Review: Resurgence by S Usher Evans

Reviewed by Jen

It’s been a while since I’ve given a new Urban Fantasy a try; I guess that’s partly because so many of them follow the same formula. You know, a young snarky woman who doesn’t seem that special suddenly becomes special and then turns out to be stronger/smarter/or generally more special than anyone expected, then falls in love with a sexy alpha guy before vanquishing the Big Bad. Those are the bones of 90% of the UF series out there, and honestly, at this point I only stick with the authors I know are going to do it best. What drew me to this book, is that it breaks from that formula in virtually every way. And I am happy to report… it did not disappoint.

So point number one, the main character of this story is a man. (!) Jack Grenard is demon hunter who is trying to put his life back together after the death of his wife. It’s been three years since she was killed by demons, and he has spent that time out of the field, licking his wounds. But now his old partner has convinced him to come back. Cam is also his best friend and his late wife’s sister. She wants to bring Jack back to the land of the living and thinks demon hunting is the way to do it.

That brings me to point number two… the world building. So here, there are five kinds of demons, all of which sprang from the original demon of each species. Each demon gains power by transforming more humans into others of their kind. The more transformations under a demon’s belt, the stronger they become. The different demon species have different powers and individual lords that run the cities. Unfortunately, Division (the human agency Jack works for) must work with those lords to keep any kind of peace.

Though many demons live among the humans, uncounted more live in the demon realm. Once every four years, there is a Demon Spring, where a fissure opens up between the human world and demon realm and the extra demons spill out, wreaking bloody havoc. As the book opens, the world is on the cusp of one of these Demon Springs and there is buzz that the original demon of them all might make an appearance.

Adding one more element to the mix is the emergence of a mysterious and powerful woman who keeps showing up to help Jack and Cam fight the demons. She becomes Jack’s mystery to solve and the first thing that’s made him feel again since the death of his wife.

So we’ve got a unique world… a male lead (and one with no superpowers at all)… a strong m/f friendship between Jack and Cam with zero romantic tension… and a kick-ass, mysterious love interest. Pretty cool, am I right?

I found Jack to be a very sympathetic character. It’s clear how much he loved his wife and how difficult it is to rebuild in the face of his loss. I also liked the added dynamic of him being a legacy demon fighter with his grandfather’s service on the council like an albatross around his neck. Cam is a good sidekick. She’s brassy and bold and while she takes no shit, she clearly loves him and wants to help him heal.

There’s just enough romance between Jack and the mystery woman to satisfy my needs in that arena. My only small niggle was in an insufficient build/reasoning for them to seal the deal, but it didn’t bother me enough to really impede my enjoyment.

The writing is strong… the pacing is good… and while there is a definitive ending, it absolutely left me excited to read more. Fortunately, all three installments of this trilogy are releasing just a few months apart, so I won’t have to wait long.

If you enjoy UF and you’re looking for something a little different, I suggest giving this one a try.

Rating: B/B+

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon

Resurgence
by S Usher Evans
Release Date: February 20, 2018

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