Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Broken Souls (Eric Carter #2) by Stephen Blackmoore

Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: DAW
Source: Publisher
Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Website

When necromancer Eric Carter returned to Los Angeles after fifteen years on the run he knew things were bad, but he never imagined how bad they could get. Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte.
And things are just getting worse.
His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.
While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but the guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.
Now Carter has to change the game, go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row Bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.
If things go right, he just might survive a week where everything is trying to kill him and nothing is as it seems.

This is nowhere near what I would consider my normal genre, but I really liked it anyway.
Broken Souls has that Pulp Fiction feel to it that made me think of hard-boiled detectives and L.A. noirish stuff.
Or at least, this is what I assume those books are like.
*cough, cough*
I've, uh, never actually read a True Crime story. But this was what I imagine they would be like.
Take my ramblings with a grain of salt.
Eric Carter isn't the kind of guy who has a girlfriend, he's the kind of guy who sometimes spends time with some dame who works at the diner.
Again. Not really. But in my mind that's what he does.
Also, in my head, he has a gravelly voice.
What? That was an important part of my internal reading experience!

Ok, I was a little nervous going into this, because I hadn't read the first book. But I gotta say, Blackmoore did an excellent job weaving the backstory from the first book into this one. There weren't great gobs of random info-dumps, either. I was lost for a few pages, but after that, it was relatively smooth sailing.

So an Aztec goddess of death killed his sister, and fucked up his life on multiple levels.
And, one shotgun wedding later...they're married.
Why? Read the first book and find out.
His mission is to find another mage with enough mojo to help him serve her divorce papers.
And when the book starts, he thinks he's found just the guy for the job.
Right up till the dude tries to skin him alive, all in the high hopes of wearing him as a meat-coat.
Yeah. Probably not the direction he was thinking their meeting would go.

Eric's sort of an assy guy, but you end up liking him anyway.
He's not a do-gooder, per say, but he's also not do-badder, either.
Do-badder is a real word. I looked it up. And since I've already done the work for you, there's no need for you to check and see if I'm lying. Really.
Even though Eric isn't the classic Knight in Shining Armor, he's still got enough of a good-guy vibe to keep you rooting for him.

The book's story centers on finding out who this skin-wearing dude is, and why he wants Eric so badly. But it also weaves into what is going on with his wife...and her ex-husband.
The plot is good, the pacing is tight, and the ending left me wanting more.
Like I said, it's not my normal cuppa, but I wouldn't hesitate to read the next book.


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