18 July 2020

Review || Night Moves by Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin





Mark Wojcik is back and his life is getting weirder than ever!

Someone is messing around with the cryptids in his part of the Pennsylvania backwoods, and when he’s called in to deal with a rogue sheepsquatch, Mark has more on his hands than he’s used to! There are rogue government agencies, a coven of witches, the Catholic Church, and a brand new Scooby Gang of magically talented young adults to deal with, all while he tries to figure out who’s bespelling normally peaceful mythical creatures into raging monsters. Mark hasn’t had a week this bad since the last time he had to fight a butt-nekkid gnome.


Night Moves is the fifth novella in the Spells, Salt, & Steel series by Gail Z. & Larry N. Martin. This comedy urban fantasy series takes place in the universe of John G. Hartness’ Bubba the Monster Hunter series, and shares crossovers with other Falstaff Books titles by Eric R Asher, J.D. Blackrose, and Theresa Glover. The first volume, Spells, Salt, & Steel Season 1, is available now from Falstaff Books.


   


Night Moves is the fifth offering in the Spells, Salt, & Steel series and as always, the Martins delivered. After reading Season 1, which included novellas 1-4, I couldn't wait to hitch another ride to Mark Wojcik's world. What makes these novellas so great? For starters, how many other books have sheepsquatch?

And there he was, in all his sheepish glory. . . . It had a head like a big horned sheep, and a muzzle like a husky dog and a yeti had a mistaken night of passion and birthed a love child. Not to mention, the things smelled like ass. 

Billed as comedy urban fantasy, the adventures of Mark Wojcik are unusual, to say the least. Mark makes an entertaining narrator for the Spells, Salts, & Steel universe. Slightly self-deprecating, Mark talks us through not only what's currently happening, but what he's thinking while it all goes down. It makes for a humorous dialogue, to say the least. Think about the goofier episodes of Supernatural but with a running commentary from Bobby. (Balls!) Mark is definitely not the knight in shining armor here to rescue the day—or maybe he is if the knight gets drug along behind the dragon facedown in the mud. 

This time, a sheepsquatch isn't the only problem Mark and his friends have to deal with. Someone is hexing cryptids to rampage, which means someone in the Craft is involved. There's also a group of friends with untrained psychic abilities who are being watched by a woman in white and members of the local coven are under attack by a demonic doll and hearing Tommyknockers. The common denominator is Nazi occultists artifacts and a man obsessed with the Vril. It's up to Mark and friends to take care of the problem before the CIA discovers anything worthy of investigating. 

When you think about it, that's a lot going on for a novella but the read always feels more like a conventional novel...until it ends, leaving you wanting more. Charming characters and unique paranormal beings combined with intriguing mysteries and Mark's absurd narration make the Spells, Salts, & Steel novellas a must-read.