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Powerful loner necromancer chap who is actually probably quite a bit more powerful than he thinks kills ghosts and a whole bunch of other people while having the crap beaten out of him on an alarmingly regular basis. This is hard-bitten stuff; Eric Carter's kinda a dick, but in that tobacco-chewin' two-fisted I-do-what-I-must-whatever-you-think-of-it sort of way that makes for good antiheroes. The writing pulls even fewer punches than the bad guys who keep tying Eric to chairs. I was a mite surprised at the bleakness of the ending, but that's not a bad thing. And the trick with the nametags made me actually laugh out loud; Carter can slap a label on a thing describing what he wants people to see it as and then a spell makes that happen, but he's the sort of bloke who would write GRAY HONDA CIVIC TOTALLY NOT A CADILLAC on his Caddy, or THE GUY WHO’S SUPPOSED TO BE HERE on himself. I am waiting for a label saying SOME OLD BOLLOCKS YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN which he starts putting on anything. Seems like his style.
Especially recommended for Carter basically not knowing what he's doing, half the time, and just winging it. This is not winging it like Harry Dresden, who thinks he knows what he's doing but often there's a bunch of world out there he doesn't know about. Eric explicitly doesn't know how half the things he does actually work but does it anyway. What this means is that he's quite convincingly close to death (ha!) a lot, more so than most protagonists who might say they nearly died but you know, in that Doylist way, that they didn't. Eric ain't like that. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if he actually blew it two chapters into the next book and the whole rest of the book is blank white paper.
Eric Carter continues to kick some arse while not really knowing what he's doing. The Bruja's secret was pretty obvious, but then it doesn't stay secret long anyway; meanwhile, I do rather like that they'll work together while she still doesn't really _like_ Eric all that much. Also, more backstory where today's villain (who is actually quite worrying) also ties into Carter's past. More of the same, please, Stephen Blackmoore.
Books I acquired (and have reviewed) in 2018
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