Perusing through the Terrible Minds blog a few days back (see my last post) I stumbled across an interview with author Stephen Blackmoore. Now, I have to admit, I’m sort of a sucker for a well written story with a paranormal slant, so when I saw that the description for his novel, Dead Things, included words like necromancer, ghosts, and Santa Muerte, I was intrigued. By the time I had read through the whole interview, I was making a bee line towards Amazon to download a copy of the book for myself.
And holy guacamole am I glad I did! It’s been a while since I stumbled across a novel that I couldn’t put down, but this was definitely it. Set in my hometown of Los Angeles, the whole story is a gritty, dark, ghostly noir explosion of awesomeness.
Eric Carter sees dead people. He’s a necromancer, and as such, he’s made quite the name for himself among the dead (and undead) putting dangerous spirits to rest once and for all – for a fee, of course.
Fifteen years ago, Carter left L.A and never looked back. With too many bad memories and too many enemies – dead and otherwise – to be wary of, it just wasn’t the best place for a necromancer to be. But when his little sister is brutally murdered, he finds himself headed straight back to the one place he’s sworn to never return. With a list of suspects too almost too long to keep track of and fewer friends by the second, Eric is determined to figure out who killed his sister and get revenge… as long as they don’t kill him first.
So here’s the deal about this book: it’s a great read. As in, an “I was up all night reading it in one sitting” great read. The characters drew me in from the first page, the story line withheld enough to keep me greedily turning pages, and the hero was imperfect enough to make me feel truly sorry for him every time he got himself throttled. All in all, an exceptionally well-written story.
Oh, and a quick note for those that are picky about their paranormal. I grew up as part of a traditional Cuban family. That being said, magic, Santeria, traditions, ghost stories, and the like were spoon fed to us right along with our first bowl of Cheerios. Few things will make me walk away from a book faster than over-used, mis-used, or poorly used paranormal/magic elements. Details like Santa Muerte’s traditions were well researched, there were refreshing new takes on magic (as in not the same tired, eye-roll inducing stuff you see in every shaky “found footage” flick to hit the theaters come October) and there is plenty to keep even a mage snob intrigued. Keep an eye out for the Hello My Name Is stickers, as they prove to be fantastic bits of comic relief sprinkled throughout the entire story.
Check out the first chapter of Dead Things (and pick up a copy for yourself) at http://stephenblackmoore.com/dead-things/ or else head on over to Amazon.
In the mean time, what was the last book you read that you absolutely loved?