A Different Kind of Book Tour – WSJ

A Different Kind of Book Tour – WSJ

Review of Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

In the interests of full disclosure, I was sent a free copy of this book by the author for review purposes. The only thing I promised was an honest review. All of my reviews, good or bad, are based on my personal opinion.

Buy this book!

Crossovers are the hardest type of story to do well. You have to please readers of both genres, so the story has to be exceptionally well done to be considered good. This one is.

Hard Spell has the feel of a noir detective story set in a gritty, realistic alternate universe where goblins, ghouls, witches, werewolves, and vampires are just one more thing you have to deal with to get through the day.

It is also imbued with a dry wit that on more than one occasion made me stop reading for a moment just to savor a particular comment.

The set up was extremely well done. It set forth the basic history and rules of this alternate universe in a manner which made it just part of the story background, and did not feel like an extra chapter crammed into the book only for expositional purposes. How the background was explained also gave insight into how the main character thinks.

The first crime scene was extremely well done and leads into the main story. I’ll leave it at that. I don’t want any spoilers.

The main plot is a true mystery, complete with shady characters, a damsel in distress, and the end of the world as we know it if our hero doesn’t save the day.

If I keep writing, I will let something slip, so I’ll just repeat “Buy this book!”

You’ll be glad you did.


I give it 5 stars.

 (See rating system at http://tmblr.co/Zb30ArqLsiRe )