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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

Myke Cole, author of Shadow Ops Series

John Brown John, translator of the Zamonia Novels

Jim C. Hines author of Libriomancer

Nick Harkaway author of Angelmaker (review here)

Martha Wells author of The Cloud Roads

David Tallerman author of Giant Thief

Mazarkis Williams author of The Emperor's Knife

Rob Ziegler author of Seed

Steven Gould author of 7th Sigma

Douglas Hulick author of Among Thieves (review here)

Mark Charan Newton author of Nights of Villjamur (review here)

Kameron Hurley author of God's War (review here)

Brent Weeks author of The Black Prism (review here)

Anthony Huso author of The Last Page (review here)

Brandon Sanderson author of The Way of Kings (review here)

Lou Anders Editor of Pyr Books

Ian Tregillis author of Bitter Seeds (review here)

Sam Sykes author of Tome of the Undergates (review here)

Benjamin Parzybok author of Couch (review here)

Kristine Kathryn Rusch author of Diving Into the Wreck (review here)

Ken Scholes author of Lamentation

Cherie Priest author of Boneshaker (review here)

Lev Grossman author of The Magicians (review here)

Character Interviews

Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Eva Forge from Tim Akers's The Horns of Ruin

Atticus from Kevin Hearne's Hounded


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Year Zero by Rob Reid

Alif: The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Scourge of the Betrayer by Jeff Salyards

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Control Point by Myke Cole

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway
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REVIEW | Heartland by Mark Teppo (Night Shade)

Heartland by Mark Teppo is the second in The Codex of Souls series, which picks up soon after the action of where Lightbreaker (reviewed here) drops you. In fact the excerpt for Heartland at the end of Lightbreaker doesn't appear in Heartland itself so definitely check it out as it lays out the impetus behind this volume. The reasons are still explained well in Heartland, but it helped introduce a fairly pivotal--if short lived--character.

Markham is back to his old haunts this time around as he travels to Paris to face La Société Lumineuse, the very group that thinks him 5 years dead. His strings have been pulled and he must fulfill the clouded wishes of its now deceased leader as Markham just have happened to add his soul to the recently rebooted Chorus, which leads to all kinds of odd and cryptic internal dialogue. Teppo smartly avoided having the obligatory fight on the Eiffel Tower, but he does visit other well known sites of Paris in a very action oriented story as Markham jumps from one fight to the next barely catching his breath in between.

Teppo doesn't suffer the sophomore slump at all with Heartland. In fact, the same level of cleverness and knowledge of the occult still clings to Teppo's prose as this man is a knowledge bucket of the arcane and manages to make it fresh and undaunting. Markham is given some added depth filling in his back story and the relationships he left behind. Even with all the reveals I can't help but think there is still a lot more of Markham left in the dark. Lightbreaker Markham was continually fighting to keep the Chorus in control, but now he is learning how powerful it can be when its working towards his own ends. Yet I still don't have a clear picture of how powerful Markham is despite all the opponents and obstacles he faces. This could stem from Teppo not wanting to empty his quiver too quickly, but it certainly left me more than curious about Markham. I guess it is a case of whetting my appetite for more.

We finally meet Marielle, Markham's perplexing lover from his days in Paris. If I had any complaints it would be the readiness that Marielle accepts what happened to her father, which came a bit too easy for me even given the explanation later on and there are almost too many turnabouts. Teppo really hammers home the old adage of trust no one.  Also, the pacing does feel a bit jumpy in a couple spots, but this was mostly due to Markham getting incapacitated a few too many times.

The Codex of Souls is without a doubt one of the most original Urban Fantasy series going right now. It has stepped away from the pack and embraced a different type of magic and a very different sensibility worth checking out. I give Heartland 8 out of 10 hats. While the series is projected to be 10 books when done the first two books comprise an arc that feels complete, but lays the ground work for a beautifully realized dark-world full of surprises and twists. The third in the series Angel Tongue can't get here soon enough for me.

Teppo has the prequel story Wolves, In Darkness up on the Codex of Souls site, which introduces many of the characters who show up in Heartland and also tells a much alluded to story from Markham's time with La Société Lumineuse. The story will also give you a good idea if you'd like Teppo's style.

You Might Also Like:
INTERVIEW | Mark Teppo author of Lightbreaker
REVIEW | Lightbreaker by Mark Teppo
REVIEW | Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
REVIEW | Turn Coat by Jim Butcher


Anonymous said...

Seems different from all the vampire and sex crazed Urban Fantasy out there. Worth a try.

Thanks Hatter!