My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m not sure why I picked this book up. It had a lot of things I don’t particularly like. A character with amnesia. A main character who is a criminal. Comparisons to authors I don’t care for (Whedon aside). And yet, something said ‘take me from the library.’ So I did and I loved it. It’s a 4.5 read for me.
Trent has some reason problems. He just woke up after being dead again. For him, being dead just doesn’t stick and worse, it usually sucks the life force right out the person nearest to him after he’s killed, leaving them a mummified husk. Usually it’s the person who killed him but once it was an innocent little boy that he can’t forget. Unfortunately Trent has forgotten just about everything else. He only has memories of the last year, when in his isolated and lonely state he ends up in the employ of Underwood, a crime boss.
Trent isn’t particularly thrilled about it but sees the world as a harsh place and most of what he steals for Underwood is from someone equally bad so why not? What he wants most is to find out who he is and get back to the life he lost. Underwood dangles this like a carrot and promises answers after one last big job, steal an antique box and kill anyone who is in the vicinity of the box. This is new and Trent doesn’t like it. He’s not a killer, not intentionally anyhow. He promises to do it in order to keep Underwood from sending two of his flunkies who’ll gladly kill just about anyone.
Trent finds someone else hunting the box, a diminutive woman, Bethany and her companion, Thornton, but they are not alone. They’re being attacked by monsters, gargoyles. Seeing Bethany and Thornton as his best possibility for finding the box, he helps them but achieves something neither of them have ever seen before, he turns a gargoyle into ash.
Before he can even grasp this, and the whole idea of magic, they’re attacked by the Black Knight and even weirder things happen. Trent finds himself sympathizing with Bethany and Thornton as they lead him into the world of magic, organizations that fight the magical evil and he starts seeing them as more helpful to him than Underwood ever could be but even as he finally finds friends, he knows when they learn about why he’s looking for the box, they’ll feel betrayed.
If they live that long, since more than one evil thing wants that box and to destroy the world. It’s up to Trent, Bethany and the others to stop them. It was exciting and had several plot twists that surprise me (I guessed the final reveal mind you) which doesn’t happen much these days. While it’s in first person, you still get a fairly decent read on Bethany and Thornton in particular. There is a nice split between male and female characters with powerful characters on both sides.
So why not five stars? I’m not much on insta-love (yes yes, I know it happens but in my experiences, not often and not well) and while it’s more like insta-lust, this whole book takes place in only two days so the closeness of Trent and Bethany and for that matter Trent and Thornton seems a little fast to me. I could handle that but Trent’s habit of racing off to do what’s right without discussing it with the other people involved annoys me too and is rather overdone (looking at you Angel and Harry Dresden among others). Still, these are very minor nits and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
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