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The job was simple: decapitate the zombie, get paid, get out. Warlock Marcus Shifter followed the plan perfectly.
The corpse, however, did not.
Now there's a body on the loose, accusations of illegal necromancy are flying, and the answers are waiting in the perilous alleys between the mortal and paranormal worlds. They're no place for someone who gave up magic after a childhood accident. And given his tendency to shoot off his mouth and his Glock, Marcus is having a hell of a time digging up more than just bodies.
But when an apocalypse-minded megalomaniac threatens Marcus's family, things get personal. Marcus will have to embrace the magic he's been avoiding for years—and even that might not be enough to save the world from a hellish demise.
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review by Travis Starnes
Undead Chaos is set in a world where the mystical and supernatural are real and live side by side with the “normal” world. It follows the wayward son of one of the great magical houses as he gets pulled into a mystery that will rock the entire supernatural community.
I will start by saying I generally am not a fan of the urban fantasy genre. I have been talked into reading several of the major works in the genre and almost universally disliked all of them. Thankfully this book broke that streak, although maybe that is because it didn’t step on the same landmines that so many of the books in this genre hit. Most importantly this isn’t a romance novel dressed up to be science fiction or fantasy. It is closer to a fantasy novel dressed up as a mystery, a fusion of two genres I do enjoy.
The characters, while not unique or overly fleshed out, are all generally fun to read about. While we have seen the “straight talking hero who bucks authority but does what’s right” type of character many times before, here it is done pretty well. It is to Root’s credit that this is a good version of that character and if not unique is at least a well done stereotype. What generally make this type of book work are the supporting characters and their interaction with the protagonist and in Undead Chaos this really shines. While still mostly stereotypes the supporting cast is top notch and their interaction with Marcus is really enjoyable.
Beyond avoiding the romance tropes this genre seems to love the writing is what makes this book work. The plot itself is interesting, the mystery is worth following and the book has a great sense of humor. I am a fan of a good mystery and while not up to the standards of the greats of mystery writing this book really holds its own. There were a few good plot twists and red herrings thrown out with just enough information given to the reader to guess what is going on, if they are paying attention. The other big thing that makes this book work is the sense of humor. The book doesn’t take itself overly seriously which is what is really needed to make this work. The dialogue is generally pretty clever and you can’t help but like Marcus and his team of misfits.
Something interesting I found about this book was it felt like it was part of a series, but as far as I can tell there isn’t a prequel or other books involving the character. There were a lot of casual mentions of past events and relationships that were never explained. It seemed almost as if the author assumed you as the reader already knew about it. This isn’t a detraction from the book, if anything it helps make the world feel more grounded and gives the character a past, not something you always get.
While it isn’t going to win any awards Undead Chaos is a fun read that you will zip through in no time. If you are looking for a fun lite read and a general escape then this is a book worth checking out.