cover image Unclean Spirits

Unclean Spirits

Chuck Wendig. Abaddon, $15.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-78108-615-5

Philly is a hotbed of supernatural activity in this reissue of Wendig’s excellent 2013 contribution to Abaddon’s Gods and Monsters series. For five years, former MMA fighter Cason Cole has been the bodyguard for a man named E. Rose, who’s actually the god Eros. Cole was pressed into this job after Eros saved his wife, Alison, and son, Barney, from a horrible fate. When Eros is killed by a bomb, Cason is liberated from his service, but Alison and Barney don’t recognize him and try to kill him. When Frank Polcyn (aka Cicatrix) claims responsibility for Eros’s death and offers to help Cason release his wife and son from the spell they’re under, Cason can’t refuse, but he may be in for the fight of his life. The goddess Psyche imprisons Alison and puts Barney in a comalike state, hoping to use Alison to find Cason, but Alison escapes and gets help from an unexpected source. Wendig’s staccato prose speeds by like a bullet, revealing a fully realized city teeming with gods who are surprisingly human. Under the considerable blood, grit, and gristle of the story lies a warm beating heart. This is Wendig at his bloody, darkly funny, visceral best. This edition includes the novella “Drag Hunt” by Pat Kelleher. (Feb.)