DARKWEIRD by Matthew Davis, does everything a second book should do: heartbreak, raises the stakes to ridiculous degrees, and more inter-dimensional hi-jinks. Davis manages to do that and so much more in his second installment of the GREY DAYS series.
A few months have passed since the last almost world ending event and now…it’s about to start all over. This time though, it seems things may be too much for Thomas Grey and his colleges. A rogue angel has set its mind to destroying the barrier between earth and the Other Side, should the barrier fall, all life on earth will be swept away. SO, naturally it’s up to Thomas to try and save the world, despite the fact that he’s not really anyone’s hero. But it’s just another day in the life of Thomas Grey.
Returning to the valley of Thomas Grey, Swift, Rosa, and the rest of the gang is a comfortable(at first) experience, yet this book is not quite as “light” as RED SKY BLUES and it doesn’t really give you much time to catch your breath before rocketing off with ghouls, foul magics, and dimensional shifts. Davis has managed to keep the pacing of this novel so tight and tension filled, I must have read all of it within two or three sittings, because Grey is always left in a state of danger(bad for him, great news for the reader).
Davis has clearly become comfortable with his characters and it makes for smooth reading and feeling like you’re sitting in the room with them. The dialogue is sharp and the classic dry wit, if not goofy at times, shines right through. This does not detract from the utter existential horrors that leak from the Other Side into our world, and Davis is clearly a student of Lovecraft and the rest, though as is tradition, he makes the mythos his own.
And typical of a middle book in a trilogy, Davis only raises the stakes even when things seem utterly hopeless. Do our heroes get through this? Maybe, and not by some strange or off-putting deus ex machina plot twisting. The story arc itself is fantastic and combined with characters a reader can genuinely care about, it keeps the pages turning faster than through an old phone book.
Again, these books are perfect for those who enjoy urban fantasy with occult and cosmic horror flavors. Don’t sleep on this series, because they are getting better with each installment!
I am very much looking forward to Davis’ last installment of the GREY DAYS series, SACRED ENGINES.
Check out my review of the first book, RED SKY BLUES.