Review Rebuttal: Dead Things & Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore

August 23, 2014 3.5 stars, Book Review 8

Review Rebuttal: Dead Things & Broken Souls by Stephen BlackmooreDead Things & Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore
Series: Eric Carter #1 - #2
Published by DAW Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Broken Souls

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it's a title Eric Carter is stuck with.

He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.

When he left L.A. fifteen years ago he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.

But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.

Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him.

Carter’s going to find out who did it and he’s going to make them pay.

As long as they don’t kill him first.

Broken Souls

When necromancer Eric Carter returned to Los Angeles after fifteen years on the run he knew things were bad, but he never imagined how bad they could get. Sister murdered, best friend dead, married to the patron saint of death, Santa Muerte.
And things are just getting worse.

His link to the Aztec death goddess is changing his powers, changing him, and he’s not sure how far it will go. He’s starting to question his own sanity, wonder if he’s losing his mind. No mean feat for a guy who talks to the dead on a regular basis.

While searching for a way to break Santa Muerte’s hold over him, Carter finds himself the target of a psychopath who can steal anyone’s form, powers and memories. Identity theft is one thing, but the guy does it by killing his victims and wearing their skins like a suit. He can be anyone. He can be anywhere.

Now Carter has to change the game, go from hunted to hunter. All he has for help is a Skid Row Bruja and a ghost who’s either his dead friend Alex or Carter’s own guilt-fueled psychotic break.

If things go right, he just might survive a week where everything is trying to kill him and nothing is as it seems.

(A Word from Tabitha: Recently Maggie posted a review on Stephen Blackmoore’s book Broken Souls and said she would be passing those books off to her husband. Well I have a special treat for you today – her husband Alan did indeed read the books and greatly enjoyed them. I even went over to their house and saw him sitting engrossed reading on the couch, ignoring us guests and when us hens starting getting too loud for him he trotted off to read in peace. Here are his words on why you SHOULD read Dead Things & Broken Souls! Remember to laugh ok?)


Maggie must have been in a bad mood when she reviewed this book. Maybe it was “that time of the month.” Maybe she was just feeling extra cynical.

These books, while feeling derivative of the Dresden Files series, are good. It’s a new twist on magic, some interesting characters and exactly what I’d want from a pulp novel.

Two of the best things about this book are:

1. It fits easily in your pocket.

2. It can be consumed in a weekend and provides a nice escape to delve into.

Maggie forgets that Harry Dresden is also delving to new depths in magic as the series progresses. He was the Summer Knight for cryinoutloud. Blackmore just hits a little harder with the progression.

I like that the author uses some of the same plot devices that we saw in American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I think it’ll give him a lot of options to develop other stories. It’s also interesting seeing the focus on the Aztec pantheon with other systems (Djinn, Demons, ghosts) as supporting characters.

TL;DR Don’t listen to Maggie, Pick this book up from a friend or a used book store and enjoy it for what it’s worth. (Though I wouldn’t pay more than about $5 for this book)


Father of four, who spending most waking hours working as an executive at a health care company. He is often cranky and sometimes a know-it-all. He has a unique relationship with books. Alan cut his teeth reading science fiction (Niven, Pohl, Asimov, Clarke, Card) stolen from his father's bookshelf. In 7th grade he discovered Anne McCaffery and Piers Anthony which expanded his horizons into fantasy. At 16, a young lady suggested that Anne Rice writes some "hot" books. His beautiful bride Maggie introduced him to PNR (Laurell K. Hamilton). His guilty pleasure is "cotton candy" pulp fiction from the 50s and 60s (Edgar Rice Burroughs).

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8 Responses to “Review Rebuttal: Dead Things & Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore”

  1. Molly Mortensen

    haha! Nice to hear different opinions about the same book. I enjoyed the Dresden Files at first, but the last couple have felt too drawn out. I trust you Maggie, but I think I’ll put this one on the old to read list. 😉
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Red Rising NetgalleyMy Profile

  2. Maggie Jones

    Maybe it was “that time of the month.” – You are as bad as my mom announcing to the grocery store that I couldn’t marry Prince William because I wasn’t a virgin (I was in my 20’s)… Just because it is true doesn’t mean you have to announce it! 😛

    Great review, btw. Spagetti for dinner.
    Maggie Jones recently posted…Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi AlsaidMy Profile