This book scratched an itch I didn’t know I had. It struck me as similar to a Tim Powers book, if Tim wrote adventures with a hint of satire instead of secret histories. Apparently I had been looking for a tale of good and evil in an occult setting. This book is it.
Paxton Locke sees dead people. Fortunately for him, he can also make them go away, using the mental compulsion he calls the push. Which is the basis for his business. For a reasonable fee [50% deposit up front please!] he will cleanse your home of lingering presences. Except for the wrinkle that his only paying customers are nutters. On the rare occasion he finds a real ghost, he does the job for free. Paxton is a grifter, albeit one with an uneasy conscience and some real powers.
He’s got a gig that pays the bills, and one that offers him enough freedom to try to escape his past. Unfortunately for him, his past might not be done with him yet. When his latest real job leads Paxton to a trail of breadcrumbs that points to an obviously occult destination, he knows that he needs help from an expert. Which means dealing with Mother.
Fade has a nice balance of the familiar and the eldritch. Paxton grew up in small town America, and now frequents RV parks and Wal-mart parking lots in a nomadic existence. But he also has magical powers that arise in some fashion from his mother’s ritual killing of his father. This world might be grim without relief, except that Paxton gets the opportunity to blaze away at the forces of evil with his boomstick too.
I have in general avoided anything described as urban fantasy, which to be honest I think I conflated with paranormal romance. However, when I look at the wikipedia article, and the covers of the top sellers on Amazon, and I think that my confusion is understandable. Fade isn’t a sparkly vampire story. While it does have a hint of a relationship to come, first and foremost it is an adventure set in a world almost like our own, if all the monsters of fable of legend were real.
Who or what exactly keeps the world as normal as it is will be an interesting development as the series goes on. I found this book a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what kind of trouble Paxton finds himself in next.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout. But I also bought it a few weeks before that. So there.
Silver Empire books are available directly through the publisher, so I have linked to their online store.
Silver Empire also features a book club [Silver Empire affiliate link], with monthly and annual plans, that allows one book each month.
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