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Blood Hound

(Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  57 reviews
"One of the first things every new mage learns about magic is that—despite your newly discovered powers over the universe—you are forever a struggling speck of krill in a very large, very cold, very dangerous ocean."

My name is Alexi Sokolsky: blood mage, occult scholar, and hired killer. Three things that should convey me some immunity in the dog-eat-dog world of the Rus
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published January 15th 2016 by Gift Horse Productions
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  339 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Fenriz Angelo
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books i have read this year. Have been a long time since i wanted nothing more but to immerse myself into a book and being unable to stop reading.

Sometimes i think i'm easy, just look at most of my ratings. So i thought "okay i love this book because it has two things i love: occultism and mafia". That's, hands down, instalove for me so i feel totally biased about rating this book.

But today with a cooler mind i think about this book and say "no, i don't love this because it has
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of book 1-3 (series is still ongoing):

These books are something else, alright. I'm not sure how original they are, because I have zero clue about occult and have never read a book with a main focus on that thematic. Needless to say, I was at times confused and I recommend to fresh up on occult beforehand. Or read the books immediately afterward so you don't forget the important bits. As I did. Also, it doesn't matter so much if you are confused at times, the main points are understandable
Amanda Kratz
Rating 2.5

Overall I wasn't the biggest fan of this book. I didn't find it "bad" but I personally didn't enjoy it much. This was a book club read for me and probably wouldn't have been a book I would have ever picked myself. (So take this review with a grain of salt). It is Mafia themed, very dark, very gritty, lots of blood, lots of deaths. By in large just not my cup of tea.

My initial feelings are that this was kinda like Mafia meets Dresden Files. It still feels like that. The main character A
Raven Orthaevelve
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Speaking from the perspective of an occultist who has been practicing for two decades as well as a lover of fantasy and science fiction, this book hit the spot. It is elegantly written and engaging but also brutal as befits a work about a hitman magician. The intricate working of magic in the book satisfied my inner occultist who always wants to know how the magic in the story works. Violence in the book is not just shrugged off, it does genuine injury that takes time to heal from, and pain and
Definitely a good sign when you finish a book and you are left wondering where is the next book ??
I must admit that male leads haven't featured highly in my book lists as of late I just haven't been in the mood but for some reason I just had give this one a go (probably the price), and I am glad to say I wasn't disappointed.
A very nuts and bolts mob book but heavy on the occult, with Alexi working as a low level magician for the Russians as a hitman come cleaner to work off his debt to them.

Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Multiple themes of organized crime, cultural experience and magic are interwoven beautifully in this work. While the story weaves in and out of tropes and what could easily be a stereotypical story, the character and plot manage to twist unexpectedly and evolve. While Alexi is the centerpiece of a crossroads of these themes, and an unwitting protagonist, he is someone we can easily relate to - swept up in events he cannot seem to control and making the best of things. The plot allows for extreme ...more
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm probably 3/4 of the way through. I read a lot of urban fantasy, I'm hard to impress, and I've also studied the western mystery tradition for about 25 years.
This book is SO MUCH a grim, dark dysfunctional way. Why hasn't anyone used Crowley's Bornless One in an invocation a before? A main character who knows the Goetia and talks intelligently about it?
Chris, the Dalek King

I honestly don't know what I feel about this book.

It is a good story. Certainly kept me glued to my kindle.

But it is also a very complex and not very well explained world that left me kinda confused.

Also, that ending.

Has me curious enough to consider going on in the series, though.

Yeah. So not sure how to feel about this one.
What.the.hell? Need to consider this one.

08/02/17 update:
:D The "What.the.hell?" was actually how I felt when I ended the book, it is not a bad thing. More of a how did I feel about this book thing. The story had such a broad scope that combined complex elements and I did have some trouble understanding the magic system. It may be because it was the religion that provided the rules that the magic abided by and I did not clearly understand the religion.

The writing is very visual and absolutely g
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WHOA! WHAT A RIDE!! New York gets another wizard, and this time, there's a bit more Eastern influence, as Alexi is a Mage enlisted by the Russian Mafia. I really enjoyed most of what went on in this book. My only objection is the heaviness of the dogma involved, the religious aspects that provide the rules by which the magic (and thus the Mage) must function. It might just be me, and the fact that it's much more of a different culture than I'm used to in other series such as Dresden Files (more ...more
Jade Fallon
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am not a word smith, unlike Mr. Baldwin, so pardon my mortal words. While I got the book via other means, I felt it was necessary to post a review here. I've been sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for this book for a very long time. The characters are amazingly detailed and complex, having their own little quirks that make them truly human. I normally don't like a first person point of view in reading, however I found myself thinking and feeling like I was Alexi every time I opened the bo ...more
Heather Halloran
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a dark, powerful read, and the prose alternates seamlessly between gritty and sensual. The process of getting to know the protagonist was a strange but surprising one, as though he's letting the reader know more about himself than he had intended to reveal. Alexi's isolation (even within his own community) renders the Lovecraftian threats all the more horrifying and devastating, and as a Pagan myself, the occult themes and imagery were particularly tantalizing. Though there are some min ...more
Dana Carrigan
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty, complex, different. I enjoyed it. Alexi is a bit odd and it makes me wonder if he has a mental handicap. I don't mean that in a bad way. But I'm wondering if the author gave me Aspbergers, or made him a high functioning autistic. He's cold, but not evil, he doesn't understand subtle emotions, he has a lot of the cues that someone with those do. Which means he's doubly well written.

I really enjoyed reading more about Alexi than even the world. He's diverse, complicated and not a common he
Nora Talbot
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the end of Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi there was a list of reads he suggested while waiting for his next. This was among them.

I loved it and tore through the first two books and the novella which is notably a prequel.

It's a different, slower writing style but that is not a knock against it. It's still wonderful writing.
Ken Robson
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magic meets the Russian mob.
Our unusual hero is a member of the Russian mob, he is also a magic user. This continues on from Burn Artist, which is a lot more "harsh" than this book.
Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Dylan Sherman
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good read

Fast paced with characters you will love and love to hate. I am definitely going to keep reading this series.
Very confusing book, there were too muchelements and too little explanations... The idea is great but how it was articulated was not well done.
Anja Brazell
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Complex. Thoughtful. Alexey isn't what you'd expect of a mob magical hitman. Deep. A bit...too dark for my tastes at times, but I muddled through. Still a 5/5/ read.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a joint, spoiler-free review on Blood Hound and Burn Artist, two books in the Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden Series by James Osiris Baldwin. Why did I decide to do that?

Because I planned to review both books and when I started writing, I realized the reviews are very similar.

Without further ado, here’s what I think about Burn Artist and Blood Hound.

The first book that I read was Blood Hound and the first thing that comes to mind when I think of it is surreal.

The criminal aspect is promine
Bobbie Ann
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I find it difficult at times to express why I enjoy reading something...usually because it is associated with a feeling and those are never easy to describe. It roped me in from the beginning even as it seemingly was not a subject I would ordinarily pick. The feel of the words and the world that was created kept me reading word after word, page after page until I was bereft because I was at the end. Definitely wanting more...not because it was incomplete but because I wanted to keep reading. I w ...more
Sheva Bree
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this book since I read the first chapter months ago. The first time Alexi pulled the trigger my jaw dropped. Totally unexpected but it set the pace and the flavor of the whole. I loved how even though magic was a part of the world it wasn't some fantastical thing. It felt very grounded in reality. The side characters weren't just cardboard cut outs. Each one had depth and tics that seemed to bring them to life. The level of research is obvious. The ...more
April A.  Taylor
4.5 stars. This is a very compelling and well-written novel that was hard to put down. I was surprised by how well the mixture of magic and the Russian Mafia worked together, and I greatly enjoyed the more grounded (and often limited) version of magic that the main character can access.

It was also nice to see a character who so obviously has undiagnosed Asperger's be described accurately without his Autism coming across as a disability or becoming a major problem within the plot.

There were a f
Lauren Bellet
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forgive my English, but wow! Would not have found book if not for another book a friend showed me. Dangerous Ways.

It's amazing. It's like a crime movie with magic but complicated. Not shooting guns and punching people over the pages like so many books. There is thought. Deep thought. Complicated. Diverse.

It is good to see writers talking about these things but making it in fiction with fantasy and magic.

Very complex and good book.

Please get the books in France in paper please!
Owen Davies
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book, the universe that James has built is strong and intricate. I really enjoyed reading Blood Hound and am looking forward to more in this series, and I am going to be recommending it to people.

Cryogenic Fire
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Definitely different.

Sometimes surreal, yet hard, dark and gritty at the same time this is definitely one of the more original dark, urban fantasy type novels I've ever read and I loved it from start to finish.

Highly recommended.
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting indie urban fantasy.

Definitely worth a read, even if it is book one of an unfinished series.
Tony Parsons
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1991, NYC. Lev had sent 2 of his thugs: Surzi & Boris to kill Semyon Milosivich Vochin (Jeweler).
They weren’t very successful.
Nicolai (50+, Brighton Beach Kommandant, Ukrainian, Alexi’s driver, right hand man, Afghan vet), Alexi Grigoriovich Sokolsky (Russian Mafia hitman), & Manny-Mari (Bulgarian, accomplice), had gotten the job.
Mission successful.

Alexi picked up the Siamese cat & walked out. Binah is her name.
Lev called a meeting that included Vanya (bodyguard), Mikhail (Ukrainian)
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I had to try and figure out how to approach this review because I really just want to sit here and tell you all about it. The characters and the world building Baldwin created are simply fantastic. There is an amazing amount of detail/research that he put into not only the occult and magic, but into making sure the structure of the mafia was legit, right down to the pesky Russian love of a million diminutives for each name and using them in the correct circumstances (seriously, as someo ...more
A slightly odd style of writing but I like how they have blended magical concepts into a mob story while making it seem an accepted (if still uncommon) part of every day life.

There was an interesting blend of different mystical & religious concepts but some of the rants get a bit disjointed.

Well worth reading but a bit too odd to buy the sequel.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So awesome!!!!

I gave this book five stars because it rocks!!!! The characters are very well developed the story moves at a good pace and keeps you gripped and engaged not wanting to put the book down. When you're done you want the next book with out fail! I highly recommend this author and this series.
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Undead & UnRead B...: Blood Hound by James Osiris Baldwin 14 8 Aug 09, 2017 09:09PM  

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Dragon Award-nominated author James Osiris Baldwin is a transgender man from Australia who writes gritty LGBT-inclusive, dark fantasy and science fiction. He was the former Contributing Editor for the Australian Journal of Dementia Care and has also worked for Alzheimer's Australia.

He currently lives in Seattle with his lovely wife, a precocious flame-point Siamese cat, and far too many rats. His

Other books in the series

Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden (3 books)
  • Stained Glass (Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden #2)
  • Zero Sum: An Alexi Sokolsky Supernatural Thriller (Alexi Sokolsky: Hound of Eden Book 3)
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