"Trick of the Light," Rob Thurman

Pros: Fantastic story and characters
Cons: Too much re-re-explaining
Rating: 5 out of 5

 

Trixa Iktomi is a bar owner who sells information to the human—and not-so-human—residents of Las Vegas. When she gets the itch to have some fun, she and her friends, Griffin and Zeke, hunt demons for the hell of it. She has a particular fondness for pissing off one sexy, smooth-talking demon called Solomon, typically by burning down his nightclub—over, and over, and over again.

Trixa’s been keeping an ear to the ground for a while now in hopes of finding an artifact called the Light of Life, and she finally has a lead. She knows if she can get her hands on it she’ll have angels and demons lining up on both sides to bid for it, if of course she can survive long enough to keep it out of their hands in the first place. But it isn’t money she’s looking for; it’s her brother’s killer. And she won’t stop until she’s had her revenge, no matter how dangerous things get along the way.


 

I wish I’d gotten around to reading Rob Thurman’s Trick of the Light before now; like all of her books, it’s worth every moment. It takes place in the same world as her Leandros Brothers series, but on the opposite coast (Las Vegas instead of New York), and it deals with a whole different layer of the supernatural (angels and demons instead of werewolves and vampires, oh my). There’s a touch of Cal and Niko’s dynamic in the relationship between Zeke and Griffin—Zeke is one messed-up guy, and Griffin is the one who helps him navigate the difficulties of the real world. However, unlike many authors who like to repeatedly explore certain themes, relationships, or dynamics, Thurman does a great job of making each series, book, relationship, or plot unique and wholly its own thing. Despite their similarities, Zeke and Griffin most definitely are not Cal and Niko.

The characters in Trick of the Light are wonderful, particularly the farther you read and the more that unfolds. Ms. Thurman’s take on demons and angels is subtly different from others I’ve seen, and quite enjoyable. The plot is twisty and turny, and I really can’t say much about it without risking revealing too much; I’ll just say that by the end I was kicking myself for not having figured certain things out, and that doesn’t happen all too often.

My only problem with the book was the fact that Trixa, who narrates the tale, re-explains things entirely too much. For instance, yes, cool, we get that when a demon or angel is physically anchored to this world, he can’t vanish in a puff of smoke. We don’t need to have this re-explained in detail every time it comes up. If the author is worried we won’t remember, a passing remark is all that’s required; readers appreciate it when they’re assumed to have a little intelligence.

Apart from that however, I absolutely loved Trick of the Light and immediately hunted down a copy of its sequel, which I can’t wait to read. Authors like Rob Thurman and Shiloh Walker make it tough to keep up with all the really great books out there!

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