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  • To Kill a Unicorn

  • Chronicles of Cain, Book 1
  • By: John Corwin
  • Narrated by: Austin Rising
  • Length: 13 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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To Kill a Unicorn

By: John Corwin
Narrated by: Austin Rising
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Summary

To-do list: remove the curse of Cthulhu. Kill a demigod. Eat a unicorn heart.

My name is Cain Sthyldor, a former assassin for the fae. I've met Death in person, I'm cursed by Cthulhu, know a gorgon, and have a pet octopus named Fred.

I may not be a wizard from Chicago, an iron druid on the run, a hot-tempered maker who hates Girl Scouts, or part of a destructive duo from New York City, but I guarantee you'll be entertained.

The fae hate me because I started a war to free myself from their clutches. The humans hate me because I used to work for the fae. My only real friends are a bartending elf and a half-fae assassin who claims she'll kill me for the price on my head - one day. Until then, we'll be sipping mangoritas at Voltaire's.

These days, I'm a tracker and bounty hunter for a supernatural agency called Eclipse. I may not assassinate anymore, but I find elusive targets, and what Eclipse does with them is none of my business. At least until now. My target is a teenaged girl, and I don't like the thought of ordinary kids being taken or killed. But when I refuse to do the deed, I'm suddenly being hunted by a demigod who can hurl lightning like nobody's business.

The fae told us the gods are dead. Apparently, they're very much alive, and Zeus is still up to his dirty little shenanigans. His kid is now an assassin for a group called the Divine Council, and they want this girl dead.

Stupidly, I take her under my protection, and now, I've got Eclipse, a demigod, and several other competing factions who all want the girl for their own nefarious purposes. And it doesn't take long for me to find out why.

The factions are weaponizing demigods. Some want to use them against the fae. Some want to rule the world. And others want to kill the gods themselves.

To top it off, the curse of Cthulhu is eating me to the bone, and the only way to cure it is to eat a living unicorn heart.

Will I survive? Enter the Chronicles of Cain and find out.

©2020 John Corwin (P)2020 John Corwin

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  • Lynch
  • 22-02-21

Hooked by Book 3

I decided to put this review here instead of book 3 so that if you are thinking about starting this series you will know what you are getting into. The story takes a while to get there but it's worth the effort. Let me just start by saying that this first book is not great, but unless the first book in a series is downright awful I usually give the second book a chance to improve the story. What's funny is the second book though better also wasn't great. The only reason I decided to listen to the third book is because I liked the narrator, I didn't have a book from another series waiting for me, and so I figured why not. As it turns out that was a happy decision.

The reason I say the first book is not great has a lot to do with how our hero goes from hardened, loner assassin to ooey gooey "big brother" in a matter of days. The story itself and the world building is pretty good and it has plenty of action and a bit of humor.

The second book continues with the world building and starts us down the path of steam punk which is always fun. In addition we get to go to a different dimension and there is a great triple cross along the way. There are some pretty unbelievable events but if you give a little latitude to your suspension of disbelief you'll get through it. The little steam punk owl was a particular favorite.

In book three the story gets really interesting. There is much steam punk, parallel universe travel, and the author steals Granualle (Grace in this series) right out of the Iron Druid Chronicles and plunks her down into this narrative! Now I love a good nod to other authors' characters of the same genre but this is gutsy and I love it! By the by, there are nods early on in the first book to Nate Temple and Harry Dresden. The explanation of the parallel universes is interesting and there is a satisfying defeat of the bad guy in the universe they are in. I still don't really like the too over the top relationship between the hero and his "charge". They have really only known each other a very short time and I don't believe bonds like they have can be formed so quickly.

Cthulhu appears in all three books and is also a steal from the original author of the mythos, H.P. Lovecraft. I guess that is a thing and again adds flavor to the storyline. I hope book 4 comes out soon, I want to find out what will happen next!!

10 people found this helpful

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  • BikeVON
  • 14-08-20

A new exciting antihero

Welcome to Cain’s world. Cain our antihero, is a former oblivion guard for the fae. He is now living in fae ruled Gaia working as a tracker for Eclipse. Power from a curse pearl is eating him alive. He has been looking for a cure. Now on a job to tag a teenage girl, Heather, for assassination, he has second thoughts about his part in ending her life. Saving Heather is the first of many bad decisions he will make. But those decisions make a very exciting story.
Cain was an infamous guard and people either love or hate him. Even being crippling with magic cancer he is still a force to be reckoned with. When he is not throwing spells he is beating his opponents with his cunning and great moves.
So he is saddled with Heather and looking for a cure while being pursued by fae and human assassins. He ends up with a crew, Aura, the bar maid, Layla, the assassin, who is really good with blades Heather and Fred the octopus. The story features various and sundry fae creatures, sigils, potions, portals, three women who don’t get along, and the moral decisions which antiheros make. I finished this story in one day and cannot wait for the next one.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff
  • 21-05-20

Nice humour throughout

Lots of funny moments.
Some feel good and playful concepts.
A nice read using your imagination.
A good escape.
Where is the next one?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-20

Three Thumbs Up

John Corwin and Austin Rising never fail to impress. Can't wait for book 2. The worst part of the book is waiting for the next one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sean P. Harrigan
  • 26-09-22

New Series always buy 3

Whenever I start a new series if the first 3 books are available I always buy 3. This is because typically the first is the worst a series has to offer you. By book 3 you get to really know the characters and give them time to grow, judge the writing and see if it strengthens, the world building should be fleshed out at this point. For Cain, Hannah, Layla, and Aura I’m glad I do this. The plot, characters, mythos, world building all had a strong foundation in this book. This was a good first book to a series. It’s tough in spots and a little predictable, but it was strong enough to keep me going. By the time I finished the first 3 books I was hooked and bought the next four. I’m glad I have this rule. If you like intrigue, action, urban fantasy, and multiple mythos that are truly well blended to make for amazing rich world(s) and relatable characters. So step into the Chronicles of Cain and enjoy a unique take on Urban Fantasy. And though that annoying Druid is referenced thankfully he hasn’t showed up to ruin this series and hopefully he’s still crying about his arm and getting over himself . But I digress, love this series. I’m taking a round 2 through the first 7 books then might give his other series a try.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-11-22

good story

good story & Series set Up But I wish narrator would give it more. just feel like the book could pack a punch if read with a bit more heart, really get into the characters emotions and how they're speaking...idk could be just me. but good Overall anyhow.

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  • Zach
  • 12-11-22

Absolutely wonderful

If you love mythical sci-fi books, this is absolutely the series for you! the story is wonderful, catching and the narrator does an amazing job!

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  • Joe
  • 19-10-22

urban fantasy fun!!

the story was great with lots of detail. the narrator, however, was kind of monotone throughout

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  • Tom
  • 05-10-22

enjoyed the start of this series

narration was great. story had a good start. liked the pop culture references and those that referred to other book characters too.

I found Cain's decisions fairly believable, especially for an amorionally starved person who basically cracks that facade.

only annoying thing was the girls fighting or at odds with each other so much, but I get that's where the author wanted the characters to be.

going to start the next book today! thanks!

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  • BobbyBG33k
  • 23-05-22

Cain, you are so stupid but fun

I stopped doing other things so I could focus on this story. I was pretty intrigued from start to finish.

I have read more than a few modern day fantasy and it can be hit or miss sometimes. This one was a hit. I am not sure what to talk about without spoiling. If you like fantasy getting mixed into modern life but a bit more adult than Harry Potter then this is for you.

Enjoyed the guys performance mostly, but damns it some of the women got annoying in this book.