|Needs more cowbell.|
Eric Lahti’s urban fantasy “Arise (Henchmen Book 2)” continues the tale of Steven, Eve, Jessica and the rest of the surviving characters from “Henchmen Awaken” with the same passion, joy, humor, and of course “bad guy” violence. While readers will certainly understand the characters and their relationships better if they read the first book, Lahti is such a strong storyteller that “Arise” can be read on its own.
Lahti’s story focuses on Steven, who provides his sardonic, first person account in the aftermath of the Dreamer’s freedom from US Government (black ops of course) control. While Steven himself originally had no powers, he is surrounded by those who are connected with the otherworldly, especially in his former boss Eve, a seven foot tall blonde with surprising strength and healing. Lahti beefs up his cast of character with the addition of Wilford Saxton, who should, by all rights, be dead. The mystery of his continued survival is a wonderful part of this new story.
What’s makes “Arise” so excellent isn’t just the jokes sprinkled throughout the wonderfully wrought action. Lahti also makes time for the relationship that readers have been waiting for between Steven and Jessica. Lahti’s extra layer of this potential love story fully engages the reader.
In “Arise (Henchmen Book 2)” Lahti crafts an urban fantasy with thrilling action, wonderful humor, and relationships around very real characters to create a fun treat for genre-readers. I’m pleased to report that this addition to the story doesn’t suffer from the usual middle-child issues. It stands on its own as a complete story, but it also nicely sets the stage for several more chapters.