Hellforged – Nancy Holzner [Review]

Hellforged coverHELLFORGED
by Nancy Holzner

  • Series: Deadtown #2
  • Publication Date: December 28, 2010
  • Publisher: Ace
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
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Jennifer’s Review of Hellforged

A long time ago, I read the first book in this series Deadtown. I absolutely loved it, even read it more than once, but I never got back around to continuing the series. When I received an ARC of Firestorm via Netgalley, I decided to get off my booty and work my way through the Deadtown series. So I checked out Hellforged, Bloodstone, and Darklands from the local library.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t read Hellhound because I haven’t found that one yet, and until I do I can’t read Firestorm. But reviews of the other books I read will be coming soon. I really enjoyed them, and I strongly suggest this series to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

The book begins with Vicky working another case as a demon exterminator. It starts out like a Scooby Doo movie I saw once. At first, I wasn’t sure where Holzner was going with it, but it all made sense later. From there, Vicky has a ton of stuff to deal with in a short period. Her nemesis, The Destroyer, is back, zombies are being killed, her so-called cousin wants to become king of the demons, and her vampire roommate is acting very strange. Meanwhile, she has to figure out how she feels about Kane and Daniel, deal with her ex-apprentice Tina (who wants to be a rock star), figure out a prophecy, and work on her demon-fighting skills with the assistance of her aunt Mab in Wales.

The setting descriptions and world-building are excellent. Holzner further develops the history of Vicky’s ancestry, along with the Welsh mythology. Although some reviewers didn’t like that the book didn’t have Vicky in Boston for much of the story, I enjoyed the change of scenery. By having Vicky travel to Wales, it helped develop Vicky’s back story and moved some aspects of the plot along.

All of the characters in the story are interesting. Vicky, Kane, Daniel, Tina, Juliet, and Mab all contribute to the story. They also have distinct personalities. Even Vicky’s doorman and favorite bartender are well-developed in this series. If I had to complain about anything, I’d say that the villain, Pryce, needed more motivation to act the way he did. Otherwise, I enjoyed all the characters immensely.

Another aspect of Hellforged that I loved is how Holzner continued to show the social injustices of Deadtown. The struggle for equal rights continues in this book, with Kane (a werewolf lawyer) still working to get people to treat supernaturals fairly. Vicky witnesses segregation, profiling, and ignorance. We get to see this when the zombies are killed, Vicky’s interactions with the police, and in Vicky’s dealings with her sister.

Recommend?

As I said at the beginning, I strongly recommend the Deadtown series. If you like books about shapeshifters, zombies, vampires, and other creatures, you should read this. Holzner is an excellent writer who created a complete world for Vicky. No aspect has been ignored. There’s culture, family issues, politics, mythology, romance, and more. Hellforged does slow down a little in the middle. However, I kept turning pages because there was so much going on that I wanted to see what would happen. And there’s plenty of action throughout the story, especially at the end. Also, the author adds some humor in at times to keep it from getting too dark. I really enjoyed reading this book, along with the other ones I have read in the series.

5 out of 5 stars (A)

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