Has his past finally caught up with Magnus? All he wanted was to spend the remainder of his time on this earth in a nice, quiet, safe job, like being a bouncer for a Goth and Heavy Metal bar in Austin, Texas. But that proves difficult once police start investigating a ritualistic looking murder behind the bar. Can Magnus clear his boss of any connection to the crime, while avoiding the attention of Police, overly curious government agents, and the wife and bandmates of the victim. That doesn’t even count his psychotic ex-girlfriend with potent mystical powers and an immortal and vengeful ex-employer. Even with the help of his wealthy, powerful, or conniving friends, his own “alt-natural” abilities, and the dubious help of his pets, can Magnus maintain his freedom and remain hidden? Can he stay unentangled with the handful of exciting and alluring women around the case? And can someone please explain how the Raven is learning to speak Norse?
This book wasn’t for me. And before I go further, I just want to point out one crucial fact about this review: this is my opinion. These are my thoughts on the book. I always encourage readers to try something out for themselves, rather than rely on reviews. I mean, you still go see movies even if Rotten Tomatoes gives them a low score, right? Don’t let anyone’s opinions (even mine!) outweigh your own.
That said, I genuinely believe that I am not the target demographic for the book. There were a couple of elements of it that I enjoyed, though. I loved Eachlan and his bizarrely charming way of speaking. The whole character, actually, drew me in…more than Magnus did, actually. I also loved the Metal bar setting where a large chunk of the story takes place. It felt refreshingly different from the typical coffee shops and book stores my preferred genre typically employs. Plus those pets were awesome!
But I just couldn’t jive with the story. On the one hand, I wasn’t much of a fan of Curry’s interpretation of Valhalla. Again, this is just a matter of opinion, but I have this idea in my head of sportsmanship and revelry associated with the mythical resting place of Odin’s chosen Einherjar (as you could probably guess, since I wrote a duology called The Einherjar Games and all). I just didn’t take to Curry’s version of Valhalla, which is totally fine. To each their own. But another issue I had with the narrative was the portrayal of women. All of them, down to the last, were reduced to their attractiveness and sexuality. The women (from the Valkyries all the way down to the band singer’s sister) were gorgeous in a fan-service kind of way. Even the monsters, though grotesque, had their entire identities revolve around men harming women sexually. As a woman reader, it just didn’t do it for me.
Overall though, the creativity (especially in the runes) worked well in my opinion. But I don’t think this book was written for me as the target audience in mind. 4 out of 5 stars.