I’ve been lied to a lot, lately. And some of it’s been with the truth.
Broken Souls follows up the craziness that was Dead Things and turns the dial up yet again. We get some fascinating worldbuilding, expanding both the series' view of necromancy and the dead and the Aztec side of Santa Muerte.
The necromancy isn’t that different from what you’d expect to see in any series dealing directly with magic and death, but it’s still used well. Being able to jump back and forth between the land of the dead and the risks thereof are particularly neat.
Aztecwise, it’s a culture that I know the basics about, but that’s about it (and much of that is probably influenced by popular culture). Yet here we get an obsidian knife that can skin people to steal their face and abilities. We get all sorts of bizarre gods. I didn’t expect the series to go that way, but now that I see it I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Characterwise, Eric is still a surprisingly excellent protagonist. He’s certainly damaged and not particularly likeable, but he’s well written and there’s a certain sense of ‘can’t look away’. You just have to see what’s going to happen to him next.
“Not every mage is an asshole, you know.”
“Really?” I say. “That your experience? Sure as hell isn’t mine.”
“Has it occurred to you that it’s because you’re one of the assholes?”
Santa Muerte is still fascinating as well. Especially seeing more of her older alter ego. It’s always risky to include gods in an urban fantasy, but it seems done well to me.
My favorite of the characters? The bruja. Bit of misdirection at first, but she’s tough, an arguable good person (rare in this world), and doesn’t mind going head to head with Eric. A lovely addition and ally.
Overall, a great second entry. Onward and thirdward!