Series: BROKEN MAGIC
Plot Type: Urban Fantasy (UF)
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—3; Humor—2
Publisher and Titles: ROC (Penguin Group)
Hell Bent (11/2013 )
Stone Cold (4/2014) (FINAL)
This series takes place about three years after the magic apocalypse and is narrated in the first person voice of Shamus (Shame) Flynn, one of the primary characters in the AB series. Shame is one half of a SC, the other half being his long-time friend Terric Conley. The friendship between the two men has waxed and waned over the years, and both have suffered through horrible magical injuries and even death. It's a long story…and you really need to read the other series to understand their past history. One element that complicates their relationship is that Terric is gay, while Shame is straight. Also: Shame has always been a bad-boy character—drinking heavily, partying every night, falling into bed with any woman who catches his fancy, and generally avoiding anything to do with work. Terric, on the other hand, is a hard-working, sober, neat and tidy man who keeps his sexual relationships monogamous. At the end of the AB series, Terric and Shame were appointed as co-directors of the Authority in Portland, and Terric has been doing all the work while Shame has lost himself in an alcohol-fueled haze.
Shame's magic is death magic, while Terric's is life magic. Shame needs life to exist; he has a constant, driving hunger to pull life from any living thing, from plants to animals to humans. Terric, on the other hand, exudes life. He can make plants grow and he can heal people—even bring them back from death. Neither is particularly happy about his magic. Here, Terric explains his feelings about life magic: "Life magic infiltrates, overtakes, possesses. Makes everything grow: plants, people…Disases, sickness … everything I touch I change. Everything that I touch I force to change…When I let go. When I relax, when I just let go and breathe…I become the monster. The magic. I become the hunger. And I don't want to stop." (Hell Bent, p. 73) Shame hates his magic even more passionately, and he believes he and Terric will eventually cause one another's deaths. Shame is also afraid that he will kill someone while he is in the grip of his hunger for life:"the constant hunger to kill, to consume, that made me count the pulse beat of every living thing around me….that had gotten so bad I salivated whenever I was in a closed room with people, plants, or combustibles. I needed life. Needed to drink it down, lap it up…consume it, burn it out, extinguish it. Grim-damn-Reaper style." (p. 2) Shame sees himself as a monster and can't bear to be around his friends, most of whom are heartily sick of his rude and arrogant behavior even though they are sympathetic to his problematic magical situation. Here's how Shame sees his future: "I would become a killing monstrosity like Jingo Jingo [an AB super-villain] or other Death magic users before me, or I would die, consumed by my own hunger. Since the whole monstrosity thing was just too cliche and would make my mum cry, I'd made my choice. There was no need to drag Terric down with me." (Hell Bent, p. 7)
BOOK 1: Hell Bent
With the exception of the romance, though, this looks to be a solid start to Monk's new series. Shame and Terric have always been complicated characters, and it will be interesting to watch them as they deal with their SC connection in this new post-apocalyptic magical world. Another nice part of this series is that Allie (now pregnant) and Zayvion turn up in several scenes along with other familiar AB characters. Click HERE for two links to excerpts from Hell Bent.