by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details on how to win a copy of Iron Night at the end of this review.
When I read M. L. Brennan’s first Fortitude Scott paranormal novel, Generation V, I laughed at the misadventures of a fledgling vampire who was mistreated by friend and foe. I gasped at some mind-ripping action and I had a wonderful time discovering the author’s new look at vampire physiology and culture. I looked forward to the next book in the series, Iron Night, but I was afraid it would fall prey to the Curse of the Sophomore Slump, where the second installment is a let-down, not living up to the promise of the franchise. Instead, I started giggling at new revelations about the vampire family, dropped my jaw a few times over the conflict sequences and smiled at the foibles of young love (or something like it). These books are golden!
Fort is coming up in the world. He’s learning the family business by going the rounds with his vampire brother Chivalry (meeting trolls who like goats: take that as you will). He is wait-staff at a snooty restaurant with a chef who would make Gordon Ramsay look like he was on Prozac. The best thing is–Fortitude has a roommate who pays his share of the rent…until the guy is ritually murdered.
Suddenly, Fort is on the trail of elves, a tattoo artist, half-elves, a new-agey, herb-and-crystal shop, three-quarters elves, speed-dating, seven-eighths elves and a shape shifter who finds a really repulsive way to yank the young vampire’s chain. Suzume, his fox-girl (Kitsunes aren’t were-people who can turn into foxes; they are foxes who can turn into women) sidekick and protector, is at his side…and a former police detective–who is still trying to solve the murder of Fort’s foster parents–is usually across the street.
When it’s dark and/or cloudy, Prudence, Fort’s older sister, is around to put fear and pain into anyone who tries to disturb the paranormal peace the Scott family imposes on the Northeast Seaboard. Madeline, the mother vampire of the Scott brood, may be centuries old and nearing the end of her undead life, but she still has an impact on the characters.
Brennan has managed to allow Fortitude to grow in responsibility and power (bulking up through Chivalry’s training sessions hasn’t hurt), but keeping his attachment to humanity (He may have to kill, but he doesn’t feel good about it.), and learning to make the hard decisions.
I’m really impressed with this series, and I’m recommending Iron Night and Generation V to my friends and anyone who enjoys whack-job humor and a fresh take on the bloodsuckers of the paranormal world.
To enter to win a copy of Iron Night, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Iron,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 15, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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