4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Phoenix Bones can die, but he always comes back. Starting as a still-born baby, he miraculously drew breath, to the astonishment of his parents. They named him Phoenix because of his ability to rise from the ashes and live again. Because of events in his past, he has become a monster hunter. In Undead As A Doornail by William F. Aicher, the first in the Phoenix Bones series, he is investigating the disappearance of a teenage girl from her locked bedroom. Could it be vampires? Phoenix thinks so and is determined to find her.
This is a paranormal thriller with lots of action and danger. Can Phoenix keep from being killed again? This adventure takes him from the United States, to France, and finally to Bulgaria. You’ll learn the best ways to kill vampires, and why horror movies don’t always have it right. Be prepared for some violence, and as you would expect in a vampire story, lots of blood and gore. I must admit, I loved it and was thoroughly entertained.
This urban fantasy is told in a first-person narrative style by Phoenix himself. The tone is fresh and funny, as if he is telling his story to a friend. The story is peppered with modern-day references, such as Deadpool and Superman, Google and Altoids. When in the different countries, some of the characters speak in their native language. But there is always enough context to tell what they are saying, and Phoenix gets them to speak in English quickly enough.
Phoenix is a likeable character. He is confident in his skills, but never showy or boastful. He is honest and brave. When he meets Sofi LeRoux, who is searching for her missing sister, he at first thinks of leaving her behind but decides he must help her too. Sofi is an interesting character. She is beautiful, sexy, headstrong and knows how to fight. However, she is given a detailed personality and never becomes a cliché.
My favorite part of the story is the description of where you go when you die. Eitherspace is the dark place between life and death. When Phoenix dies, he finds himself there. But he has learned you can travel anywhere just by thinking of it through Eitherspace. A door appears leading to a dark corner or closet in your chosen place. That’s how monsters get into children’s closets or under their beds. That’s how young girls are taken from their locked bedrooms. This was an intriguing and frightening idea.
I recommend this book to all lovers of fantasy and horror. There is colorful language and some profanity, but I didn’t find it excessive. There is a bit of romance, but no graphic sex. Because of the violence and blood, this story is not recommended for children. I was completely engrossed in the story and read it quickly. There are a few grammatical errors, but not enough to take away my enjoyment of the story. I am rating Undead As A Doornail (Phoenix Bones: International Monster Hunter #1), by William F. Aicher, with 4 out of 4 stars. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Undead as a Doornail
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon