Review By Don Sloan
Madison Fox is twenty-five, jobless and desperate when she is offered the ubiquitous job of IE — Illuminant Enforcer — in the wildly imaginative YA novel A Fistful of Evil. Her new job is to rid her district of small, furry, chinchilla-like, invisible orbs of negative energy — imps — that latch onto humans and suck positive energy from their souls.
Good thing she has been born with the innate ability to see them, whereas most folks just blithely go through life with the evil little buggers attached to their ankles, draining away their life-force. But once Madison gets her hands on them, they implode — Pfft! — into dancing shards of light.
Of course, the job turns out not to be that easy. There are far worse creatures roving Madison’s district, and they just exude atrum — dark energy. Madison is forced to learn the ropes of her new profession as she goes. But she has help from a well-drawn cadre of supporting characters — her best friend Bridget, her co-worker Rose, and, of course, the best IE in the office, Niko Demetrius — a drop-dead gorgeous hunk of male humanity.
“I inhaled as he passed; he smelled delicious, like something I hadn’t known I’d been craving. I turned to watch his firm ass disappear. He moves like danger, I thought.”
In this zany romp through an infectious fantasy world that apparently exists in an uneasy coexistence with our own, Madison must use her special sight and IE abilities to keep the forces of evil at bay — and, as she begins her task with intrepid enthusiasm, she finds she may not be fully up to it.
A local hotel is hosting a videogamers conversation and the outlandish exhibits containing “booth babes” — scantily clad women in videogame warrior garb — are all crawling with evil little imps. In addition, monkey-like apparitions called vervets are swinging from the chandeliers. But Madison is lucky in her first visit to an evil-infested venue like the hotel — there’s not a demon in sight. At her stage of training, the challenge would be too much.
Next, her fantasies are partially fulfilled when she’s paired with Niko to cleanse a bar near the hotel. They quickly purge the place of imps and vervets while simultaneously infusing the place with pure goodness — the positive energy called lux lucis.
Finally, they return to the hotel and Madison comes face to face with the demon she missed on her earlier visit — and you won’t believe what happens next.
A Fistful of Evil is a thoroughly entertaining ride through the author’s imaginary world of soul-sight and horrendous creatures that apparently exist just out of the sight of mere mortals. And, in between her battles with the baddies, Madison manages to slip in plenty of humor and more than a few laugh-out-loud sequences perfect for the YA crowd.
Five stars to A Fistful of Evil and its author, Rebecca Chastain. And take heart, fans — Book Two in this series is already available. Check out A Fistful of Fire on Amazon. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/1OgQJcs
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