The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan – An Audio Book Review

Gutter Prayer


In the ancient city of Guerdon, three thieves – an orphan, a ghoul and a cursed man – are accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Their quest for revenge exposes a perilous conspiracy, the seeds of which were sown long before they were born.

A centuries-old magical war is on the verge of reigniting, and in the tunnels deep below the city, a malevolent power stirs. Only by standing together can the three friends prevent a conflict that would bring total devastation to their city – and the world beyond.

Author: Gareth Hanrahan

Narrator: John Banks

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Genre: Fantasy

Running Time 16hrs 57mins

Series: The Black Iron Legacy #1

My Rating of ‘The Gutter Prayer’: 3 out of 5

Purchase: Audible, Amazon


This isn’t going to be the longest of reviews, mostly because I just never really felt pulled in or attached to this in any way. I wasn’t a fan of the second person narrative opening as that really didn’t seem as though it added anything or was needed in anyway by the story as a whole. If I’m left feeling a tad cold by the opening it will take a while for a book to warm me up again and The Gutter Prayer never really managed to get anywhere close to doing that.

The characters, each of them interesting and unique in their own way, certainly should have made me feel something for them. But I just never felt attached to any of them. I found some of them intriguing, but it was more of a passing interest than a ‘I have to learn more about these people’. I’m not sure what it was that just left me feeling incredibly inert as far as enthusiasm went with this particular book. It might have been the writing style, which I didn’t ever think hit me with that rush of adrenaline that I enjoy so much from reading. It could also have just been that it was a ‘it’s me not you’ as far things went with this book.Β 

It’s a strange thing to say, but I feel it applies well. It had so many awesome things going for it: interesting characters, a good world with inhabitants that were incredibly unique (Tallow Men for instance). I’d say, as far as interesting and inventive creatures go, it rivals the Raven’s Mark series by Ed McDonald.

Yet for all the good things it had going for it, I just couldn’t get invested in it in the way I should be able to with a good book. So that’s where I’ll leave this review (and the Black Iron Legacy series). For me it just felt a tad average to really get stuck into and to ever really want to delve deeper with.

The narration, whilst good, was never really anything special. Some of the voices were a bit samey whereas some really fit characters well. I’d say the overall story and performance were pretty much 3 out of 5 each.

9 thoughts on “The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan – An Audio Book Review

  1. Yup, totally with you on this one. Wasn’t bad, wasn’t too good either. I was bored by the characters which were so paper-thin for the most part that even the interesting worldbuilding couldn’t save it for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Phew! I thought I was the only one that got through this and just thought ‘meh’. And if I had to hear ‘Desiderata Street’ ONE MORE TIME I swear I’d have thrown my phone out the window πŸ˜‚

      It felt like I got through the whole book and characters like Rat had zero character progression. Bit poor considering he’s one of the main ones

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, exactly. And don’t let me start on the main character, whose only significant characteristic was that she was “Chosen” (and really, really bereft of self-preservation instinct, but that seems to happen all the time in SFF nowadays ;))

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea, I think the ‘Chosen One’ trope is something that may have factored into my feeling so flat. I also felt Spar, by the end of it, was about as fleshed out as his dad. Who was dead. Before the book began.

        Every character had the potential to be so cool. But they just weren’t. The thief taker was the only one with anything about him and … well … that changed quickly


  2. While I enjoyed this one slightly more than you did, in the end I did not feel compelled to move forward with the series: the story was good, but it felt more focused on plot than characters – one of the reasons I believe you, like me, had trouble in forming any attachment to them – and I need to connect to characters to feel invested in a book or series…
    Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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