Ron's Reviews > Hard Spell

Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis
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Nov 16, 11

bookshelves: urban_fantasy
Read in November, 2011

I'm not fond of most urban fantasy worlds that toss every supernatural creature into the mix and give them civil rights, but despite that, this novel is far superior to the vast majority of paranormal/urban fantasy efforts that are glutting the market. The first-person hardboiled voice is exceptionally well done and shows more depth of character than your typical UF protagonist. Very good (but subtle) use of the Pennsylvania (Scranton) setting. Nice to see so many slavic character names which you see a lot in Chicago and Milwaukee but a nationality underrepresented in fiction. I think authors tend to shy away from slavic names because of the spellings and pronunciations are difficult. Some of the police jargon and regionalisms could use more context (e.g., 'haina' is regional slang for "ain't it?" but you won't find that in most dictionaries). There is humor here, but it's not the quirky offbeat humor typical for this genre, but closer to the dark humor you find in mainstream crime fiction. Should appeal to fans of Jim Butcher and hard-boiled mysteries. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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