Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
The magical construction of EYES TO SEE was mesmerizing, and though I wasn't swept away that book's eventual resolution, I was eager to pick up KING OF THE DEAD to see where Nassise took me next. Nassise's flair for the paranormal is back in full effect and the plot has a great balance between urban fantasy and an upside down police procedural (as it is our hero who the FBI is hunting).
KING OF THE DEAD starts a little slow, as Hunts sometimes pedantic narration is used to remind readers of prior events. People new to the series should have no problem jumping right in with KING OF THE DEAD. The rush of information made things a little dry, but once Hunt and his companions got to New Orleans, new events began to overpower old, fully engaging me in the plot. I loved the mix of realistic battle tactics and magical opponents, Nassise has a knack for writing riveting but accessible magic.
Unfortunately, even as the action grew more interesting, there were a few issues that kept me from wholly immersing myself in the story. Nassise's style is a mix of deadpan recounting interspersed with exclamation points and adverbs where I least expected them. This meant that the characters' emotional reactions seemed to be laid over top of the story rather than integrated with the action, things never felt quite in sync. As a character focused reader, the resultant difficulty connecting with Hunt and his companions was a big problem.
Perhaps exacerbated by my character issues, I had a hard time with some of the shifts in point of view. In addition to following the protagonist, KING OF THE DEAD offers some chapters from Denise's and Agent Robertson's points of view. This structure is a great compliment for the police procedural/thriller aspects of the book, but the tone wasn't always consistent within these alternate points of view. I would be reading the story from Denise's perspective, run into three lines that sounded like Hunt is thinking, then be back to Denise. Pair these narrative potholes with my existing character disconnect, and you have a book I never managed to immerse myself in.
A mix of police procedural and the occult, KING OF THE DEAD offers more of Nassise's excellent mythologies. As much as I enjoyed the magic, however, I never connected with his characters beyond a superficial level. Fans of both fantasy and thrillers will enjoy this mix of genres, but character focused readers may be left wanting.
Sexual Content: None.