“Yep, some days you’re just Fate’s bitch, know what I’m saying?” – Vaughn R. Demont
Author: Vaughn R. Demont
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 287 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Never forget what you are.
The King is dead, long live the King. And, uh, could you float him a couple bucks?
Life as the only human sorcerer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for James Black, the Lightning Rod. Between gremlins in the closet, paladins crashing through skylights and working spells in a storage locker, hunting a body-hopping spirit is a welcome distraction. If only he didn’t have to partner with a Coyote.
After being punted to the curb by his roommate (with benefits), things are looking dire for trickster Spencer Crain, until an old friend offers him a shot at a big score scamming the best of marks: a vampire. Thing is, he’ll have to work with his worst enemy to pull it off.
With lives in the balance, James is learning the hard way what being a sorcerer really means—and that he picked a hell of a time to quit smoking. Spencer is faced with the choice between his future and his friends. Yeah, like he’s never seen that movie before…
Review: And, cue plot twist!
With plenty of “where do I begin?” moments in Community Service, the third book in Vaughn R. Demont’s brilliant Broken Mirrors series, I must say this installment started off a bit slower than Coyote’s Creed and Lightning Rod, but I’m chalking that up to the fact that the author was methodically and evil geniusly plotting Spencer Crain and James Black right into one of the best action sequences either of them have ever seen or read, or could’ve scripted themselves. After all, when your sidekick is a tool of Fate and he ever-so-nonchalantly asks, “What could possibly go wrong?” you’ve gotta know the universe is getting ready to open up a big fat can of Everything, and then will gleefully sprinkle it liberally all over the place.
Our story arcs in this episode with the return of a character from Coyote’s Creed, who’s playing the role of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, or, in other words, a Coyote, one whose particular talent it is to be a pain in everyone’s tail, one who pretty much makes me want to throat punch him until he cries in every single scene. But what’s a great Urban Fantasy without a few characters you love to hate, right? Mr. Demont provides plenty of them but keeps a great balance of characters it’s fun to love too, so there’s an equal payoff every step of the way, a seesaw of love and loathing that keeps the reader doing emotional gut checks from one page to the next, sometimes from one paragraph to the next.
Community Service invites vampires into the mix of magical creatures this time around, one in particular who’s a right bugger and seems to know exactly how to pull James’s strings. The bloodsucker has every intention of making the Ra’keth his puppet, all while Spence is busy trying to pull a con on the guy, and in the way only this author’s metaphysical muse could inspire, it all boils down to an acid trip of bodysnatching and mixed up versions of reality that kept me on the edge of my Kindle until an end that, I won’t lie, might’ve brought a little bit of a lump to my throat.
Here be dragons and dwarves and sometimes a little dumb luck that goes a long way. The Broken Mirrors series is an imaginarium filled with awesome creatures, a hero and his unlikely sidekick—who is quickly growing into the role of one of my all-time favorite fictional characters—and a friendship that, if Fate is at all kind, will see her way clear to making good on the promise Vaughn R. Demont has so sweetly whispered into the end of this installment. Smart and snappy dialogue and a delivery that goes down as smooth as the play of words on the verbal palate elevates these books to nothing so simple as entertaining. I love these books aggressively and am anxiously awaiting book four, which I hear is a work-in-progress. If you love fantasy in the slightest, add this series to your TBR pile soon.
The king is dead. Long live the king!