Audiobook Review: Jacked Cat Jive (Kai Gracen #3) by Rhys Ford

Stalker Kai Gracen knew his human upbringing would eventually clash with his elfin heritage, but not so soon. Between Ryder, a pain-in-his-neck Sidhe Lord coaxing him to join San Diego’s Southern Rise Court, and picking up bounties for SoCalGov, he has more than enough to deal with. With his loyalties divided between the humans who raised him and the Sidhe Lord he’s befriended and sworn to protect, Kai finds himself standing at a crossroads.

When a friend begs Kai to rescue a small group of elfin refugees fleeing the Dusk Court, he’s pulled into a dangerous mission with Ryder through San Diego’s understreets and the wilderness beyond. Things go from bad to downright treacherous when Kerrick, Ryder’s cousin, insists on joining them, staking a claim on Southern Rise and Kai.

Burdened by his painful past, Kai must stand with Ryder against Kerrick while facing down the very Court he fears and loathes. Dying while on a run is expected for a Stalker, but Kai wonders if embracing his elfin blood also means losing his heart, soul, and humanity along the way.

Listening Length: 8 hours and 19 minutes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Rhys Ford has a varied repertoire. She can do contemporary just as well as fantasy, but it’s the latter where I think she shines and she’s truly outdone herself here with this latest installment.

Briefly, this is a world where fae and humans have been forcibly meshed together, an existence neither really wants but all agree that war is no longer an option due to heavy losses on both sides. Kai is a product of the dark sidhe court, and he’s escaped, prospered, and committed to fight and kill the various monsters that troll the newly formed lands. Ryder is a high fae lord with lofty ideals to guarantee his race’s survival which does not sit well with the more traditional members of the court. Ryder knows that having Kai as his ally (and hopefully eventually in his bed) is the best thing to see his goals become reality. They both agree that change is needed and that starts by retrieving 3 rare fae children in the wild Borderlands.

Of course, what should be simply a dangerous mission turns into one life threatening fiasco after the other. Throw in plenty of new and old monsters alike, meddling sidhe relatives, and haters on both sides, and Kai and company can never catch a break!

Gruesome, brutally violent with quite a bit of gore, Ford definitely puts our reluctant hero through the ringer but what a gripping adventure it is! Kai for sure never wants the attention nor the accolades, all of which make him the best at what he does - a champion for those who have none.

Narrated by Greg Tremblay, I know I don’t have to say anything else, am I right? Also, if ever there was a narrator closely associated with an author, it’s this unbeatable combo.

Overall, points for a tightly woven plot that never fails on the complexity, the world building, or the gritty realism and stomach roiling horror. There’s a story arc in play and it has been since the beginning, but this latest installment really brings to light what I hopefully foresee as wonderful things for this fractured troubled reality where both races must come together to actually survive and thrive. I still believe this is classic urban fantasy at its best, and the romance is just starting to brew a bit stronger here (though don’t get your hopes up that this is typical Ford erotica because it isn’t). Nonetheless, the more realized love potential is compelling to say the least.

Seriously, this series just keeps getting better and better, and I’ve already babbled long enough. Change is definitely a’coming, and Kai will no doubt spearhead the charge with Ryder by his side. I can’t wait to see this unravel, and Ford needs to hustle on getting the next story out because that ending??? Oh my!

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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