Review copy was received from NetGalley, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Long Past Dues by James J Butcher
Narrator: James Patrick Cronin
Series: The Unorthodox Chronicles #2
Published by Ace, Penguin Audio on October 10, 2023
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 11 hours, 30 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Grimsby, the newest Auditor in the magical Department of Unorthodox Affairs, finds himself in hot water when he intercepts a friend’s case in this fast-paced and thrilling urban fantasy.
Against all odds, Grimshaw Griswald Grimsby has become an Auditor, enforcing laws about magic for Boston’s Department of Unorthodox Affairs. But Grimsby soon realizes the daily grind of his job is far removed from the glamour he imagined. Overlooked for every exciting case, Grimsby tires of being told to handle mundane magical troubles, and appropriates a case file intended for a friend.
Alongside Leslie Mayflower, the temporarily unretired Huntsman, Grimsby aims to crack the case and discover the origin of a strange, unfinished ritual—one that seems to imitate the handiwork of a foe Mayflower put down twenty years ago.
The Unorthodox Chronicles series is written by Jim Butcher’s son, James. As with most urban fantasy, each book further develops the world and characters so I would read them in order. Often when starting a series, I am just trying to understand how everything works. Now I wanted to see what the story would be already knowing a bit about the world.
Now Grimsby is an auditor after his last experience with Mayflower. But Mayflower thinks he is done with the work until he senses something from an old case. So Grimbsy is working the job without training or a mentor or a partner. He is expected to take some basic tests and is mostly not doing well. He is not given anything but paperwork and check-in type cases.
Grimsby is not stupid and he is certainly caring for his friends and really tries hard to help people. He just has so few resources or skills. I found some of his choices to be unbelievable. In the last book, Mayflower was a help and they worked together. Now Mayflower doesn’t seem very helpful and his knowledge is limited.
I think maybe a problem I am having is with the pacing. Everything, even battles or fights, seems slow. I don’t normally notice pacing so I’m not sure what isn’t working for me. Possibly, it’s whenever there is a fight instead of action, there is a long stream of options and decisions in Grimsby’s head. And all I can think is why isn’t he dead already?
Grimsby also wanted to help Wudge and that got him in another round of dangerous situations. He had no information and seemed to have nowhere to get information or any ability to work on solving the problem. He doesn’t seem able to talk to anyone, like other auditors he knew through training. Learning the world through Grimsby is a bit like an unreliable narrator due to his lack of knowledge.
At the end of the last book, I hoped Grimsby had a bit of confidence and certainly more experience. In Long Past Dues, he seems to be mostly stumbling around on his own, getting injured but staying alive. I do admire his passion for saving others. It seems like Mayflower will be working with him going forward and perhaps Grimsby will get the experience and resources he needs.
The narrator also performed the first book so I am comfortable with the character voices. The male and female and creature voices were distinct which added to my enjoyment of the performance. I listened at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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