Thursday, January 31, 2008

Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis

Black Magic Woman, it totally lives up to the hype.
I had this baby pre-orderd from amazon as of
"Order Date: November 16, 2007" just on the strength of Jim Butcher's blurb on the book, "Black Magic Woman is the best manuscript I've ever been asked to read. Keep an eye on Justin Gustainis. You'll be seeing more of him soon." - Jim Butcher. There was no other description but that.
Butcher does not dissapoint. Ever.
Rarely can authors carry off and capture a reader into 4 different storylines all paralleling and diverging into this multufasceted ending that gave each storyline it's own conclusion, spotlite, and unique and compelling scene. This book will claw it's hooks into you and you'll be thinking about it for days.
Black Magic is full of cover to cover pleasant surprises, one being that Gustainis is a fanstastic character creator. I hope that he's able to spread out and create spinoff series of some of his "gust stars", and even to the cast he alluded to. Barry Love and the "Jack" Morris replaced in the prolgue, are great examples of Gustainis's fine-ass craftmanship.
The entire books is a breath of fresha air, it proves that the genre is not played out. It proves that if an author has enough creative juice, they can still blow you away with a series about witches, vampires, werewolves, and all that jazz. I am officially a fan for life.
So go buy this book, help a new author out and you will hopefully be rewarded with great books through your support! Here's the latest news from his website:
Exciting News!
My publisher, Solaris Books, has offered me a contract for Evil Ways (excerpt of this at the end of BMW), the second Quincey Morris Supernatural Investigation. Publication date: January, 2009.
In addition, Solaris has taken an option on two more books in the "Quincey Morris" series.
When I gave this news to a friend of mine, he congratulated me and then said, "Now all you have to do is write 'em."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the kind review of BLACK MAGIC WOMAN. I'll try not to disappoint my "fan for life" with EVIL WAYS.
In fact, since you've been so nice to me, I'd like to offer a brief excerpt here from EVIL WAYS, which is still in progress. This passage introduces a new character who plays a major role in the story.

Gunther Krause slipped into the abandoned house through the back door a few minutes before sunrise. There were stories that the undead could take the form of mist that could be directed anywhere they wished to go. If that were true, Krause had yet to figure out how to manage it, which was a pity. It would have made his existence much easier.

Still, he had little cause for complaint. He had been using this place as his daylight refuge for two months now, and it had served him very well. The structure had been condemned as unsafe, so no one came here, even stupidly adventurous children.

Krause would not have minded a visit from some children – but only after dark, when he was able to receive them properly.

As he made his way through the decrepit living room, Krause glanced down at his shirtfront. "Damn, bloodstains again," he mused. "And I thought I was feeding so carefully tonight. Well, looks like a new shirt for Gunther. Maybe I’ll take it from my next meal, before I open him up to feed."

Krause was four paces from the basement door when he suddenly realized he was lying on the floor. A moment later, the pain hit him – a searing, merciless agony at the base of his spine that only one thing could have caused. Silver!

He heard them then, the sounds of boot heels crossing the uneven wooden floor. A few seconds later, the owner of the boots came into view. Krause didn’t really need to breathe anymore, but he gasped, nonetheless.

He had in an instant taken in the black hair, the pallor, the scar along an otherwise beautiful, if hard, face. The woman’s shirt and pants were black, to match the boots. In one hand she held the still smoking, silenced .25 automatic that she had used to fire a silver bullet into his spine.

Through teeth clenched tight in pain, Krause managed, “They say you don’t … exist. A legend … a myth, no more.”

The woman let a tiny smile appear on her face. “And now you know better,” she said, in a beautiful soprano voice that sounded like angels singing. “Pity you won’t get the chance to spread the word.”

“Who … who sent you?”

“The family of your second victim. The second in this town, anyway. You didn’t disguise your work quite as well as you thought. They figured out that it was one of you leeches who killed him.”

Her boots tapped out another slow rhythm on the floorboards as she walked over to the nearby window. Miraculously, its shade was still intact. She moved it aside a few inches and glanced outside. “Sun’s almost up,” she said, conversationally, and walked back to where the wounded vampire lay.

“What are you … waiting for?” Krause moaned. “Finish it.”

“In due time,” the woman said. “Which will be very soon, now.”

“Just … because your first shot … missed ….”

She laughed with what sounded like genuine amusement. “Missed? Oh, dear gracious me, no. That bullet went exactly where I wanted it.”

“Why maim … not kill?”

“Because I wanted to spend a few minutes having this little chat with you, Gunther. You don’t mind if I call you Gunther, do you?”

She sauntered back to the window and peered out again. “Ah, sunrise!” she said. “Looks like it should be a beautiful day.”

She looked back at Gunther Krause, and for a moment there was something in her face that would have frightened half the demons in Hell. Then she reached down slowly and grasped the bottom of the window shade.

“Any last words?” she asked pleasantly.

“Fuck you … you twisted fucking … cunt.”

Hannah Widmark, known in some circles as Widowmaker, smiled broadly. “Well, those will serve, I suppose.”

She yanked the bottom of the shade down hard, then released it.

She stood there for a full minute longer, watching impassively and listening to the screams.

Then she left, her boots crunching over the gray ashes that lay strewn across the floor -- ashes in the shape of a man.

For the rest, you'll have to wait until January of '09!

Best wishes,

Justin Gustainis