Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"The Ash Angels" by Ian Rogers

The Ash Angels
by Ian Rogers
Burning Effigy Press (Sept 2010)
40 pages
ISBN 9781926611099

I blogged a month or two ago about the first novella in Ian Roger's gritty urban fantasy, the Felix Renn series. I quite like the hard-boiled blending with dark fantasy and a dash of the Great White North for flavor. Well, I got around to reading the second installment, The Ash Angels, and while the book could work as a stand-alone I thought it a good follow-up to the impressive debut.

It's Christmas time, and while Felix and his ex-wife are civil to each other these days, he'd rather be alone--and drunk. He needs something festive for a chaser while home alone, so he heads out to find some eggnog and wides up with a mystery involving piles of ash shaped like angels. It's a case that leads him from a funeral home and ultimately to a familiar location from his recent past, all the while trying to keep from winding up like the ashen corpses he finds.

The Ash Angels has the same hard-boiled approach to urban fantasy that I've come to enjoy from several authors, and Ian has a great character with Felix Renn to explore this world he's created. That said. this second installment didn't come off quite as strong as the debut effort. The curse of the sophomore book in a series, I suppose. It's not bad, quite the contrary actually, but with such a powderkeg as Temporary Monsters, I had my hopes set really high on this one. Still a satisfying read, and I'm eager to read the third installment, Black-Eyed Kids, in the near future, which Ian intimated is his strongest work of the three. Good to know.

If you're not on board the Felix Renn bandwagon, and you're a fan of gritty urban fantasy, I suggest you remedy that.

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