This is the kind of story where the last hundred pages makes me glad that I stuck with the first two hundred. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy Procession of the Dead until the end, but that last third was fantastic. I see how some readers wouldn’t get into this story, so I think my job here is doubly important. I need to make sure that you get a feel for this book without spoiling it in any way.
I was confused when I first started reading, because I heard somewhere that this is an urban fantasy. It is, but that won’t become apparent until the end, and that’s wildly different from the usual UFs I read. I also think it’s important to point out that this is a dark urban fantasy. You know what that means right? Don’t look for somebody to ride in wearing a white hat for a triumphant finale of good over evil.
Much of this book reads like a piece of mafia/crime fiction. Everything spins around the criminal elements in The City (we never learn which one), and our hero is a wannabe gangster whose grandiose ambitions intersects with the head honcho, The Cardinal. The way the fantasy elements unfold completely took me by surprise. I never saw a hint of what was coming, and every few pages I was shocked again and again and again. I like being surprised as much as anything, and that’s why this book ended on such a high note for me. I’m marveling at how this was crafted, rather than the content itself, which is closer to a horror novel than anything else by the end.
Procession of the Dead will be released in the U.S. on June 4, 2010. As far as I know, it’s already available in many other countries. The next two books in the series are Hell’s Horizon (January 5, 2011), and City of the Snakes (TBA).