“Reality means you live until you die…the real truth is nobody wants reality.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
Author: Vaughn R. Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 312 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Always stand. Never fall.
If I could offer one piece of advice now, as I fall past the eighty-fourth floor of Victory Tower, with the sky above me the swirling eye of a crimson hurricane, the blade of a goddess stuck in my thigh, and a man I used to love preparing to end the world, it would be this: Magic is not the answer to your problems.
Sorcerers have always been feared in the City, their origins as unknown as the nature and extent of their power. When James Black, a young man fleeing an abusive lover, becomes a sorcerer, his old life is erased from existence, and his new life is indebted to powerful entities.
Escaping the man who abused him was supposed to be the end, but the very magic that freed him has put him on a collision course with the gods and the Sorcerer King himself.
And only one of them can survive.
Review: Hades: the Omnipotent, the Omniscient…if not the Omnipresent. I mean, where the hell’s the Lord of the Underworld when a guy really needs him, right? Right, he’s busy being a lawyer, forging contracts and collecting on debts.
Spencer Crain, human/coyote hybrid extraordinaire, met Miles Canmore in a bus station late one night, and in a moment of unadulterated empathy, gifted Miles with a new identity and a means to escape his abusive boyfriend Heath. Or, rather, that’s what was supposed to happen. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men and tricksters and sorcerers, and before we know it, Heath has the newly minted James Black trapped in the bathroom of a moving bus, a bus that plunges James, the seventh son of a seventh son, straight into destiny and elevated this book, along with Coyote’s Creed, into the realms of some of the best Urban Fantasy I’ve ever read.
Vaughn R. Demont has taken mythology and made it his bitc… well, he’s the boss of it, let me tell you. He’s taken pop culture and role playing games, and woven them into a series that’s action packed, filled with more legendary creatures and characters than Fate can shake her shears at, and is filled with irreverent humor and heroes I’ve come to love not because they’re infallible but because they’re altogether too human.
James has only just discovered he’s an Anu’keth—a sorcerer, the Lightning Rod, an enemy of Fate—and in becoming so has paid a very dear price, one he means to correct once he finds and slays the Recluse, which, in turn, becomes a lesson in not only being very careful what one wishes for but also knowing whether or not one is up to carrying the yoke of responsibility of becoming the Usurper to the Throne. The author takes the reader on a journey of hope and heartbreak, through zombie hordes (Spencer has good reason to fear that damn apocalypse!) and an ex-boyfriend who wants to end the world and exterminate all the gods, which all leads to a thrilling climax I had a hard time reading fast enough.
There’s a romantic element to Lightning Rod that wasn’t in Coyote’s Creed, but that element fits both books and both heroes perfectly. In every hero’s journey, from The Hobbit to Harry Potter, the hero needs a mentor, and James is no different. The only difference is that James falls down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and straight into love with Cale, his Cheshire cat, which was a wonderful way of experiencing this world the author has created from a completely different angle.
If you’re a fan of Urban Fantasy, even in the very slightest, I can’t recommend this series (at least the first two books. I’m digging into the third immediately) enough. It reads effortlessly, stole hours of time from my weekend, is filled with myriad characters of every shape and sort, and the best part is that I didn’t care because those lost hours were so well spent.