Urban Fantasy Review: ‘Iron Night’ by M. L. Brennan

Iron Night (American Vampire, #2)I read Generation V, I reviewed Generation V.  And for the first time in a long time I just went ahead and jumped right into the sequel.   I actually finished it before I wrote the review for the first book, and looking back, should have just tagged the two reviews together.  Sequels can go one of two ways.  They can take the series into a completely new direction, or they can build on what they are already doing right and continue to fine tune the story as Iron Night does.  (Well, they can go another way, and that is downhill.  Luckily we don’t have to worry about this here).

I really can only think of one small complaint about Generation V when musing about how come I liked Iron Night a bit more.  At times Fortitude was a mouse in the pocket character; there to narrate the story but with very little impact on what was going on.  He was pushed into most the situations, followed others around, and was bullied throughout.  By the end he was showing some agency, but it took a while.  Not a problem in Iron Night.  When his roommate is found brutally murdered it is he who refuses to leave it.  He talks Suze into helping him (not that she requires a lot of persuasion, she appears to be fairly attached to the littlest vamp).  And it is up to him to come up with plans; even gaining a promise from Prudence to follow his command on this.

Everything else was much as it was in the first book.  Still funny, still a quick read with tight plotting.  Still more pranks from my favorite trickster fox (oh the fear in Fortitude’s eye when he realized he turned his roommate search over to her was probably something to see).  And of course, a new round of supernatural to look out for (hey, some things no Urban Fantasy can get away from, no matter how original).  This time we get Skinwalkers and elves.  And again we get an original take.  Usually elves are the top of the social order in supernatural tales so it is fun to watch them itch from being under the vampire cabal.  The skinwalker was an interesting one.  Was the fact that European vampires pushed the native skinwalkers out of their territory an intentional allegory or am I overthinking stuff here?  In any case, all were intertwined and tied together nicely.

Since I already went full fan boy on this series I may as well just list things I really liked this time around.  Prudence.  Prudence.  Prudence.  A dozen or so different elf based insults from Suze.  Prudence.  We know Prudence is feared all over New England, we know some of what she is capable of from events in the first book.  But now we get the chance to hate, love, and fear her all at once.  Best enforcer ever?  Maybe not, but damn close.  She is Chigurh in the form of a middle aged women who can’t go out until dusk.  Her bigger role makes this a darker tale; Fortitude is forced to do some things that strip him of his naivety.  No longer is he a pure hearted hand of justice, even if his goals are still noble.  He puts family first, friends in danger, and sees what is needed to keep his place on the hierarchy.

The author bio at the end of the book says the author is working on the next in the series.  Is it out yet?

4 Stars

Oh, and I won a copy of this book from My Shelf Confessions.


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