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  • Cronin's Key

  • Cronin's Key Series, Book 1
  • By: N.R. Walker
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)

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Summary

NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable. But when an injured man gives him cryptic clues, then turns to dust in front of him, Alec's view on weird is changed forever.

Cronin, a vampire Elder, has spent the last 1,000 years waiting for Alec. He'd been told his fated one would be a man wielding a shield, but he didn't expect him to be human, and he certainly didn't expect that shield to be a police badge.

Both men, strong-willed and stubborn, are still learning how to cope with the push and pull of being fated, when fate throws them another curveball.

Rumors have spread quickly of turmoil in Egypt. Covens are fleeing with news of a vampire who has a talent like no other, hell-bent on unleashing the wrath of Death.

Alec and Cronin are thrown into a world of weird Alec cannot imagine. What he learned in school of ancient pharaohs and Egyptian gods was far from the truth. Instead, he finds out firsthand that history isn't always what it seems.

©2015 N. R. Walker (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Cronin's Key

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7 out of 5 amazing stars

As books this series is amazing. As an Audio, Joel Leslie adds so much more. His ability to give every character a distinct voice, the sights and sounds of the locations while vivid in the book become bright and minute in the audio. He is in the middle of book 11 now and it's going to be just as Glorious.
I highly recommend this to Everyone.

4 people found this helpful

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Best audio I've heard

I have previously read this book and rated the story at a solid 4 stars - but boy does the audio elevate Cronin's key way above that. Joel Leslie's narration of this book is so spot on I was utterly captivated. Each character (and there are quite a few in this!) had a unique presence - different accents (the Scottish one is superb!), different inflections and pacing had me seeing sides to each role I didn't pick up on in the book. Cronin was a tad more vulnerable and Alec more passionate, and I just loved Eiji :)

This audio is highly recommended - immensely enjoyable and deeply satisfying.

3 people found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting

From some of the reviews on here I thought I was in for an Uber sexy plotty adventure. How disappointing to find that the two characters didn’t even kiss properly until chapter 12 and apart from some hand jobs and frottage it was hardly all sex and no plot a one reviewer seems to think. As the character’s sexual relationship is actually pretty important to the plot line I think it all scenes were relevant and could have actually been expanded on to make them even more so. Loved all the characters, I was even fond on the minor ones. The world building here is great, we’re getting history, lore and context which give a depth to the story that pulls you in and drives you forward.
Joel Leslie did a great job performing the roles and I love his Scottish accent. All the other international accents were also handled with sensitivity and care so convincingly that it didn’t jar. It was a pleasure listening to this performance.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Any additional comments?

Very good story line, lore, good character dynamics and just enough male/male intimacy.
Great narration and accents.

I cant wait for book 2.

Nate.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyable Story

The concept is interesting and well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is good.

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Poorly written

The writing was dreadful. In some places, it was actually painful to hear. The saving grace is the narrator who attempts somewhat successfully to do a couple of British accents. I can't comment on the other accents as I'm British. The story itself was full of good ideas but the writing itself was poorly executed. It gives hope to all those fanfic writers who think their writing sucks. I wouldn't have even finished it if not for the narrator and the fact there's so little lgbt+ novels on audible

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...

One of Mr Leslie's better performances, in my opinion, but the constant mispronunciation of Eiji's name as Iiji made me twitch every time.

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Good story but

The narrator sounds like a tired and week chain smoker who’s dying and ruins the story. Who decided to employ an inappropriate voice ? They should be shown the back door

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grating

I'm only.up to chapter 4, but unsure if I'll make it to the end or not. the narrator is... difficult to listen to. those people with throat cancer that use microphones to speak? That's what this sounds like.

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Fab!

Having read the book some time ago I was very pleased to find the audiobook, and to find that’s it’s fantastic. Great narration with good emotion.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-11-17

Adventure - Porn?

This ended up being: 80% exposition, 15% unnecessary/overly descriptive sex scenes, and 5% plot.

The blurb seemed perfect for me: vampires =fantasy, ancient Egypt = a personal enjoyment of mine, LGBT leads = FINALLY!
I was hoping for an enjoyable use of historical figures and locations to tell an adventurous tale with an LGBT perspective. What I got was every vampire trope possible crammed into this 12 hour audiotape. It spends far too much time creating the universe which isn’t really unique or interesting, completely failing on relating it to ancient Egypt as promised. Every so often the exposition takes a break for some really crude sex scenes that could have been implied or briefly mentioned, but somehow we have what I can only describe as literary porn. Cringe worthy and waiting for it to end so we can move the plot. Speaking of which, I had so much hope with the main story! Seem interesting enough, but (without spoiling anything) all this built up ending on 1 chapter of action that wasn’t even that big of a deal.
I appreciated the narrator, very impressed with his talent. And I applaud the author for going against the grain with an LGBT take on the vampire craze. But I am unfortunately disappointed. I really wanted to enjoy it.

142 people found this helpful

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  • Ariel
  • 25-05-17

More please!!!

Cronin's Key is one of my favorite books and I was so happy to see it was being made into audio. Joel Leslie is a phenomenal voice actor who truly brings these characters to life. His use of various accents and the quality of his performance make an already great story that much more fantastic. I highly recommend Cronin's Key both in print and audio, and if you haven't checked out any other of Joel Leslie's narrations then you're seriously missing out!

I'll keep my fingers crossed that the rest of this series gets recorded as well!

27 people found this helpful

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  • Einatsu
  • 03-03-18

Disappointing story

I'll start by saying this came highly recommended so part of my disappointment is in the fact it didnt stand up to my expectations.


The biggest redeeming point is Joel Lesley's narration and voice acting. The guy juggles around the different character accents in an impressive way.


*spoilers ahead*

The story overall is a basic one - destiny, big bad evil, prophecy, a chosen one and how things come to play.

The twist is that there are supernaturals involved and when that happens then as an author you really need to make sure you follow your own rules you laid . Thats basic sci-fi/fantasy writing 101.

This is where NR Walker fails big time.

The biggest contradiction is laid out from the very beginning - vampires can catch bullets.
They can acvidentally die from wood-imbued bullets, but thats if they are distracted or not fully aware.

Thay being said, there is way too much enthusiasm going around this 'invention' and none of the characters seems to care to point out the fact they cancatch those bullets despite Iji doing so over and over again...

Do when The Big Dramatical moment comes and Cronin's "saved" by another vampire sacrificing himself it doesnt seem very genuine. Because going by the rule that if he saw the bullet aimed - he couldve caught it in his hand and avoided getting hurt and dying.


Johanne's death didnt feel necessary or even emotional, and it felt like a huge miss.

Johanne would've done better being a double agent and spy who had just wanted to be rid of Alex to have Cronin all for himself. It would've explained a lot of last-minute changes to the 'prophecy' that didnt make any sense and his death a little more tragic.


The hylogryphs were a nice idea but it felt like there was too much doing for something that couldve been simplified to breaking into a hospital, taking a bag of blood donation, breaking a hole in the pyramids with detonators and letting sun inside.

The whole 'bringing back to life ' one ancient vampire egyptian or another didnt make sense, was never explained and the eventual conclusion felt very hurried and sloppy.

'Alex got it' is not a solution I feel okay with as a reader and felt forced to have the other characters be cool about not hearing an explanation themselves.

I will not be continuing this series.

20 people found this helpful

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  • SassiKassi
  • 25-05-17

Stellar!

I loved this book when I read it and now I love it more as narrated by Joel Leslie. How he manages to keep all the voices distinct is just amazing.
Though I wouldn't put this book in the erotic romance category, the sexual tension between Cronin and Alec is hot! And yes, there are also some steamy scenes, but the book is about so much more than that.
It's been awhile since I read the book and I'd forgotten the ending. Can't wait for the rest of the series to be available in audio. Though they're great to read, Joel Leslie makes them come alive.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Angelique Handke
  • 31-05-17

Loved it

Loved it a lot. It was so good. Joel Leslie performance was great. I can not wait for the rest to come out as well.

14 people found this helpful

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  • SW
  • 03-04-18

A little slow

Struggled with this one. The story line was good but it just took so long for it to get anywhere. The lead up to the battle was arduous and the battle was done in a second. The character development seemed like it was missing something. The narration was not bad but it seemed like the voices were too old for the characters ages.

10 people found this helpful

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  • JanineBaroutsis
  • 30-08-17

A new series for me and a wonderful surprise!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would, I really enjoyed Cronin's Key. The story sucked me in and I have the net book ready to go!

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the progression of the realtionship between Alec and Cronin and Ale coming to terms with his life after the events at the start of the book. And Joel Leslie is awesome!

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene when Cronin and his friends (hwho are 100's of years old) are subjected to Alec's modern day speech or qips or comments.

Any additional comments?

NR Walker is a new author for me and I don't know why is has taken me so long to find her!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea Mitchell
  • 29-05-17

Confessions of a Romantic

We don’t need to start by saying how much we love anything and everything but NR Walker, and the Cronin’s Key series is right up there. But, there is something that Joel Leslie creates, that brings this fantastic book to life. One of the best audio narrations we have heard in a while, so much we are downloading everything else Joel has recorded!

Cronin is a thousand year old vampire who has been waiting for his fated one, his mate, who shows up in the form of Alec, a NYPD detective that has always attracted the weird. There is other vampires, and a newly born one wanted to take over the world, and happiness of finding each other and the sad thoughts that they might not have forever together.

But, we love this story, so let’s talk about the narration. Joel has this husky quality to his voice that creates each individual voice for the characters. And his accents are out of this world. Reading this book, you feel the sexual tension between Cronin and Alec, but hearing it voices brings the tension, but the sweet heat they are both feeling for finding each other. Joel finds that caring between these two strong men, and their whispered words of love are so endearing. Our favourite scene in when Cronin first takes Alec to the Scottish fields, we could feel he love and tenderness between them.

So much good, but one sad thing, we have to wait for the other 2 installments in the Cronin’s Key series!!! But really, it is a great book, and a fantastic narration, we will patiently wait if the rest are a good as this one.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Donald
  • 16-06-17

More Please!!!!

I loved this book...I loved this story!!!! What a great story teller N.R. Walker is!!! Alec and Cronin and the cast of characters are fantastic and Joel Leslie does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. I want to listen to more...

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lee Todd
  • 26-05-17

great story is even better when narrated :)

Where does Cronin's Key rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

somewhere up near the top of my list, it's my favourite book that I've listened to Joel Leslie narrate

Who was your favorite character and why?

hard to choose between Alec and Cronin
Alec is the tough, no nonsense cop and Cronin is the vampire that has been waiting a lifetime for him

Which scene was your favorite?

when they jump back to the police dept to "acquire" weapons and bulletproof vests
....and the final sex scene

If you could take any character from Cronin's Key out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Alec....tall, dark and handsome, and can still eat human food ;)

Any additional comments?

loved all the character voices as they fit well with the character descriptions

7 people found this helpful