Read balec by James Austin McCormick Online


Adam Chance, a divorced, world weary PI has his life shaken up when his son goes missing in mysterious circumstances. Yet what begins as a missing person investigation soon turns into an exploration of the supernatural as Chance finds himself lost in a world of the undead, demons and modern day sorcerers. With the help of the mysterious Professor Zal-Al-Raad and his manserAdam Chance, a divorced, world weary PI has his life shaken up when his son goes missing in mysterious circumstances. Yet what begins as a missing person investigation soon turns into an exploration of the supernatural as Chance finds himself lost in a world of the undead, demons and modern day sorcerers. With the help of the mysterious Professor Zal-Al-Raad and his manservant Omar, Chance sets out to confront the shadowy figure behind it all, a dark Sorcerer who hides behind the mask of public benefactor. Recreating an ancient ceremony and using Chance’s son as a sacrifice he plans to resurrect Balec, an ancient Babylonian god, something that will give him ultimate power. Yet as they set out for the Sorcerer’s secluded mansion they realize their enemy is more powerful than they’d imagined, protected by dark magic and a horde of un-dead. And they only have until midnight to stop him. Show more Show less...

Title : balec
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 23349740
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 142 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

balec Reviews

  • Kshitij
    2019-03-25 12:39

    Balec is a gripping supernatural thriller that kept me hooked through the start. The prologue and the starting few chapters created an intriguing outline and gave the feel of the terrifying things to come along the ride. As expected, the book takes a much sinister turn and plunged into deep mystical road with horrifying creatures in the world of evil.Chance, a small time detective but earlier a police officer, discovered from his ex-wife about their missing son and started the full fledged investigation. As you expect from the main character, Chance was brave and witty. He took dangerous risks to bring his son back from the clutch of evil. The author has very inventive imagination and has a talent to blend in several themes effectively. As I read the story, I recalled some of the movies made on the cult. This story is good enough to be converted into a thrilling horror. I found the story getting a little slow in between, but the start and the end is superb. The writing is smooth. I’d be happy to recommend this to the fans of horror.

  • P.T.
    2019-04-08 16:21

    I really enjoyed Balec, but I’ll get the negatives out of the way first to explain the missing star. The novel is a sort of mashup between noir, urban fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror. The combination is fresh, but the writing and plot borrow stale cliches from each genre. The whole “suddenly a character gains psychic powers to reveal a plot point” trope needs to go. Also, the advance copy I received (free, in exchange for a review) had some errors here and there, especially toward the end. Speaking of the end, the climax makes an odd leap in point of view that somewhat lessens its impact.Will all that said, Balec is instantly compelling, and keeps its grip throughout. The writing is fast-paced and unobtrusive, with cheesy but amusing dialogue. The plot stays tight, never meandering into subplots or losing sight of where it’s going. It reminded me of a climactic episode of a good TV show. I enjoy the hell out of quick reads like this, and look forward to seeing what McCormick does next.

  • Susan Angela Wallace
    2019-04-02 15:34

    Balec by James Austin McCormic.Adam chance is a private investigator. He gets a call from his ex wife. There son has gone missing. She's worried for him. But Adam doesn't realise his son is evolved in the cult. This was an absolutely fantastic read with brilliant characters. I loved Adam and how he would do anything to save his son. I just couldn't put it down. Read in under a day. This is a must read and I would highly recommend this book. 5*. Tbc on fb.

  • Dean C. Moore
    2019-03-28 11:34

    The beginning of this book put me immediately in mind of the movie, Max Payne, with Mark Wahlberg. As the novel progressed I realized my initial sense of what genre I was in and the overall mood of the piece was pretty dead on. That said, I found this story had much more depth and nuance to it, and was just better written all around. Of course, it’s a book, not a movie, so greater depth is to be expected, I suppose. The sub-genre is somewhere between supernatural thriller and horror; it’s a dark, scary piece. And it moves rapidly and relentlessly through one plot twist after another, all without forgetting to develop the characters along the way. Chance, our hero, a hard-boiled detective in the tradition of Sam Spade, from the moment he was introduced, had me hooked. The gritty, gumshoe detective flavor of the writing, mixing with the dark, supernatural tale pulls this yarn into a sub-genre all its own. Again, echoes of Max Payne, but again, this story transcends the film, almost on a line by line basis as I became increasingly conscious of how good the writing was. Because his son and his son’s friend that Chance is tracking are teenagers mixed up with a demonic cult worshiping gang, I can see this story playing to the YA crowd as much as to adults. The author handles the teen psychology and banter just as believably. All the characters have a very distinct flavor to them, for that matter, showing how well the writer navigates cultural and economic divides every bit as much as the age divides. With this sub-genre, moreover, you don’t just want the characters and action handled well, but the magical transformations. You want to have fun with the fantastic powers on display, to be wowed and awed and cowed by them. Once again the author succeeds brilliantly. Put it all together, and it’s hard not to read this thing in one sitting. Somewhere along the way the book became good homework for me, because I decided I wanted to write a piece along these lines, a melding of noir detective story and the supernatural.My only real complaint is that at a 157 pages, the book borders on a novella and is over just far too soon. But that too is a testament to the writing, that the author could have packed so much story with such in-depth characters into such a short space. It’s always more challenging to do more with less.

  • Scott Spotson
    2019-03-31 16:46

    This is the third book I have read from this talented author. I recognize his fast-paced editing, love of speculative fiction, and horrendous villains. This is an author who consistently churns out better villains than heroes!This is more like a horror / demonic book. It's not usually my genre to read, but I liked this book. It speaks well of this author that he can write so well in either epic fantasy, horror, and science fiction, all of which are quite different genres. For me, so far, my favourite book of this author is still "Sunfall," which I consider so well-written that it should serve as a model for all aspiring science fiction writers, especially screenwriters.This book is also well-written, and the pace never slows, but as mentioned, horror is not usually my genre to enjoy reading. I like the wonder and optimism of science fiction or epic fantasy, or even urban fantasy that has a good dose of humour. This book is dark, and there are no moments of light humour, except maybe unintentionally when the main character, Chance (nice name), is so stoic that his reactions to vile spectacles are sometimes so muted.Just two detractions here for me. For one, Chance is so brave, he seems almost to have no fear. Nothing seems to frighten him. He does grimace at evil doings by the demons, but those are marks of disapproval, not fear. I don't know of any being who would be as confident as this detective. I guess you could say he is a classic hard-nosed detective like those of the pulp fiction books decades ago!The other detraction was that after Chance battles insurmountable odds, the main villain seemed to weaken on his own. I don't want to give away any spoilers, yet the ending seemed a bit easier for Chance, compared to the middle. My favourite scene was that of Chance is driving away with his wife to flee a demon, and the demon attacks through the roof of the car! This brings out the love of speculative fiction in me! Lots of "yipes" moments for the lover of horror fiction, especially when you're walking through a yard of squirming beasts! Had to keep my eyes closed a bit for that one!

  • Glenn Conley
    2019-03-27 10:45

    I didn't think much of this book, from just looking at the cover. I mean the cover is retarded, right? It's like some five year old made it or something, with crayons. Because of the cover, I was prepared to delve into another tome of garbage, when this book surprised the hell out of me. It's actually quite good, and well written.It's the story of Adam Chance, a private detective, who has just found out that his son has been hanging out with the wrong people, most notably, a gang/cult who just happen to dabble in black magic. It turns out that this cult works for an evil overlord who is hell bent on taking over the world with an ancient demon. And, just guess who gets to be the new host for this super powerful demon? Come on, guess. You got it! Detective Chance's son.Okay, so the story doesn't sound that spectacular, but trust me, it is. The characters have depth that is well thought out. Hell, even the thugs in this story have actual motivation. It's crazy how real this story feels, given that its steeped in sorcery.Don't take my word for it, just read the first few pages of this book, and see for yourself. Goddamnit, I'm supposed to be finding things wrong with books. It's my job to tear books to shreds, and let the world know how much they suck. But, dammit all... This book is fucking awesome. There, I said it.Visit My Book Review Blog and Follow me on Twitter

  • Ali
    2019-04-19 12:18

    I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.I will preface my review by stating that having now read the book I realise it is not a genre I would naturally chose as I don't much enjoy supernatural/horror. That said I read the book in one sitting. It's a fast paced book high on action and adrenalin with a likeable and surprisingly able protagonist. I'd have liked a lot more back history about him than we were given and some explanation as to why he was fired from his job. The plot was interesting and some of the description and imagery powerful. I do have to ask though why it is that evil masterminds seem incapable of realising that trapped and restrained highly powerful evil beings are usually trapped and restrained for very good reasons!In all, not a bad read and this is where I have a problem with the review star system. Goodreads two stars means 'it was OK', while on Amazon 'OK' is three stars. I have a feeling that people mix up the two and would see a two star rating as being very mean for a book I say wasn't bad, so that's why I've given it three stars.

  • Joe Cosentino
    2019-03-30 16:33

    James Austin McCormick’s Balec is a heart-pounding tale of suspense from the first page to the last. As the novel switches character perspectives with each chapter, we get inside the heads and hearts of the characters and experience their emotions. Chance is a divorced detective whose teenage son, Tyler, and his friend Stevie are caught up in a teen street gang. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a typical scenario for a detective novel. McCormick is far too creative and clever for that. The Brotherhood, the name of the gang, is a cult where its leader, Darius, controls the minds of its young members by using black magic. It all stems back to an ancient spell from an Egyptian tomb. With a faster than lightning pace yet detailed descriptions, McCormick takes us through a frightening world that includes magic necklaces, zombies, avatars, mummies, creatures, and possession. I won’t spoil the dramatic ending, except to say that it looks like this book is only the first in a series. A series I am anxious to read, but first I need to get my heart to stop racing.

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    2019-04-06 17:21

    This is one book, I can’t wait to see made into a movie, it was scary, but engrossing and very believable. How does one review a book that has it all, actions, dangers, fear, a thrilling good pace, all rolled up into a great read.Balec, is a supernatural, crime thriller although as you read along you soon find that the crime is nothing compared to the supernatural world the author created in this beautifully written book.Detective chance has to save his only Child Tyler whom had gotten himself into trouble, from being used for dark magic, and there was no length he wouldn’t go through to ensure his son’s safety. As you read the book, you feel the suspense, and you ask yourself would either of them make it out alive, with all the powers fighting to stop the detective from fulfilling his mission.All in all, Balec is a great read and I suspect a sequel in the making. This one is an easy five star. If you are looking for a good supernatural horror story, a great read that will leave you on the edge of your seat, then I will recommend this book to you.

  • Chotley
    2019-04-04 10:40

    Balec is a weird cross-genre work that mixes an old-fashioned hard-boiled detective with an episode from the Night Stalker TV series. Chance, the detective in question, fits the hard-boiled trope perfectly. He's living in his run-down office, drinks too much, can't pay his bills, and has that grittiness so typical of the genre. Where he veers off is in his family life. While he's divorced from his wife and hasn't seen his teen son in some time, he still loves and misses both. This gives him a soft inner core that makes him a likeable and approachable character.McCormick has done an excellent job keeping the plot moving relentlessly forward and the suspense high. No long diversions into info dumps or boring backstory mar the work. The writing is generally clean and crisp, making this a quick and easy read. If you're a fan of either horror or hard-boiled detectives, you'll want to give this a try.

  • Neil McFarlane
    2019-04-17 15:43

    I received this book in exchange for an honest reviewThe book has a terrific start which plunges the reader right into the thick of things. The plot is well conceived and keeps the reader engaged with a steady stream of well paced revelations.What particularly impressed me was the way the fantasy elements were gradually introduced without jarring against the real-world backdrop and with just the required amount of incredulity from the various characters who are faced with supernatural creatures and events.McCormick has a fertile imagination and the talent to bring his imaginings to life on the page. The sense of evil, simmering away in the background, was palpable, and the story culminates in a movie-like sequence of action and violence. It's quite gory in places and the horror is conveyed with skill and gusto, as you'd expect from a glance at the cover image.If you like horror or detective stories, this book - a combination of both - is for you.

  • Yvonne Crowe
    2019-03-24 12:19

    James McCormick is a talented writer with a gift for a nice turn of phrase. With this novel he has blended Crime with the Supernatural and succeeded. It is one thing to be expected to outwit normal thugs and villains, but when it comes to the undead, age old demons and sorcerers it takes the plot to a whole new level. Adam Chance’s kid has been playing where he shouldn’t have and now Dad has to save him before he becomes a human sacrifice, which is asking a lot of an ex-cop turned PI.The storyline moves seamlessly from the nuts and bolts investigation of a crime in the real world to a fantasy element which stretches the reader’s credulity. No easy feat.This writer can always be counted on to deliver a tightly plotted, fast paced action story with well-developed characters and punchy descriptions, and this one does not disappoint. Enough said, buy the book and judge for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Rachel Tetley
    2019-03-26 09:39

    A highly entertaining and fast- paced read, full of tense and gripping scenes which are well-written and have just the right amount of description so as not to detract from the action. The author has a great imagination in the beasts and fantastical elements that he has created and has cleverly woven together the detail to provide a tight story-line with entertaining characters. It reminded me of elements of Anthony Horowitz's Raven's Gate and is an excellent addition to the horror suspense collection.

  • Sushma
    2019-04-05 12:43

    The story is about a ex-cop trying to find his missing son who he believe got involved in some gang. He finds the gang to be a cult a dark magic with a powerful sorcerer as their leader. Later during his search he encounters sorcerers and creatures from dark.I liked that it was a fast paced and short story.Though the plot is supernatural thriller it does feel like a realistic scenario so are the characters. Unlike over the top action scenes in some thriller I appreciated the author for the convincing storyline, though it seemed it had an inconclusive end!

  • Derek Ailes
    2019-03-20 13:30

    The world be warned! Balec is about to be unleashed.Former cop turned private detective, Chance, must find his son after his disappearance. Chance quickly gets entangled in a word of dark magic and sorcery where his son is going to become the new vessel for an ancient demon, Balec. Balec is full of excitement and unexpected turns with a climatic ending I didn't see coming.

  • T.j. Alexander
    2019-04-16 14:22

    The author's writing is very flowing and good for holding the attention of the reader. There's a nice mix of detective story and horror. The plot is well well-conceived, especially in the middle, but the end left a little something to be desired in my mind. Overall, it is definitely a recommendation from me. The novel will almost certainly entertain you.

  • Marilyn Stanley
    2019-04-10 10:32

    I am not a huge fan of the supernatural but this books starts out so fast-paced and strong that you are in its grips before you realize it. What a great author - he certainly has a way with words.I highly recommend this book

  • Lindsay
    2019-04-18 11:42

    Another great from Justin, this is slightly shorter than Dragon.This is a clever story we open on Tyler running for his life from something evil.We learn he is involved with something supernatural.Open up to his father a private detective called by his ex wife to find their missing son.A great story with a man searching to find his son and how far he'll go for that.