A Fistful of Evil – Rebecca Chastain (Review)

A Fistful of EvilMadison Fox has always been able to see auras. She just never thought it was a particularly useful skill. It’s not until she starts a new job that she realises she can do more than see – she can manipulate lux lucis, the light that suffuses all life. With that ability comes a responsibility – she must defend against imps, demons, and all other evil things.

I wasn’t expecting much from A Fistful of Evil. While there are good books in the genre, you have to wade through a lot of bandwagon-jumping dreck to find them at the moment, and I’m used to being disappointed. What I found though, was that A Fistful of Evil was rather better than the general standard. It’s not a hard-hitting book, and it doesn’t try to be. What it is is fun, fast-paced, and entertaining.

Madison is an aggressively normal character – she’s not someone filled with cryptic wisdom, but someone who dearly loves her cat, worries about her appearance, and has a crush on the attractive vet. She’s a romantic heroine flung into a world in which she has to stab hellhounds with magic knives, who finds the whole thing alarming and confusing.

It’s not normal urban fantasy, because that tends to be much more focused on the fantasy side. It’s not romance because the fantasy side is too strong, and the romantic aspects are sub-plots (unresolved sub-plots, as this is the first in a series). It’s not paranormal romance, a genre that falls sort of between the two, because there are no whining shirtless werewolves.

The closest parallel I can think of is Bridget Jones’ diary, with demons in. You get the same protective exasperation with the protagonist, but the stakes are rather higher. The most similar urban fantasy is probably Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid books.

It’s refreshing to read something in urban fantasy that isn’t turgid, grimdark, or dull. For a book about demons and the slow corruption of the human spirit, A Fistful of Evil manages to be heart-warming and enjoyable.

Buy it here.

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