Daily Archives: June 1, 2014

Review of Hellforged – A Deadtown novel by Nancy Holzner

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The fiery cover to this book caught my eye – and congratulations to Ace for producing both an arresting and apt cover. But would this be enough to hold my interest?

hellforgedAfter Vicky banished her demon nemesis to the fiery depths of Hell, she thought life would return to normal. But considering she has a werewolf lawyer boyfriend, a zombie apprentice who’s angling to become a pop star, and an eccentric vampire room-mate, what is normal, anyway?

This sounds cosily familiar, doesn’t it? A feisty heroine with a supernatural edge, some other supernatural buddies and a role in keeping the baddies in place… So – what makes Vicky and her world sufficiently different from the plethora of other urban fantasy adventures cluttering the shelves? The answer is that Vicky can snare the likes of Glitches (demons that infest electrical devices, such as computers and aeroplane fly-by-wire systems) and kill them using knives and swords as nothing like that can be shot. The result is plenty of fun fight scenes. But when a Big Bad Demon that Vicky thought she had consigned to Hell starts to invade her dreams, a lot of the action takes place in her dreamscape, as she experiences lucid dreams.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the humour was sharp and Vicky manages to be appealing and vulnerable, despite being able to handle herself in a fight. When her dreams are invaded by a lethal enemy, she has to make a loong journey back home to Wales and safety without falling asleep. I really liked this chink in her armour – sleep deprivation will shred the toughest character and it was the first time I recall seeing it used in such an inventive, entertaining way. The supporting cast are also memorable – Vicky’s Welsh aunt is great fun, and these are some of the cosiest zombies I’ve yet encountered. There’s the inevitable confusion and tension surrounding Vicky’s love life, as her lawyer boyfriend spends swathes of time away heroically trying to ensure that zombies – who prefer to be known as previously deceased – will be given the same rights as humans.

This is a really entertaining, well written addition to a crowded genre and I will be looking out for other books in the series. If your taste runs to urban fantasies with strong heroines and an interesting take on some of the other supernatural characters, I recommend that you track down the Deadtown novels, too.
8/10