Author: Clara Coulson
Title: Soul Breaker
Series: City of Crows 1
Pairing: M/F, Bi
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
There’s a hideous monster on the loose, crushing heads and taking names.
But Detective Calvin Kinsey is on the case!
Two years ago, Cal Kinsey was an up-and-coming cop in the Aurora Police Department. But during a fateful nighttime stakeout in search of a prolific killer, Cal witnessed the darkest corner of his dreams come to life. A rogue vampire slaughtered his partner—to put it nicely—and introduced Cal to the supernatural world he never knew existed in the shadows.
Now, Cal is a newly minted detective at the often mocked Department of Supernatural Investigations. By day, the agents of DSI are called “Kooks” by local law enforcement. By night, they’re known as “Crows,” reviled by the supernatural underworld.
Mere weeks out of the academy, Cal catches his first real case, a vicious murder at a local college. An unknown sorcerer has summoned a powerful creature from the Eververse, a realm of magic and mayhem that borders Earth, and set it on a dangerous warpath through the city.
Between butting heads with his grumpy team captain, stirring up ill will with the local wizards and witches, and repeatedly getting the crap beaten out of himself, Cal must find a way to stop the Eververse monster and send it back to the hell it came from…
…preferably before Aurora, Michigan runs out of coffins for the dead.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved reading Soul Breaker. I thought the plot, the characters, and the setting were very well constructed and I enjoyed every moment of the book. The next one in the series can't come out fast enough.
Cal's first encounter with a vampire doesn't go so well. His partner was killed and Cal was unceremoniously thrust into the magical world. He quits his job as a police officer and instead enrolls in the DSI where he is trained to fight rogue creatures like that vampire. On his first case he runs into a creature from the underworld and must find a way to save his friends before it's too late. There were a lot of twists and turns in the plot that kept me turning the pages. I tried to guess what was coming, but was constantly surprised by how different events occurred. The crafting involved was superb.
Cal is smart, but he's a rookie. Coulson doesn't thrust him into a leadership roll and have him automatically excel there. He needs to grow as an DSI agent and the mistakes he makes help with that. It was nice not to have a Mary Sue character, which a lot of the time people like Cal quickly become. He is flawed, which makes him interesting, but he's also very intelligent, which makes the leadership position he's thrust into fit. The fact that he's bisexual was a nice addition and added some more depth to his character. Coulson didn't try to shoehorn any of the characters into specific stereotypes. The witches weren't evil or good, but a gray area in between. The underworld monsters might not be the bad guys in the story. I won't say anything more so I don't ruin the story, but let me just say I enjoyed how Coulson constructed her villains. There was a ton of research involved and it paid off.
There were so many questions brought up in this story that weren't answered. Why does Cal keep breaking his rings? Who is Cal's father? Who is really the enemy? It allowed the story to stand on its own, yet at the same time connect it to the next book in the series. I think that's one of the main reasons I'm so anxious for the next book to be made available.
Soul Breaker was very well written, kept my interest, and has me waiting anxiously for the next book in the series. The research that went into the plot and the depth of the characterizations were extremely well done and I absolutely recommend this book.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.