Publisher: Breakneck Media (Audiobook – 26 November 2019)
Series: Standalone/Infinite Timeline
Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Gods, mortals and everything in between will clash in Tribe, the intriguing fantasy thriller from the always entertaining Jeremy Robinson.
Last year I decided to take a chance and check out an author whose work I was unfamiliar with, and boy did that work out for me. Jeremy Robinson had a very impressive and extensive list of awesome books to his name, most of which straddled the border between thrillers and other genres like fantasy, science fiction and horror. The first book of his I checked out was The Dark, which followed a very likeable protagonist who gets caught up in a terrifying and horrific invasion of his neighbourhood by a horde of demons. The Dark was an outstanding read, and I really got drawn into its awesome story, intense pacing and fun characters. After giving The Dark a full five-star rating, I had to make sure to grab the other 2021 release from Robinson, Mind Bullet, especially as it was in the same loosely connected series. Mind Bullet was a fantastic and highly entertaining read that followed a psychic hitman being hunted by a series of unusual but deadly assassins. Mind Bullet was another five-star read in my book, and I had such a great time reading it. Indeed, I loved both The Dark and Mind Bullet so much that I included them both of my top books and audiobooks lists of 2021.
Naturally, this has made me quite eager to read some more of Robinson’s work, and while I had to miss one of his 2022 releases The Order (I need to read some of the lead-up books beforehand), I did recently decide to go back and try one of his older novels, the 2019 release, Tribe, from the same storyline as The Dark and Mind Bullet. Not only does this allow me to better follow one of Robinson’s upcoming books in the Infinite series but it had a very fun-sounding story that I really wanted to check out. It turns out Tribe was just as fun as I hoped it would be, and I had a wonderful time getting through it.
Sarah, a 20-year-old college dropout working at a donut shop in Boston, has long struggled with the bad turns her life has taken. Constantly plagued by bad luck and misfortune, Sarah has no one in her life she can count on, until she runs into homeless teen street punk Henry. Henry, a kid who literally knows no fear, has randomly blown into her life and the two find themselves with a strange attachment to each other that they can’t explain. However, life is about to get much more complicated for both when they run into each other at the local bank.
Arriving at the same time, the two manage to work together to foil a robbery that seems focused on targeting a mysterious and wealthy woman named Helen. Taking Sarah and Henry under her wing, Helen attempts to take them to her apartment, but before they can make it they find themselves under attack by members of an ancient cult who are determined to cause as much chaos and destruction as they can.
Separated from the incredibly capable and violent Helen, Sarah and Henry find themselves alone on the streets of Boston, pursued by the cult. Forced to keep moving and face off against a stream of determined and dangerous foes, Sarah and Henry begin to realise that there is something special about them that allows them to fight back, and which is making them stronger. However, if they want to survive, they will need to discover the truth about who they are and what dark legacy their blood contains. But with a dangerous figure hunting them, can Sarah and Henry live out the day, or will they become links in a master plan spanning millennia?
Tribe was an extremely entertaining and action-packed novel from Robinson, who utilises his usual fun and thrilling style to create an excellent read. Featuring a captivating and electrifying narrative based around a couple of interesting and damaged figures, Tribe was a truly unique and captivating read that I had a fantastic time with.
Robinson crafted together a very interesting and highly exciting narrative for Tribe, which is essentially a non-stop action adventure from the very first scene. After a quick but memorable introduction to, Sarah and Henry, the story dives right into the action, when the protagonists chance upon a violent bank hold-up. Thanks to the impulsive Henry, the two are forced to intervene, assisting the mysterious Helen, making them heroes. While you would imagine that would allow them to have some quiet time, Robinson puts them into the next action set piece within a few pages, as they are forced to flee an army of angry and over-the-top cultists who are hunting them. This results in a series of impressively violent and extremely compelling fight sequences and chase scenes, as the protagonists try to survive while their lives are changing in ways that they don’t fully understand. These initial sequences fill up the first half of the novel well, and you quickly become pretty damn invested in the narrative, especially once Robinson finally reveals the reasons behind everything and how everyone connects into the wider plot. This first half also does a great job setting up the novel’s style, and you soon get quite used to the fantastic combination of action, character development and slick humour as the outrageous characters experience an array of over-the-top situations.
There are some rather interesting dives into Greek mythology in the second half of Tribe, which alters the course of the story and impacts everything the protagonists thought they knew about the world and themselves. After a couple of attempted separations, the characters find themselves in some pretty dark situations as they finally face off against the big bad of the story, who ended up being an extremely sinister baddie. The action comes thick and fast in this second half of the book, as the protagonists keep going up against a series of unique and memorable foes. These scenes really make you appreciate Robinson’s ability to write brilliant, fast-paced action sequences, and the fantastic detail and intriguing depictions of deadly fights are so much fun to see. I also enjoyed the strong Greek mythological motifs and elements that are slipped into this half of the book. I think that they melded with the thriller style of the plot extremely well, and a lot of the story felt like a cool fantasy/superhero combination. Along with some powerful reveals, major trauma, and subsequent character evolution, the protagonists become ready for the final confrontation that lays everything on the line. The entire narrative flowed into this intense and high-stakes conclusion extremely well, and readers are in for a fun and captivating time as the protagonists go all out. I really liked how everything turned out, and while this wasn’t my favourite of Robinson’s narratives, it was pretty damn addictive and readers will come away extremely satisfied.
I had a lot of fun with Tribe, and I am very glad that I checked it out, especially with how it plays into Robinson’s wider universe. As I mentioned above, Tribe is part of a loosely connected series of cool books that are part of the Infinite Timeline. While most of them are standalone reads, the further you get into the series, the more the storylines start to blend a little more, and this will all lead to several massive crossover novels, such as one being released later this year. This is one of the main reasons why I wanted to read Tribe, as the main characters from it have appeared in the two other Robinson books I have read and will also be part of the upcoming 2022 release, Khaos. However, readers don’t need to do any pre-reading for Tribe to enjoy it; thanks to its relatively early position in the Infinite Timeline, it doesn’t noticeably feature characters or story elements from the other novels. As such, it is a very accessible read, and anyone who likes a fun action story can have a great time reading it. Still, those people who are interested in Robinson’s larger series will do well to read Tribe soon, especially as it sounds like the plot of Khaos is going to come back to key details from Tribe in a big way.
I also deeply appreciated how Robinson made use of some excellent and fun central characters, Sarah and Henry, two seemingly unconnected people. The story is set up to continuously rotate between their perspectives, which really enhances the overall quality of the narrative, especially when you get two separate views of the same events, or the characters are dealing with separate outrageous events at the same time. The author does a great job of building up both characters throughout the novel as they start to discover their destiny and their various shared connections. A lot of the revelations around them result in some interesting abilities and moments for the characters and watching them react to it in very different ways was very entertaining. They also go through a lot of trauma throughout the book, and again both of them deal with it differently, which I felt was an intriguing and realistic inclusion. Both characters are quite interesting in their own way, and they serve to balance each other out in the narrative, with Sarah acting as the moral and sensible one (at least until she unleashes the inner beast), and Henry being the wildcard. Henry is definitely the life and soul of the much of the book. Due to a brain condition, he lacks any sense of fear whatsoever and has no filter when it comes to doing stupid stuff. I have mixed feelings about this; while many of these random outbursts and actions are a lot of fun, they do start to get a little repetitive and annoying after a while. I also felt that it ensured Henry started to overshadow Sarah in parts of the book. Still, these were some great central protagonists you quickly get attached to, and with the fantastic supporting figures, you have a lot of fun characters in this book that really enhance the narrative.
One of the most appealing things about Robinson’s books is that they all make for an amazing audiobook. Tribe was another excellent example of this, especially as listening to the story really allows you to get to grips with the incredible and powerful action sequences. With a run time of just over 10 and a half hours, this is a relatively quick audiobook to get through, and it is very hard not to get attached to it, especially when it features brilliant narrator R. C. Bray. Bray is a very skilled audiobook narrator who, in addition to providing his voice to most of Robinson’s books, has also narrated several other great books and series, such as Michael Mammay’s Planetside series (Planetside, Spaceside and Colonyside), all of which were excellent audiobooks. Bray has an exceptional voice that works really well to tell high-stakes and powerful action orientated novels while also bringing a range of interesting characters to life. He did another outstanding job in Tribe, and all the high-octane action fights are told perfectly, with Bray really highlighting the brutal fights with his telling. He also provides powerful and insightful voices to all the characters, with all their quirks and interesting features perfectly brought to life as a result. As such, I had a brilliant time listening to Tribe on audiobook and felt that Bray’s excellent narration really added to my overall enjoyment of this novel. As such, I would very much recommend the audiobook version to anyone interested in trying out Tribe, as it was a lot of fun to listen to.
Overall, Tribe was a pretty fantastic and extremely entertaining book from Jeremy Robinson. Loaded with all the intense action, clever references to Greek mythology and intriguing characters you need for an incredible narrative, Tribe was such an epic read and it comes very highly recommended, especially as an audiobook. I had an outstanding time, with Tribe and it will be interesting to see how these characters, as well as the protagonists of The Dark and Mind Bullet, will feature in the upcoming Khaos.