Riftborn # 2
Format: Kindle, 270 pages
Release Date: February 21, 2023
Publisher: February 21, 2023
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Lucas Rurik confronts a cult determined to
remake the world—no matter the cost—in this urban fantasy noir from the
author of the Hellequin Chronicles.
Lucas Rurik is no stranger to navigating the tricky territory between humans and those touched by the rift. After all, as the last surviving member of the Raven Guild, protecting the peace is his job. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
As much as Lucas would like to be out hunting for Dr. Callie Mitchell—a deranged scientist with a bad habit of experimenting on the rift-fused—his friends at the Rift-Crime Unit require his expertise on a perilous case. It seems a mysterious kingpin known as the Croupier has been making some shady deals, and revenants, riftborn, and humans alike are winding up dead in the process. Now, with the help of chained revenant Nadia and FBI-agent-turned-revenant Emily West, it’s up to Lucas to track down the anonymous crime lord before anyone else is hurt.
But as Lucas gets closer to his target, he discovers this is no ordinary manhunt. The Croupier is leading a dangerous group of zealots who want to destroy both the rift and humanity—and they’ll stop at nothing to make their so-called Blessed plans a reality.
Steve McHugh's Blessed Odds is the second installment in the authors Riftborn series featuring Lucas Rurik. There were once (7) Guilds: Falcon, Owl, Eagle, Hawk, Vulture, Kik, and Ravens. Lucas used to be part of the Raven Guild; that is until someone murdered all of its members—except for him and stole the Raven medallions of his guild. In the previous installment, Lucas got revenge on one of those responsible, but another, Callie Mitchell, has all but disappeared.
6 months later, Lucas is trying to track down the super serum vials Callie created that cause humans to mutate into monstrous beings. In this new adventure, Lucas, along with allies Nadia, a chained revanant who can see multiple time lines, Emily West, a former FBI agent who has been changed into a revanant who can be invisible, and Ji-Hyun try to track down a new villain nicknamed the Croupier. The Croupier is leading a dangerous group of zealots who want to destroy both the rift and humanity—and they’ll stop at nothing to make their so-called Blessed plans a reality.
Lucas tends to follow where ever there is trouble. It doesn't matter if the trouble is in New York, or Canada, or London, or even the Rift, Lucas has a moral compass that won't let him walk away when people are in trouble. And, in this case, the Croupier may be the most dangerous villain Lucas has faced in centuries, and that is saying a lot since Lucas has also fought in several wars over the past century. Other interesting characters are Ezekiel, aka Gunslinger who has been around since 1778.
Zeke hunted down notorious criminals, and was once a US Marshal before becoming extremely wealthy. Of course, once in Canada, Lucas finds betrayal and more danger in his hunt for Callie who seems to have disappeared and in her place, the Croupier has become a major obstacle and distraction. While Emily is coming to terms with the fact that she is no longer human, she still has a large roll to play since she does, in fact, know the people involved in both the FBI and the RCU (Rift Crime Unit).
Meanwhile in the Rift, a group of practitioners has decided that they want to take the power away from the Ancients which sends Lucas on a mission to track down some friends he hasn't seen in a while, and a woman known as the Queen of Crows who has made her home in a fortress like prison. The Queen is hanging on by a thread as there are those from all sorts of places who would love to take her down. Including the Croupier which makes for an interesting alliance, as well as a twisted cliffhanger ending which may change everything for Lucas.
McHugh hasn't yet addressed Lucas being a secretive Talon and what that actually means, but I do say that I am hopeful that the title of the next installment literally says A Talon's Wrath. Let's Go!