Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hellforged - Deadtown Bk #2 - Nancy Holzner

     There is a cordoned off section of Boston they call Deadtown.  It's reserved for the inhuman and undead residents or PDHs (Previously Dead Humans if you're polictically correct) of the city.  Victory "Vicky" Vaughn calls it home.  She's a demon-slayer and possesses the flaming sword of St. Michael.  With it she saved the city, if not the world recently with her talents.  She's not exactly the according to Hoyle definition of what most people would consider human either...
     After pulling the world's fat out of the fire and sending the demon (Hellion) responsible for it all to Hell, Vicky hoped her life would return to some normalcy.  At least as normal as a demon-hunting, shape-shifter's life gets, r-i-i-i-ght.  She's in he midst of juggling two men, one a human police detective and one a shape-shifter rights lawyer who happens to be a werewolf himself, her zombie apprentice (pardon PDH apprentice) wants to become a rock star and her vampire roommate the Juliet Capulet is acting odd....well, more odd then usual.
     Then, normalcy gets completely thrown out the window when the supposedly banished Hellion starts appearing in Vicky's dreamscape.  This happens just as three of Deadtown's zombies are attacked so heinously that only goo is left in there place.  Vicky knows that she is the only common denominator between these three zombies and she rings her aunt to ask advice, the same aunt who trained her in demon killing, and instead gets told to to come back to Wales directly.  There is more training she needs if she, nee the world is to survive the coming conflict.  If Vicky doesn't come, the dreams she's been having will become a reality, for her, for Deadtown and for the world.  No pressure, right?
     First off, the world that Ms. Holzner has created has been seen before in urban fantasy.  Paranormals coming out or being forced out into the light of day and having to assimilate into the "real" world.  What is interesting though is how she uses this struggle to mirror what the LGBT community is going through in today's society.  In both, the paranormals in the novel and the LGBT society of today simply want one thing, to be treated fairly.  To be treated as their fellow man and to have the same rights under the law, but in both they're treated as second class citizens.  In the book as in today's world, to be seen as 'equal citizens.'
      The mythology of Hellforged is what Ms Holzner truly deserves kudos for.  The research that had to go into the book alone had to be astounding.  Welsh mythology is not the top of anyone's curriculum in school, especially in the States.  I don't know how much she has made up and how much she has discovered in books, but with all the different plots that seem to meld into one, she is to be commended.
     I like where Ms. Holzner is taking these stories.  Deadtown was a setup and introduction book, but in Hellforged you get to know the characters better.  You get to know their motivations, where they've been and perhaps a glimpse as to where they're going.

Hellforged receives a 3 out of 4 Stars

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  1. Great review! I really liked bk 1 and Im looking forward to this one as well! =D

  2. Fantastic review hon. I loved the first book. So fresh and new for an UF. Still haven't got this yet, but I hope to this week. Can't wait!