Audiobook Review | “A Looming of Vultures” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.1) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry (otherwise known as Jorie’s favourite narrator of Suspense!)

Posted Tuesday, 23 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Looming of Vultures” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the author Richard Storry in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What drew my eye to listening to this novel:

Two Words: Storry & Urry

I’d love to say there was a more specific reason why I wanted to listen to this story – however, once you find a winning combination of author + audiobook narrator, you are willing to take a risk and simply request a story to listen to whilst not entirely sure of the premise behind the story your receiving to review! I honestly did a blind request with this audiobook – I knew I loved the ways in which Mr Storry can tell a story whilst I am in love with how Mr Urry narrates stories!

For me, it was kismet finding a new story by both the author and the narrator I loved discovering whilst listening to The Cryptic Lines which remains to this day my top favourite audiobook! In close second are the Moira Quirk narrations for Anna Blanc (read my notes about my latest listening session) which are wicked addictive in the same vein of interest – one author writes Suspense and the other writes wicked brilliant Cosy Historical Mysteries – clearly, I have a mind for murderously lovely stories akin to Jessica Fletcher who lived in such a small towne considering the sincere random quirk of stumbling into crimes with such a high frequency in which she did! lol (smirks) Mind, not all the stories I read involve nefarious crimes (though most do!) – I love a wicked good psychological suspense wherein no one dies but the suspense is harder to needle out because it encapsulates itself into other avenues of the human psyche.

What draws me into Urry’s narration is how his voice is well-matched for the stories Mr Storry is crafting together – therein, you do note how his voice doesn’t quite match his appearance, as I nearly mistook him for someone else entirely – but it’s how well apt he is at these particular genres which lends me wicked addictive to seeing what he’ll do next whilst taking on a new story to narrate. I’ve have it in mind to listen to the stories outside the canon of Storry he narrates, but part of me is curiously curious if some of those are a bit outside the scope of what I would enjoy. Not all, as I am sure I spied at least one story I’d be keen on hearing but the rest, I know he entertains other genres outside my own wanderings.

In short, I’m addictive to his voice and I am musefully happy to see what Mr Storry is going to write next because his stories are a brilliant match to Urry’s narration.

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Audiobook Review | “A Looming of Vultures” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.1) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry (otherwise known as Jorie’s favourite narrator of Suspense!)A Looming of Vultures
Subtitle: Ruritanian Rogues, Volume One
by Richard Storry
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Jake Urry

While an ugly war with its neighbouring realm continues to rage, the insulated members of Ruritania’s upper class laugh and dance their way through their superficial lives. Some people, increasingly disillusioned by the pointless conflict, start to consider how the King might be persuaded - or forced - to end it.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of items of great value are going missing from those attending these high society gatherings. At whom will the finger of suspicion point? Who can be trusted?

With so many competing, yet intertwined, agendas, what will be the outcome of this looming of vultures?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ASIN: B0764M7FM9

Also by this author: The Cryptic Lines

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Suspense


Published by Self Published Author

on 5th October, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 4 hours 57 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Cryptic Publications

Ruritanian Rogues series:

A Looming of Vultures | Book One

A Nest of Vipers* | Book Two | Synopsis

*audiobook narrated by Urry, released 10th January, 2018

About Richard Storry

Richard Storry

Richard is the author of four published novels, with his fifth “A Looming of Vultures” due for publication in 2017. Prior to writing his first novel, “The Cryptic Lines” he was very busy in the theatrical world: He composed the incidental music to Chekhov’s Three Sisters, seen in London’s West End, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Eric Sykes, and subsequently broadcast on BBC4 television.

His musical adaptation of “The Brothers Lionheart” premiered at London’s Pleasance Theatre, followed by a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival where it was voted Best Childrens’ Play. “The Cryptic Lines” has now been adapted for both the stage and screen.

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on the background of the series unfolding:

It surprises me not, this story begins with a dash of prose – of poetic insinuation to set the tone of the story yet to be told. Storry has a curiously instinctive way of placing you exactly where you need to be at the beginning of his stories – of enveloping you in the ominously unknown setting you’ve not yet had a proper glimpse of but one you can feel is lurking there – slightly shadowed and held back from your direct observation; lingering a bit to give you a fuller breadth of why this story needs to be one you must hear. He builds the curiosity by slowly shifting your perspective into his world-view – combined with the gentle nudging by Urry, to guide you within these realms, whose voice is as alluring and addictive as your favourite actor whose transformation confirms the role he’s taken on – the stage is magnificently set for your immersion.

There is a metaphoric overlay about vultures – of their creature specific personalities and how they appear in the sky, as their flights are of particular choosing – where only their motivations for going where they go is not as well known to those who observe them. They seek their own way, of choosing to visit certain places for specific reasons – whether to eat what was left behind for them to consume (as they were scavengers; part of the team of the nature’s world band of undertakers) or whether their presence was needed for something else entirely. They had keen minds, nothing escaped their attention, where their olfactory senses were intensively attuned to their environment.

With reasons to avoid human encampments – it was curious to find one such creature was more daringly moving in circles of closeness to where the humans were already gathered. His patience was part of his fortitude, his mannerisms held their own truths but his eyes drank in everything moving in front of him; to be dissected for what it would yield for his own means of enjoyment.

my review of a looming of vultures:

Ruritanian citizens were not oft treated to visiting the royal palace but there were certain moments where their presence was allowed. It is here, wherein we enter into this festive celebration finding royals and select guests co-mingling – where the palace was on high display. Their residents were not oft available for direct conversation, such as the King himself who seemed to make himself appear oblivious of the importance behind keeping himself in full view of the public. He made certain exceptions but overall, his duties took him away from making entreaties into public life.

The Chancellor is the person who was there to greet the guests as they arrived, to make the impression the guests were valued and appreciated. It was here we started to see how this country approached their commoners whilst engaged in the concerns with the heaviness of war and the repercussions of those who returnt from battle were never quite themselves. There was one such Captain in attendance – Captain Igor, who was enticing the Chancellor to draw the fellow out and converse with him about his recent conditions of trauma. Yet, the greater focus was of the illuminations treating the guests to a palace well lit and outfitted for party-goers, where food and drink was not just at the ready but were encouraged to be consumed without hesitation. It was the kind of affair you could become lost inside – of wandering room to room, satisfying your palette with the offerings and drinking in the surroundings as if you might not get a second chance to observe their environs.

As soon as you overheard the Baron enquiring about the necklace, you surmised something was afoot – not only was something felt a bit out of place or rather, something suspicious was just out of sight of what we were hearing – it was how this character, the Baron had spoken about the subject; almost as if he was secreting information from his host and hostess. I had a feeling he didn’t want to tip his full hand – of giving out only a small fraction of what he understood and thus, dangling a small clue towards what was actually happening in the background rather than the festive party we mistook as the ‘main event’ in the foreground.

When the lights went out – I nearly felt it was signalling for the nefarious events to begin their arrival – as you could feel the heaviness of the tension permeating through the party atmosphere – not everyone was here to celebrate or find the mirth of the moment; it almost felt like some of the people in attendance were masking their truer intentions. Darkness is an easy trick of hand – to divert more attention elsewhere than to have a light shining on a theft taking place such as the one which is presumed to have happened here.

There is a lot of pretense between the participants of this social engagement – you can tell there are fine lines between what can be said and what cannot be discussed. Even as we learn how the theft is carried out – what is quite interesting – is the confidence the thief has in being able to do whatever they wish, take what they want and disappear as easily as they appeared in chambers to lift objects of fortune from those who could not quite understand how their belongings were removed unnoticed by another person who might have been able to identify the thief themself. I suspected this self-appointed ego of the thief might short-sight them in the future – as things are never as easy as one plans them to be nor can a thief suspect to carry off their treasures without leaving a clue behind towards their identity or of the item they stole. Sometimes, too much confidence in one’s trade can be their undoing as I suspected might be the case at some point in this series,…

The curious bit is – the thefts are growing in frequency, affecting more citizens of this country during a time in its history where war is a very real threat with their neighbour Jermania – the unrest is difficult to ignore, but the thefts of property seem to be weighing on the mind of the Chancellor as too many prominent people are being victimised by a cunning and willing thief who believes they can take whatever they wish simply by outwitting their victim. What was interesting is how well they placed themselves out in the open – distracting attention from themselves and keeping apprised of who is under suspicion but never seeming to make themselves appear less than who they appear to be. A clever mask – yet, the one who is suspected of the theft isn’t such a comfortable choice with some fearing they are not the key person behind the crimes.

It is the level of deception Storry has threaded through this story which makes it a delightful one to be caught inside – once Storry chose to highlight the plotter of derisive exploits, he gives us a fanciful journey towards seeking out the reasons behind this person’s mannerisms. For he has given us such a great folly in understanding how this character’s mind thinks – Storry gives us a wonderful close-up viewing of the nemesis in the story, of how he wanted us to see the workings of a criminal mind but also, to understand the motivations behind the crimes being committed. Almost as if we, the readers, are the overseers of how this person set the stage for each of the crimes meant to be carried out; for the thief made one cardinal mistake: they took someone into their confidence, someone who would know of their actions prior to acting on them.

You start to empathise with the one who was in servitude for the thief – they were caught up in a web of this person’s deceit but they were not of the same mind. This person had a moral code and a finite sense of ethics which did not bode well with the thief, as only their desires were the only factors needed to keep important in their mind. In the background of all of this – despite the issues with Jermania, there was a scientific competition to spotlight inventors and their innovative ideas. It was almost laughable how science had re-taken an important part of the story-line – as it was the science behind electric light which saw the Chancellor’s wife in distraught disbelief after the thief used this information to cause a distraction. Now, it is science once again which would parlay into the thief’s hand for pulling the wool over the victim’s eyes except in a rather in-direct way! As it wasn’t ‘science’ which was needed this time round but rather, how science would open the door towards a reason for a certain person to be present.

There are a lot of layers to this story – as you peer into each of them, you start to see things differently than what you first hear the first time round. However, having said this – one of the joys is observing the thief – the gull this person has at keeping their promises to carry out their plans, but also, how passionate they are in being able to carry off whatever they deem is worthy of their time. One of my favourite scenes was actually a moment where the thief was nearly found out – because it showed the other side of thieving – of how close one can become to being caught! Mind you, this person is so blinded by their pursuit of what they want – they can’t process any other observation on their actions!

I truly loved how Storry makes this an immersive experience for the reader – you get to feel guided a bit by how he’s setting everything up to be followed in direct pursuit of his characters, but there are moments where even the characters themselves are not as certain about where they are going – as they have to move through their setting as if visiting it for the first time, to navigate themselves out of it. There is a particular moment where you felt most intrigued for how little elements are knitted into the background each step of the way, as there are remnants of the historical era of this story here and there; little touches of grounding you in a time-line which makes sense for the general awareness of ‘when’ we’ve been transported.

Ontop of which, as we shift forward through the scenes and sequences which affect the characters, especially the thief (for this character has some of the more interesting scenes!) – we start to notice how complex this world was built! It isn’t as easy to move around without others taking notice nor is it easy to conceal a deceitful intention to steal what is not yours – the convicting bit is how it all unfolds. Especially as you sort out how Storry pulls the pieces together, giving you an engaging story to re-assemble piece by piece. For this is what draws me to his stories – for this experience of feeling as if I’ve travelled through his vision for these stories of Suspense without fully solving the mysteries until the very last chapters are revealled. Even then, you have to re-think about what you thought you understood as you heard the story and see everything once more from a different perspective.

on the suspenseful pen of mr storry:

Quite literally, where do I begin? My admiration for his craft of suspenseful fiction is rooted in how he takes the atmospheric entrance cues and delivers such a wicked good breadth of story to give us a hauntingly brilliant read! Combine his instincts for crafting the foundation of what insists upon being heard for those of us who love a wicked good thrilling read brokered out of the psychological threadings of a master story-teller – we have the instincts of a narrator who knows how to insert his own flavour of world-building through how his voice dictates the original words of the novelist who gives us a firm step outside our reality in exchange for his own. Where nothing is as it would appear nor is it altered in such a way to be unrecognisable – it is a gateway to a place not quite here nor there but a place you will feel intimately familiar with all the same by the conclusion.

I love how Mr Storry has carved out a particular niche of ‘place’ in which to set this story – hugged close to well-known countries in Europe yet separated from their origins as well. It was as if this country was simply one you had previously overlooked or never would have found if a story had not highlighted its presence for you to find. He also spends a heap of time developing the ‘setting’ of his stories – of making the place your visiting in his stories to be so wholly true of how they feel as to give you a proper suspension of belief of being kept in this ‘elsewhere’ place long enough to understand the purpose of your visit. He takes careful attention to giving out more details about this setting as you move through the chapters, imparting information about the setting as it is necessary to impart whilst giving you a curious appreciation for what you know and what you can only presume is true of this place you feel could quite literally exist in our world.

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About Jake Urry

Jake Urry

Jake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre.

Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks.

Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats.

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is my second time listening to the narration of Mr Urry, after previously hearing his voice threading through the narrative of The Cryptic Lines.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances: three examples:

Chancellor: His voice was a bit gravelly aged, as he cautiously spoke to those he conversed. He appears to try to keep things close to his chest; never to waver to give out more details than he’s willing to part with to any person he doesn’t want to have the information he could give them.

Lady Katerina: She had a soft-spoken voice, her voice surprised me as Mr Urry’s main narrating voice is quite deeper but he softened the depth of his voice to give voice to her character. Similarly, the last time I heard him voice a woman character, I almost think he has a more natural voice fit for older female characters like the one he had in The Cryptic Lines. This voice was okay but there is something for a certain age of a character which fits his voicing of a woman a bit better. Except for when Lady Katerina was aghast in shock – you could almost ‘see’ her in the moment of feeling shocked. Her grave mood afterwards started to win me over – as for whichever reason, she felt a bit more developed after her ordeal.

the Baron: His voice was altered from the others, almost as a precursor towards his truer nature. His voice gave you pause, he wasn’t a character I trusted and once you saw his truer personality, you could see why you might have flagged him as a questionable type of character quite early-on! I loved how his nature came out in how he was voiced – it was a curious display of how sometimes a voice can lend exposure towards what a character is attempting to hide.

Secondary Characters:

Captain Igor: His voice did not hold full confidence but he happily diverged information if asked of him.

Wilhem: He might not have had the freedom of actions in the story but he has some of the best lines in the story because he plays the conscience role of voicing the concerns you think about yourself as the reader who knows more than the other characters. It is this character you feel is threading the story with the kind of perspective which gives more grounding to the foundation originally set in the prologue – as his observations are not unlike the vulture, for he sees the conscience of all the players in the story.

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

This is dearly theatrical because you get caught up in the height of how each character is presented – they are so very well attuned to their distinct personalities, you can listen to how they are dimensionally being portrayed. In this kind of performance it is easier to alight inside the narrative because you can see each of the characters in turn, their voices altering between each other and this never sounds like a novel being voiced by one narrator. The joyful bit is unravelling the plot through what your listening too – as Mr Urry gives such depth to everyone he’s portraying as it automatically thickens the plot because your feeling your way through the story the same way you do as your reading a book in print. This is why I love listening to how he narrates his stories!

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

The portion of the story where the war with Jermania is being explained: As this was another thread of where the metaphor of vultures, this time through the actions of their enemy was being described rather than the literal vulture who was featured at the start of the novel. The dialogue exchanges gave you the full impression there were more than one person in the room, talking about everything at hand – from the position of where they were at war and the thief in question who may or may not have been the responsible party. You feel like your in the middle of a private conversation where the voices being spoken would prefer you did not overhear what they were discussing.

The sequence of the thief in the Chancellor’s bedchamber: Such a good example of how someone who wishes to deceive someone they can do it expertly if given enough time to prepare how to sneak in and out from under the cover of darkness whilst others sleep. It was cheeky and fitting the Chancellor would wake-up at one pertinent moment of where the thief could have been caught but had one lucky break left where his presence remained unseen. It’s an inspiring scene because it shows how close you can come to getting found out and how easily you can get away with something if you pre-plan your actions and then, have the gull to carry them out.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

Happily whenever I am listening to an audiobook narrated by Mr Urry, the quality is top notch! You have a crisp and clear performance – his articulation is brilliant and it is a true joy to listen to his narrations due to how he pulls you into the stories themselves.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I would instinctively say I’d like to read The Cryptic Lines and A Looming of Vultures in print whilst re-listening to their audiobooks; however, just as surely as I think this would be true – there is something so alluring about how Mr Urry narrates these stories, I almost like my truer preference for these stories is to re-visit the audiobooks and not to read the print editions as I believe I’d miss hearing the narrator!

They are very distinctively remembered because of Mr Urry’s voice presiding over the stories – therefore, I am unsure if I would have the same kind of immersion if I were to opt instead to read the books with my own eyes even if I heard Mr Urry’s narration — sometimes I think, some stories are meant to remain in the format we originally ‘met them’. So for me, I’m now contemplating the stories I listen through Urry’s narration will remain my favourite way to greet them!

In closing, would I seek out another Jake Urry audiobook?

Mostly definitely – this isn’t really a question for me! I truly have come to *love!* listening to Mr Urry’s narrations – I do intend to seek out other stories he’s narrated, however, sometimes he picks certain kinds of stories which are outside my cuppa tea. This series and a few others I noted off his website are to my liking so there will be others I shall happily seek out.

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This audiobook review is courtesy of:

A Looming of Vultures audiobook blog tour via Audiobookworm PromotionsFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!

Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “A Looming of Vultures”, book synopsis of “The Looming of Vultures”, author and narrator biographies & their photographs as well as the audiobook blog tour banner were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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This first tweet is a micro-blog series of tweets about listening to this audiobook : click on this tweet to see the tweets next in sequence which are *threaded below it.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 23 January, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Indie Author, Self-Published Author




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