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There are no good guys in the world of shadows...but maybe some bad men are better than others.

Derek Hawthorne was born to be an agent of the Red Room. Literally. Raised in a conspiracy which has protected the world from the supernatural for centuries, he's never been anything other than a servant of their agenda. Times are changing, though, and it may not be long before their existence is exposed.

When a routine mission uncovers the latest plan of the magical terrorist, the Wazir, Derek finds himself saddled with a new partner. Who is the mysterious but deadly Shannon O'Reilly? What is her agenda? Couple this with the discovery the Red Room has a mole seeking to frame Derek for treason and you have a plot which might bring down a millennium-old organization. Can he stop the Wazir's mission to expose the supernatural? And should he?

456 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 4, 2015

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About the author

C.T. Phipps

73 books586 followers
C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular reviewer on Booknest.EU and for Grimdark Magazine.

He's written the Agent G series, Cthulhu Armageddon, the Red Room Trilogy, I Was A Teenaged Weredeer, Lucifer's Star, Psycho Killers in Love, Straight Outta Fangton, The Supervillainy Saga, and Wraith Knight.

Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blog...

Website: https://ctphipps.com/

C.T. Fanclub: https://www.facebook.com/groups/14917...

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ctphipps

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 55 reviews
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,559 reviews2,312 followers
July 7, 2019
Audible edition
July 4- July 6

Red Room, Book 1
By: C. T. Phipps
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary. I read the ebook and loved it but really wanted to heat it performed by the great Jeffrey Kafer and it was hilarious! I didn't do the book justice reading it in my head. It was funnier for sure with Mr. Kafer! I guess that's why he is the professional.
This book has such fun and clever situations, zany and unique characters, creatures, witty banter between characters, and a unpredictable plot. Magic, mayhem, monster, yep, all there! So is all the fun! I added plenty of giggles, they were forced out of me, really!
I have a rule to never re-read books but C.T. Phipps books are worth it! I have to break my lifelong rule for these and you will see why! They make me feel good and they are smart and witty!

May 31-June 1 ebook
Esoterrorism: From the Secret Files of the Red Room by C.T. Phipps is a book I requested and the review is voluntary. Derek is like a CIA agent but for supernatural creatures. He works for the Red Room and has a new partner, again. He fights all kinds of evil but one of them really is after him with a huge bounty on his head. His company has the neatest toys, forget James Bond..Derek has Lucy to make stuff to battle the paranormal! Wow!
Love the excellent characters, plot, creatures, it's witty, clever, sprinkled with humor, lots of action, great supervillains, and a flying carpet! Who doesn't love a book about a flying carpet? Lol!
Lots of fun with twisted mysteries too! Great job!
Profile Image for Gavin.
862 reviews392 followers
July 19, 2016
This was an entertaining paranormal thriller story that had a good mix of action and sarcastic humour.

Derek is a spy who works for the Red Room. The Red Room is a division of the House, an organisation that both protects humanity from the supernatural and keeps the supernatural hidden. Derek's latest assignment sees him hunt for a traitor in the Red Room. His loyalty comes into question when the investigation points to his ex-wife.

It was a fun story. It had a similar feel and style to Phipps Supervillainy Saga series and was likewise packed with action, likeable characters, crazy villains, and witty sarcastic dialogue.

I enjoyed the story even if it was not quite as fun as the Supervillainy Saga books. I'll definitely be buying the sequel to this one.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

Audio Note: This was narrated excellently by Jeffrey Kafer. The guy is an ideal for this sort of story.
Profile Image for Frank Errington.
738 reviews57 followers
July 5, 2015
Review copy

It took me a while to decide how much I liked Esoterrorism, Overall it seems to lack depth. It seemed things were just there when needed, like a rabbit being pulled from a magician's hat; like a meal that was filling, but lacked substance.

Derek and Penny Hawthorne work for an organization that exists to protect humans and keep them from finding out about all the things that go bump in the night, actually they would like to do much more than go bump, but you get the idea.

It would be interesting to note here that Derek and Penny are twins, their father is a big muckety-muck in this super secret organization and their mother was a dragon. Have I lost you yet?

Derek's been assigned a new partner, Shannon O'Reilly. Shannon is half-Lilin and all Succubus. Throw in a megalomaniacal villain and a power hungry CEO of a huge multi-national corporation bent on taking over the world, and you have everything you need for a rip-roaring urban fantasy thriller.

Esoterrorism is well-written and at times, witty...

"'Where's your home, Derek?' 'Nowhere.' 'So you're making all your nowhere plans for nobody?' I grinned at her reference. 'Way to undercut my angst.' 'Thank you'"

Then there's this gem when Derek and Penny's uncle Ben has them on a magic carpet on their way to an epic battle and Ben gestures...

"...to an 8-track player underneath an M16. 'Hey, do you mind putting in some Steppenwolf? I think we need an appropriate bit of theme music for the last leg of our journey.' 'We're not listening to Magic Carpet Ride while having a magic carpet ride,' I said firmly. ' We're on a serious mission here.'"

In all, Esoterrorism is a fun ride with plenty of magic and monsters. Look for it at Amazon.com on July 6th, 2015, from Ragnarok Publications.

Profile Image for C.T. Phipps.
Author 73 books586 followers
June 3, 2019
ESOTERRORISM is my first and latest book. It was written roughly 20 years ago in my head and has gone through numerous revisions since. It was inspired by the World of Darkness campaigns I used to play in high school (a little Technocracy, a little Camarilla, a little X-Files). The idea was basically to mix the concept of James Bond with the supernatural.

Eventually, in 2015, I eventually got the book written and it was a trilogy that only briefly got published due to the rights getting held up for various reasons. Esoterrorism left its mark on my mind and I decided to create spin-off books set later in my mental timeline (after the supernatural became public) with the same mixture of humor as well as action and drama. These became the UNITED STATES OF MONSTERS books STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON and I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER. So this is a prequel to a series of books that weren't written yet. Crazy, huh?

The premise of Esoterrorism is that the world has a barely-held Great Lie that keeps humanity ignorant about the supernatural. It is maintained by a 2000 year old secret society called the House and their agents in the Red Room (No Twin Peaks, Black Widow, or 50 Shades jokes). Derek
Hawthorne is a generational agent whose family has ancient history with it. However, he's been accused of treason and cooperating with a terrorist named the Wazir. The Wazir has a simple strategy for ending the Great Lie: raise the dead by the thousands until humanity is forced to confront the supernatural.

Derek would very much like to prevent that and his new succubus partner is about the only person who can help.

I think fans of my other series will enjoy this. The audiobook is by Jeffrey Kafer.
Profile Image for Anna Mocikat.
Author 40 books143 followers
November 28, 2021
James Bond meets Men in Black - what a fun ride!
Admittedly, I'm a CT Phipps fan girl. Since discovering this author a couple of months ago, he has quickly advanced to one of my all-time favorite authors.
Usually, I'm not a great fan of Urban Fantasy. Witches, werewolves and magic aren't really my thing. But this book is very different, and it's a fun ride from the first to the last page.
Derek is a secret agent like James Bond, with one difference. Instead of for the MI6, he works for the Red Room. This super-secret organization has two goals: to protect humans from supernatural super-villains and at the same time make them believe the supernatural doesn't even exist.
A challenging, very dangerous job that agents like Derek have been doing since the beginning of time.
As the story suggests, this is a fast-paced, action-driven read filled with all kinds of supernatural creatures such as wizards, demons, ghouls - and the guy who served as inspiration for Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein.
This brings us to the second reason why this is a great book: Phipps' unique sense of humor which is omnipresent in Esoterrorism.
I think it's why I like this book so much. Contrary to other Urban Fantasy it doesn't take itself too seriously. But I also really liked the characters. Derek is an awesome protagonist, part super-agent part emo. Then there's his sexy partner Shannon, who seems to be the Irish girl next door but in truth is a succubus. Finally, my favorite character, Talbot, who happens to be Derek's uncle (somehow they're all related at the Red Room) and who's the guy who inspired Mary Shelley. He also owns a magic carpet, yes really!
I listened to the audio version, performed by Jeffrey Kafer, who's always a delight to listen to. This man could read from a phone book and I would be all ears...
I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes spy novels with a supernatural twist and can't wait to dive into the next installment!
Profile Image for Timothy Ward.
Author 14 books121 followers
July 2, 2016
Prior to reading this, C.T. was just a cool guy with a great blog. I saw his The Rules of Supervillainy series and thought, I'm glad for his sales, but I'm really not a superhero fan. I really wanted to read his books, though, and so when Esoterrorism came out on audiobook I gave it a shot. The cross between James Bond and Jim Butcher wasn't exactly down my wheelhouse for genre preferences, but because I like C.T. I gave it a chance. I'm glad I did.

C.T. has a strong grasp on using subtle humor and craftiness to endear us to his characters and to give us hope that they're smart enough to do great things--though also flawed enough to wonder if they won't get far enough along to really get hurt when they mess up. I got right into this story and found the narrator's touch on character and dialect a great fit for this story's potential as an audiobook. Jeffrey Kafer did a great job on Nathan Lowell's Quarter Share, and I was glad to see him do even better on this one.

The world that C.T. has created in Esoterrorism fits into the urban fantasy variety of closed magic, where magic is alive and powerful, but hidden from the public of modern day. There's a little backstory about how magic really affected our history, but otherwise the setting is normal everyday America. I was fascinated with all the intricacies of C.T.'s world and magical creatures. Our main characters have powers that make them both potentially terrifying and woefully vulnerable, though our main hero, Derek is the most vulnerable. I really liked him. I see a series in his character, and an epic story in the world that he inhabits.

The plot of Esoterrorism has enough twists that I don't want to spoil your enjoyment, but on the surface I can say a bad group of people have found a way to possibly throw the world into an open magic scenario where most of the non magical beings will die. There's also a mole within the secret police organization that Derek works for--again, can't say much more without spoiling it.

My gripes with this one are small, but I did hit a point where I was nearing the last fifteen percent and the momentum to keep this at the top of my queue was waning. I don't know why. It felt like the story didn't match my excitement for its potential after liking the beginning so much and seeing all the cool possibilities for magic powers and creatures. The final battle felt a bit too easy and the romance was more hormone based than emotional, though over the course of the series, those elements could improve. I'm in for the next book and will more quickly pick up another one of C.T.'s books now that I've seen how well he tells a story.
Profile Image for Matthew Davenport.
Author 47 books52 followers
October 30, 2017
I was lucky enough to listen to the audio book, Esoterrorism by C.T. Phipps.

I’ve been a fan of C.T.’s other books (The Rules of Supervillainy, Cthulhu Armageddon) and Esoterrorism doesn’t disappoint.

You follow an agent of the “Red Room,” Derek. The Red Room is a like the CIA of the supernatural. Most importantly, they focus on keeping the majority of the world’s populace in the dark about the things that go bump in the night.

This leads to some moral questions regarding whether or not the world is prepared to know and at what point does the prime directive of keeping the secret interfere with keeping the world safe?

Of course, it wouldn’t be a C.T. Phipps book without a strong character with emotional conundrums plaguing his life, and Derek definitely delivers. His questionable parentage, his conflicted relationship with his ex-wife, and the fact that the interbreeding of the Red Room means that a large portion of their dying agents and operatives are relatives of his. Needless to say, every day at the Red Room should have a mandatory psych eval hour.

The battle includes Derek’s new partner (he has a sordid history with partners), who isn’t altogether what she seems. Using the resources of the Red Room, they have to work together to stop a worldwide disaster of supernatural proportions.

There are two things that Phipps does insanely well. The first, I’ve already mentioned. His characters are usually carrying emotional baggage with them and the story works well to help them in their journey. They have arc and undergo great character development.

The second thing is the action, and this book delivers. Phipps fills this book with the perfect balance of action to developmental scenes and the story reads great because of it.

In regards to the audio book, Jeffrey Kafer is a great voice and a great producer. I’ve been a fan of each of his works and he delivers a great performance in this one as well. I think my only complaint was that after listening to each of the Supervillainy books, I found myself having a hard time not thinking of this supernatural action thriller as somehow intending to be as comical as that series was. That’s more a commentary on my personal experience in the audio book, than anything against the book or it’s audio producer. Like I said, stellar work by the producer.

This book gets five stars, and I look forward to the sequels.
Profile Image for Bookwyrm Speaks.
298 reviews17 followers
March 6, 2017
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was thinking, great, a knockoff of Simon Green's Secret Histories series. Wow, was I ever wrong. Other than the element of a secret organization made up of mostly family fighting the supernatural, this book heads in completely different directions than those wonderful books. Derek Hawthorne, an Agent for the Red Room, with over 100 successfully completed mission and son of a Senior Red Room Council member, has stopped huge supernatural menaces time and again. When a mission with his sister, a combat witch, goes sideways, since they expected a couple of flunky's to show up at a meet that could lead them to a terrorist organization, not its leader,a millemium old sorcerer with untold power. When things go pear shaped and the Terrorist leader, known as the Wazir, kills a bunch of civilians, Derek ends up arrested by normal police. When he is bailed out and returns to the Red Room, he finds out that the Room has a mole, and that HE was the main suspect! This starts a hunt for the mole, and Derek is partnered with a beautiful Irish agent, who has secrets and powers of her own. The conspiracy is much bigger than either of them know, involving people in and out of the Red Room, including a source Derek has personal history with. The story winds and twist, with lots of fights, magic and super science, until the final showdown with the Wazir, which was balls to the wall amazing! Derek and his partner are definitely an odd pair, but they mesh well. The author took care to make sure each character was well rounded, and fit snugly into their roles in the story. I really loved the magical elements, just taken as everyday tools of the trade, and all the James Bond allusions and quips added a fun touch to the story. I am very excited to see the next installment in this series.

As always, Jeffrey kafer, one of my Top 10 Narrators, does an outstanding job bringing the characters to life, giving each of them their own unique voice. His pacing for the narration is among the best, and he never has weird pauses or extranious sounds marr his narrative. all in all, I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Profile Image for Mihir.
645 reviews295 followers
November 10, 2015

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Esoterrorism by Charles T. Phipps caught my eye for two solid reasons, one it was a urban fantasy thriller that promised mayhem and magic in a startling mix and secondly it was published by the Ragnarok folks whom I know to have a special eye for dark stories in any genre.

The story is seen entirely through our protagonist Derek Hawthrone, an agent for the organization known as The Red Room. It’s an organization that is massive and is very family-oriented (literally). However their family dealings are more akin to those of the Borgias and their sole intent is to keep the non-magical populace of Earth unaware of the supernatural creatures, races and their shenanigans. Derek is an agent who has been initiated into the organization since a long time and has had quite many capers. Most of them have led to the dissolution of his marriage, deaths of his partners and friends and lastly left him with a cynical but funny worldview. His newest partner Shannon O’Reilly turns out to be more than he thought she would be and she’s definitely off the Human charts both in physical appearance and magical prowess.

Their mission is to track down the Wazir, a terrorist magical caster whose notions about humanity and magic tend to run counter with those of The Red Room. He’s however slippery than a wet eel and doubly dangerous. Derek and Shannon have to figure whether they can trust the other person, who’s the mole in The Red Room organization (because in stories like these, there’s always a mole) and hopefully save the world. As far as spy thrillers go, this is the normal route. What adds extra spice to the story is the presence of magic and the entire paranormal creature spectrum and how the author focuses the story through Derek who can give Frank Trigg a run for his money with his corny jokes, ribald wit and thorny attitude.

Here’s why I enjoyed this story, Charles T. Phipps go all out with his story tropes and manages to subvert them just about to make this story fresh while also giving nods to the fantastic stories that have come before. He also sets the story within the prism of urban fantasy which adds nuance to the story as we come across a myriad cast of creatures and forms of magic. The author has to be lauded for his pan-continental use of magical creatures and oddities. He truly makes it feel like a chaotic world akin to our one with the additional feature of magic that shakes the equilibrium. Avoiding the use of vampires and by focusing on rarely mentioned creatures such as the Lillin, Rakshasas, etc made this story stand out for me.

The pace of the story is another positive factor, beginning from the first couple of chapters; the author takes the readers by their lapels and races them though a story that has a decent number of twists and has a whole lot of action. The story is meant for fun and it goes all out for making sure that readers experience it to the fullest. For those interested the author has spoken as to how he tried to deconstruct the world-weary hero and femme fatale tropes, and he’s done it in a way that doesn’t obstruct the story in its premise. The pace of the story never slackens and we are constantly on the move to find out what happens in the climax and who’s the person pulling the strings.

For things that didn’t quite work for me, some of the world history and background setting are scarcely mentioned but never quite revealed. I don’t know if this was intentional on the author’s part (so as to save it for later volumes) or simply sacrifices made for not slackening the pace. I felt that the world and magic system could have been better fleshed out. There’s also in the middle when the story does get a tad slow wherein the main characters are trying to figure out another character’s possible betrayal. I thought that could have been due to the fast pace of the story before and after, which made that section seem slower.

CONCLUSION: Overall I very much enjoyed Esoterrorism as it was written with few things in mind, if you are looking for a fast-paced, action heavy thriller, then Esoterrorism will hit the bullseye. If you are looking for a change from the usual urban fantasy smorgasbord then Esoterrorism might do it for you. As for me, I was looking to read something new and exciting and Charles T. Phipps provided that in spades. I can’t wait to read the sequel volumes Eldritch Ops, and Operation: Otherworld. Give this book a try, I’m sure you will be hooked as well.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,181 reviews133 followers
August 2, 2021
My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.

Esoterrorism is the first book in a new series by C.T. Phipps, who is an author that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. While his stories have a lot of similarities, like the fact that you know there will be humor and pop culture references in every book, there are a lot of differences too. I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting into when I started this audiobook. I was just offered a review copy and knew that I was willing to give it a try without even reading the book blurb (sorry authors, I rarely read book blurbs #SorryNotSorry). The fact that Phipps teamed up with Jeffery Kafer only helped encourage me to listen.

Derek Hawthorne is an agent of The Red Room, a part of the larger House organization. Each department is a different colored room. They are working to keep the supernatural world from the everyday humans. It is also kinda a family thing. Everyone in your family is involved, because it is super secret, spy-like organization.

The story opens with Derek and his sister trying to prevent Karl Bjornson, or the Wazir, an evil Santa Claus looking guy, from releasing a bio agent into a food court. Said bio agent, would cause people to become zombies and spread quickly. It seems there is a mole in the Red Room and Derek has to find out who it is and doesn’t know who he can trust.

I don’t want to go into too much more, because I don’t want to spoil anything (and as a person who avoids book blurbs, everything is a spoiler to me). Just know that I had a great time with this Sterling Archer type character. If you’re a fan of the Archer cartoon on FX, then I highly recommend you give this series a try.

Jeffrey Kafer has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. I actually found C.T. Phipps because I listened Kafer with a series similar to Phipps (The Shadow Master series by M.K. Gibson) and was told to try The Supervilliany series by Phipps. The rest is history. I continue to listen to both authors all thanks to Kafer. I just think he’s great at all the voices and the snark of the characters. His inflection is always perfect for the scene in front of him, no matter what it. If you haven’t listened to Kafer, you should really give him a try.

**I'd like to thank the author for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Brian's Book Blog.
732 reviews55 followers
June 5, 2019
MIB + Bond + Fantasy Monsters = Fun As Hell

As I mentioned in my last review – I’m starting to become a bit of a Phipps fan-boy and I’m not ashamed of that. He’s able to write these fantasy stories that I want to read. Stories that have wonderful characters and character-building that are set in these completely believable worlds.

From what I understand, Esoterrorism takes place in the same world as the Bright Falls and Straight Outta Fangton but before those stories take place. It felt like that and it had that familiarity but it was also something new and exciting. The Red Room is an anti-monster version of a couple versions of the US’s three-letter departments (or even more so, the ones that you don’t hear of). They are there to protect the world from monsters – but also there to cover up any evidence of their existence.

Derek as a character was pretty close to perfect. He’s obviously flawed (if you’ve never read a Phipps story this is a cornerstone of them all) but also, in the end, he’s a good guy who is trying to make the world a better place. He has his issues and he’s trying to work through them (sometimes through comedy which is always great to me).

In Esoterrorism he’s thrown into a conspiracy and an issue bigger than he expected. He, along with his new partner, is trying to find a mole from within their organization. If I go any more into the story, who they talk to, or what the end up finding it would contain obvious spoilers but know you’re in for some old-school mystery hunting mixed with some James Bond thrown in a blender with some awesome/interesting monsters, legends, and fantasy beings.

Esoterrorism flew by and I finished it in only a couple of days. Phipps writes these complete stories in an overarching world that are perfect bite-sized bits. He completes the stories arc but also leaves it open to have more happen in the world. How he’s able to keep his multiple series apart amazes and impresses me.

Overall, Esoterrorism was a fantastic read that I loved. Much like other Phipps’ works with some uniqueness as well. If you’re a fan of his work, you’ll obviously love this.
Profile Image for M.K. Gibson.
Author 16 books114 followers
July 23, 2015
High Praise for CT Phipps Esoterrrorism!

I love urban fantasy and I read a lot of it. The problem is, the market is saturated with a ton of it. Most of it lackluster. That’s why when you read Esoterrorism, and you should, you will embrace the awesome crazy contained in this book holds and be pleasantly surprised.

Welcome to The Red Room, the agency that protects mankind from all the dark and horrible things out there. And keeping mankind blissfully safe and ignorant is a full time job for Derek Hawthorn, full time agent and full time smart-ass.

When an evil counter-agency threatens to release an undead creating bio-weapon, Derek get help from the Red Room’s UK division’s tough and sexy Shannon. A mysterious spy with a hellishly divine past. Together, they embark on a dangerous and deadly mission: stop the bio-weapon, find a traitor within the Red Room and deal with Derek’s toughest opponent yet...his ex-wife.

Esoterrorism is the blessed cousin of Simon Greene’s Secret Histories Series. Complete with the worldly protagonists' ironic detachment to the insane events transpiring around them and the patented Aaron Sorkin walk-and-talk back and forth dialogue. And I mean that in the absolute best possible sense.

The characters come alive off the page. Just when you think the protagonists are cookie cutter, CT peels back layer after layer of humanity that gives them depth and pathos. Likewise, the villains aren’t just angry at the world, they have a reason for their path.

So, do yourself a favor and chip CT a few bucks and pick up this book. You won’t regret it! It’s a great read from a promising author full of humor and heart, action and all the twisted mythology the world has to offer.

Needless to say, I can’t wait for the sequel.
Profile Image for Seth Skorkowsky.
Author 20 books312 followers
August 4, 2016
A mix between James Bond spy fiction and Hellboy, Derek Hawthorne is employed by a secret, international organization known as The House. The House's function is protect the world from all the monsters, renegade wizards, and whatever else goes bump in the night. Derek works in the Red Room, the division in charge of covert ops, assassination, and all the super-fun spy stuff.

The book is fairly light-hearted, Derek is more Sterling Archer than Bond. He's sarcastic and openly jokes about many of the more common tropes in both the Urban Fantasy and Spy-Fi genres. It's got a lot of humor, but also a lot of action which places it in a category that makes it difficult to drop into a specific genre. Mostly, it's a parody.

I recommend it, but don't come in expecting anything super-serious.

The version I read was the Audible edition read by Jeffrey Kafer. I've listened to several performances by Kafer before and once again he did an excellent job.
85 reviews
August 21, 2021
Like a snarky James Bond meets Supernatural

Esoterrorism has everything I've come to look for in a C.T. Phipps book. It’s full of action and intrigue, but also deep and well-written characters. While the plot is thick enough to make it a great thriller, its irreverent tone and humor keep it light enough to balance everything out. And for those that will appreciate it, you’ll also find a cast of multicultural and inclusive characters that feel natural, but yet there is no obvious and in-your-face attempt at social justice indoctrination.

While the story and plot of Esoterrorism are great, the highlight of any of Phipps’ books is the characters. One of my favorite things about many of his books is though they are part of different series, most take place in the United States of Monsters, and the main characters in one book will often be included as a supporting character in another book. Esoterrorism works as a prequel to many of the other series and you get to learn more of the original stories of characters from other books. So if you like any of the other books, you’ll find Esoterrorism to be another great book to read. If you haven’t read any of the other books, you’ll find Esoterrorism is a great place to start your addiction to the rest of the United States of Monsters series.

As far as the audiobook version goes, you’ll see a pattern in my other reviews: C.T. Phipps is a kick-ass author and Jeffery Kafer is an awesome narrator. And when two great artists have worked in a multi-series partnership to produce several audiobooks, their talent tends to enhance the final product to a level that is more amazing than either could be alone. Esoterrorism (and other series which both are part of such as Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, and The Supervillainy Sage) is a great example of the excellent work that you get out of such a partnership.

Special thanks to C.T. Phipps, who provided me with this book at my request.
Author 27 books66 followers
February 10, 2020
Esoterrorism is a perfect example a High Concept story: what we have here is 007 versus Voldemort
So when the superspy and his glamourous sidekick are on a stakeout, their gadgets and weapons are boosted by magic, not the latest technology. Rather than a spymaster and his KGB thugs they intercept a wizard with a couple of demons masquerading as humans.

This is a throughgoing genre mashup, and one which is never in danger of taking itself too seriously or in fact seriously at all. Hero Derek Hawthorne, who is half-dragon (seriously) drops frequent references to his desire to be James Bond, quipping merrily as he shoots numerous bad guys and swapping cheesy innuendoes with his love interest – another spy who, inevitably, has been tasked with seducing him. She is, I kid you not, an actual sex-fiend (a Lilin, a variety of succubus).

As you might expect with this author, the pace is brisk, the action violent, and the pop-culture references come faster than bullets in a Wachowski Brothers movie. The characters may not be entirely original, but that’s the point: Phipps shows off how he can bring new life to the maverick agent’s exchanges with his tetchy boss, or his encounter with a Bond villain pimped out with ‘magitech.’

The plot is turbocharged with frequent injections of increasingly outrageous magic, and Chuck Norris levels of bodycount. For those who like their secret agents shaken with a garnish of pixie dust, not stirred.
Profile Image for Martin Owton.
Author 14 books77 followers
July 30, 2019
CT Phipps has an established style - fast moving plots, over the top action featuring extraordinary tech and magic, and characters who unexpectedly ask hard questions about the world they inhabit and their purpose in it. Its all present in Esoterrorism, which mixes elements of Men in Black and James Bond with worldwide conspiracy theories. Hugely enjoyable, even if his main character is called Derek.
Profile Image for Todd Oliver.
646 reviews5 followers
June 10, 2019
I really enjoyed this supernatural spy thriller and think it will make a great series! It held my attention from start to finish. As with most of his other books I've enjoyed, this book seems to take place in the same world as his others and as always, I did find myself laughing out loud a few times! Great narration by Jeffrey Kafer!
Profile Image for Wade Garret.
Author 2 books77 followers
May 16, 2016
Smartass Magician-Monster Hunter/Spy...did you get all that?
ByWade on May 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First: The Solid Cover is what caught my eye. Yes, I window shop books.

Second: Derek Hawthorne, agent of the Red Room—a family operated Occult-based agency overseeing all manner of nasty monster and mythological creature THE WORLD OVER—seems to always be having a s*** day; he’s the type of guy who complains about his job, but could never do anything else and that Love Hate relationship makes it fun to follow his daily grind.

Infact, at first I felt he was a sarcastic Constantine/Bond hybrid, but I quickly realized he wasn’t either and the assumed weak attempt at combining the two was kinda annoying....but then I realized he’s not JAMES BOND, nor is he as dark as CONSTANTINE: He’s Sterling Malory “ARCHER” yes, the same Archer from the FX show, with a huge lump of Urban Fantasy thrown in for good measure.

Sound good? It did to me. This is about the time my reading picked-up speed.

And it gets better. How?
Do you like gadgets and gizmos? Strange magics and wonders?
Now, you don’t get a lot about that stuff, even less about the overall world, but that didn’t bother me because massive info-dumps to explain everything would’ve killed the flow of this pretty action-paced story and remember, this isn’t in-depth Fantasy of SciFi; not to mention, plenty of these cool things exist in the ether of the narrative, serving to only tease a massive world for the author to draw from in the future. So strap in.

For me, Esoterrorism by C.T Phipps is the kinda F/SF mashup which got the genre(s) started, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the direction most in “Urban Fantasy” have gone, however, I did enjoy it enough to finish it—mostly because of my fondness for Derek “Archer” with magic—which says a lot.

Let me point out, Derek breaking the 4th Wall was A PLUS for me. Plenty of witty banter to make you smile. But I can also see why some purists might not enjoy it; some readers are easily distracted, or need Dialog Tags and some just aren’t fond of the on-going gag of cliche jabs and/or other seemingly out-of-place remarks.

However, once you except it, it blends and becomes part of the author’s creation. Bravo.

I enjoyed the WMD and Evil Corporation plot enough not to be bothered, but not the “Secret Enemy Agency” which counters the Red Room. Feels like this trope within a trope has been done to death, but because of other gems along the way—unknown creatures from diverse backgrounds, some feared by veteran DnD players like myself—this is easily enough smoothed over.

Summary Thoughts:
It took me awhile to settle on giving it a 3 instead of a 4 and it mostly comes down to This: You’re either a Big Fan of Urban Fantasy, or someone like me, who really isn’t for the most part, because of things like Charmed, Buffy, Angel and Supernatural have ruined it for you...I tend to walk a darker, grittier path and while this adventure did get closer than most, I can’t give it a four because it’s not something I’d likely read again.

Everything being equal, I think any fan of the genre should check it out. Also, I bet there’ll be plenty of readers who consider themselves on the fence, who just might end up falling in love with this series.

Happy Reading
Profile Image for Mary Rajotte.
Author 26 books93 followers
August 8, 2015
Some of my favorite reads are those that are a mix of various related genres. Esoterrorism by C.T. Phipps is a masterful blend of urban fantasy and science fiction with dashes of the paranormal thrown in for good measure.

In Esoterrorism we meet Derek Hawthorne, an agent for the Red Room, an organization that has spent millennia recruiting agents from within The House, member families born into and borne of various supernatural abilities and whose agents cover up supernatural happenings from the general public.

When Derek’s new partner, Shannon O’Reilly shows up on the scene, he is immediately suspicious of her motives (it’s not like she immediately knees him in the gut then tries to pull a butcher knife on him or anything…oh, wait…), but that isn’t where the distrust stops.

The Wazir, a magical terrorist with more than a few tricks up his sleeve, threatens not only Derek’s life but lives the world over, and it’s up to Derek and his new sidekick (though if you called her that to her face, she’d probably throw you over her shoulder and try to stomp on your neck) to track down the Wazir despite his best efforts in a supernatural shell game of his own making.

One thing that is evident from this book is that C.T. Phipps spent extensive time worldbuilding. Many supernatural entities, beings and creatures are mentioned throughout the book, most of which who are obscure, badass-cool and not your average zombie or vampire.

The world in which main character Derek Hawthorne lives with his sister Penny, his estranged father (who just happens to be his boss’s boss) and the other agents of the various factions of the Red, Blue, Yellow and White Rooms is rich with detail and populated by countless beings.

But the mindless, undead, cannibalistic Draugr, the hideous, black-and-white-skinned, horned devil-like Japanese Oni and white-skinned, flabby, goblin-like Powries (to name but a few) aren’t the scariest monsters in this world. The House and its Council, who baits its agents and pits them against one another by instilling a sense of fear, suspicion, betrayal and countless conspiracies makes every character as equally the hunter as they are the hunted.

It’s funny then that my only complaint (and it is more of a desire than something I didn’t like) is to see those disparate entities explored further.

The good thing is the author doesn’t spend a lot of time telling us about these creatures. He shows them in battles and action-packed head-on confrontations.

But it wasn’t enough! I want more! Gimme more of the creatures, beasties and so many more. I want to know all about each and every terrible entity.

The silver lining is Esoterrorism is the first volume of the Red Room Series. Which suits me just fine because I’m DYING to read the next one.

If you want a thrilling read with lots of back-and-forth action tinged with tension and unease, Esoterrorism is the perfect read. I look forward to reading more of C.T. Phipps’ works
Profile Image for S. Nash.
Author 6 books19 followers
September 6, 2015
Esoterrorism is a highly entertaining romp through a tried-and-true Urban Fantasy trope: agents from a secret organization protect the regular people of the world from the supernatural. I'd call this novel a mashup between James Bond and Kolchak the Night Stalker.

There are plenty of franchises playing with this general theme, and the best way to stand out is to give readers memorable characters. C.T. Phipps offers us Derek Hawthorne, an insufferable smartass with the skills and experience to back up his wisecracks, his twin sister Penny, a powerful wizard, and his partner Shannon, a new agent from the European division.

When an ancient wizard's attacks spill over into the mundane world, Derek and Penny are caught in a massacre. He manages to recover a dangerous weapon, and returns it to "the House". Derek's assigned to a new partner for the case, even though he has a bad habit of getting his partners killed. This otherwise-straightforward job to stop the Wazir is complicated by a mole in the organization and a devastating attack on the House.

The novel has a cinematic feel to it, with lots of pop culture references and clear influence from the genre in films and television. Esoterrorism fits right in . It’s a witty romp of a novel, good entertainment, and a fun read.

Derek is a bit too proud of himself, and tends to his grudges like favorite pets, but he cares about co-workers like they're family—because a lot of them are. The running dialogue between him and Shannon is often played for laughs, but it also reveals plenty about his character. Though he sometimes acts as if he’s the only man for the job, it’s fairly obvious that without his sister, his partner, and his sister’s girlfriend (in the role of Q,) he'd be sunk.

My favorite character is Shannon O’Reilly. Ever play a game of “shag, marry or kill?” I get the feeling she has, but likes to play the game with one person in all three categories. Her motivations are suspect, her past might be fabricated, and she definitely has an agenda. She gave me plenty of room to speculate on what she was really up to and I look forward to seeing more of Shannon in the next book.

Of course, I have a couple of nits to pick. One particular habit of Derek’s that got on my nerves was his bad case of deus ex matrimony. Bitching about the ex is annoying enough when I do it, and there’s a point where it’s just too much. He was so worried about the intricacies of what might happen to his ex-wife Cassandra in any of his imagined scenarios, that I’m pretty sure at one point, even Shannon told him to stuff it. We hardly see Cassandra “on stage” but Derek keeps her front and center with his angst. She didn't feel like a well-fleshed out person to me and felt flat in her role.

Overall, I highly recommended Esoterrorism for readers from teens on up. There are a few sexually suggestive parts, and the usual carnage, gore and mayhem, but in my opinion they aren’t gratuitous, and certainly not R-rated. 4.5 out of 5 stars, and keep an eye out for more in the series.

Profile Image for Nathaniel.
51 reviews2 followers
July 30, 2015
So I was extremely hyped for this book. I read about it on the Publisher's website, saw a lot of social media about it and I liked how they were pitching it. I was on vacation when it came out and I made sure to download it so I could read it on the flight home. That being said, we have a lot to talk about.

I debated on whether or not this would be a 3 or 4 star book. The reason being is that it is a really fun book, but I was always taken out when the main character would make reference to how this only happens in spy novels or this never happened to James Bond. If the book had been sold as a parody of the spy/occult genre, I would have been more prepared. I read it as a parody though much like how the Secret Histories books by Simon R Green. At no point did I feel any real danger to the characters in the book. They would snark their way out of the dangers surrounding them. And oh my goodness, there is a ton of snark. It is the only way ALL of the characters can communicate with each other. Dialogue in the book was an issue at points as I would have trouble telling who spoke. It's kinda implied that having this sense of humor is the only way to survive working in an environment like this trying to protect the world from supernatural horrors, but it didn't work for me.

The action is pretty consistent and incredibly fun. I liked how we got a variety of cool toys for the characters to play with and use. I kinda wish we knew more about the relics that are referenced because they sounded awesome, but you only got brief glimpses at everything. That being said, the world building in this book tells you a lot of interesting/exciting things, but it does not show you any of them. They either happened a long time ago and its a story for another day or it's not important right now. The world is alive, but we get a very small glimpse at everything. And when the big oh no you didn't moment happens, we are only left with a taste of what is to come.

I never really got a feel for the book, but I did enjoy it. It was top notch popcorn fiction something you can read in a few hours and go home with knowing you had fun. I look forward to more stories in this world because there is definitely magic there to be hold, but I hope that there is a lot of growth for the series. It is simply poor form to keep calling something cliche and then having it happen. To me, it felt like the character knew he was in a book, but didn't want to spoil the surprise. Too many winks and nods. We get it, you know your pop culture, advance the plot.

Ultimately, I gave this a 4 star rating because while I had quite a few issues with it, including some grammar problems towards the last third of the book that caught me off guard, I enjoyed myself. I don't see this as an all time great, but it was a fun summer read and I look forward to reading more from C.T. Phipps in the future.
72 reviews2 followers
July 10, 2016
This is a review of the Audible/audiobook edition of Esoterrorism by C. T. Phipps
This is one of those urban fantasy novels that will have every other urban fantasy author thinking “Damn, why didn’t I think of that?” It is a worthy entry into the genre and should garner quite a following for the inevitable series.

The synopsis available on Goodreads and Audible is sufficient for the plotline. In brief, it is about a James Bond type character who works for a secret global organization that polices the supernatural and keeps the existence of the supernatural from rest of the world.

I had just finished two books (the Supervillainy series) by both the same author and same narrator, had been intrigued by the premise of “Esoterrorism” and was a little curious on what I was getting into. After all, the hallmark of “Supervillainy” was the snarkiness and humor and it was portrayed well. But “Esoterrorism” sounded like a more serious minded work based on the synopsis. Let me say right here that Esoterrorism bears nothing in common with “Supervillainy”: this is a serious treatise on policing the paranormal and Jeffrey Kafer delivered a serious performance with a gravitas that I didn’t associate with him after becoming associated with his very good comedic performance of “Supervillainy”.

“Esoterrorism” isn’t as polished as a Jim Butcher/Dresden novel and the climax/showdown was a tad brief and anti-climactic for my tastes. It made me think the author hit a desired number for his word count and that it was time to wrap it up. I could be wrong but I don’t feel the plot dictated the climax as soon as it occurred, that the flow of the events and plot was a little forced if that makes sense. I don’t mean to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy the novel, just that this good novel had the potential to be a great novel. I will get the sequel when it comes out and I think this series will be one I will be following for years to come.

Jeffrey Kafer’s performance was excellent. He far exceeded my expectations in delivering a serious performance and I had difficulty reconciling that this was the same narrator I had enjoyed listening to the previous day deliver a comedic performance.
Profile Image for Melissa J. Katano.
248 reviews13 followers
February 6, 2016
I may have to come up with a new genre tag: Urban-fantasy Spy thriller

What if there was a huge multi-government cover-up.... but the governments didn't know exactly what it was they were covering up?

What if there was a huge multinational organization dedicated to keeping the things-that-go-bump-in-the-night a secret from you? And what if there was another multinational organization that was trying to expose the cover-up? And what if one of the biggest research/military tech companies was in on the secret?

What if most of the agents in this multinational organization were born to the organization?

What if you were one of those agents?

Esoterrorism: From the Secret Files of the Red Room is the perfect set-up for a series of books, but if this is all C.T. Phipps gives us, it works well as a stand-alone novel (but I'm hoping for a series). The world-building is intriguing, the characters are delightfully sarcastic and the story keeps you turning the pages until the last one is read. The sarcastic wit keeps the book from taking itself too seriously (like some spy novels do), but it doesn't quite sink to the level of parody.

The Red Room has a mole and at least one traitor. All evidence points to Derek Hawthorne as being the mole, working with his ex-wife, who is the CEO of Pantheon Corp, to develop Matheson-22, a virus that will transform ordinary humans into a type of draugr. Now Derek is on a mission to clear his name, prove that his ex-wife isn't involved in this latest conspiracy, and bring down the Wazir and his organization, the Emerald Eye. Along the way, he's assigned a new partner, Shannon O'Reilly, a half-Lilin from the United Kingdom.

If you like urban-fantasy and spy novels, then you owe it to yourself to read Esoterrorism: From the Secret Files of the Red Room.
Profile Image for S. D. Howarth.
Author 2 books14 followers
December 5, 2021
Damn enjoyable and blitzed through in a couple of sessions and almost as good as a painkiller.

Whilst as pacy as the author’s other works with trademark humour and sardonic references it resonated to me with slightly more depth and the element of being controlled by family and organisation a unique twist to mayhem and tension by making the character(s) always on the clock and a step from self immolation.

Numerous nice twists fused Bond and Dresden files in a way Supernatural couldn’t manage, with numerous comparisons. The sidekick tension has been done before, yet felt natural to the story and allowed the character to evolve, rather than react.

There had to be an evil base, and a clever nose thumb to Disney for the travel arrangement.

Nifty, slick and entertaining. For an impulse buy, it has been well worth the purchase and more creative than MIB.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Roberto.
267 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2017
It was ok'.. couldn't relate to main character, by the way a complete ass.. so, yea not a bad book!
Profile Image for [Name Redacted].
790 reviews394 followers
Want to read
June 19, 2016
I want to read this simply because its title is SO AMAZING. XD
Profile Image for Sally.
Author 126 books311 followers
September 3, 2022
Derek Hawthorne and Shannon O’Reilly are agents of the Red Room, an ultra-secret spy agency dedicated to keeping the world in the dark about the danger (and the power) of the supernatural. Part of a global conspiracy called the House (who make the Illuminati look entirely trivial), the Red Room is kind of a combination of Torchwood and S.H.I.E.L.D., while Derek is equal parts Jack Bauer and James Bond.

As a result, much of Esoterrorism will seem familiar to genre fans, but it's mythology of the House and the strength of the characters that serve to distinguish C.T. Phipps from those influences. This is a fun, action-packed book with just as much blood and gore as sarcasm and sexual innuendo.

The House is an organization with truly terrifying implications. It has existed since the days of Babylon, under the cover of the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, Project Blue Book, and even the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Division. It's a family organization, one into which you are either born, or which your entire family joins with you. At its head is a secret, elite Committee that manages and manipulates those family connections to a deplorable degree as part of its internal conspiracy. As for their impact upon the outside world, as Derek learns at one point, they don't control the world, they just "control the people who control the world."

Derek is your typical roguish hero who refuses to play by the rules. He's a good guy who understands the importance of protecting the world, but who questions the need to keep it ignorant. Shannon is his latest partner, a woman who has been assigned to him for complicated reasons, and who has equally complicated motives behind her allegiances. Phipps imbues them with the usual sarcastic banter and sexual tension you'd expect from the genre, but (thankfully) doesn't hinge the story on that tired old trope. They're supported by a diverse cast of characters, most notably Derek's sister (a fellow agent and witch) and her girlfriend (their gadget-loving 'Q'), who add a whole other layer of sarcasm and sexual tension.

There's a lot going on here, which serves to keep the story moving forward. There are complicated family dynamics, global conspiracies, questionable motives, traitors, and terrorists. There are serious questions as to whether the end can ever truly justify the means, and some interesting discussions about faith and belief. Phipps works hard to keep readers on their toes, teasing a question of loyalty throughout, and using it to feed a number of twists and turns in the plot. It's a fast-paced novel that accomplishes a lot of a very short time frame, but there's still substantial character development that bodes well for future installments.

Esoterrorism is a testosterone fueled urban fantasy, the perfect novel for fans of who are tired of the paranormal romance trope, and who want to see more of the action and adventure element. It's big, it's frantic, it's violent, and it's very often funny as well. Hopefully Derek and Shannon will be back for further adventures, as we've just scratched the surface of this new world and its mythologies.

Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins
Profile Image for Rabid Reader.
959 reviews13 followers
January 21, 2020
This is a great urban fantasy story of spies, terrorists and secret agents, along with a generous dollop of magic and the supernatural. The Red Room is a secret agency that for centuries has protected humanity from discovering that supernaturals exist, but when a zombie creating bioweapon threatens the world, Agent Derek Hawthorne is put on the case. Derek is smart, sarcastic, a little jaded, trusts no one but his twin sister Penny (who is a powerful witch) and is good at his job. With a megalomaniacal villain bent on taking over the world and a power hungry ex-wife who is not only a suspect but also the CEO of a large, powerful corporation, Derek needs all the help he can get. He has hints of James Bond about him but with magic as well as gadgets, and his integrity and insecurities add to his appeal as a character. I loved the interplay and chemistry between him and his new partner Shannon O’Reilly. She is a fabulous, kick-ass character who has a great sense of humour and appears to be on the same page as him but there is that niggling hint of a doubt and you always wonder what her true agenda is. The narrator, Jeffrey Kafer, does an excellent job of bringing the story to life and giving the characters voices that fit them well. I especially loved the accent he gave Shannon and his intonation really showed the seductress side of her nature. This story moves along quickly and it definitely keeps your attention. There is plenty of action, intrigue, fights, deception, a bit of steam and some humour in this story, as well as strong characters with unique supernatural abilities, complicated family dynamics and an entertaining plot.
Profile Image for Courtney Odor.
104 reviews4 followers
June 4, 2019
First, I have to start off by stating that I got this book free of charge in exchange for a review, but as I always state, this does not in any way impact my review. My reviews are always honest and my own.

The plot of Esoterrorism has enough twists that I don't want to spoil your enjoyment, but on the surface, I can say a bad group of people has found a way to possibly throw the world into an open magic scenario where most of the nonmagical beings will die. There's also a mole within the secret police organization that Derek works for--again, can't say much more without spoiling it.

My gripes with this one are small, but I did hit a point where I was nearing the last fifteen percent and the momentum to keep this at the top of my queue was waning. I don't know why. It felt like the story didn't match my excitement for its potential after liking the beginning so much and seeing all the cool possibilities for magic powers and creatures. The final battle felt a bit too easy and the romance was more hormone-based than emotional, though, over the course of the series, those elements could improve. I'm in for the next book and will more quickly pick up another one of C.T.'s books now that I've seen how well he tells a story.
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