Hello Everyone!

Today, I join Zooloo's Book Tours again to have a look at Steve J. McHugh's book, Atoned, which was originally released in September 2023 and is set in his Union Empire Universe. Now, this is a little different as I am specifically looking at the Audiobook (which I always love)

About the Book

Civil War tore across the Union Empire, leaving countless dead in its wake. It was a
war started by one man, once beloved by the Empire. His betrayal still lingers in the
memory of those who lived through it.
Decades later, his son, Felix Drake, is a Warden tasked with both protecting the
ruling members of the Union Empire and its Council, and bringing those powerful
and influential people to justice should they break the law.
Drake protects the very Empire his father sought to destroy.
When two members of a Council family are murdered, Drake and his team
investigate, only to uncover corruption, resentment, and yet more death.
As the case deepens, Drake is forced back into a life he’d left long ago, bringing with
it the same disdain and anger from the very people he’s sworn to protect.
However, he’s no longer a helpless child, and the people who try to intimidate him
now are about to discover that Drake is so very much his father’s son. 



I have got to say that this was an excellent read. Every time I read a Steve J. McHugh book, I always think to myself that I must read more, but as you know, life and TBR’s have a pesky habit of getting in the way of me picking up different books, and I am sure that it’s the same for everyone else.

The first book that I read by Steve J. McHugh was Crimes Against Magic, and I enjoyed that one immensely, so when I was invited on the tour for this latest novel, it was a no brainer.

Atoned takes place in the already established Union Empire Universe, which was introduced in the novella Blackcoat, focussing on the Blackcoat Celine Moro (who coincidentally makes an appearance in this book).

Atoned is the first book in The Wardens series and centres on the main character Felix Drake.

When Felix Drake is called to a triple homicide by his boss Celine Moro, the incident will unravel a plot to destabilise the Union throne and will shine a light on secrets that Felix had thought hidden in his past.

I really enjoyed this mix of noirish action thriller and sci fi as the plot runs to its final conclusion. As we get deeper into the book, there are twists and turns aplenty. The book itself is a light read and McHugh does a good job of mixing light hearted banter amongst the characters and intense action scenes.

Added to that, there is a likeable set of characters that help the story along, and whilst the side characters do their job of supporting the main character, you can’t help but have favourites amongst them. One of these being the sentient cybernetic lifeform Bokk, who doesn’t act like machines should.

I must say that if you liked things like Firefly, I am sure that you will enjoy this book, and whilst it is not set in a sci fi western setting, it has a similar feel to it.

The audiobook itself is a great rendition of the book. I have listened to many Podium Audio productions and they have always been good quality and this was no exception. Added to that, the narrator is Tim Gerrard Reynolds who happens to be one of my favourite narrators and has a great range when it comes to narration. In fact, shortly before listening to this one, I was listening to him narrate another series that I really enjoy.

I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a great book, but now I need to read Blackcoats to get up to date.

 Steve’s Bio

Steve is a bestselling author of Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction books. His novel,

Scorched Shadows, was shortlisted for a Gemmell Award for best novel. He was
born in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young
daughters in Southampton. 



If want to know more about Steve you can find him on TwitterInstagram | Facebook

and at his Website

and you can get the book here or add it to your Goodreads list!

As usual, I would like to offer a great big thanks to Zooloo's book tours for inviting me on the tour and as always if you want to know more about Zooloo's Book Tours (whether you are an author, wanting to add your name to the list of reviewers or just want to see what other fabulous book tours are on the site, click the link below.



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