Thursday, August 18, 2016
Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer
This is the first book I'm reviewing strictly out of the YA genre. It was recommended on Amazon Prime and is the first in a series about this character, though he's written other books in this universe involving others mentioned within. I knew nothing of this, however, and just picked it up because it sounded cool.
The story is thus. Harmony Black is an FBI agent working with a group called Vigilant Lock, an off-the-books group that seeks and destroys paranormal threats. Harmony, herself, is a witch who'd been taught by her mother after the murder of her father and tragic disappearance of her younger sister. When it seems like the creature that took her sister is back, Harmony goes back to her hometown of Talbot Cove accompanied by a small task force including a tech-savvy nerd and a foul-mouthed, though enjoyable, partner named Jessie.
Harmony Black is very much a crime drama that just happens to include the paranormal. The way in which things like witches and demons and Boogeymen are handled is very matter-of-fact. This is just another case for Harmony, though it is more personal than normal. Harmony herself is likable and easy to follow into a story, taking you along for the ride and making it interesting without being overly complicated. The character of Jessie is also a ton of fun. Her sassy attitude calls for absolutely no crap and she puts up a very strong don't-get-in-my-way persona. Despite this, she and Harmony do form a strong friendship and work very well together.
The story itself is compelling and the mystery is pretty gripping. Personally, I get really invested in crime stories where the victims are children and will go hang on to every word hoping the child in question is alright. There is a looming threat in this story, high-stakes if the case isn't solved soon. There are a few of those instances where it does make the same cliches, such as the unhelpful political figure, nosy reporter, old friend from past returns to be potential romantic interest, etc. I won't spoil the mystery for you, naturally, but let's just say that, when I read it, I wasn't exactly picking my jaw up off the floor when the big reveal came around. Still, it's about the journey and not the destination in Harmony Black and the journey is a good one. There is a fair share of downtime in this book, but the high points are thrilling, and the characters are interesting enough that you do want to see anyone okay.
Harmony Black is as good a crime novel as you can find and the added bonus of a paranormal twist takes it up a level. If crime novels are your thing, I'd say that this book is totally worth your money at your local bookstore. Look for it on a shelf near you.
Next Time: Watch what you eat.....