Complex, 3 dimensional characters: CHECK
Fresh look at urban fantasy: CHECK
Well rounded and engaging plot: CHECK
Believable interpersonal dialogue: CHECK
Frankly, I thought this book was fantastic! Oddly I found this book because I was reading Jim Butcher‘s Dresiden Files, which I was not entirely fond of (but did promise to read a certain number.)
My lack of drooling fandom for that series is one of the reasons I found Hidden Blade so refreshing.
Five hundred years was a long time to walk this earth.
Let us start with our hero, Ace…or perhaps he is leaning more towards antihero…He is a believable tortured soul trying to live his eternity out in a prison while being controlled by a psychopathic god with his soul chained to an enemy of old. See, he did something so heinous that even the down and dirty gods in a powerful pantheon that see humans as playthings could not let it go. That is right, he is a criminal sentenced to a life on Earth. Poor schmuck.
I wasn’t hungover-hangovers were for lightweights. What I was feeling was more like halfway dead. Any further and I’d be back in the underworld.
He is not exactly a detective so much as a garbage man. His clients come to him when ancient evils find their way to the streets of NY; or when they screw up horribly and need someone to fix/hide their blunder from the still powerful gods.
His fellow prisoner, old enemy, and business partner, Shu, is a black soul that Osirus tied to his soul as a cruel joke to them both- afterall it was Ace who had Shu sent to the underworld when he weighed her soul and found it…well disgusting. She is one evil, sarcastic lady who was bound to her enemy and is making the most of it by truly hating the god who did it.
A minor god once got the wrong idea about Shu and me and figured he could get to me by hurting her…as soon as Shu got free, she ripped his insides out via his throat. Happy days.
With this dynamic duo of power and sarcasm, what could possibly be bad enough to confront them? Oh, yes. Ace’ ex-wife and goddess of warfare and cats, Bastet. Somone is using NY as a killing ground and she wants her old flame to figure out who. Not only that, but Osirus and Isis are pulling their evil games and are yanking on Ace’s chain at the worst possible time and in the worst possible way. Add to that- Ace suspects that they are somehow involved in the murder spree.
This is not your benevolent gods of old, believe me. In fact, it probably would have been better for everyone if Osirus had been ripped apart by Seth. The devil is never who we thought it would be.
So how does one go up against the gods that own him to stop this madness? Plunging in with both feet, of course!
Seth ek em sra dasoerk. The devil is in the details.
This book was an easy to read, unputdownable fun time. The scenery was realistic and the world well built. The relationships were believable and not nauseating. The characters were complex. And the plot was not a recycled Days-of-Our-Lives-meets-Supernatural. It leaves a person pleasantly satisfied and hungering for the next installment all at once.
I loved it!
I cannot wait to read the next installment.
I would recommend this for anyone who likes old myths, kick butt characters, and a hankering for a bit a feisty fun and evil machinations.