Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384pp
Working for the Devil is the first in a five book series covering the life and times of Dante Valentine.
Dante, Danny for short, is the kind of character you can really sink your teeth into. A katana-wielding Necromancer, Dante doesn't take crap from anyone. Tough, smart, and deadly, she's built a reputation for herself in Saint City. She's one of the best, maybe even the best, and that is why one rainy day the Devil asks for her help.
The Devil has a job for Dante and he isn't going to let her refuse. A demon has escaped from hell with something very precious - an egg that, if opened, could mean an apocalypse for Earth. For Dante the job is even harder to turn down once she learns that the demon she will be hunting is the same one that almost killed her a few years before. The demon, Santino, had also killed her friend Doreen and Dante feels honor bound to hunt him down. Japhrimel, the Devil's right hand demon and most deadly assassin, is made Dante's familiar and protector.
Driven by a dark past that is only hinted at in Rigger Hall and the brutal murder of Doreen, Dante checks with her contacts in Saint City for any sign of Santino. Japhrimel is always a few steps away and at first Dante is uneasy about having the demon shadowing her. But after awhile the feel of his dark aura and his cinnamon smell become as familiar to her as her own skin.
Dante gets help, whether she wants it or not, from her Necromancer and cop friend Gabriele, Gabe's hedgewitch boyfriend Eddie, and ex-lover Jace who just happens to have ties to the Mob. Not to mention the demon. They follow Santino to Nuevo Rio where the hunters become the hunted.
One of the things that really stood out about this book was the world. The technology is advanced (think Blade Runner) and the mix of floating cars and laser guns with ancient Egyptian gods and swords fit perfectly. It's complicated and not everything is explained in depth. Things are just mention in passing, thrown at you and either you catch it or you don't. But this isn't a problem, it only adds to the feeling of reality, as Dante fights her way toward Santino and the egg.
Based in a world full of advanced technology and ancient magic, Working for the Devil is a dark urban fantasy that reaches out and grabs you by the throat. It is one kick butt start to what I'm sure will turn out to be one of the better series around. If Dante Valentine isn't on your reading list, you're missing out.
SciFiChick read and reviewed this one too...