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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Raising Hell by John G. Hartness (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order the novella HERE

AUTHOR INFORMATION: John G. Hartness is the author of The Black Knight Chronicles urban fantasy series from Bell Bridge Books, the creator of the Bubba the Monster Hunter series of short stories, a frequent contributor to the Magical Words group blog, and the creator and co-editor of The Big Bad: An Anthology of Evil series of anthologies. He is also the host of the Literate Liquors podcast, featuring the best in fantasy and sci-fi book reviews and liquor pairings

OFFICIAL BLURB: Straight out of the pages of the legendary vampire novel Dracula comes a demon hunter for the modern world. Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker had a son. They named him Quincy. His guardian angel calls him Q.

Dracula calls him nephew. Demons call him The Reaper.

"There are things in this world that men and women aren’t meant to understand. We aren’t supposed to know these things exist, much less how to fight them. The things that go bump in the night, the monsters in the closet, the shadow out of the corner of your eye — that’s where I live."

This exciting new series from the author of The Black Knight Chronicles and the Bubba the Monster Hunter short stories is a walk through the dark side, where things go bump in the night, and somebody has to bump back. Quincy Harker is that somebody.

FORMAT/INFO: Raising Hell is spread over twelve chapter. The narration is in first person solely via Quincy Harker. This is the first novella in the Demon Hunter novella series. January 20, 2015 marks the e-book publication of Raising Hell and it’s self-published by the author.

This title is currently available as an Amazon exclusive & will be available on all other e-retailers (B&N, Kobo, iBooks, etc) after 90 days.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: I’m a sucker for urban fantasy books and if they offer something different than the usual morass then that just makes that title to jump ahead in my TBR list. Raising Hell by John G. Hartness raised my interest with its blurb describing the protagonist as Dracula’s nephew who also hunts demons. As far as premises go, that’s not a bad one but none too original either. I decided to give it a shot based on the first chapter I read.

For most folks who love John Constantine or Clint Eastwood-esque protagonists, look no further; Quincy Harker is here to fill that void. Surly, quick with his magic (and fists, too) and filled with a righteous anger, we are introduced to Quincy as he’s called into a home for an exorcism. The problem being that he’s already too late to save the victim but that still isn’t the end of his troubles. Forced to take extreme steps, Quincy tries to trace how the victim became infected and what he stumbles upon is the bigger issue. He might have to put out all of his tricks, if he has any hope of survival. What helps with this novella is Quincy’s voice; he’s a snarky magician but with on the path of right and this makes him fun to read about. Think Dresden like but much more meaner and without his assortment of allies.

Quincy’s tale is set in the North Carolina region and the author does his best to highlight the region. Coming back to the characterization, with Quincy being the sole voice, the tale entirely hinges on him. Of course this also means that if he’s a fabulous narrator then it just gets to be that much more fun. The author also spruces up the story by giving him a guardian angel that doesn’t do much and Quincy’s relationship with God is one that you should read about directly in the book. Plot wise, this is pretty much a straight-forward tale that will have flipping pages with its mix of pace, action & snarky one-liners.

Because of the novella structure of the story, the author doesn’t get to give the readers much history about the world and magic system beyond a tad more than bare bones approach. I’m not going to hold it against the story because it's a novella and there’s only so much you can contain within so few pages. What the story does have is a sarcastic voice, funny quips and some action that will only whets up your appetite for more.

There’s also the character cast that gets introduced uncle Luke, Renfield the butler detective Rebecca Flynn & agent John Smith. I’m hoping there will be more of them in the sequel volumes but as far as introductions go, they managed to snag the readers interest. Overall this was a fun read and for all urban fantasy fans, you will love this if you like Harry Dresden, Frank Trigg or Atticus the druidQuincy Harker’s first foray was quite an enjoyable one and if it’s any indications, then I look forward to the future volumes with gusto.

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