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Dead Man (Black Magic Outlaw) (Volume 1) Paperback – February 25, 2016
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"If you like Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden), Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels), Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International), and Elliot James (Pax Arcana) then you are going to love Domino Finn's contribution to the smart-talking MC that's perpetually stuck between a rock and a hard place."
"More magic, twists, turns, and surprises than you can shake a stick at. Urban fantasy just went up a notch."
"Black Magic Outlaw is a standout in a world of lookalikes."
"The magic is far more imaginative than anything I have read since Sanderson."
"A quantum leap in storytelling."
"Cisco is the kind of character you can't help cheering for, with a mix of boyish charm, a dash of arrogance, but always the bighearted underdog."
"Enough dead bodies, zombies, and wizards to fill a small stadium."
"Action junkies will love this series."
"A fun magic system, great atmosphere and setting, and a heroic yet tarnished protagonist who finds some pretty creative ways to defeat his enemies."
"Cisco is a tattooed, necromancing, shadow-morphing, 'Live and Let Die' meets Jack Reacher kind of guy... only better."
"Gritty. Raw. Finn spices his narrative with humor and floods it with tension. I just love the noir style."
"Despite being a hard-charger with some seriously cool black-magic chops, Cisco is fun to hang out with."
"Jason Bourne meets urban fantasy. Good pace, engaging lead, and fresh mythology. Loved it."
"What a great path of destruction Cisco leaves."
About the Author
Domino Finn is an entertainment industry veteran, a contributor to award-winning video games, and the grizzled Urban Fantasy author of the best-selling Black Magic Outlaw series. His stories are equal parts spit, beer, and blood, and are notable for treating weighty issues with a supernatural veneer. If Domino has one rallying cry for the world, it's that fantasy is serious business. Take up arms at DominoFinn.com
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Imagine my surprise to find it in a black magic outlaw.
Our hero wakes up dead--or alive, we're not sure--in a dumpster, and his day goes downhill from there. Miami is painted in vivid prose, from the slang to the pink sidewalks. There are Cuban gangs, zombies, thralls, giant spiders, and a seriously badass African vampire. (Hint: they don't sparkle.)
The mystery unfolds with more twists than a Norse runic tattoo, and kept me reading straight through with few breaks. At the end, I put it down with a satisfied sigh. This is what I've wanted since I finished Skin Game. Spiffy urban fantasy. I eagerly await further books!
But we quickly encounter the first of several key details that really didn't pass my own personal "sniff test" ... fairly early in the book we find out he wasn't ever actually dead, rather he was being mind-controlled by an evil warlock / voodoo guy for the past XX years. And even after he (and we) finds out he did not ever actually die, he continues to refer to his 'death', his 'murder', or his 'being dead for XX years'. That's really annoying. Basically he keeps saying "I have to avenge myself on the people who killed me even though they didn't actually kill me and I wasn't actually dead, and all the other murders I want to avenge were mostly carried out by me while I wasn't dead" ... made my brain hurt.
There's a handful of other little annoyances at places in the story, basically inconsistent or unrealistic behavior by various characters ... I tried to keep the disbelief in suspension, but every little inconsistency was a stumbling block to my engagement with the story. Some people don't fret the details, and if that's you, then have at it and I hope you enjoy this book more than I did.
In general I would advise tentative readers to buy a used copy of this first book, and if you find you do enjoy it then go ahead and buy the rest of the series new so as to support the author.
Cisco is a typical 24 year old kid/man. He thinks he knows everything. Playing with black magic is a game . . . until it isn’t. Someone or someones are trying to kill him. He is at times arrogant, self pitying and cold blooded. He’s an assassin albeit involuntarily.
This story has more twists and turns to it than the back roads of the Missouri Ozarks. I could never tell if Cisco’s friends were really his friends or if they were an enemy in disguise. The same with his enemies. You know the saying: enemy of my enemy is my friend . . . for now.
I listened to the audio and read the book. I liked both, but I did enjoy reading better than listening. The narrator was fine, but he didn’t differentiate much between characters. It won’t stop me from trying another audio of his, though.
Will I listen or read to book #2? Hell, yes. I enjoyed Mr. Finn’s writing and the characters were very colorful and animated (heehee . . . see what I did there? No? Read the book. You’ll get it.). I am not all that keen on Cisco’s attitude, but since this is the first book, there always needs to be room for growth. I have faith that Cisco will grow up and take more responsibility for his actions. I believe that is going to be true because of the last few words in the book: “With a checkered past and a decade of bad deeds, I had a lot to atone for.” I am looking forward to #2. Bring it on.
Yes, it's dark and violent, but if you can't glean that within the first 5 seconds of reading, I don't know what to tell you. It's not over the top or just for shock value either. Everything comes together smoothly, from the magic to the bad guys to even the setting of Miami. I felt like I was there, in all its humid, overcrowded, seedy glory.
It was also well-paced non-stop action, only pausing to take breaths to get to know the character better. Cisco is complex and while he comes off flippant at times, he has different sides to him that aren't always fun and games. You really feel for him. I walked away still thinking about him.
I highly recommend it, if you can't tell. I've already dived into the sequel and it hasn't disappointed yet.