Author: Chris F. Holm
Genre: urban fantasy
Length: 383 pages
Plot Basics: Collector of souls Sam Thornton is assigned to collect a particularly bad South American’s soul. But when he goes for it, another Collector scoops it up first. As the tensions between Heaven and Hell are at historic levels, Sam’s got to race against time to get the soul back or he will pay.
Banter Points: Holm again hits a unique tone with this book, blending pulp detective novels with urban fantasy and a dash of Quantum Leap added in. I really liked how Sam had to find new allies for this book and the way that different characters reacted to his job, believing him and not.
This book also one that had consequences. The events of Sam’s past and the things he did in the first book in the trilogy mattered to what was happening here. Raising the stakes and figuring out the “what does this mean later” for a character is a big thing I look for in series storytelling. It’s kind of like Chekhov’s gun on the mantle. If the writer does enough things to a character, they have to respond to that pressure
Bummer Points: This has nothing to do with Chris’ writing… but it took me more than a week to get through this book because of holidays and a crazy work schedule on either side of Thanksgiving. I prefer to read more like watching a movie, in longer swaths, but I was forced by time and circumstances to read this one more like an episodic TV series where each time, I had to remind myself what happened the week before. I don’t understand people who take months to finish a book or read one till nearly the end and then put it down for a long period. HOW do they remember the story? (Maybe at 100 books a year, my head is already too full of stories, plus random facts, plus the plot of my own WIP and the other ideas carroming around in there. This is why Sherlock doesn’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun, people.)
Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like UF or mysteries and are willing to deal with a bit of the supernatural, these are fun reads. Holm and the Collector trilogy are definitely in the running for Word Nerd awards from me this year.