Review: Salt and Iron by Tam MacNeil

James van Helsing is the youngest son of the famous monster-hunting family—and the family’s big disappointment. He’s falling in love with Gabe Marquez, his oldest friend and son of the family the van Helsings have worked alongside for years. Things get even harder for James when he becomes what he and everyone else despises most—a magic user.

He didn’t mean to evolve into such a despicable person, and he knows using magic is illegal, but there’s nothing James can do about it, no more than he can stop himself from loving Gabe. Just when things can’t seem to get worse, he and Gabe are called to help nab a network of magicians who are changing destiny. Not just any destiny, but the destinies of the van Helsing and Marquez families. James foresees a terrible fate, one in which monsters emerge from the cracks, along with his dark secret. And that’s when people start to die.

This was really good!

I didn't think I was going to like this one, but a little ways in, I shifted my expectations, strapped myself in, and hung on for the ride.

And I fucking loved it.

In love with his best friend and saddled with a power he can't control and doesn't want, James turns to alcohol to numb the longing he hides and the secret he has to keep. After all, he's a Van Helsing. His family has made a business of monster hunting, and if they found out he has a magic in him that causes him to fix destinies and timelines, he's as good as dead.

Just another thing to add to the long list of things that make him a fuck up in his family's eyes. It's hard to live up to family expectations when his brother is the perfect Van Helsing, and he's stuck with trying to hide the fact that he sees time splintering and reforming like ice all around him.

It's easy to see why he reaches for the bottle of Whiskey, even when you wish he wouldn't.

When a sting goes wrong, and the body count rises, James is put to the test. Determined to save his best friend, and find out how exactly everything went wrong, James is going to make a deal with the enemy, and find out something about himself along the way.

A dark, well kept secret will expose a thread of corruption that leaves nothing untouched in its wake.

This is NOT your fluffy, sparkly vampire, paranormal. This is the darker side of the things that go bump in the night. It skirts the horror line of paranormal, and the romance takes a back seat - like the furthest seat away in an SUV, the one where you're almost in the trunk - kind of back seat.

It's not erotica. It's not even steamy. But you know what? I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Some serious shit happens to these characters, and for once, they've got their priorities straight. There's no stopping to get some nookie with these two men; their lives are on the line and there's more at stake than trying to survive. But there's also a deep seated love between them. They'd literally walk through hell for each other.

And there's also a much deserved kiss that leaves the reader wanting more.

The author did a great job setting an atmosphere.
He only notices when he gets to the bottom of the stairs the way the carpet pulled apart and stained under his feet. The way paint peeled where he touched it, and the mushrooms sprouted at the joints of the spindles. The way destruction follows in his wake.

It was a writing style I didn't think I would like, but ended up loving. It works really well for this book.

There's also multiple POV changes at the beginning of a new chapter - a little confusing at first, but completely necessary, that gives the reader a broader scope of the action.

There was just one thing I wanted from this book that I didn't get, and that was a proper Epilogue. The Epilogue read like a final chapter. It took place moments after the final scenes, and while it left me a little satisfied by wrapping up some loose ends, I wanted so much more from it. I wanted it to be set further into the future. I wanted to know if James would be able to kick his alcohol habit. I wanted to see he and Gabe together, without the world falling down around them.

So, I'm a smidgen disappointed with that, but hella impressed with everything else.

Beautifully detailed, with enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the page. Recommended to anyone who likes their paranormal on the darker side.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment