This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore
Series: Eric Carter #3
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Daw Books
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo
Necromancer Eric Carter's problems keep getting bigger.
Bad enough he's the unwilling husband to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte, but now her ex, the Aztec King of the dead, Mictlantecuhtli has come back and it turns out that Carter and he are swapping places. As Mictlantecuhtli breaks loose of his prison of jade Carter is slowly turning to stone.
To make matters worse both gods are trying to get Carter to assassinate the other, but only one of them can be telling him the truth. And whichever god is left standing Carter's likely to suffer the consequences.
Carter's solution? Kill them both.
If he wants to get out of this situation with his soul intact he'll have to go to Mictlan, the Aztec land of the dead, and take down a couple of death gods while facing down the worst the place has to offer him: his own sins.
I really dug that this book took place in Mexico and that there were many Aztec gods and goddesses that are either a part of the story or referenced. Really fascinating! I am no expert in the Aztec culture or history but I felt that everything was represented in a realistic fashion. Mr. Blackmoore did a wonderful job in researching and it shows in his characters and urban development. I could vividly see everything that I was intended to. Job well done!
The character of Eric Carter reminds me of John Wick but no hugging of puppies. He just does what he has to and moves on, no apologies. In this installment of the series Eric is on the road in an effort to hunt down those responsible for his sister’s death. In the previous book, he was given little choice in a marriage to Santa Muerte and now we learn what she intends for this marriage. There is a connection that has been forged between Eric and Santa Muerte’s previous husband, Mictlantecuhtli. Between Santa Muerte and Mictlantecuhtli, Eric is getting different versions of the same story. He has to figure out what he has to do to end this connection before all is lost.
One of my favorite parts of this story had to do with the Sharpie magic, hilarious! There is plenty of wit to be found in this story but there is also an emotional element between Tabitha and Eric. Tabitha was someone from Eric’s past but she was also an avatar for Santa Muerte. Eric needs to know if there is any part of Tabitha left in the Avatar and more importantly was she a part of his sister’s murder. The scenes between these two characters create a lovely emotional piece that showcase a bit of Eric’s humanity.
The plot is fast-paced, action-packed, and detail driven. It is a dark urban fantasy full of magic, bad guys and justice. The ending was a great wrap-up for the three books but it also leaves some possible threads for another installment. All in all, this story was riveting and kept me completely captivated until the end. I highly recommend!
*Thank you to NetGalley & Berkley Publishing Group for this complimentary copy of Hungry Ghosts*