Book Review: The Iron Codex by David Mack

Publishing Date: January 2019

Publisher: Dark Arts

ISBN: 9780765383211

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.3/5

Publisher’s Description: 1954: Cade Martin, hero of the Midnight Front during the war, has been going rogue without warning or explanation, and his mysterious absences are making his MI-6 handlers suspicious. In the United States, Briet Segfrunsdóttir serves as the master karcist of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program. And In South America, Anja Kernova hunts fugitive Nazi sorcerers with the help of a powerful magickal tome known as the Iron Codex.

In an ever-more dangerous world, a chance encounter sparks an international race to find Anja and steal the Iron Codex. The Vatican, Russians, Jewish Kabbalists, and shadowy players working all angles covet the Codex for the power it promises whoever wields it.

Review: I don’t know what took me so long to read this. I think I was enjoying this read a little too much, hence the dribbling reads late at night. Guilty pleasure or a solid novel to soar from great heights? Read on!

What I liked about this novel was the grounded entertainment value. It has this Captain America World War II vibe meshed with the improbability of magik that is also grounded in frailty. That is to say that no one is invincible whether they wield a gun or anchor demons and angels.  The characters all have personality flaws and life choice baggage that helps build depth without detracting from the whole.

There is constant movement interleaved with different journeys involving different characters. These characters seem to coalesce and expand as the story line shifts to add resonance to the overall plot.  Very intelligent writing.

There is a love interest that is rebuffed (Yay!) and then re-kindled (boo!) which dropped this novel into average-ville. Anja is also speshul but denies her heritage and takes a discerning look at everyone’s intentions with regard to her role in Armageddon.  A refreshing character that remakes the “reluctant hero” meme. I kept pulling for Briet and I still don’t know why. Perhaps the cold exterior, when melted by loss, helped imbue her with a deeper sense of humanity. I loved that Cade is a druggy, alcoholic wizard with a boner for Anja. He just kinda lays his emotions out there for all the world to see, and gives no fuks in the process. There is the gay sidekick trope, because authors these days have to cover all their bases.

I had high hopes for this novel, and elevated this novel to stardom before it slid into romance and artificially rendered characters. It still had some great moments.

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