Book 1 in the Pitchfork County series
Synopsis: Joe Hark is a drunk, a live wire, and the night marshal of Pitchfork County. He just wants the monsters, including his own cursed family, to leave him alone long enough to drown his haunted memories in an ocean of whiskey. When someone hangs a mutilated girl from a cross, it’s just the start of Joe’s latest nightmare.
As he hunts for the killer, Joe finds a nest of meth-addled cultists with roots in his own tortured past. It turns out his enemies want to call up a nightmarish god so vile, it’ll eviscerate Joe, his family, and the world at large.
Joe has no choice but to team up with unlikely allies in a winner-takes-all battle. When the power of the cult grows, Joe learns the only way to stop the destruction may be his own sacrifice.
Review: If Justified starred Harry Dresden. The main character in this book is the Night Marshal, a lawman charged with taking care of the things that choose the left-hand path. He has various supernatural means to protect himself and fight the monsters in Pitchfork County, but with this new case, things are starting to change. A fun read that keeps you turning the pages, Half-Made Girls was our first glimpse into the meth-filled county, and its memorable inhabitants. Sam Witt has created memorable and likable characters, while also building a county that feels real with its own history. Hints of the county’s past and the various “religious” groups within it helped to add to the realism of this world rather than bog it down in exposition. Mr. Witt knows how to write one fine yarn.
Price: Free for your Kindle. Just click on the cover above to get your copy.
Book: Rushed (Rushed #1)
Author: Brian Harmon
The best way that I can describe this book is that Stephen King and HP Lovecraft collaborated on the Wizard of Oz. The main protagonist in our story is merely following a recurring dream that he has. As he traverses the path, he finds that he is jumping in and out of our world and traveling great distances through the “fissure.” On his quest to find the cathedral, he encounters a “foggy man” who is leaving monsters and traps in his path in order to beat him to the prize at the end of the journey. I loved his relationship with his wife; while they did keep it light, I feel that the author had them in this joking relationship, where the humor was used to keep both characters from breaking under stress. I can understand where some people might find that annoying, but for me, it made them a better couple who were both playing along to help the other one cope.
Decision: One of my favorite books that I’ve read this year, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes weird fiction in the vein of HP Lovecraft or Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.
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Book: The Jill Kismet Omnibus
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
The Jill Kismet series is a fun urban fantasy read. Found in the snow by a hunter, Jill is trained how to combat the denizens of hell, Hellbreed, and those that trade with them. I have previously read some of the Anita Blake books and the Dresden Files, so this series is not a re-invention of the wheel, but it is a good read with fun characters. Even though it does not deal with the typical monsters found in urban fantasy, I think most people will be able to get into the book. The only common element are the “weres” of every variety that work cooperatively with the hunters. Before the events of the series, Jill had made a deal with the chief Hellbreed of Santa Luz, Perry. A deal to make her more than human but also keep the big bad in her life. The first five books in this series are really good, and the last book is also good, but feels very different than the others. It seems that it was written just to provide a better ending than the fifth book would have.
Decision: If you are a fan of urban fantasy, the Jill Kismet series is for you. There are six novels in this collection.
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