Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hell Bent By Devon Monk Review

Hell Bent by Devon Monk is a traditional urban fantasy told with a new narrative voice.  Devon Monk has made a name for herself in the urban fantasy genre with the Allie Beckstrom Series, but narrating as Shamus Flynn, she packs a whole new set of skills.
This is a narrative style I’ve seldom seen done well enough to work.  It’s something I call stream-of-consciousness narration.  Monk narrates in first person as Shamus Flynn, but doesn’t bother making him proper or even and often grammatically correct.  With a character like Flynn, this is a perfect narrative because that’s how he operates.  Off the cuff.  Outside the law.  No rules, no games.
Shamus Flynn is an unwilling wielder of Death magic and a Breaker.  With his partner Terric Conley he can Break magic now that dark and light have been brought together.  Terric is of course Flynn’s polar opposite and a wielder of Life magic.  The story opens with a generous helping of their relationship which also helps get the action going and some of the back story out of the way.
Enter Dessa Leeds.  Ex-government spy seeking vengeance for her brother’s death.  She knows Flynn can get her to the killer, but more than that, can make the bastard pay.  Flynn knows who the killer is and that Dessa knows more than she’s telling.
Between government experiment groups, crime syndicates, and just your everyday dust-up Flynn has a lot going on, and all he really wants to do is drink it all away.
Now this story comes after the Allie Beckstrom Series which I have not read but says enough about what the reader needs to know in the world to have it stand alone.  It’s rough and tumble classic urban fantasy, Monk of course has set up her own mythology, magic, and rules by which it works and then places these brilliantly developed characters into the chaotic mess of it.
I truly enjoyed it.