On the positive side, her money problems are over, she’s possibly discovered her purpose in life, and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.
When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks: it is hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region . . . and her life.
A Fistful of Evil
by Rebecca Chastain
Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer #1
Mind Your Muse Books
August 8, 2014
A Fist Full of Evil by Rebecca Chastain tells the story of Madison, a self-proclaimed “vegetarian vampire” who can see the evil in those around her. She can also see the good, but it’s specifically her gift for spotting out the darkness that draws the attention of her new employer—which is a good thing considering she’s out of a job. Desperate and in way over her head, Madison is thrown into a world of good versus evil, where the ability she’s underutilized her entire life is now front and center—and means the difference between her survival and death in an increasingly hostile world.
Mix in a grumpy boss, a sassy best friend, and a sexy enforcer and you have this smart, funny, and interesting read. This book reads and reminds me of a Stephanie Plum novel, except with a bit more sass. Madison is a really funny and relatable character—you can really identify with her as well as sympathize with the mess she’s been thrown into. I also like that, even though Madison is lusting after her sexy co-worker, Niko, they don’t immediately fall into a relationship. In fact, the story takes the time to introduce a few potential love interests which definitely helps to give some depth to the story (and keeps it from falling into romantic comedy cliché).
I did find that there’s a lot of the novel that’s focused on getting Madison ready to fight, which makes sense considering she’s been thrown into this new world with no clue, but it definitely makes the story drag for me. Obviously, she has a lot to learn considering she’s got no idea what’s going on, but it focusing on the details of how the job works, with various missions, kind of seems like filler. I wish there’d been more time spent with Madison’s best friend, Bridget, or talking with other enforcers or members of her new team earlier on—getting to know the characters a bit more personally and not just work-wise, or how they act when hunting. But it’s a small issue and once the story gets going, it’s definitely more balanced.
I would have also liked to have seen a little more back-story, and have a better understanding of why Madison’s boss, Mr. Brad Pitt, would bother with someone who is so obviously out of her depth, but I’m sure that will come in subsequent books.
For me, the story really picks up after all the busywork of figuring out where Madison fits in her new world is over and done with. Fighting a demon—darkness wrapped up in a pretty package—that’s really where the fun begins, and where we really get to see Madison’s character shine.
All in all, I think this is a really fun start to what I’m sure is going to be a really entertaining series of books. Rebecca Chastain has a great sense of humor that really comes across through Madison’s character and I think, with time and more installments, this series will only continue to shine.
The review copy of this book was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.