Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 05/2022
  • 978-1958315033
  • 374 pages
  • $21.99
Ebook Details
  • 05/2021
  • B08Y72NNR5
  • 376 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2021
  • 9781736823507
  • 374 pages
  • $15.99
Stormy McDonald
Author
Phantoms of Ruthaer: Chronicles of Damage, Inc.

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

With their immortal souls threatened, a small town's only hope lies in trusting bounty hunterss with a reputation almost as dark as the evil stalking the night.

In the countries east of the White River, some call Damage, Inc. heroes. Others call the bounty hunters criminals. The truth lies somewhere in between. Hector de los Santos, the team's leader, has only two rules about bounties: finish every job, no matter what it takes, and no charity cases.

Aislinn Yves, the team's half-elven tracker, thought she'd never see the tiny village of Ruthaer again. That is, until a plea for help from her father's old friend, Tallinn, arrives. The job sounds simple: track down a few missing people, perhaps a killer. The trick is convincing Hector to put their current job on hold. Unfortunately, things are worse than Tallinn implied.

Unnatural weather, restless dead, and gruesome murders are just the beginning, for the town harbors a terrible secret that could spell the end of Damage, Inc. and drag Ruthaer straight to Hell.

Reviews
The McDonalds’ engagingly pulpy debut, a party-based fantasy novel as eager to get to the adventure as your latest tabletop RPG session, finds a squad of bounty hunters facing a seemingly simple mission that, like all the hooks that kick off such a story, soon proves more complex and dangerous—and, in this case, so personal that it might tear the party apart. The heroes are Damage, Inc., a motley band of toughs in it for their own benefit. In a world of vampires and demons, dragons and trolls, gruff leader Hector, a scimitar wielding warrior, refuses to take any non-paying jobs, but Aislinn, the team’s healer and tracker, insists on sailing to her hometown, Ruthaer, after an old lighthouse keeper sends her a message about disappearances and some sorcerously odd weather.

Reluctantly, Damage, Inc., set out to investigate, encountering graverobbing, fog-choked boneyards, ancient relics, ghosts raging against the light, and other surprises all dramatized by the McDonalds with clear relish—moments like an apparent act of kindness from a murderous dærganfae challenge the expectations of characters and readers. The world of the Confederation of Nations is engaging, boasting traditional fantasy elements and a welcome diversity, and the action is fresh and vigorous, honoring the not-quite-heroes’ array of abilities and approaches. The stakes are high, despite the prevailing spirit of fun.

A surfeit of modifiers at times slows the line-to-line storytelling, but this first volume of the Chronicles of Damage, Inc. series is otherwise an engaging treat for fans of party-based fantasy adventure. Setting it apart is the McDonalds’ crack characterization, the way Damage, Inc., works and bickers as a group, cracking jokes without ever going too meta. ("‘Is it bad luck to kill a monk?’ Dave asked, breaking the silence.”) Hector, Aislinn, the archer/swordsman Dave Blood, the empath Hummingbird—heroes or not, readers will cheer them on.

Takeaway: This vigorously entertaining fantasy debut pits lovable bounty hunters against the undead.

Great for fans of: Nicholas Eames, Lee Gaiteri’s Below..

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Hardcover Details
  • 05/2022
  • 978-1958315033
  • 374 pages
  • $21.99
Ebook Details
  • 05/2021
  • B08Y72NNR5
  • 376 pages
  • $2.99
Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2021
  • 9781736823507
  • 374 pages
  • $15.99

Loading...