By Jason DeGray
Publisher: Michelkin Publishing
Date Reviewed: November 1, 2017
Release Date: June 23, 2017
In The Ruined Man, Detective Wolf stumbles into an occult ritual that changes his life forever, drawing him into a world of demons and magic. Conspiracies mount on conspiracies, some as older than the Earth itself, some forged out of raw human ambition.
This novel is an interesting entry into the urban fantasy genre. For one thing, it has a very masculine protagonist who is also an established family man and professional. Wolf's reactions to the bizarre supernatural events, starting with PTSD and moving into curiosity and then to a terrible disillusionment, are very well done and realistic. He is never just happily, docilely accepting. He puts things together in a rather detective-like way, showing that even with all his recent trauma he is still a competent person. His love of his wife is gut-wrenching as events move forward.
There are a number of gruesome moments in this novel, but if you sign up for urban fantasy, what exactly do you expect? Human beings do awful things and make a lot of very poor choices, including people you thought of as good.
There's also a weird mix of different mythos in this book. It's not clear if this universe is relying on Norse myths or Native American shamanism or Judeo-Christian traditions (or all three, which does appear to be the case). There are certainly traditional sorts of demons, however, and plenty of magic.
The story ends on a grim note or five, and it certainly is set up for a sequel. It's a good read, though it's always frustrating to have story break off on down notes like this. If you like urban fantasy and are looking for a refreshingly more masculine take on it than usual, this is the book for you.
"Don't touch me! It's done, Victor! I'm DONE!" Miriam stormed out the front door, its slam acting as a final foreboding boom."
Jason lives, laughs and loves in the Land of Enchantment. He is sometimes a sinner but more often a saint. He enjoys long walks on the beach and nights by the fire, cuddling on a bearskin rug. Really though, he enjoys wearing zombie t-shirts, reading Philip K. Dick novels and hunting ghosts.
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