Hell's Horizon by D.B. Shan (aka Darren Shan)
The City Trilogy, Book 2
Finished: May 4, 2009
First Published: Mar 5, 2009 UK & Apr. 3 2009 CAN
Genre: urban fantasy
Reason for Reading: next in the series. Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.
In room 812 of the Skylight Hotel a woman lay close to death.
Comments: The summary of this book is going to be very hard to understand if you haven't read the first book. You can read my review of Procession of the Dead for a fuller understanding of the story without any spoilers. This second book starts off with completely different characters within The Cardinal's Troops, his own personal police/security force. The plot runs parallel with the first novel with very few crossover's until the end. The theme centers around a vicious killing of a young woman and Al Jeery, Troop member, is personally assigned, by The Cardinal himself, to solve the case. The case becomes personal to Jeery as he finds loved ones crossing paths with his investigation. This book also delves deeper into the mysterious Incan group of blind men in white robes, has more of a mystical element to it and centers on the mysterious but feared and dreaded hitman/killer/torturer Paucar Wami first met in book one.
A quick-paced read that ultimately reads like a mystery thriller for 3/4s of the book. Second books in trilogies are always compared to the first as we have expectations set up for us and while I certainly do describe this as a dark, violent urban fantasy, I found this not as dark, not as mafioso, not as violent (but don't get me wrong it is plenty violent!). Comparisons aside, this was a fantastic read, the mystery angle really shocked me having read a lot of Shan's books I didn't expect that angle coming from him. It was very well done. The characters are just as eccentric, as expected, from the victim's cross-dressing rich brother to the octogenarian pimp who always knows the word on the street. Those characters make it sound seedy but it's not, I don't remember any s*x scenes at all!
I'm hardly doing the book justice as it is just such an intricate book and since it runs parallel with the first one there are crossovers which are infrequent to start off with but rush to a head at the end. Now that I have read the final words of book one and the final words of book two, I just can't wait for the two to meet up with each other in the final book, City of the Snakes, due Mar. 2010 in UK, which means a month or so later for me here in Canada.
I can't find these books available new on amazon.com, so am thinking they haven't been published by an American publisher, which means you Americans may not find them on the shelves of your local bookseller. If you like urban fantasy these books really are a MUST read and I can't recommend them highly enough. You must find a way to buy them. My links above with take you to amazon.ca where you can easily purchase them. If price+ship doesn't work for you there , here's a place American's can order direct from the UK and receive Free Shipping, The Book Depository. The mass market pb's are only $9US, but you'll have to wait for Sept. for this one to be published in mmpb. The Trade PBs are reasonable enough especially considering, you pay no shipping from the UK. PS - I get no money from that link. It's free advertising for them, I just want you to read these books!