• Acheron Highway

  • The Second Jonathan Shade Novel
  • By: Gary Jonas
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"He stole my heart, Mr. Shade. I want you to find him and steal it back."

The dead won't stay buried in Denver, so Jonathan Shade isn't too surprised when a deceased woman shows up wanting to hire him. A necromancer stalker has stolen her heart - literally - and she needs it if she's going to live.

But Shade's jobs are never simple. The dead won't leave him alone. They work for a lovesick goddess who wants Shade to turn over her former lover. Chased by zombies, and then by an army of skeletons, Shade and his magically-engineered partner, Kelly Chan, fight to stay alive.

Keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times, and hang on, because there are no safe exits from Acheron Highway....

The Jonathan Shade series so far:

  • Modern Sorcery
  • Acheron Highway
  • Dragon Gate
  • Anubis Nights
  • Sunset Specters

©2014 Gary Jonas (P)2015 Sky Warrior Book Publishing, LLC

What listeners say about Acheron Highway

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This book is amazing

Gary Jonas has hit another home run with Acheron Highway, the second Jonathan Shade book.

The usual cast of characters return (albeit briefly) Kelly Chan, Brant, Esther and Jonathan along with some DGI folks which also spell a fun time – like Phil who is so terrified of Kelly that he practically wets himself when she smiles at him.

This book is darker than the first in many different ways.  First the dead are walking and hunting Jonathan.  They want information on the missing Charon (or Sharon as he is known to Jonathan) the lover of Hades’ Persephone.   Persephone is relentless and wants Charon home where he belongs and she is willing to do anything it takes to get him back; including hurting Jonathan.

Persephone sends the walking dead after Jonathan, with a little help from DGI Jonathan thwarts that attack but finds himself knee deep in another case while trying to contact Sharon.  This case involves a necromancer and his obsession with a woman who rejected him.  He literally steals her heart.

Between the zombies, the army of skeletons and the vengeful Persephone Kelly, Brant and Jonathan struggle to survive.  The deadly clash comes down to death – deaths that Jonathan will not tolerate; friendships end and Jonathan changes.  But will the change be enough to save his friends?  Can he stop Persephone?

This book is amazing.  There was one point where the shocking turn of events made Jonas my least favorite author.  His characters are so well developed they are almost real.   He is masterful at creating twists and surprises that leave one breathless.  His plots are well executed.  Jonas’ books are truly like riding a roller coaster … ups and downs. This book I listened to almost non-stop because I couldn’t turn it off.

Jonas drove home that friends are important.  Life is short and frail.  Luck runs out; one must change eventually if friends and family are to survive.  Being flippant has a place but not when it is life or death situations.

Joe Hempel does an excellent narration.  As the listener I could not help but be swept away into the story as Hempel took control and became Shade.   This is not something that is done easily but Hempel succeeds where others fail.  The only issue I had was Hempel sounded like he was saying Essler instead of Esther.  His ability to project emotions and energy into the characters through is voice brings the book alive.

There were no issues with the audio production aspect of this book.  It was well done!

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Acheron Highway

Which scene was your favorite?

This book is packed with so many twists and turns You think you have it all figured out and bam something happens that you weren't expecting and then you have to keep reading to find out how it all works out. Suspense all the way to the end.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great read

Would you consider the audio edition of Acheron Highway to be better than the print version?

i prefer audio books

What was one of the most memorable moments of Acheron Highway?

when he was able to bring back his friends from the dead.

Which character – as performed by Joe Hempel – was your favorite?

I liked all

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

when he was able to save his friends.

Any additional comments?

great book. It reminds me of the Dresden books by Jim Butcher and the Preternatural Affairs books by SM Reine. the storyline was great and he narration was great. I received this audio book free for a honest review and it was a great read. I do want to read more.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Great Story With Twists and Turns!

Would you listen to Acheron Highway again? Why?

Yes, Acheron Highway was a worthy story to listen to again. It's a fairly short story but has a great plot and moves along at a good pace. Even though I would listen to the story again, I am more interested in listening to the other books in the series.

What other book might you compare Acheron Highway to and why?

While listening to this story, I kept thinking how much it reminded me of The Dresden Files but with a few exceptions. Jonathan is an investigator; however, he's immune to direct magic and has no magical abilities but can see and talk to spirits. He mainly relays on others to assist him magically. Also, this story was much shorter than the average Dresden book.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked the scene where Jonathan goes back in time undo a terrible mistake, but I do not want to give away any of the plot.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Acheron Highway, where the blood flows.

Any additional comments?

Joe Hempel did a great job narrating the story. He used different accents, tones, and inflections, so you can easily identify the different characters.

Overall this was a great story and had plenty of action, twist, and turns.

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast dot com."

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great sequel

Acheron Highway continues the story of Jonathan Shade paranormal PI; filling in more of the back story hinted at in book one and leading us on a tale that pulls at your heart, makes you laugh and gets you even more attached to the characters. Much darker in nature than the first book, it still contains some humour and snappy one liners; it also has some unusual twists and a surprise ending that worked well in this story. It advanced Slade's character but there are some consequences to his actions and I think the repercussions will spill over into the next book. The conflict, tension and heartache was intense in the book, it captures you and you just can't put it down. Joe Hempel's narration managed to convey the depth of emotion in the characters perfectly and he easily portrayed the individual personalities and accents. I look forward to the next audiobook in the series. I received this audiobook at no cost in exchange for an honest review

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!

This series is great so far! I was pretty shocked at the turn of events this book took, and surprised at the way it resolved. Action packed and full of crazy paranormal situations, Acheron Highway has escalated the series in unbelievable ways! Brilliantly narrated! I'm actually 1/3 of the way through book 3. Just taking a few minutes, now that I can, to tell you all how much I love this series so far!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an ending!

Wow! Have you ever had something really bad happen in a book and realize there isn't much left to the book? You wonder how the heck they can conclude the story after that??? Is it gonna end in a cliffhanger? God I hate that! lol This did not end that way. Gary Jonas really surprised me with this ending.

Johnathan Shade is a paranormal private investigator. Book 2 deals with more mythology than book 1. Shade is a man willing to do anything for his friends and he certainly proves that in this book. Constant action in this book and a bit more emotional than book 1. I really am looking forward to the rest of the series.

An awesome narration by Joe Hempel. He was the reason I chose this series. Definitely one of my favorite narrators.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Story With Twists and Turns

Where does Acheron Highway rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 10

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed the performance of Shade himself the best

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked the scene where Jonathan goes back in time undo a terrible mistake

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and very much so

Any additional comments?

Hempel brought the wit and sarcasm of Jonathan Shade to life


I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark, suspenseful and humorous

This series gets better and it's a while since I've listened to book 1, but when I entered the world of the dead once again, I knew I'd missed Jonathan Shade.

This book is a bit darker, but also filled with humor. I'm impressed with the author's imagination and how he mixes the many different supernatural (and dead) creatures in his stories.

Joe Hempel always does an outstanding performance and very lively. He knows how to turn on the suspense, so I'm sitting on the edge in several passages of the book. He is also great with the different voices and is a perfect fit for this series.

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent addition to the series!

Note: While this is Book 2 in the series, it stands pretty well on it’s own. Of course, Book 1 was pretty freaking awesome, so I recommend checking it out. This book does contain plot spoilers for Book 1, just in case that would bother you if you read them out of order.

PI Jonathan Shade is still hanging out in Denver. He’s approached by Miranda, who literally has no heart. She wants him to find it. Turns out there is a necromancer wreaking havoc in the area and Shade needs to put him down. Yet he is also in hiding from a powerful goddess who demands he helps her find her old lover. The bodies pile up, and then walk around, only to be laid out flat again by Jonathan and his crew. Never a dull moment in this book!

I really enjoyed Book 1, Modern Sorcery, quite a bit and it made my Top 2015 List. So I was quite happy to return to this urban fantasy world again. Acheron Highway does not disappoint! I listened to it in one day. This book has the right combo of mystery, action, character development, and the supernatural. I was never bored and the book doesn’t fall into the trap of battle fatigue either.

Jonathan Shade continues to be an interesting character. He’s got this past that we learn more about and he also has these special abilities that he has to get creative with. In fact, towards the end he does this big trick that I wasn’t expecting. Normally, the plot device used at the end of the book would really turn me off. I like actions and choices to have consequences, and ones that our characters have to live with. But this author pulled it off really, really well. And there are still consequences, and I hope to learn how severe they are in the next book.

Kelly Chan is still my favorite female character. She’s a warrior sekutar, built by wizards to be the ultimate bodyguard. However, she went rogue some time ago and opened a martial arts studio. She’s also a loyal friend to Jonathan. In this book, she takes a pretty hard hit at the studio (riveting scene!) and it’s a game changer.

Meanwhile, Sharon, the librarian from Book 1, is in hiding after the antics she pulled. She’s walking the line of trying to keep her friends safe but also hoping it will all blow over if she just lays low. Things keeps getting bloodier and bloodier and at least part of the responsibility for that lies on Sharon’s shoulders. The friendship between Jonathan and Sharon is forever altered by what goes down in this book. Heavy duty!

This is a great addition to the urban fantasy genre!

I received a copy at no cost from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Joe Hempel did more fine work on this series with this book. Once again, his own enjoyment of the characters and plot comes through in his voice acting. All his characters are distinct and his female voices are believable. I love his drawl for Esther, a ghost from the 1920s, and his Asian accent for Kelly Chan.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Norma Miles
  • 08-18-16

"Just another Tuesday night in Denver."

Any additional comments?

Still grieving over the death of his one time girlfriend (see Modern Sorcery), Jonathan Shade's.day is about to get worse. Firstly comes the arrival of an unwelcome new client, a beautiful blond who claims that a stalker has stolen her heart - literally - and she wants it back. Then a goddess appears demanding that he find the hiding place of her ex lover, or else...As first hordes of reanimated dead bodies, then an army of skeletons, start attacking, Jonathan finds himself facing the likely death of himself and his friends.

This book is darker than the first in the series but still shares the same action packed adventure, superb characterisations, fast dialogue and quick humour. Shade is the son of two wizards but has no magic of his own other than the power to be impervious to anyone else's sorcery. What he does have is a sharp mind, a quick wit, a doting secretary assistant who just happens to be a ghost, and Kelly, close friend and superb warrior assassin. With a little help from these, and other, friends our intrepid P.I. will surely find a way to restore the girl's heart and battle the demons...Or will he?

Joe Hempel, the narrator, is Shade. His easy on the ear voice conveys all of the emotions engulfing the P.I., from whose point of view this book is written, and perfectly matches the overall pace of the story. But additionally, Joe also gives clear and distinct voices to all of the other protagonists as they appear, and is able to faultlessly sustain conversation between them and Jonathan in this remarkable performance

This is the second book in the Jonathan Shade series but it is not necessary to have read the first, Modern Sorcery, to enjoy it. But I am sue that any reader who has not already done so would want to go back to find out more about our talented detective. Recommended to all who enjoy fun and good dialogue with their mystery thrillers and a nice slice of weird, too.
My thanks to the rights holder of Acheron Highway, who sent me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom, in expectation of an unbiased review. This I have given.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alan Green
  • Alan Green
  • 06-04-21

Outrageously far-fetched, but enjoyable

Stick with it - as the story progresses events become more and more fantastic and you start to wonder how it's all going to end. No, I won't spoil it for you. Don't give up; you need to remember what was said last time

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julie
  • Julie
  • 01-07-21

On wow didn't see that coming

I loved this book. This is the second Jonathan Shade book and although I enjoyed the first book it in no way prepared me for what was to come in this instalment and I can't wait to see what happens in book three. It is bound to be a wild ride. The author is a very talented writer and he creates a very vivid world with his words only but it is a good job you don't feel every punch that is thrown or you would be spending the night in the hospital. The characters are what makes it great and the reason your heart is in your mouth most of the time because you really come to like and care for them. Even Jonathan's ability to annoy everyone is a source of amusement.
It seems the dead just won't stay dead in Jonathan's world, even his latest client might actually be dead, she just doesn't know it. Her boyfriend has stolen her heart, literally, and she wants to hire him to get it back from the necromancer. At the same time a Goddess wants him to bring his friend Sharon back to her and with the power to make the dead rise he might just have to do it. The problem is Sharon use to be Charon (the ferry man taking poqst souls to the other side) in a previous life and she\he doesn't want to go back. How will Jonathan get out of this mess? And at what cost?
I really like the narrator and hope he has plans to stick with the series. He has a nice, clear speaking voice which just lends himself to the characters.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Andromeda's Twin
  • Andromeda's Twin
  • 03-14-20

Fun story

A novel of necromancy and confusion, lies and double bluffs.

I still did not care much for Jonathan Shade as a character in this book, BUT, he redeemed himself by spending a long time fixing something he messed up (big style). It has some very interesting turn arounds and some fantastic new characters added into the series.

I enjoyed it, and followed it straight up with book 3.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Serenity
  • Serenity
  • 02-11-20

The undead, should stay dead!!

Jonathan Shade is pulled in to battle against the undead, as someone is hunting his friend Sharon. Good book that starts six months after he lost his former love, Shade again finds himself fighting for his friends lives.

Well narrated by Joe Hemel, he keeps the story moving nicely.

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