When I picked up Hellforged I hadn’t heard of Nancy Holzner, I hadn’t read the first book in the series Deadtown, and I didn’t know the slightest thing about Hellforged except it looked like it had the possibility to be interesting. Of course now that I’ve read Hellforged I can’t wait to read Deadtown and the rest of the forthcoming Deadtown series.
Now readers don’t have to read Deadtown before reading Hellforged but I assume it would certainly help enrich the book and series as a whole. In Hellforged Victory is not only forced to deal with the situations and demons from Deadtown (don’t worry Holzner does a great job catching new readers up), but she’s introduced to an even more terrifying nemesis, her family. Readers get glimpse into the history that makes up Victory heritage while also amassing more mysteries along the way.
Holzner does a great job creating both strong main and side characters. Victory isn’t perfect but nor is she supposed to be. She is clearly still learning and most of the demons she deals with are of a low level. When she has to face demons and monsters of a higher level she often relies on help or almost lucks into the solution. And while that sounds like a bad thing, this really makes the book much more enjoyable. This is not some superman of a character, it is a flawed character that is meant grow and strengthen across the series.
As for the side characters, my favorite by far has to be either Mab or Kane. While Mab is tough and full of mysteries, Kane is both strong, perfect seeming, and yet full of little quirks that make him both more realistic and unique. Such quirks include his necessity to term everything in it’s politically appropriate term (even while Victory rolls her eyes throughout the book). This and other characteristics make Kane a fun character to read.
Of course one character that I was a little sad wasn’t in the book more was Juliet. She has a few key scenes that line up some important information for the next book in the series, but for the most part she’s barely in this book.
All in all I liked Hellerforged quite a bit. The characters were both interesting, the action well spaced and well detailed, the premise exciting and different, and the book overall a fun read. I personally plan to read Deadtown, and I can’t wait for the next in the series, whenever it comes out.