Back In Black (Black Knight Chronicles, #2)

Back In Black (Black Knight Chronicles, #2) - John G. Hartness James and Greg have been called in by Sabrina for another case – gay men across the city are being brutally beaten and left for dead. One of them Sabrina’s own cousin and something supernatural is implicated.But as they investigate, the story opens up a whole new development – they’re not dealing with men being attacked. They’re dealing with fairies (yeah, I’ve tried re-writing that about a dozen times and there’s absolutely no way to say it without making the implications glaring) and it’s an investigation that takes them to the realm of faerie itself.Where they learn just how little they know not only about fairyland (and the dragon, fae and other beings within) but also about what it truly means to be a vampire. They have a lot more to learnAnd they have trolls to fight – with swords, illegal gambling rings to break up and an angry Lilith to placate.This is rapidly shaping up to be one of those series I gleefully like even though I can’t 100% say why. It’s not complex or deep- or full of nuance, but it’s fun fun fun. Did I mention fun? Because it’s fun. It has a lot of humour and a lot of irreverence and no-one taqkes themselves too seriously even when handling very serious matters. The characters bounce off each other extremely well, have some very good friendships that feels believable and they live.I think that’s part of what makes this series so fun for me is that James and Greg, in their geekiness, with their hobbies, with their often fumbling ineptitude and general flailing around as vampires feel like real people. Flawed, natural people. And, like in the first book, they’re also a wonderful example of vampires that aren’t MUAHAHAHA evil or moping, angsting and hating themselves. They’re not even the borderline-evil-oh-so-dangerous-but-oh-so-sexy vampire on the path to redemption. They can be sad – and Greg even has realistic, difficult struggles with his hunger and a major set back on having to feed from a human is a really good, well done example of that. But that’s it, they’re sad and troubled – they’re not being epicly tortured or screaming poetry at the moon.That realism also follows in their work as detectives and with Sabrina. We actually have a cop who DOESN’T carry a set of lock picks and considers breaking an entering to be an actual crime that law enforcement should avoid! This makes her almost unique in detective fiction. There’s a lot of nitty gritty and unpleasantness unglossed over – like the fact if you die your pet cat will probably eat your face.The world building has greatly expanded in this book and here I think there is a problem – and this is a problem that bleeds over into the story. This is the second book in the series and so far we have been treated to demons, immortal succubi, fallen angels, vampires, witches, fae of various kinds, demons and now entire faerie realms. I’m left feeling this is too much – this series is too young and not established enough to not just HAVE all these different creatures, but have stories that integrally include them. I think we could have used a book or even 2 of more mundane topics and more gradual introduction.Read More