I happened upon Simon rather accidentally. A huge fan of Jim Butcher, I was in between Dresden books when I decided to search out similar books. I found Anton Strout's first Simon book and instantly became a huge fan. Because of that, I couldn't wait to read Dead Matter, the third book in the Simon Canderous series by Anton Strout...and I wasn't disappointed.
This time, Simon, an agent with New York's super-secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, has had the training wheels removed. His partner and mentor, Conner Christos, is on an extended leave of absence...making Simon fight all the major baddies in the city, and even worse, forcing him to tackle the monster-load of paperwork all by his lonesome. He's overworked. Exhausted. And just looking forward to spending Taco Night with his hot little girlfriend and ex-cultist Jane. But he just can't seem to get a break. While shopping at his local grocery store (trying to figure out the perfect kind of cheese...loved that), he's attacked by a strange, nearly impervious (but with a distinct allergy to garlic) creature who tears the place apart. Leaving Simon and his superiors wondering what in the world is going on.
To make matters worse, his partner is stirring up a hornets nest in his search for his long lost brother. The ghostly population of New York are peeved that Conner, now nearly insane with obsession, has been knocking down local haunts trying to get answers. As Simon tries to help his friend, he stumbles on an even greater mystery that ties the two events together in a major way.
While Dead Matter doesn't seem as epic as the other two books in the series, this is the first one where I really felt like Simon's character had finally matured to a full three dimensional character. When he finds his power blocked at every turn during his investigation, he is required to do some quick thinking that shows a greater depth to his character. And don't get me started about his sense of humor! I can't tell you the number of times I laughed out loud as I read through this fantastic fantasy in a breeze! It truly is a very witty, humorous book.
In addition, Strout outdoes himself with creatively designed vampires, bringing back to their non-sparkly selves, as well as just a great all around mystery to try to solve yourself. If you haven't read a Simon Canderous novel, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. I envy you actually...you are about to embark on a wonderful new adventure.