Rating: 3 Stars
Hell of a night.
It was my first thought when I peeled my eyelids open – an immediate precursor to “everything hurts” and “screw tequila, I’m never drinking alcohol again.”
César Hawke is a witch hunter for the secret Office of Preternatural Affairs. And he has one hell of a problem. He wakes up with no memory and a dead girl in his bathtub. And everything points to him being the murderer.
Determined to prove his innocence, he goes on the run to find the subject of his last case: Isobel Stonecrow, a woman who can talk to the dead. A woman that could prove his innocence.
Of course, nothing goes according to plan.
This book really surprised me. It was such a nice and enjoyable read. Why did it surprise me? Let’s be honest, the plot sounded like a hundred other Urban Fantasy books. And truly, there’s nothing very surprising about this book. It is a pretty straightforward Urban Fantasy:
There’s a world full of magic, but ordinary humans don’t know about it. There’s a secret society that hunts down rogues and protects the unsuspecting humans. There’s all manner of creatures. And there’s magic.
Most humans weren’t going to stumble into Helltown by accident. It was drenched in enough wards and diversion spells to render the average mortal stupid.
So yes, there was nothing much out of the classic mould, but it didn’t really matter. The book is still good. The worldbuilding holds up, the characters are interesting and the mystery was interesting and kept me going.
I feel like there is a lot of potential with the characters and I hope they’re diversified in the next books, since in this book they often felt too close to the clichés: the manly detective with a soft streak, the tough female agent, the sexy damsel in distress with a gift. Still, they read nice. There’s a reason why they exist, sometimes these tropes work really well.
César Hawke, our protagonst, is a pretty manly man who pumps up on what sounded like magical steroids.
What had given me these insane shoulders were the foul-tasting poultices that I chewed every morning, the potions brewed on my stovetop in Walmart cookware, and the charms I kept hidden in my gun safe.
He thinks about sex a lot which kind of annoyed me sometimes. Every woman he meets he thinks about in terms of looks. But overall, he’s a nice protagonist, one of those manly mans with a protective streak you often find in detective novels.
A very straightforward urban fantasy, very well written with a nice mystery and characters. I look forward to the author’s other books.