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Puck, a demon composed of dark matter, is the collective consciousness of evil and feasts on the death and destruction borne of warfare as he effortlessly manipulates the most potent weapon ever created: the human mind. The task of killing this evil antagonist rests on the shoulders of a solitary, mortal man; Neil Branch, the Caomhnóir. Branch naively considers himself to be an ordinary man with an extraordinary problem. He recklessly discounts his purpose and is in perpetual conflict with his destiny. Puck continuously assaults Branch within the realm of the subconscious and twists his dreams into surreal, insidious nightmares that forecast the demise of all that he holds sacred, but the visions also reveal the demons intent and expose clues that may lead to the beast’s downfall. Desperate, and driven to the brink of madness, Branch must resolve his emotional turmoil, accept his loses, and acknowledge his faults and frailties as he summons the courage to fight for the possession of his soul and deliver humanity from eternal bondage.

332 pages, ebook

First published June 22, 2013

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T. Brady

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Jason.
1,179 reviews256 followers
March 25, 2014
5 Stars

Caomhnóir by T. Brady was an unexpected and very welcomed surprise. One amazing thing about Goodreads is that you get to connect with people and authors that you previously would never have been able to. I love when authors seek out potential fans to read their novels and share their feelings on their work. Thankfully for me, Brady wrote a really cool and original dark piece of fiction that plays right to my tastes.

“…“Caomhnóir. It’s a Gaelic word that means guardian.”
“Keyanewer.” The boy’s mouth twisted in an odd fashion.
Eamonn politely corrected him. “Keeoonór.””

The book description does not do this book justice. It is not science fiction at all. It is a dark military fiction that has a center steeped in horror. What makes it special apart from coming across as quite original is the writing,the setting, and the structure of the novel itself. Some might be turned off by the fact that this book jumps around in time, from WWII to Vietnam, to North Korea, and to years before. The chapters are not labeled but Brady makes the time shifts easy to differentiate as by what our main characters are called. Is it Neil, or is it Branch, or is it John, or maybe Meadows, is it the young man, the young lieutenant, or is it the old and wizened veteran. It worked.

The main theme, Branch is the Caomhnóir is what drove each story, time shift, battle, and in the end death. I loved the opening chapters that all involved Branch deep in a jungle during a major military conflict. The world building was tight, the action sound, and the feeling of something more was there from the beginning.Around halfway into the book Brady takes us back to Neil the boy. We spend along time seeing him grow, being taught by Ryan and others, and we get to really see what being the Caomhnóir is all about. These early years were my favorite from the book and they really elevated the military man that we get to know later on. Of course it didn't hurt that it was in these chapters that the supernatural really came to the front.

““The whispers you heard today were the bráithre in airm, your brothers in arms. They are departed Caomhnóir who have preceded you and will lend you counsel. Their voices will be distant and scarce unless you have the journal, which allows you to become one with your brethren. The commingling of souls will elevate you to a state of grace.””

To me the Caomhnóir played off as does Moorcock’s Eternal Champion. Neil branch and the previous Caomhnóir’s could have all been incarnations of the Eternal Champion. Like those famous heroes Branch is fated to have everyone he loves die by his enemies hand…

The overall story could have been one told by the Brothers Grimm. It had the setting, the atmosphere, the backstory, and the overall sense of dread, it even had rhymes…

““I’ve seen him grin through the mist of slumber, his crimson eyes cleave my soul asunder. I fear my death is very near, for the beast knows what I hold dear.””

The writing is fantastic:

““The explosion knocked Branch onto his back. The falcata was torn from his hand and landed in the brush a few yards to the rear. He dug his elbows into the turf and lifted his head. Foliage and trees were shredded by the angry buzz of automatic fire that saturated the air. Puck stood amidst the chaos unscathed. The dull thud of rounds striking his body brought the bitter taste of bile to Branch’s lips, as he watched the damaged rounds drop harmlessly to the ground and gather at Puck’s feet.””

T. Brady paces this book in such a way that you will have difficulty putting it down. I devoured it in no time at all. The ending is quite satisfying and ties up the threads. I cannot wait to read more from Brady. I easily give this my highest recommendations to those the like military fiction, dark “Grimm” like tales, and fans of Urban Fantasy….Great Stuff!

Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews589 followers
April 14, 2014
You’ve heard the phrase “War is Hell,” and hopefully, you’ve never had to live that particular layer of horror, but for one special man and his brothers in arms, the enemy is not those soldiers they are fighting, but a demonic entity whose black heart feeds off the death and suffering of war. Puck is the culmination of evil, using humans as his pawns, seizing control of their minds to thrill in the abject horror her creates and times of war are his canvases. One man has been chosen to rid the world of this evil, but Neil Branch suffers from his own personal demons, his own guilt for the deaths of many and feels unworthy or too tainted to be the one to raise the mystical blade and severe Puck’s head from his body. His faith is no longer strong enough to heed the voices of fallen heroes who went before him down this dark path. Will there be one who is strong enough to take his place or will years of camaraderie band together a team of warriors who are willing to die for each other to safe the fate of humanity in its darkest, most bleak hour?

Travel through time and battle fields from World War II to the Korean War to Vietnam, as career soldiers stand together, and Puck delivers his killing blows, time after time. Caomhnoir by T. Brady is a brilliant dark and explosive read with a constant sense of dread and evil in every page. T. Brady is a master with words, creating an atmosphere that becomes your world until each nerve ending is as taut as a garrote and putting this book down is impossible. The writing is fantastic, rich and full of scenes that feel far too real, with characters that are flawed, yet loyal, brave and willing to march into certain death, so long as their mission is accomplished.

T. Brady gives just enough detail to allow the screen in your mind to play back all that his words convey. You will taste the blood, smell the stench of death and sweat in the jungles of Vietnam, listening and watching for the enemy soldiers, dodging the bullets that are shot, feeling them move the air right next to you. The wars themselves felt real, indicating how much T. Brady has invested in creating a memorable tale. With a chaotic feel, scenes change from one war to another, one failed attempt after another to rid the world of Puck. When the end draws near, each twist, each thread is woven together to complete a tapestry of good versus evil, love versus hate, true success versus failure.

There are no bright and shiny moments; this is dark, dark fantasy that packs a powerful punch with its intensity. It is a battle for the soul, winner take all. If this is an example of T. Brady’s forceful writing style, I’m definitely on board to read more from this author.

I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Publication Date: December 25, 2013
Publisher: T Brady
Genre: Adult DARK paranormal thriller
Print Length: 345
Available from: Amazon

165 reviews5 followers
March 14, 2014
Let me start by saying that Caomhnóir was a very well-researched book. The facts and placement for some of the major wars in history (Vietnam, Korea, WWII) showed quite a bit of attention to detail and a determination to get it right. Brilliant, in that regard.

The level of detail given to the backdrops was wonderful; very descriptive of the setting. The jungles of Vietnam and the war-torn streets during WWII really allowed me to envision things as they were happening. There weren’t a whole lot of metaphors or similes running rampant, but that really worked for the tone and style of this tale. I felt as though it was being told through the eyes of a tired war-vet, who had seen enough of battle, but needed to get this story out. It provided an excellent emotional setting for the read.

Plot-wise, Caomhnóir had a very interesting take on the classic good vs. evil story. Ancient warriors, chosen throughout time to stand up to the evil incarnate known as Puck. Caomhnóir took that classic tale, and gave it a very modern, gritty setting instead of spinning tales of swordsmen and princesses and the like. That made it enjoyable right off the bat.

I did have a few problems with timelines and the way the chapters jumped around. The first few chapters were labeled to give you a sense of where you were in time (i.e Germany, 1945 as a subheader for the first chapter), but after that it completely disappears and when the chapters jump, sometimes you have to go back and make sure that you didn’t miss anything because it happens so suddenly. Occasionally I got a little lost in the timeline because the chapter would start with different characters and bring the main ones in later.

As for the characters, most of them felt a little flat and static. The only character development I really discerned were from Branch and Nance (referring to being children and pushing away their destiny versus growing up and embracing it). Everyone talked the same, and only a few of them had character-defining tics (like Farrell’s physical twitching). A few phrases used in describing what the characters were doing/feeling became heavily overused: how they light their cigarettes, “eyes revealed,” and the emotions were told to me, rather than shown (“…eyes revealed his confusion,”…”eyes revealed his anger”).

The ending was rather anti-climactic (Branch rallies despite a grievous head injury?), and left a few questions in its wake: what happens to the balance of good and evil now that Puck is vanquished? What happens to the Caomhnóir order now that they’re not needed? Does evil choose another champion? I wouldn’t mind if these questions were asked in a sequel, which I would be very keen to read.

Overall, Caomhnóir was a very enjoyable novel to read. I tore through it quickly because I was eager to find out what happened to Branch and his company. If you’re looking for a different spin on a classic tale, then Caomhnóir is the book for you!
Profile Image for K.C. Finn.
Author 41 books372 followers
March 14, 2014
Andy McNab meets Stephen King in this firestorm of demonic action and suspense.

I'll be honest with you, when I read the title of this book I thought I'd be reading some heavy, archaic prose right out of the dark ages. I was SO wrong about that and I implore you all not to judge this book at first glance. Pick it up and start reading, because as soon as you do, you'll be bowled over by a gritty, realistic soldier's narrative that twists its plot superbly to a range of modern historic times and places. The prose is literary but not overdone and makes for a rich but quick-paced read.

The supernatural elements to the tale were what initially drew me in, but as the story progressed I really became invested in Neil, George, John and Sean as characters and by the end of the novel it was their lives that had me captivated rather than the unholy chaos going on around them. Puck was a well crafted villain and the visions that Neil experiences during the novel are vivid and truly horrific. I'm not usually a fan of starting in the middle of the narrative and jumping back into backstory, but this writer knows how to deliver a timeline of events with poise and precision.

Overall this book is highly recommended for those who enjoy military fiction and sci-fi/fantasy tales, but in all honesty I think that anyone with a strong stomach and a thirst for high-impact adventure will thoroughly enjoy it too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kristin Scearce.
515 reviews16 followers
July 27, 2014
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

What would you do if you found out you were the latest in a long line of protectors, sworn to secrecy and to uphold the world as we know it from demonic harm? And you learn all this while still a child. That's what happens in this story, and it's a pretty epic one.

Neil Branch is just a boy one minute, but after meeting a mysterious stranger, he learns that he is destined for far bigger things. He must learn what it means to be the Caomhnoir, the lore that goes with it, and how to protect the world without them every knowing there's something they need to be protected from. Neil becomes career military, and it's during his travels between the last few wars of our time that he picks up on Puck, the one he's meant to destroy. Throughout the novel, we travel back in time to WWII, Korea, and ultimately Vietnam, and we learn along the way how Neil came to be in this position. When the other shoe drops, how will the fight end?

I thought this story was a great trip through history with an awesome paranormal twist. I shared quite a few scenes with my boyfriend, and I found myself on the edge of my seat a few times. The historical aspects are fantastic, the characters are fun, and just the idea behind it is such an interesting one. I would recommend it to paranormal fans, history fans, military fans, and those who like a little world-saving before their afternoon tea. =)

4 1/2 stars
Profile Image for Sam.
49 reviews1 follower
April 7, 2014
I received this book as a gift. I was excited to read it because it sounded like a great new story line, and is completely different from what have been reading of late.

The book starts off in Germany in WWII. This is where we meet our characters. Throughout the book the characters progress through time and war, there is also an Evil presence that accompanies them.

It was a little difficult to follow along with all of the characters, because it jumps from one to the other, but other than that it was good.

A very nice change of pace.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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