Resurrection (Demon Squad #2)
by Tim Marquitz
Damnation Books (2011)
In February 2010, I reviewed Tim Marquitz's Armageddon Bound, the first installment in his Demon Squad urban fantasy series. I found it to be a good example of an off-the-beaten-path gem the small presses like Damnation Books can provide that the large publishers simply don't have the want or stomach to make available for readers. It was pulpy, prurient, and a little perverse. Resurrection is no different.
Frank Trigg spent Armageddon Bound narrowly averting the end of the world. Resurrection is a rematch of sorts, but with a brand new threat: a new anti-Christ. It starts with a roving horde of zombies that shows up at the most inopportune time: right when Frank is about to get some alone time with a stripper. Frank Trigg isn't Rick Grimes though, and these zombies seem to have a bit more purpose to them, like someone is pulling the strings. Turns out the walking dead aren't the biggest threat he's got to deal with, as DRAC (Demonic Resistance and Containment) tasks him to find the source of the zombies, and an old enemy to whom he owes a favor tasks him with tracking down a masked sword slinger who has been stomping mudholes in his henchmen. Throw in allies and enemies alike with whom Frank isn't exactly cozy, including his ex-wife/succubus Veronica--not to mention his uncle Satan's ex-girlfriend Lillith--and Frank feels like he's getting played on all sides. And he's probably right.
The thing I liked most about the book is the same as what I liked about the first: Frank Trigg's sardonic and sophomoric wit. The former heir to Hell's throne is as cynical as ever, subject to his own lascivious mindset even in the most dangerous of circumstances. Half anti-hero, half asshole, Frank is simply a great character to have tell a story. As for the rest of the cast in this novel, some characters are more fleshed out then others, literally and figuratively. For instance, when Frank finally discovers the identity of the masked assassin, he discovers its someone with whom he has a long past back in Hell, and the way the relationship is thrust at the reader feels like a big info dump of backstory required to get up to speed with Frank's emotions over the reunion. Overall though, the universe Tim has created is a really engaging one that shows a helluva lot of promise leading into the third novel.
There are a few passages that feel a bit long-winded, but those usually occur when there's a lull in the action. When the bullets, swords, teeth, and magic fireballs are featured--which is often--the story races along at mach speed. Not sure how Tim is going to top himself with the third book, but I look forward to seeing him try.