Cover Image: Breaking the Lore

Breaking the Lore

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

“How do you kill something that doesn’t exist?” 

The concept of Breaking the Lore hooked me right away; a British detective, investigating a murder, with a fantastical twist- sign me up! 

The story starts off with the Protagonist Nick Paris, a logical inspector with a major alcohol issue finds a body of a crucified women…with wings. He finds a crucified fairy! After that point, Nicks is thrust headfirst into an adventure that goes against everything he believes in. So many more fantastical characters are added into the mix, and I loved them all. Especially the chain-smoking crow. John Last's narration was perfection, he really added that special something to the characters.  

I also really enjoyed how this book was unpredictable, I couldn’t even attempt to guess at what was to come next. The “battle” scene at the end! Like what! 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a funny and unique plot that will simultaneously have you laughing and guessing throughout the entire read. Redsmith is most definitely on my radar, and I am really looking forward to the next installment. 

Thank You to Andy Redsmith and Saga Egmont Audio, for the Audio ARC provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
Was this review helpful?
A fairy-tale who-dunnit that is so fun! I loved Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and this book gives me the same vibes. The characters are vibrant and easily come to life off the page, Paris is a commanding character, and it's easy to fall into this world.
Was this review helpful?
This book was an unexpected treasure. At first it would be a mix of Sherlock Holmes and fantasy but it was more like an alcoholic, adult Artemis Fowl. The book was funny and the characters are lovable. I would definitely read the next one. 

Thank you netgalley and Andy Redsmith for the audiobook ARC copy!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an AudioARC in exchange for an honest review.

Breaking the Lore begins a new series of fantasy adventure for Inspector Nick Paris. After finding the body of a crucified fairy, Inspector Paris is pulled into a world filled with all magical sorts in an attempt to prevent demons from overrunning the world via a portal in Manchester. Silliness and hyginks ensue.

This was a fun and light read. It gave me Douglas Adams vibes right from the start, with hilarious inner monologue as well as fulfilling dialog. The characters were all a hoot to get to know better, even if it did seem the mystery itself took a backseat to comedy. This was a solid novel that opens a new world for exploration in the future, I just don't think it was the right book for me as I found it a bit "middle of the road" quality.

If you love Hitchhikers or Good Omens, give this a read as it will be right up your alley. I recommend this for all readers of all ages as there is nothing inappropriate and it is a good time.
Was this review helpful?
Breaking the Lore is a urban fantasy meets police procedural. I thought the story was fun and I enjoyed the dry humor. The narrator did a great job bringing the characters to life.
Was this review helpful?
"How do you stop a demon invasion... when you don’t believe in magic?"

Inspector Nick Paris is called in to investigate the murder of woman whose body has been discovered in a back garden in Manchester.  It all seems pretty routine until he sees the body ..... this woman is only 15 centimeters tall ..... and she has wings!

He can probably write this off as a prank or a trick of his tired mind that may be influenced by just a bit of whiskey ..... but how do you explain the talking crow that won't let him rest, and the elf and the rock troll (Exactly how does a rock roll stay hidden in Manchester for years??) .... then then came the dwarves.  When the second body surfaces, Inspector Paris can no longer deny the existence of magical creatures.  After all, how else can you explain this body?!?

The reader can't help being drawn into this magical realistic take on the British detective novel.  As an audiobook, John Last's narration is excellent and gives even more life to the characters.
Was this review helpful?
I was granted audio ARC access to the new Audiobook edition of Breaking the Lore through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! 

Breaking the Lore is an absurdist comedy flavour fantasy novel featuring an inspector main character and a detective-on-the-case sort of plot. This was a whole lot of fun! It's billed as being for fans of Douglas Adams, and I can definitely see that influence here, but the dynamic between inspector Nick and the other characters really reminds me of Kevin Hearne's writing, specifically his newer Ink & Sigil series and the interactions between Al and Buck. 

I love the tongue-in-cheek references to other popular SFF media, such as: "These are not the druids you're looking for." "What? I saw it in a film!"

If you're in this for the Adams/Pratchett style humour and the frequent nods to other beloved properties, this book does exactly what you're hoping it will, and it's an easy, quick read. If you're looking for something that stands on its own merit with a strong plot and characters that are well rounded and relatable underneath all the references... it falls a little short. It's a little cookie-cutter. I get the impression it's meant to be a bit of a satire on the procedural plot structure, but while doing that it definitely trips over the same plot holes and conveniences that genuine procedurals trip over. On its own, this is a 3. With all the nods and references, as the loving satire of the genre it is, it's a solid 4, maybe a 4.5!
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun take on a modern “fairy” tale. Detective Paris has a dead fairy on his hands but everyone knows those things don’t exist, except he’s finding out that they do! It’s rather funny how everyone sort of takes everything in stride in this book. It’s a light and easy mystery with a fun mythological twist. All sorts of creatures of lore come out of the woodwork here and it’s up to DI Parris to figure out what’s going on. I enjoyed the characters, the playfulness and the world building, despite it being urban fantasy. 

Somethings that I didn’t love was the author is a bit heavy handed with the metaphors. They are overused and a little clunky. Bordering on campy. In addition, the main character has a lot of repetition in his thought processes. The number of times he said he “didn’t know if he could trust” a certain character or that another character “was crazy” or “took everything in stride” as though that was a new discovery each time was bordering on distracting. He said it or thought it almost every-time the characters interacted, and they were major characters, so it was often.  

The narrator did a great job differentiating the characters and they were very easy to listen to an understand! They made it interesting!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars
This is a fun book with dry humor, that kept me entertained.
With a good narrator that did great voices for the different characters.

A police inspector that suddenly has to deal with the existence of a magical world with a lot of magical creatures.
And those creatures might or might not tell the truth or maybe they just leave out a few details.
Was this review helpful?
Let’s start with this, the narrator, John Last, is brilliant!

Tl;dr: an inspector that doesn’t believe in magic, an elf, a rock troll named Rocky, demons, and a lot of jokes.

So what’s this book about? Breaking the Lore is about an inspector who doesn’t believe in magic investigating the death of a fairy. It sounds interesting right? What could go wrong?
The writing style wasn’t for me though. Personally it felt a bit too bland. I can’t see myself reading this book without DNFing it, but the narrator did an AMAZING job in making it more interesting (accents and distinct characters and all that, the narrator gets five stars from me) 
It’s a good start if you don’t read much urban fantasy.
The first few jokes were funny, the whole diverting expectations thing, like a crow that sounds like an East End gangster, that’s not expected! I liked that! But then overuse this and our expectations would be “nothing can be taken seriously, we can already tell a joke is coming” (which might be enjoyable, it just didn’t work for me)
Oh and I LOVED Cassandra
Overall: alright story with enjoyable narration
- thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review-
Was this review helpful?
I was interested in Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith because of the unique mix of police procedural mystery and urban fantasy. The narration by John Last is done well and his tone and style fit well with the overall style of this book. This book has a very large cast of characters both human and non, and I found the narrators representation of each appropriate and easily discernible. I found the story easy to follow and engaging in the audio format. 

While I enjoyed the story of Detective Paris, I did feel that the story was sometimes unfocused. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, and it felt like the author was often just updating us on where everyone was at a given time. 

Thank you Netgalley and Saga Egmont Audio for the advance copy of the audiobook.
Was this review helpful?
Okay, so this is one of those books that I would never give four or five stars to, and I would never list it among my favorites. However, despite that, I had a lot of fun reading it! I don't know how many of you have ever read "Red Dwarf" or "Good Omens," but this is kind of like those. 

It's hilarious in a totally stupid (but totally intentional) way. I was constantly laughing or rolling my eyes throughout the entire book. It was just so flipping silly.

As far as the plot and story went, it isn't the best book I've ever read. It had its ridiculous plot points, and some things were just too obvious and predictable, but that didn't make me like it any less. 

I guess it's kind of like "The Office," at least for me. I was never a giant fan of the show. I didn't just love it like a lot of people, but neither did I hate it. It wasn't seriously amazing show like "Six Feet Under" or "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." It also wasn't satirically funny enough to be stupid but lovable like "Brooklyn 9-9". Instead, it's funny and amusing, like "The Office." It was never going to be one of my favorite shows, but I came back week after week and watched it anyway. 

I feel the same way about this book. It's no Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien, or even a smutty J.R. Ward, but I would totally read the next Inspector Paris Mystery. It was what I like to call a super fun waste of time, and I mean that as a total compliment. 

As for the audiobook, it was good - well-paced, great narrator, and perfect dialects/accents that weren't too cheesy or over-the-top. It was clear and easy to listen to, and I didn't even have to speed it up to double speed to enjoy it (as I do most audiobooks). 

Overall, I'd rate this a solid three stars, maybe even three and a half. And I look forward to the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes you read fantasy and it’s so far removed from our reality that you have no choice to be immersed in it. Other times you may find yourself wondering what life would be like if magic existed openly in modern society. Andy Redsmith takes a crack at answering that question in Breaking the Lore. It follows a seasoned detective as he attempts to solve a series of murders that happen to be very, uh, mythical in nature. Inspector Nick Paris is one realistic sonuvabitch, so firmly planted in the logical that the concept of magic is ridiculous on every level.

But when the body of a fifteen inch tall fairy pops up in a man’s garden, all logic starts going out the window. In quick succession, Paris meets a chain smoking corvid who technically outranks him as a cop; a Legend of Zelda NPC and his rock troll daughter nicknamed Rocky. Apparently her name truly sounds like a mixture of Welsh, German and walrus; a goth witch who keeps flirting with Paris; a small—emphasis on small—caravan of dwarves who “find” things; an actual demon who speaks 16th century English. Oh yeah, and some fairy royalty, that was cool.

Paris, his absolute himbo of a Sargent and their entire office become responsible for giving asylum to a cast of incredibly fun magical creatures against an army of demons. Why are these murders taking place? To what end are the demons and their mages trying for? Why is Paris denying the existence of magic for so long? The man gets drunk to solve cases—is quite vocal about that, to be honest—what does he gain or lose by acknowledging magic exists? A talking crow is giving reconnaissance orders to squirrels so they have eyes on some demons in an elementary school with hostages. You have weirder stuff to worry about.

Breaking the Lore is such a fun, quick listen. The narration is on point and made listening such an enjoyable experience. I do wish that the trope used for Cassandra—attractive, intriguing woman falls for a man who she calls a slob—would die and stay buried. Cassandra and Paris’s relationship didn’t seem organic to me. They meet and she’s somewhat naturally flirtatious and he notices that she could possibly be attractive without the makeup. First, gross. Every time they have a space together, he thinks about how strange it is to wonder how she’s doing or what she’s thinking. That’s normal human behavior, there's nothing weird about it. Genuinely the romance could’ve been removed completely and the plot would not change.
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to like this book.  
From the description I was hoping for a funny version of the Dresden Files or a fantasy version of the X Files.  I got a cast of great characters that I hate.
I was impressed with how much I liked the characters while hating how they behaved... just found a dead fairy?  What's the least believable way of dealing with this new information?  Ok, great, let's not do that.
I thought of two possible explanations for this:
British humor is just too weird.
Redsmith chose to move past from the "confusion" phase for the sake of pacing.
I don't know about #1.  I like some British comedy (Black Books and Red Dwarf) so I thought I knew what to expect.
#2 seems more acceptable to me.  As an author, Redsmith could have written a epic of character development but would have killed the pace and chance of humor.  
I don't like this decision, but someone else may.  There is zero pause, everyone is moving as fast as the plot, which is fun.  The humor is there, I was listening to the audiobook in bed and was giggling to myself, which is a good sign.
Not a bad book, just not for me.
**I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I received this audiobook as an eARC from Netgalley. All opinions are my own!

Inspector Nick Paris relies on logic and whiskey to get his job done. But when he's suddenly the chosen protector of magical creatures and the chosen warrior against demonkind, how can he get the job done when he doesn't even believe in magic?

If you're looking for a feel-good book, you've come to the right place! This book had me smiling and falling in love with the characters from the first chapter. Nick is a pretty relatable cop who is just trying to get his job done and drink some whiskey. But the gang of magical creatures that becomes Nick's family is so lovable, that even Nick himself can't resist them in the end.

I really enjoyed this book and had tons of fun listening to it! It had a sort of "Good Omens" vibe to it, which I absolutely adored. I do wish that it had been more fast-paced at the beginning, but once I got a few chapters in, I was absolutely sucked in! I also loved that there were some rather familiar magical creatures, but there were also some that were not so familiar and there was more of a twist as to who the villains were. It kept up an element of having to learn about the world as Nick did that I really enjoyed.

If you're looking for an amusing, fun twist on magical creatures in our world, this is the book for you!
Was this review helpful?
Audio ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Great narrator, really captured the spirit and humour of the book. Overall an entertaining audio book.

Book Review: This started off as a solid threes stars for me. Which basically means I liked it but may or may not seek out the sequel. By the end of the book Paris and crew had won me over. There was a feel of Good Omens (though not like that book in any quantifiable way). It had a touch of Aaronovitch's Rivers of London but lighter in tone. Overall this is a humorous, fun police procedural/ urban fantasy. 

Inspector Paris is rudely introduced to the presence of magic when he is called to a crime scene and discovers the victim is a six inch high fairy with real wings, who has been crucified at the bottom of a residential garden. From there, all the mythical creatures start to crawl out of the dark and Paris finds himself caught in up in a potential diplomatic incident/ possible invasion. I won't add anything further on the story to avoid spoilers. While the plot never strays far from familiar beats, they are always delivered with a certain charm. By the mid way point of the book, I was regularly laughing out loud. 

Highly recommend for those who want a lighter urban fantasy. Best of all it's set in UK, so you get the UK police procedural rolled in for free.
Was this review helpful?
This was an odd mix. I really enjoyed the story, the worldbuilding that Andy Redsmith has put in place and the characterisation, and John Last's narratation is great - but I expected something a little more grown up for something listed as NA. It reads more like middle grade, especially with the endless litany of bad jokes and occasionally very laboured puns. I could imagine a ten year old enjoying this very much - and it is adventurous and fantastical in lots of good ways, but it has the prose and jokes of a MG book with some limited themes of an NA/YA
Was this review helpful?
The Short Version: Imagine someone dumps an encyclopedia of magical creatures into the typical hard nosed detective story then laces it with the driest humor on the market and that’s Breaking The Lore.
 
The Long Version:  I got to listen to an Audiobook ARC of this title thanks to NetGalley and Saga Egmont Audio.
 
To preface this review I have to note, that directly before reading this I read House in The Cerulean Sea, an excellent novel which also happens to be jam-packed with magical creatures.  On some level I suspect my listening experience was hindered because this came directly after that title, and House In The Cerulean Sea is just so exquisitely done.  To that end, I was a little disappointed in this title.  I selected it because I like fantasy and the concept of a logical detective having to reckon with the existence of things he thought were make believe seemed like an interesting concept.  Throw in that it had a sarcastic main character (usually a hook I can’t get enough of) and I was all in to listen.
 
The problem here is execution.  Instead of having Detective Paris gradually discover that magic might be real, the premise is just plopped down in the first chapter, and really can’t be argued with.  In the next handful of chapters, there’s a parade of different magical creatures introduced at a breakneck pace.  All of this created a few drawbacks.  First, I didn’t really get to know the inspector because I was busy trying to keep all the backstories straight and it obliterated the character development that could have been presented as Detective Paris has to grapple with what’s in front of him and what he believes to be true in regards to the existence of magic.
 
Additionally, the humor here was extra dry, and didn’t flow naturally.  For example, I only caught on to the pun in the title while writing this review (Breaking the law, but said with an English accent).  The jokes in the book are very similar, forced at times, and amusing more than truly funny. 
 
The shame of this is that a lot of the story construction is on point.  There a complex narrative and the pacing fails to drag even a little, I just felt bombarded by magical creatures and failed to get invested in any character long enough to root for them, 
 
The brightest spot in the audiobook was the narrator’s performance as he did a very nice job keeping a diverse and sizable cast separated and unique. 
 
Overall a 2.5 out of 5 rounded up because of a strong narrator.  It’s not a bad title, but I couldn’t latch onto anything that made it stand out or made me want to recommend it more highly.  If you love magical creatures and extremely dry humor then this one is up your alley, but otherwise, this one is a bit of a lull.
 
Component Ratings
Concept/Idea: 3.5 out of 5
Protagonist: 2 out of 5
Antagonist: 3 out of 5
Supporting Characters: 2 out of 5
Character Development: 2.5 out of 5
Plot: 3 out of 5
Pacing: 4 out of 5
Dialogue: 2.5 out of 5
Narrator’s Performance: 4 out of 5
Ending: 3 out of 5
Was this review helpful?
I received this audiobook from the publishers via Netgalley for a review. What a wonderful wacky read, had me laughing throughout and the narrator just added to the enjoyment of this book.
Was this review helpful?
His book reminded me of Good Omens soooo much. It was okay, I guess, but it wasn't really my thing. I expected something a bit different
Was this review helpful?