by Sarah Fine
Series: The Immortal Dealers #1
Narrator: Carly Robins
Length: 10 hours
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
One woman is in a world of otherworldly trouble—and she’s going to have to bet her life to save humankind.
Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger has put her dreams aside to look after her eccentric mother. Case in point: saving her from a mysterious stranger who’s just stormed the terrified woman’s antique store wearing a rattlesnake tattoo, leveling threats, and brandishing the weirdest deck of cards Ernie’s ever seen.
When Ernie grabs some of the cards and runs, she’s launched into a world she never knew existed—one her mother may know more about than she’s revealing. With a handful of stolen cards, Ernie has just been made an unwilling player in a game of good versus evil. But she’s not even playing with a full deck, and its original owner is more than happy to kill to get his cards back.
Suddenly Ernie’s matching wits and plays with the supernatural Immortal Dealers, who can raise empires, damn souls, and shape the world’s destiny. It’s up to Ernie to defeat the most brutal member of their order. And if her roguish new ally isn’t bluffing, he can help. The mystery is all in the cards, and to save her life—and humanity—Ernie had better learn how to deal.
The Serpent by Sarah Fine is the first of two novels in the Immortal Dealers urban fantasy series. Card Dealers, magic, and threats abound as a heroine awakens her skills. While not perfect, the narration provided by Carly Robins brought these characters to life and added depth.
Caffeinated Reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to The Serpent
- I loved the premise of the world in Immortal Dealers and Fine did a splendid job of building the world and explaining what a Dealer was. This urban fantasy series introduces us to Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger who has put her plans on hold to care for her eccentric mother. Her absentee father sends her strange antique postcards promising he’ll be home by Christmas but has yet to return. While the initial setup was slow things quickly pick up when, a tattooed and pierced man threatens Ernie’s mother in her antique shop. The man is carrying a deck of strange cards and when Ernie grabs some and runs she quickly discovers an entire world living among humans.
- The Dealers from how they came to be to the skills their decks provide was an interesting concept. Fans of Yugioh cards who’ve ever battled will appreciate this as will those who have played and battled with Pokemon cards. As with any power using their cards has a butterfly effect and I am curious to learn more.
- Ernie knows nothing about being a dealer, but with loved ones in danger she must decide whether to trust other dealers. We meet, Gabe an Irish dealer and lordy he’s a cutie. I loved the Irish lilt Carly Robins gave him. We have other dealers as well who will either come to her aid or betray her. Runes and creatures tied to the cards battle for their owners, The battle scenes and visual Fine created were both fascinating and intense.
- The dealer threatening Ernie and her family wants four cards that Ernie’s mom possesses, and it amped up the suspense level.
- A little romance and character growth helped anchor the story. Ernie was a little aloof but who knows how I would react in her shoes. I thought Carly Robin did a great job capturing her emotions and strengthening her growth. It was fun seeing Ernie connect with and learn her deck. Her lessons had me laughing on more than one occasion. I was pleased when she finally settled in and took things seriously.
- Audio has become my preferred method of listening to urban fantasy. I went into this with some trepidation when another blogger felt this fell flat. I think the narrator boosted this story from 3.5 cups of coffee to a solid four. She enhanced the characters and brought them to life. I don’t believe I have listened to Carly Robins before but her range and pacing were stellar and enhanced all aspects of the tale.
The Serpent, was a refreshing and original starts to a promising new series. While it only appears there are two novels planned the premise gives way for more.
[bctt tweet=”The Serpent by Sarah Fine, was a refreshing and original starts to a promising new urban #fantasy series involving Immortal Dealers. #loveaudiobooks” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
The Dealers sound so interesting, especially when how it came to them coming across their decks. I have heard about so many Sarah Fine novels and still have yet to read any! I don’t think I am going to start here, but I do want to try some of her work one day.
She writes in both YA and Adult, so I hope you try one of her serie.
Kay @ It's a Book Life
I didn’t realize Sarah Fine had a new book out! It sounds very promising.
Glad I put it on your radar 🙂
A real good narrator has to do it right. I like the premise of this book. I never played Yu-Gi-Oh but I assume it’s like Pokemon.
Mostly, it is more complex. Our son use to attend battles as a teen
Urban Fantasy is my jam so I’ll have to look into it. I really appreciate your thoughtful, informative reviews. Anne – Books of My Heart
Oh mine too 🙂
Great review…thanks for the post!
Teresa Mary Rose
This sounds right up my alley and I’ve heard great things about this author! Great review!
Yay. I hope you love it!
As ever, a cracking review. I haven’t read anything from this author, but I am going to keep an eye out for this series – thank you for sharing:)
I’ve read quite a few of her works, and prefer the adult titles, however both are stellar
Wonderful review. Thank you for sharing. Now to add to my every growing TBR pile ^_^.
Bwahaha. My job here is done 🙂
Now, that sounds like a creative take on an UF world. I might have to give these a try. Plus, I’ve heard good things about this author and wanted to try her stuff.
I love Fine, prefer her adult, which this is 🙂
I think I am going to try this one.
*happy dance* Woot!
i think I read that other review also. Not sure about this one. The Dealer thing is really different and I wonder if I would get lost. Anyway, sorry I’ve gotten behind on comments. Had my DNA done and now I am working on my family tree. It’s fascinating but very time consuming.
That sounds like fun. We were fortune that our family trees have been well researched and put into a book.
Tyler H. Jolley
I’m glad this didn’t fall flat for you and the narrator only enhanced it. I’ve been meaning to ask this, but do you listen to them at regular speed? I’m usually a 1.5-er. Happy reading/listening Kimba!
I always begin a chapter or two at normal speed, then once I’ve got a handle on the narrator, I speed it up. It depends on narrator, clarity etc. Anywhere from 1.5 to 2x
that’s a series I think I would love to try
I hope you get a chance too!
Sounds like an interesting one Kimberly. I haven’t listened to any Urban Fantasy audiobooks. Maybe one day. 😉
Urban Fantasy is fantastic on audio Maureen
Glad you liked this Kim! It really was an interesting and unique story and I’m hoping the next book will be even better.
Ooo me too Ali!
Jenea's Book Obsession
You certainly have me curious about the world and Ernie too!!
Cool. I hope you try this Jenea! Have you read Fine before?
Jenea's Book Obsession
No, will have to look it up now to.
We’re review twins today, Kim! I enjoyed this one just as much as you did. The world building was so interesting and I enjoyed all of the cast so much. I can’t wait for the next one. I’m hoping it will be more than just 2 books!
Yes! I am excited for more!
This sounds pretty creative. Hugs…RO
It was, thanks Ro!