Book 17 of 2015: The Curse Servant by J.P. Sloan

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The one person standing between Hell… and an innocent girl… is a man without a soul.
A regular life isn’t in the cards for Dorian Lake, but with his charm-crafting business invigorated, and the prospect of a serious relationship within his grasp, life is closer to normal than Dorian could ever expect. In the heat of the Baltimore mayoral campaign, Dorian has managed to balance his arrangements with Deputy Mayor Julian Bright with his search to find his lost soul. Dorian soon learns of a Netherworker, the head of a dangerous West Coast cabal, who might be able to find and return his soul. The price? Just one curse.
Sounds easy… but nothing ever is for Dorian. A dark presence arrives in the city, hell-bent on finding Dorian’s soul first. Innocents are caught in the crossfire, and Dorian finds it harder to keep his commitments to Bright. When the fight gets personal, and the entity hits too close to home, Dorian must rely on those he trusts the least to save the ones he loves. As he tests the limits of his hermetic skills to defeat this new enemy, will Dorian lose his one chance to avoid damnation?

I think I should start this review with a little confession: I don’t read out of chronological order. However, that doesn’t mean that I do end up doing that. Which is what happened with this book. The Curse Servant is actually the second book in a series featuring Dorian Lake, a hermetic charm and hex expert.

Phew! Now that it’s out of my system, I’m happy to say that I wasn’t the least bit confused! That’s right, you are safe to read starting with this book if you want. You aren’t going to be confused. J.P. Sloan did a great job seamlessly placing magic in a rather normal world without having to put too much exposition or confusing new reader. I was not only able to follow what was going on, gather what happened in the previous book, but I was also able to feel a connection with his characters. A serious feat.

There were two thoughts that came to mind the moment I started reading, The Curse Servant: 1. Serious creep factor! 2. Reminds me of Constantine.

Now, I don’t mean comic Constantine or Keanu Reeves Constantine. I mean the TV Show. Sadly, I’m not well versed in the comic series, but I fell in love with the British demonologist when the show was airing. That said, J.P. Sloan’s Dorian Lake reminded me of Constantine. He had a smartass snarky way of telling people off and a way to go against the rules while still being able to keep certain morals. Yes, his morality was put to a series of tests. Yes, he never really got a break. The only thing I’d say that wasn’t Constantine, was the fact that Dorian Lake doesn’t seem jaded. Not yet, anyways.

With this little connection, I fell in love with Dorian. I felt for him. I wanted him to be happy. I wanted the people he called family to be happy. I didn’t want any of the bad things that were happening to ruin what world he was trying to cultivate. As a reader, I relished in the bad things.

J.P. Sloan made an epic that I’m am not only going to keep reading, but also get hard copies of. That’s right, this man will be placed in my bookshelf next to the faves. And, that’s saying something.

He weaves a twisty web of politics and magic. We have the internal politics of the magic world and the politics of our natural world. Each one has an agenda with the other and Dorian Lake is put in the middle of it all. As if this wasn’t enough on his plate, Dorian is dealing with trying to find his soul which is missing in a limbo like world called Nether (not new news, he lost it in The Curse Merchant). On top of all of that, he is dealing with something out of his control that has taken over a little girl he considers a sister. Yep, his life sucks.

Nothing gets me more excited than a snarky man trying to do the right thing and being pitted into political intrigue with demonic like forces. If this isn’t a winner, I don’t know what is.

 

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