Monday, August 29, 2011

Resurrection - Tim Marquitz

Resurrection is the second part in Marquitz Demon Squad series and continues the adventures of Frank Trigg, also known as Triggaltheron. The series is set in a world where God and the Devil have decided to throw the towel and Angels and Demons are now fighting for control. Resurrection is set after the events in Armageddon Bound, the story refers to events in the previous novel several times, but it is also an entirely new case for DRAC. I wouldn't go so far as to say they can be read independently but Marquitz has made them pretty self contained. The first novel was entertaining but sometimes burdened by too lengthy action sequences. In this volume, Marquitz has struck a better balance.

The world has been saved from Armageddon but the work of a DRAC agent is never done. While Trigg is enjoying a well deserved bit of R&R in one of the more questionable bars in Old Town, he stumbles across a group of zombies. Or rather, they stumble across him. For someone with his supernatural powers they are not too dangerous but in large numbers they can still do a lot of damage. After a brutal fight, Trigg calls in his colleagues and an investigation into the origins of this zombie outbreak begins. What seems to be a relatively easy case compared to preventing Armageddon, soon turns into something more complicated when Trigg realizes the necromancer involved, will not settle for animating a few corpses.

One of my complaints about the previous book was that Trigg is a horribly sexist character, who apparently feels the need to describe his physical reaction to every pretty woman he comes across. Perhaps I am getting used to it but it appears that Marquitz has gone a bit easier on this personality trait of Trigg's. The poor man still can't get laid without being interrupted though. As with the first volume, if you are not at least capable of ignoring it, this book will most likely annoy you.

In the previous novel the emphasis was mostly on a struggle between Angels and Demons and factions within those two groups. In Resurrection, Marquitz takes a closer look at necromancy. Zombies are one expression of this but the larger plan calls for the resurrection of someone who, according to Trigg, ought to remain dead. Marquitz is once again expanding the array of supernatural creatures that populate his world. I must admit I don't share the current zombie fetish that is washing over the genre at the moment. Trigg's response to them, a complete lack of fear followed by a moment where he realizes he's screwed if he doesn't move, is very well done though.

Resurrection is more tightly written than then Armageddon Bound. While the first novel was relentless in terms of action scenes, it came at the expense of character development and plot. In this novel there are few more scenes in which Trigg is not fighting, arguing or running away from someone more dangerous than he is, which does the plot a world of good. Trigg is gaining power, his development beyond one of DRAC's foot soldiers takes some getting used to. He likes it when people underestimate him. From the way Trigg is picking up power in these two books I'd say this is something he'll have to get used to.

Although Marquitz' writing has improved in this volume, the final chapter could have used a bit more attention. It reads like the author is ticking off loose ends in the plot one of after another. When I read it I felt the author might as well have added bullets to the text. There's also a hint in this chapter in which direction Marquitz means to take the next book. It was nicely foreshadowed in the text and one of the stronger point of this chapter. The author manages to deliver a complete story and still add a hook to get the reader interested in the next volume.

Marquitz once again delivers a fast paced novel, full of action and Trigg's self-depreciating humour. He has managed to raise the bar quite a bit, resulting in a stronger second novel, that builds on an interesting premiss. There is still quite a lot to uncover in this setting. Most of the struggle between Angels and Demons seems to be limited to one city for instance. As of yet, there is no clue why this would be the case. Fortunately Marquitz clearly intends to write a third book and judging from the final chapter of this novel, I'd say it is going to be a conflict on a scale we haven't seen before.

Book Details
Title: Resurrection
Author: Tim Marquitz
Publisher: Damnation Books
Pages: 200
Year: 2011
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-61572-397-3
First published: 2011

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