cover image Black Lotus 2: The Vow

Black Lotus 2: The Vow

K’wan. Akashic, $14.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-61775-767-9

Set in New York City, K’wan’s swaggering sequel to 2014’s Black Lotus finds the eponymous assassin—real name Kahllah El-Amin—retired from vengeance-for-hire and effecting justice through journalism at the magazine she runs with her best friend, Audrey. Kahllah endeavors to ignore the coded contact requests that keep appearing in the Village Voice classifieds; she has no interest in renewing her association with the Brotherhood of Blood. But when someone frames Black Lotus for the murder of crooked cop Francis Cobb, Kahllah realizes she has no choice but to unpack her blades, re-don her mask, and track down Cobb’s true killer. Not only is her honor at stake but one of the NYPD’s finest—hard-nosed detective James Wolf—is hot on her trail. Readers new to the series may initially find themselves scrambling to suss out Kahllah and James’s respective backstories, but on the whole, K’wan delivers a lean, tightly plotted tale that balances noir aesthetics with comic book flair. Fans of pulp and urban lit will be well satisfied. (Nov.)