Kirsten Reviews: King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise
King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise
Jeremiah Hunt #2
Joseph Nassise shook up the urban fantasy genre with Eyes to See, a novel New York Times bestselling
author Jonathan Maberry called “heartbreaking, deeply insightful,
powerful and genuinely thrilling.” In a devil’s deal, Jeremiah Hunt
sacrificed his human sight in exchange for the power to see the hidden
world of ghosts and all of the darker spirits that prowl the streets.
Hunt uncovered a world of murder and magic that took his daughter from
him and nearly cost him his life, but that was only the beginning....
Hunt is on the run from the FBI, who have pegged him as a
mass-murdering dark sorcerer. His flight from the law is diverted to New
Orleans when his companion, a potent witch, has a horrific vision of
the city under magical siege. When they arrive, they realize that the
situation is more dire than they could have imagined: the world of the
living faces a terrifying attack by forces from beyond the grave. King of the Dead,
the second book in this groundbreaking series, promises more of
Nassise’s electrifying writing that will enthrall readers looking for a
supercharged, supernatural thrill.
King of the Dead by Joseph Nassise returns readers to the urban fantasy world of Jeremiah Hunt, and as the second book in this series, readers are already familiar with the protagonist, Hunt, who gave up his eyesight in order to have a different kind of sight. He uses this vision to see the supernatural world in order to try and find his missing daughter. Now he’s on the run, since the FBI suspect him of being mass murdering dark sorcerer. Along with him are a witch, Denise, and Dmitri, who is a berserker as well as a shapeshifter. The three of them are making their way to New Orleans to find out if Denise’s vision of the city falling prey to sinister forces is true. Even though they’re on the run, the trio plan to use their combine talents to determine who or what is killing people.
As far as locations go, New Orleans, with its rich history of magic, voodoo, and haunted places is perfect for this type of story. Jeremiah, who lost everything important to him in the first book is the kind of hero that doesn’t do anything spectacular. That isn’t a criticism; instead of taking on all the bad guys, Jeremiah’s talent for seeing what others can’t doesn’t give him superhuman strength, or any other gifts, and so he has to be smart about what he does, and also rely on the strengths of Denis and Dmitri. Having a hero that isn’t all-powerful makes for a much more interesting read, and Jeremiah is definitely learning as he goes along.
The story shifts from Jeremiah’s point of view to other characters, such as Denise, and that of an FBI agent hunting the group. This may not bother some readers, but others might find it awkward, and so it bears noting. Another potential issue is the pacing of the book, which first fills readers in on what happened in the last volume, and then picks up the plot of this new story. However, once Denise, Jeremiah, and Dmitri wind up in New Orleans, both the action and story pick up speed.
The combination of action, an atypical hero, and supporting characters with their own abilities makes King of the Dead a strong continuation of a series that adds to the urban fantasy genre.