• The Fifth Ward: First Watch

  • By: Dale Lucas
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (200 ratings)

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The Fifth Ward: First Watch  By  cover art

The Fifth Ward: First Watch

By: Dale Lucas
Narrated by: Simon Vance
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Publisher's Summary

A watchman of the Yenara City guard has gone missing. The culprit could be any of the usual suspects: drug-dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, or humans being typical humans.

It's up to two reluctant partners - Rem, a hungover miscreant who joins the Watch to pay off his bail, and Torval, a maul-wielding dwarf who's highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem - to uncover the truth and catch the murderer loose in their fair city.

©2017 Dale Lucas (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A brilliant premise, wonderfully told. A city that breathes, and heroes you can't help but root for." (Nicholas Eames, author of Kings of the Wyld)
"A glorious tour through fantasy's seamier side. A wilder ride than Middle Earth, and you'll love every minute of it!" (Jon Hollins, author of the Dragon Lords series)

What listeners say about The Fifth Ward: First Watch

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Grim, cheerless, dull

I did not appreciate the torture, could not recall the basic elements of the plot after a few hours break, and while the characters had potential the story was mostly stitched together with fight scenes that were pretty boring.
The narration was good except for the voicing of the prefect, which was distracting weird.
Seemed like a YA story with some sexual language (literally a few words and about two sentences) tossed in as a hasty afterthought. I am not familiar with other Dale Lucas work so I may be way off base, but my impression is that this writer is a beginner who could be good someday. The phrase "diaphanous darkness" occurred comically often.

8 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
  • V
  • 07-12-17

Well, fine, but now where's the next one!?

I picked up First Watch because I wanted something to take up some time while waiting for a couple other pre-orders to launch. I have well and truly shot myself in the foot.

I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The narration was excellent, the characters interesting, and the setting left me wishing I could spend a little time there myself. And now, here I am, the day after it was released, wondering when the next book in the series is expected (May 2018, in case anyone else is interested.)

6 people found this helpful

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

Bait and switch

The listening sample for First Watch is misleading. The story starts out firmly in the adult category. Let's say R rated. It's about a newly hired warden (new to the city as well) learning the ropes from his seasoned partner while they walk the night shift beat in the gritty slum quarter of the city, rife with crime, nefarious deeds and populated by the bottom of society's barrel as well as the downtrodden with no way out.

The Fifth Ward series showed a lot of promise to develop into an intriguing urban fantasy, but unfortunately within a short time it quickly softens into a PG story with a few PG13 bits sprinkled in. The characters are now much less sophisticated and the story becomes very explainy, with many long (and tedious) data dumps to educate a listener with a much younger comprehension level.

Bummer.

Simon Vance's narration though, is great. He has a wide range making the characters step off the page. He even manages to make the data dumps less irritating by adding a lyrical sing song quality to the narrative as the MC waxes poetic, yet again, in another long winded, unrealistic introspection that ticks off all the points the author wants the listener to know about.

I gave up a third of the way through. Couldn't take the remedial, heavy-handed narrative anymore. DNF

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

Standard police procedural- in fantasy setting

Pleasantly surprised by this sale purchase. The world is pretty standard medieval fantasy, with humans, elves, dwarves and orcs living together in cities amid swords and magic. The twist is that our MCs are the odd couple cops in urban police procedurals. Torval is the veteran cop, crusty and with old grudges against orcs; Rem is the wild new recruit, bailed out of jail and essentially drafted into service. The central mystery is engaging, allowing the characters, setting, and world system to unfold. There’s some humor and some touching moments, even if the overall feel is more buddy-cop gritty.

TV level violence, only indirectly referenced sex, mild cussing, and police-related treatment of crimes. Fit down to high school readers. Good enough for me to wishlist the next two and wait for a sale.

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

A wonderful new series

As strange as it sounds, I originally decided to read this book due to the over art, reading the description, decided to take the chance on someone I had not heard of or read previously. Short answer, I’m very glad I did. The book has this wonderful mix of fantasy/nior like/police drama. The charters themselves are rich, detailed, complex but not overly so. The story itself is well written and builds the foundation for a good series of future books (At least I hope for there to be many more). The narrator does a great job giving the characters unique life, and keeping the pace running well. I would suggest you purchase and listen, I feel secure that you will enjoy the story.

4 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

Cute but gritty, fun but twisty

It’s like a buddy-cop movie with humor, action, and emotion. The fact that the cops use swords instead of guns is immaterial. The usual tropes are there, but there’s fun in twisting the tropes to cover dwarfs and elfs. I enjoyed the narrator’s use of different voices and had no trouble recognizing who was talking. The action was fast-paced and the pay-out of the story was spot on. Really good start to a series.

2 people found this helpful

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

too predictable

I didn't mind listening to this book but you knew how everthing would happen in general throughout. It got worse towards the end so I totally lost interest and didn't finish it. I didn't return it, probably because of Simon Vance's narration. that I did enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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

Save your credit/ money

Very disappointed with this. It has taken me weeks to finish chapter one and I listen to books on a very regular basis. I just can’t into this story at all.

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

Brilliant!

Great story and interesting characters. Well written adventure and an exciting start to a series. So glad I discovered this author!

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

Better than I expected.

This had popped up in my suggestions a few times but I ignored because the cover reminded me a bit of that awful R.I.P.D. movie. Excellent narration and good story line. Some moderate twists without it seeming contrived. I'm actually on the third book at this point.