Burn Artist (Hound of Eden: Book 0)
When shit gets too weird for the Mob to handle, hitmage Alexi Sokolsky is the guy they call to fix it.
1986, New York City. The Russian Mafia is neck-deep in a Wall Street heist worth millions, but things heat up when a mage from a rival gang is hired to force the Russians to back down from the deal. As the magic flies and men burn, Alexi must hunt the murderer in a feverish game of cat-and-mouse – not only to protect the Organizatsiya, but his friends and family as well. The only thing is, to honor his contract, Alexi must also save his worst enemy.
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** I’ll also be serializing this book on Royal Road Legends under the handle Captain Necropants. Stay tuned!
Russian mafia hitmage (and yes, you read that right) Alexi Sokolsky has a job to do. Some douchewizard* is cursing people and making them burn from the inside out. He’s charged with finding the guy responsible and putting a stop to it before a birthday party. And of course dear old dad is there to complicate everything by being an even bigger douche. I read it in two settings…Once I hit the 50% mark, there was no putting it down and I only took a break there for the reasons listed below. This is one you’ll finish in one setting.
The first half was a little difficult but mostly because Alexi’s father is such a jerk that he was hard to read about, a sure sign that Mr. Badwin wrote a compelling and sympathetic character. The guy tortures cats…This is your fair warning. It’s not graphic but the thought is a bit bothersome for a cat lover such as yours truly. I was really rooting for daddy dearest to bite the big one. Does he? Well, that you’ll have to read to find out.
The bromance between Alexi and Vassily is just so perfect in every way. Really gave depth to the story and the universe as a whole.
And speaking of that… The Hound of Eden universe is one of the best executed examples I’ve seen on magic. Baldwin expertly crafts a world where both the arcane and the mundane co-exist without sacrificing either to get it done. The wardbreaker is easily one of my favorite urban fantasy weapons ever. Badass. Well done, sir. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
*The term douchewizard is not mine. I wish it was. Mr. Baldwin uses the term aptly in Burn Artist.