Book Review – Born Of Shadow by Richard Murray

It’s really hard to set yourself apart in the monster-hunting genre these days. The market is saturated and it takes a clever hand to pull something new out of a genre that some people say has been done to death.

Enter Richard Murray, who would like to kindly explain there are new things under the sun.

The thing about the monster-hunting genre is it was pretty clever back in the day. “Hey, instead of running from this vampire, let’s whoop his ass and take his castle.” John Steakley did it with Vampire$. Laurell Hamilton did it with a whole whack of books. Hell, I’ve done it. What sets Richard Murray apart from all of us is how he treats his subject matter. There’s a certain moral flexibility at play and an idea that not everything is as obvious as it first looks. Those a great things to play with in a story.

Take a hefty dose of action, a cast of interesting characters, introduce an unexpected element, shake well, and you’ve got Born of Shadows. One of the things I look at to determine if a book is “good” or not is whether or not I go back over it in my head at a later date. I’ve relived some of the key elements more than a few times and wondered how I would handle those things were I inserted into the story.

All in all, Born of Shadow (Shadow Walkers Book One) was an entertaining story that leaves enough questions to make you look forward to the next book in the series.

The world is full of monsters. At least Lena believed that was true. After all, she’d once witnessed a monster tear apart her family, leaving her broken and bleeding. All alone in the world except for the one person who was always there for her. Her best friend, Evelyn.

Her search for the truth reveals not only was she right, but that she is one of those supernatural creatures that fills the world. Taught how to use her powers, she joins with a team of hunters in their war against the supernatural monsters.

She soon finds that not only is she fighting the monsters, but also her growing feelings for the one person she’s terrified of losing. As truths are finally revealed, Lena will come face to face with the creature that’s haunted her nightmares and be forced to choose what side she’s truly on.

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And Away We Go

I hit publish on the first Saxton story last night. Actually, it’s the first two, but one was originally part of The Clock Man. The second (and much longer) story is called Uneasy Allies and does a couple things. I’d said I wanted to create something episodic – a kind of monster of the story, but with an overarching story line that will continue throughout the series. Uneasy Allies introduces the first monster of the series, but also gives a hint about the longer story line.

I’ve got a pretty good idea of where I want to go with it, and even have a halfway decent idea of how to get there. This whole series is an offshoot of the Henchmen series and details what Wilford Saxton is up between the events of Arise and what will be happening throughout H3nchm3n (still need a better title). He was a key player in both Henchmen and Arise, but won’t figure too heavily in the new book. However, Saxton’s actions will have ramifications, and the things he does will impact the events of H3nchm3n. Steven, Eve, Jessica, and the rest will all feel those ripples.

And this is where things get murky. The Henchmen series is written in the first person, from Steven’s point of view. While this can be a fun way to write and it allows me to really get into his head, he can’t truly understand things outside of his direct experience. I could have shoehorned some information into place, but it would have been clunky.

I don’t like clunky.

As the Saxton series continues, it will start to fold in more and more of the world of Henchmen and Arise, but it will also start to show how some of the elements of The Clock Man stories that aren’t part of the Aluna series fit into the broader narrative.

Plus, the Saxton stories are a cracking good read. You’ve got Wilford himself, who’s an interesting character in his own right, the bombastic chief of police from Cuba, New Mexico, and a bruja who will exhibit some amazing powers. Besides, how can stories about hunting monsters get boring?

So begins my attempt to see if I can leverage Kindle Unlimited into an X-Files kind of experience for readers. Hopefully it’ll be good enough to keep people interested.

Saxton: The Hunt & Uneasy Allies is available now. Each installment will come approximately every other month and all will be $0.99. All will also be available on Kindle Unlimited.

Go grab a copy. It’s the best buck you’ll spend today.

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