints at the dark layers that have yet to be fully explored. For example, as a reader, you get glimpses of Van Zandt’s very-messed-up childhood that help explain, at least a little, why he’s a sociopath. But as Van Zandt isn’t thinking about them deeply, the first-person narrative only touches on them. It’s up to the reader to make some assumptions beyond what the narrator is sharing to decide if he’s a reliable narrator or not.

badge4v4So, then, this funny, futuristic, adventure story is also an exercise in divorcing the perspective of the narrator from reality AND a somewhat eye-opening look into the mind of a narcissist and sociopath. If you’ve ever wondered if that selfish co-worker or boss really thinks that highly of him-or herself, Jubal Van Zandt might give you a clue.

If you like this book…

…you might try Hudson’s other series, Redneck Apocalypse. This series won the One Book Two Standout Award for 2015. You can get it in a boxed set, or you can get the series individually. Check out our reviews of the series.

Tour Giveaway…

The author and publisher are giving away TEN (10) copies of Jubal Van Zandt and the Revenge of the Bloodslinger during this tour.  Visit the Rafflecopter giveaway page ASAP to enter to win!

eden-picAbout the Author…

I am invincible. I am a mutant. I have 3 hearts and was born with no eyes. I had eyes implanted later. I didn’t have hands, either, just stumps. When my eyes were implanted they asked if I would like hands as well and I said, “Yes, I’ll take those,” and pointed with my stump. But sometimes I’m a hellbender peeking out from under a rock. When it rains, I live in a music box.

But I’m also a tattoo-addict, coffee-junkie, drummer, and aspiring skateboarder. Jesus actually is my homeboy.



FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bewitching Blog Tours

God Killer by eden Hudson

This is the final battle for Halo; the Fallen Angels vs. the Whitneys.  Tough, Colt, Tiffiny, Desty, and Tempe are put to the ultimate test.  Can they save themselves, Halo, and the world?

God KillerTitle:  God Killer
Author:  eden Hudson
Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 03
Publish Date:  February 29, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Provided by the author

Publisher’s DescriptionThe disturbing final chapter in the award-winning Redneck Apocalypse series.

The last battle for Earth is here.

Rivers of blood are going to flow.

Anyone who doesn’t die in the first hemorrhage is going to wish they had.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

“Fight and die or live and cry.” –eden Hudson

God Killer is the last installment in the Redneck Apocalypse series by eden Hudson. I chose Hudson’s previous books to win the 2015 Standout Award; they are just that amazing. As a conclusion, God Killer doesn’t disappoint, but it does surprise.

Winning back Halo and the world is something of a Pyrrhic victory; so many people die.  But everyone is fighting, sacrificing themselves for what they feel is right regardless of how little they feel they have to offer.  Everyone wants a chance at a better future; if not for themselves, then for those who come after.

Given that this series is about very broken people in impossibly dark and tortured situations, I was not expecting the final book to be filled with hope and redemption. But it is, and it’s not out of place at all.  In fact, it is kind of a nice surprise.

badge5v4I don’t feel I can say much more without giving away the good stuff.  I can’t recommend this series enough. If you like Supernatural, Jessica Jones, or other dark heroes, this is the series to check out.

Our reviews in this series…

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Void City series by J.F. Lewis, the Cursed series by Amy Braun, and Marvel’s Jessica Jones TV series on Netflix.

Hell Bent by eden Hudson

Hell Bent is another OMG! book from eden Hudson, continuing the story of the Whitney boys and the town of Halo, MO.  Be warned – this book is even more mindblowing than the first.

Hell BentTitleHell Bent
Author:  eden Hudson
Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 2
Publish Date:  May 27th 2015
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Finally free of his sadistic captor, the holy champion is now trapped in a much darker hell—his own mind.

His only hope is a vampire he can’t even remember.

She loves him, but can she save him?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

“Baaaaagggggghhhhhhh!” I yell at 11:30 at night after finishing Hell Bent. “IT CAN’T BE THE END OF THE BOOK. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!?”

In bed next to me, Hubby, who has been jolted awake by my anguished yell, does not share my pain. He’s weird like that.

I had to email the author immediately to share my pain with someone who’d understand, and to be sure there would be a Book 3.  She assures me she’s hard at work on it now.  Whew!

I really have a hard time reviewing this series because I find it so stunningly good.  The dysfunctional nature of everyone in the book is… I won’t say familiar exactly, because compared to many I have had a very good life.  But I can relate.  I can feel the confusion and emotion and frustration of each character as they try to do what they think is right, though they feel woefully inadequate to the task, and continually screw it up.

badge5v4Hell Bent has some mind-blowing twists that I, at least, didn’t expect.  The relationships get more complex, more about each character is revealed, and damn if the world isn’t about to explode… when the book ends.  Thus my anguished, late night cry.

If you liked Shannon in the Lion’s Den (Book 0.5) or Halo Bound (Book 01) at all, pick up this book to see what happens next.  In the meantime, here’s a visual representation of how most readers seem to feel about this series:

Castiel Jaw Drop

Stand Out Award Badge2Other reviews:

If you like this book…

You might try the Void City series by J. F. Lewis, The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, or Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle.  But, really, there is just nothing quite like this series that I know of.

Shannon in the Lion’s Den by eden Hudson

Welcome to Saturday Shorts where we feature short stories and novellas.  Shannon in the Lion’s Den is another jaw-dropping story from eden Hudson.  I really can’t say enough good things about this woman’s writing.

ShannonTitle:  Shannon in the Lion’s Den
Author:  eden Hudson
Series: Redneck Apocalypse 0.5
Publish Date:  April 29, 2014
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: You got to pay to play…

At just twenty-two years old, Shannon Colter has everything she’s ever wanted. She’s an international rock star, her guitar playing is better than it’s ever been, and she never has to worry about going hungry again.

But behind the scenes, Shannon’s world is falling apart. Her bandmates hate her, the music she used to love is driving her insane, the only escape she can find from the noise is sex, and the messiest breakup of her pre-rock-star life, Danny Whitney, just blew into town.

To top it all off, the deal Shannon made with the devil just came due. Now the forces of Hell have been unleashed against her with one objective: Destroy.

Hell wants her, but he wants her more…

Danny Whitney is the quintessential good boy. He reads his Bible and prays. He works hard and gets good grades. He’s just five weeks and one senior thesis from graduating seminary at the top of his class.

But there was always something about Shannon that drove Danny a little bit crazy. Something that made him want to sacrifice everything good, just for her. Even now, five years after she wrecked his heart, he would do anything to keep her safe.


Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

I read this short story a while ago, and much like I did with Halo Bound, I sat on the review for a while – not because I don’t like the story, but because I like it SO much, I’m not sure how to review it.

Shannon in the Lion’s Den features Shannon Colter and Danny Whitney before they were the parents of the Whitney boys from Halo Bound.  It’s clear that mental illness, dysfunction, and stubborn determination run in the Whitney/Colter family.

Two things particularly touched me in this story.  When almost anyone else would have written Shannon off as crazy, too much risk and drama for a relationship, Danny believes he has been given the care of her and has failed in his duty to stay with her and protect her.  I was stunned, and very moved, that anyone would view a crazy relationship in such a way.

Second, I really appreciated learning more about Tiffany and her relationship to Shannon—and thus Shannon’s children.  It puts a new spin on her character in Halo Bound and is pretty important for Book 2, Hell Bent.

badge5v4As with Halo Bound, I know this story isn’t going to be for everyone.  There is still massive dysfunction, betrayal, and pain.  But there is also love and dedication and noble struggles to do the right thing.  I absolutely loved it.

Other reviews:

The Reading Chameleon

Stand Out Award Badge2If you like this book…

You might try the other books in this series:

Halo Bound by eden Hudson

Halo Bound

Halo Bound is a hard-core, gritty, urban fantasy about a really messed up town and its really messed up citizens.  This is NOT a novel for the faint-of-heart, and I found it absolutely mesmerizing.  If you can handle the tough stuff, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

TitleHalo Bound
Author: eden Hudson
Series: Redneck Apocalypse Book 1
Publish Date: January 26th 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The holy champion chosen to save the world is enslaved to a sadistic fallen angel and losing the battle for his sanity.

The guy chosen to save the holy champion is his binge-drinking redneck brother.

So, basically, the world is screwed.

Meet the Whitney boys:

Colt—a mentally unstable holy soldier with a rapidly deteriorating hold on reality. His last plan to rid the world of evil either failed horribly or went off without a hitch. With the constant torture and brainwashing, it’s getting hard to be sure of anything but the sick attachment he’s developing to his beautiful tormentor.

Tough—a smart-mouthed honky-tonk hero trying to drown his problems in music, women, and good times. He hasn’t spoken to Colt in five years—not since their disagreement over a nymphomaniac vampire turned into a drunken slugfest—but they’re still brothers. Tough knows he can’t leave Colt fighting for his life and his sanity alone. The question is whether Tough can fight off his personal demons long enough to save Colt from the literal ones.

Halo Bound is the first book in the Redneck Apocalypse series. It was originally published under the title How to Kill Yourself in a Small Town.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).

Invested_Ivana 50Okay, Nell.  We were going to read Halo Bound together, but after reading it, I can just imagine you’re hating me right now.  Not your kind of book.  How far did you get?

Nervous_Nell 50I got through 37% of it.  It’s pretty well written but I just can’t find the boost to get me to pick it up.  It’s like it’s cast an aversion spell on me.  “Don’t look here…..don’t look!”

Invested_Ivana 50What got to you the most?

Nervous_Nell 50The slavery.  I hate slavery.  That was the first thing that smacked me in the face.  The next thing was the cult like feeling I felt when reading about the fallen angels.  I remember David Koresh and the Jonestown Massacre.  Cults make me nervous and reading about them in a story that is supposed to relax me just doesn’t work.

Invested_Ivana 50Yeah, I figured those things would bother you.  Halo Bound is certainly not a “happily-ever-after” kind of book.  The people in the book are messed up psychologically and emotionally.  What’s happening in the town is messed up.  I kinda think that’s what I like about it.  These are people in an extremely desperate situation just trying to make the best decisions they can with some very limited emotional resources.  Everyone one of them is dealing with trauma and misery and stunted emotional development.  And yet they are really trying to do the right things.

Nervous_Nell 50Good warning to those out there that like the HEA or the *dreamy sigh* kind of romantic type of story, huh?

Invested_Ivana 50Yep.  This is not one of those books.  But there is romance, and drama, and ass-kicking, and insanity, and all sorts of other good stuff!  But you’re not going to finish the book, are you?

Nervous_Nell 50Please don’t make me, mom.  It would really be hard for me to get through it and then since I have problems with the content, you won’t get a review that’s not tainted with my issues.

Invested_Ivana 50Oh, alright.  But, you have to do the dishes and clean up your room instead.  Meanwhile, I’m going to be reading Book 2!

Invested Ivana says…

Though I can see how Halo Bound might not be for everyone, I think it’s an incredibly good book.  I was kinda blown away by how good it was, since I got it free on Amazon.  And what do you think about that cover art?  I think it’s gorgeous.

That being said, I’m having a really hard time figuring out what to say in this review.  I’ve made several attempts now, and I either end up trying to retell the whole story, or I end up talking about all the emotional baggage carried by the characters and how they work so hard to make things right with the limited resources they have.  That’s not really the point I want to make.

Here’s my point:  READ IT.  It’s really, really good!

As Nell has pointed out, it’s not a feel-good story.  There are no happily-ever-afters.  Crappy shit happens to the characters.  Some of them are stuck with their fate whether they want it or not.  The ending isn’t a cliff-hanger, but you know there is more, so there’s a “to-be-continued” feel.

There is a complex set of characters and relationships in this story, which is part of why it’s so good.  I did find myself jotting some quick notes about each character and their relationship to the others.  I don’t usually take notes for a novel unless I have a specific purpose, but I wanted to be sure I was clear about each character; I had a feeling it would matter.  Also, since the story is told from the first-person perspective of different characters, the details about the town, its history, and its residents unfold a bit at a time in the beginning.  After about 20 pages or so in, I went back and read it again from the beginning to be sure I had understood everything.  I think those two things really paid off, helping me get a clearer picture in my head about everything that was happening.

badge5v4Halo Bound is what I consider good urban fantasy; but I think it’s also fairly unique in the genre.  It’s not a detective story, not a mystery, not adventure really.  Not a “monster-of-the-week.”  More of a “reluctant hero (or anti-hero) can’t escape his fate” kind of story.  And fate sucks.

So again, I say, READ IT.  This book is going to make my short list for best and most unique read for this year.

Stand Out Award Badge2Other reviews:

If you like this book…

Book Two, Hell Bent, and a prequel novella, “Shannon in the Lion’s Den,” are available on Amazon.