When it comes to urban fantasy - which is, I believe, the
term used for this sort of thing - there is the Dresden
Files, and then there is everything else. Butcher's
series is the mark by which all other entries into the genre
are judged... at least by me. It's a tough standard, and
very few books meet it. A lot more books fail (including
some of the Dresden books), sometimes
miserably, so I'm always a bit wary with new urban fantasy
works. Fortunately for me, fortunately for the author, and
fortunately for you, A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS meets the
standards, and is a very enjoyable diversion.
The story centers around a modern day Champion, who makes
deals with demons. Or rather, he makes new deals with demons
on behalf of people who previously sold their soul to said
demon. He essentially offers the demon a
double-or-nothing deal, with a duel to the death being the
game. It's a rough gig, and Jesse Dawson, our protagonist,
knows that it's probably going to get him killed some day.
A DEVIL IN THE DETAILS has a similar tone and style to the
Dresden Files, with a wry first-person narrator
explaining things with a dry, sardonic sense of humor.
Using that similar voice, the author creates a very
different world from that of Harry Dresden. For all that
the book deals with death, devils and damnation it doesn't
dwell in gothic gloom, but flits lightly and entertainingly
from emotional lows to highs. A very enjoyable
book, with the potential to become a very engaging series.
Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a
black belt in karate), until the day he learned his brother
had made a bargain with a demon. Jesse discovered there was
only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as
collateral, and fight the demon to the death.
lived to free his brother--and became part of a loose
organization of Champions who put their own souls on the
line to help those who get in over their heads with demons.
But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much
higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And
if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may
be his last...