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Only Human

(The Human Cycle #1)

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Nathaniel Runnels isn't a fan of life. He isn't a fan of the news, which is a bust because he's a reporter. He's lost faith in journalism, in the truth, in civilization and in himself. So it's quite the surprise when he gets swept up in a quest to save the world. Perception and reality collide as one man faces one question, would you sacrifice your humanity to save mankind ...more
Paperback, 486 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published April 13th 2013)
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Just as good the first time around!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


I have never read a book with so many monsters and what not in it in my entire life! We have vampires, therians (werewolves) minotaur, angels both fallen and not, God, plant people, The Holy Spirit, goblins, wraiths, waters demons... oh hell, I can't remember them all! LoL


So poor ole Nathanial is a measly human that gets a visit from a dampyr named Daniel. He brings Nat into this world of ever
J.D. Estrada
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)
It's not every day you're able to read your own book. You'll see different reviews here though I have quite a different perspective. This isn't the first time I read my book, meaning the manuscript. It is however the first time I've read my own book in the physical version and it was quite an interesting experience. If you're expecting me to say this is the most awesome book you'll ever read, you probably don't know me that well lol. I will do my best to be as objective as possible although it's ...more
A.I. Winters
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only Human is a delightfully clever read full of imaginative, high-concept YA and Fantasy elements. As the description states, ‘this isn’t your typical book.’ The originality of this story, its many twists and turns, and the seamless weaving of real moments in history definitely mark this book as out-of-the-ordinary.

Through the main character, Nathaniel, we get to meet vampires, angels, demons, therians, plant people, and other supernatural beings, as well as learn some interesting insights abo
Candy Atkins
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about vampires that isn't about vampires

'Only Human' is a very detailed story with interesting facts and plausible history. The world building is excellent and thorough. It’s been compared to LOTR but I could see the influence of Robert Jordan.

Wannabe author turned reporter Nathaniel Runnels' life is about to change when he's abducted by a vampire named Daniel. Daniel explains that the humans are the last of the four dominant races and now there are seven offshoots of human. Nathaniel is
Rebekah Jonesy
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Nathaniel is only a human. In the same way sequoias are only trees and this book is only a story.
This is a very long book, and it needs to be as it turns every stereotype on its head, sets it in fire and scatters the ashes.
The world is about to end, because of a man that had wanted to save it. Lucifer is giving humanity aid, god is sickened by humanity, angels don't know what to do, demons are afraid, and Time is one hell of a mother.
While reading this book I spent half my time laughing, h
Katya Mills
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only Human is the debut novel by JD Estrada, and the first in a series. The world-building here gets five of five stars. There's a very rich imagination churning through these pages which kept me reading when otherwise I might have fallen off. I was confused and uncomfortable throughout the first third, stumbling alongside our courageous protagonist, Nathaniel, a human minority in a world full of demons, vampires, angels, therians, and a conscious plant kingdom. The story is 'high fantasy'. An a ...more
Jason Greensides

Only Human is a fantastic fantasy novel featuring vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and many other mythological creatures. It is as expansive as Middle Earth (even if the novel takes place on planet Earth), and features locations probably not seen in your average fantasy novel: I really appreciated the parts of the book set in Ethiopia, for example. I have to appreciate the author's depth of knowledge and the level of research that went into this, as it
Sheila Bliss
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rollicking adventure with imaginative characters…

JD Estrada’s Only Human is just that and so much more. Only Human is a crafty, intelligent, thought-provoking story revolving around intense characters racing toward the heart of humanity. The vampires held me captive until JD crafted multiple fascinating worlds to explore adding layer upon layer of long forgotten legends.
There’s nothing I love more than to sink my teeth into a story that allows me to think about the meaning and purpose of life.
Brittany Reads
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only Human is a high fantasy book with some science fiction swirled in there too. The main character is a human, and he get kidnapped by a vampire who enlists him in quest to save the world which may cause him to lose his humanity in the process. This is NOT - I can’t emphasize that enough - not a cliche vampire story. The scope of this world is huge and very well thought out. At the beginning I do think the author struggled a bit to lay all the groundwork for such a complex world, and at times ...more
Judy Ferrell
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Human and vampire unite.

Nathaniel, human, and Daniel, vampire, unite to get all the warring races to fight the demons. This book starts slow and ends at a high gallop. I was intrigued, excited, and engaged from the beginning. It's high drama and classic battles of good versus evil will keep you thoroughly involved.
Mrs. Doberbeast
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic and solid read. Just the right amount of fantasy with a real world feel. You'll find yourself identifying with several characters and you will not be able to put this book down! ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In all honesty, I was surprised that this was J.D. Estrada’s first full novel. To me, it was so well versed, that it seriously hit me like a Neil Gaiman work of art. Written with great depth, a cast of characters that will never be forgotten, and the richness of philosophical explanation, it truly will captivate you from the very beginning.

People might be skeptical because it does deal with vampires and the ever interesting therians(not werewolves) but it will embark you on a unconventional and
Maricel Peña
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bring on the sequel! This is a fantasy-adventure ride into myth, religion, and horror stories mixed up with random 80's and 90's pop-culture mentions. Follow Nathaniel as he goes from being only human to becoming a hero worthy of an epic movie.

Bored with life, Nathaniel gets picked up by a vampire, but instead of drinking his blood, this vampire enlists him in a world-wide quest to save humanity and all the other creatures that turn out to exist on earth. Try to keep up and guess who all the ch
Karen Ohren
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book ! Such a great story ! Nathaniel Runnels is the reluctant hero, who after being kidnapped by an enigmatic vampire, embarks on a quest to save the world. The book is full of unforgettable characters and an exciting plot that leads you to the four corners of the world and the very edges of reality !
J.D Estrada is a new writer and someone to watch out for in the future. He writes with humour and a darkly compelling edge that leaves you wanting more. Can't wait for the next book i
Amanda Armstrong
This was such a journey to read.
I admit I was a little sceptical when I started this book as I don't read vampire books usually. But this is not a vampire book. It's an amazing fantasy read that I completely lost myself in. The characters are so engaging, I found myself willing them on and falling a little bit in love with them. The plot is fast paced and gripping.
I urge the author to write the sequel, quick! Loved it!
Asghar Abbas
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Quick review : If you want to read a better version of American Gods, read this book.
Currently reading American Gods and this is what it keeps reminding me of.

Full review : To come.
Quentin Cooper
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me laugh, made me cry, awoken my childhood sense of wonder, and overall provided an experience I won't forget. It succeeded in making me want to read more books in general and got me back into writing which I hadn't done seriously in over a decade.

For full disclosure, I read this book because I think the author is an excellent individual and wanted to support him, so with that, I may be kind of biased. This is also the first book review I've ever written.

I'd be hard-pressed to c
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first found out that J.D. Estrada was going to have a book of his published I was overjoyed as I have been privileged to read a lot of his work over the years. When I was told about what the book was about, I was instantly in love - vampires! Who does not love vampires? Anyhow, once I got the book and started reading it, it became apparent to me that the book, Only Human, was not just about vampires. The book is about so much more than that! The book in composes many different entities: a ...more
Cate Evans
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love it when find a book which takes me completely by surprise. I read Vampire and usual thoughts spring to mind, that will teach me to jump in with preconceptions.

This isn't a standard any other kind of story. Nathaniel, might be an ordinary man, yes like many he is disillusioned with pretty much everything. Of course I knew when he got himself kidnapped by Daniel a sarcastic, intelligent, scheming Vampire it would end or change his life eternally. A thought provoking, challenging, and wonder
V.P. Smith
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone tired of the cliche vampire stories, wants to be swallowed into a well constructed world.
LOTR Meets Underworld…And So Much More.

J. D. Estrada’s first novel in his The Human Cycle Series is a well-constructed, imaginative, thought-provoking story. As a reader who usually stays away from the vampire genre since sparkly vampires had been introduced, I am extremely happy I decided to overlook their mention in the synopsis.

It’s been a while since I’ve come across a novel which has a world so exceptionally constructed, characters that are realistic in both relationships and dialogue, that
Katie Utke
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'M FINISHED!!!! I honestly thought I'd never have enough time to sit down and actually read a decent amount at a time with this book.

Absolutely wonderful to read. You really need to pay attention to what's going on or you will miss something, and trust me, ALL of it is important.

You'll fall in love with this book after the first few pages. Nathaniel will really surprise you in the end. And come on, it's full of vampires and therians, what more could you ask for?

Fantastic book that I totally r
Amadeus Cruz
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That THE END was very emotional and surely unexpected (HOW DARE YOU JD HOW FRIKING DARE U) The combination of all mystical creatures was very well balanced and placed. Also I got lost in some travels like had to read 3 times same thing to get the point. and as for Bill...... I have to say nice disguise with that fellow.

I had to literally stop reading to see what he really was until that ending that destroyed my mind.

I have to say i EXPECT!!! to see someone back from the heavens U HEAR ME! so i
Linda Anderson
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story immensely; tho I got lost in trying to remember the whole cast of characters and who belonged to what faction. Love Bill, he seems to hold many of the keys that would open the door to enlightenment of this story. And I can't wait to see what problems Nathaniel causes/gets into/solves...I loved it!!! ...more
Lo-arna Green
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy testicle Tuesday!
Wait, it's Wednesday.

This book had SO much going on I think my brain is mushed (in a good way).

Definitely not your average vampire tale. I highly recommend picking this one up!
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow !
The revelation in Chapter 40 makes me want to re-read this :-)
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am only Human

Even though I am only human, this was great, a pleasure to read, especially since the writing became better the further I got into the book.
Despite a few small grammatical mistakes in the beginning of the book (just remember seeing them, but not clue anymore where in the book exactly), it was still amazing to read.

The story was extremely enthralling and took on an epic journey around the world. It was also magical, especially in the fantastical places in the story. The descriptio
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
DNF @ 6%

Usually I try to give books more of a chance, but the prose is just so circuitous and opaque — I have to reread almost every sentence twice to understand even its superficial meaning, which should not be the case when so much of it seems to be physical descriptions of setting or characters. (By the way: who popularized "orbs" as a substitution for "eyes"? I just wanna talk.)

Here are a few examples:
(view spoiler)
Kayla (krakentoagoodbook)
This was definitely different from other urban fantasy books I've read! This had a more philosophical feel to it than I expected, and it definitely made me think about things. There's a ton going on here with lots of action-packed moments. I really liked all of the supernatural beings and mythological aspects. We actually get dampyrs/dhampirs here, so that's fun! There's also angels, demons, and plant people, so that was cool. There are some really interesting references here! While some are exp ...more
Michael Elliott
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Dark and powerful read.

I'd heard so much about this novel that I couldn't wait to buy a copy and I'm so glad I did.
Mr Estrada is one of those rare breeds of author who are more like painters. Every word he writes is like a brush stoke of intense colour. His descriptions have the power to completely submerge you within each page.
The story begins with the protagonist and hero Nathaniel Runnels, a down and out disillusioned journalist. He is chosen by vampire Daniel to be the saviour, not only of
May 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this book was not what I expected. At all. Starting out in a vamp-fic, I wasn't impressed by the writing or pacing. It seemed confusing and messy. The story didn't have any breaks or gaps, which got tiring. Like with characters, readers need breaks as well. A chance for the main character to rest and get their bearings, also helps the reader. It got better towards the end, but still rough.

The story follows Nathaniel, a washed out reporter suddenly kidnapped by a vampire one night. As he t
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After years of working in advertising, I figured there were better ways to write fiction. Born on August 13th, I share birthdays with Alfred Hitchcock and Fidel Castro... an interesting coincidence since mom is Cuban and I love a good story.

Truth be told, ever since I was a kid I dreamt about being an inventor, I just didn't know I'd end up doing it using words. Where some people choose to invent

Other books in the series

The Human Cycle (2 books)
  • Shadow of a Human

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“Nathaniel first stared at the vampiric Moses and then at the bizarre door. Numerous symbols had been carved deep in the surface and instead of square edges, they were rounded. Daniel then drew a dagger from his coat and proceeded to stand directly in front of the door. As he neared it, one could swear that the surface rippled like oil in a vat while he grazed it with the dagger. Quite suddenly, he jammed the blade in the very center of the door up to the very hilt. A high-pitched grunt followed and then a series of mechanical noises and clangs chimed and clicked until the door skid back two inches and descended into the ground.” 5 likes
“Good,” she replied. “That’s why you show promise. Not only are you able to recognize your shortcomings, you have an undeniable hunger to change for the better and evolve. What’s truly amazing is what you’ve become in so short a time. Most humans would have imploded after a fraction of what you’ve lived through.” “Guess it comes from being stuck in a moment for so long, treading water and losing ground no matter how hard I swam. It’s almost as if the current has shifted and now I’m swimming at blazing speeds like some human version of the Nautilus that has slipped into the Gulf Stream.” 4 likes
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