REVIEW by @BunnyBethA: The Mark of Kane by LW Herndon (@LWHerndon)
My name is Thaddeus Kane. I exist in Los Angeles, the city known for the hustle of Hollywood, an average 266 days a year of sunshine, and smog.
That’s not my L.A. I operate under the mantle of the city as a troubleshooter for the demon clan who saved my life. Not a bad job if I can stay alive, but I have my limits. I refuse to risk innocents, which causes me problems. That one line I won’t cross for anyone. Loyalties—I have them. I’m pretty sure none of my associates would approve of my particular choices.
Human sorcerers are murdering my clan to harness superpowers and I’m the only one capable of finding the evil. A tough assignment, made harder by my secret alliance with a rival demoness to save prophetic teenagers from the same horrible fate. I’m all they’ve got.
I struggled through the first fifty pages of The Mark of Kane, and I was not sure that I would be finishing this book. The author’s writing style was forced in the early pages; it was uncomfortable for me to read because I felt that the author was struggling to tell his story.
Then, when I was just about ready to give up, the character of Thaddeus Kane (TK) grabbed my imagination and I was hooked! TK is half human and half demon, the unappreciated employee of Shalim, a cranky and powerful demon. A group of evil sorcerers are draining power from good wizards and demons, and TK finds himself trying to keep his boss happy and save young innocents from a horrible death. Not an easy task when he’s got a demon named Decible trying to flirt with him in a sadistic kind of way, a host of bad guys trying to disembowel him, and a teenage girl who trusts no one (with good reason).
As the story moved along, I felt that the author was loosening up, more comfortable with his/her ability to tell the story. I finally had a sense of what was happening, and I was enjoying myself.
This book would move much faster if we had some explanations sooner in the story. It takes too long to figure out how this world of TK’s operates. The author attempts some flashbacks, as a way of explaining TK’s past, and I found these passages a bit confusing. I had to go back and read the beginning of some passages again to understand what was going on.
Despite the things I did not like about this book, I will be reading more of Thaddeus Kane’s adventures.
I like the characters, even some of the bad guys, and I want to know more about TK’s early days. TK’s had a hard life, yet he wants to do what’s right. He’s got character, along with a smart mouth and a body that heals quickly. I also like the team that he pulls together in this story. They are a weird group, very different from one another, but work together in an oddball sort of way that’s entertaining. And the author pulls out a few surprises that caught me off guard. I love when that happens.
I’m giving The Mark of Kane three stars, for creating some interesting characters and surprising the heck out of me.
Birthright, the new Thaddeus Kane novel, is being released in spring 2012, and I’m going to order it for my Kindle as soon as it’s available.
Check out author LW Herndon’s blog: http://lwherndon.com/
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