Cold Hearted by James A. Hunter

cold heartedTitleCold Hearted
Author: James A. Hunter
Series: Yancy Lazarus Book 2
Publish Date: May 22, 2015
PublisherJames A. Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Perspective: First Person

Publisher’s Description: Yancy Lazarus just wants to be left alone. He wants play his blues music, smoke a few cigarettes, and otherwise leave the supernatural world to fend for itself.

He especially wants to be left alone by the Guild of the Staff—the mage ruling body—where he used to work as a Fix-It man. But when a little kid gets nabbed by an ancient Fae creature from the nether regions of Winter and the Guild refuses to set things right, he just can’t seem to heed good sense and leave things be.

Nothing’s ever easy though. Turns out, the kidnapping is just the tip of one big ol’ iceberg of pain and trouble. It seems some nefarious force is working behind the scenes to try and unhinge the tenuous balance between the supernatural nations and usher in a new world order. So now, if Yancy ever hopes to see the bottom of another beer bottle, he’s gonna have to partner up with an FBI agent—an agent who’s been hunting him for years—in order to bring down a nigh-immortal, douchebag mage from a different era. And to top it off, Yancy’s gonna have to pull it off without his magical powers … Boy, some days just aren’t worth getting out of bed for.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).

ivana 100Nell!  I have a new favorite swear word.

Nell 100Is it printable?

It’s “shitpickle.”  Yancy Lazarus said it in Cold Hearted, and I snorted laughing when I read it.  Did you finish the book?  I know you were excited for its release.

I did finish it and I was very excited.  I really like Yancy.  I have fun reading his snark.  I liked this book just as well as the first.  James Hunter didn’t disappoint, that’s for sure.  What did you like best about it?

ivana 100That we got more background on Yancy, on the Guild, and on the magic world.  I needed more of those details to get invested.

Nell 100I really enjoyed his story as he was telling Ferraro about his past.  It was very enlightening.  I finally got the answer about why Yancy was nicknamed the “Fixer”.   I found Lady Fate interesting, as well as the Hinterlands.  I got a little lost during the trip to the future, though.

ivana 100The future was interesting.  I wonder if it will come up again in another book?  Seems like a long diversion from the main story otherwise.

Nell 100Yeah, I bet that we haven’t seen the last of Lady Fate, the three-faced hag, or the Wyrd, either.  I hope we haven’t seen the last of Nichole. I bet Yancy gets sucked into Guild business in one way, shape or form, don’t you?

ivana 100Oh, I’m sure he will.  Someone in the Guild is up to no good.  Eventually, Yancy will be the one to suss it out.

Nell 100He has to be the one.  I don’t think anyone from the inside can see it. It will have to be someone looking in from the outside.  Yancy uses some some very colorful descriptors.  “Ugly as a mutant pit bull in a tutu,” comes to mind.  Did you catch the shout out to the “A” Team?  That was fun.  What about “Living Dead”?  And possibly “Monsters, Inc”? I just love how Mr. Hunter writes.  It makes me feel like I belong to a club of cool people who get the references.

ivana 100Yancy is as colorful as a jar full of shitpickles that’s for sure!

Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Yancy Lazarus is back again in another episode.  Yancy is still the freewheeling mage that we know and love.  Nichole Ferraro is introduced as the FBI agent that has long been tracking Yancy as a serial killer.  Nichole is a tough former Marine, just like Yancy.  She’s trained, smart and dangerous.  She makes for an awesome character to play off Yancy.  I like her and she really adjusted quickly to the magic world.

Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ James Sullivan, member of the Fist of the Guild.  He’s still a friend even though Yancy is estranged from the Guild.  James could easily out-magic Yancy and drag him back to the Guild unwillingly.  James is one of the people that stood up with Yancy against the Guild when Ailia was taken.  The villain from the Hog’s Head was blatant.  Even I figured out it was the same guy.  Don’t understand?  That’s ok.  You will after you read it.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ The world is modern day New Orleans, Quantico and futuristic Seattle.  I like Yancy’s world and I am even more interested in the Hinterlands.  I picture Tatooine from Star Wars with a parallel for Yoda’s swamp…and zombiefied Seattle.  But the Hog’s Head is just like the Star Wars Cantina.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  I liked the story.  At first I was kind of lost with the trip to Fairy and then the flashbacks.  I think my mind wasn’t shifting gears fast enough.  Anyway, the story evolves around a spoilsport wannabe Guild member wanting to take revenge on those who voted against his membership.  He was stupid enough to be sucked into an even more evil master’s plan that also has a puppeteer within the Guild.  Innnnnnteresting!  I learned more about Yancy’s past and what he did for the Guild.  I got to meet Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail – no, he didn’t look like Sir Galahad in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  I got to learn about Guild hierarchy and some of their politics.  It was a very entertaining and action packed ride. I have to put a plug in for a romance between Yancy and Nichole even though I know it would be a near impossibility for either one of them to change.  It’d be fun, though.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This is a great series.  It really embodies what I enjoy most about books.  The places are imaginative and the creatures are described in such a way that I shudder to think about meeting them on the street let alone a dark alley.  I really laughed out loud at the image if Nichole riding a great stallion while Yancy rode this tiny little amped up moped that sounded like a bumble bee on steroids.  The contrast was hilarious.

ivana 100Invested Ivana says…

“Had Randy, the evil villain, seriously called the Fuzz? That was his nefarious game plan to eliminate me?  It seemed somehow, I dunno… a bit of a letdown, I guess.  Kind of pedestrian as evil villain plans go.”

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ In Cold Hearted, we get to see a little more of Yancy Lazarus, reluctant good-guy.  We get a peek into his past, into his history with the Guild of the Staff, and into his friendships.  We also get to see his fears and watch him create an attachment to another person.  All of this shows us a more well-rounded character than we saw in the first book, and ultimately more identifiable.  Yancy has been screwed over by life, usually for doing what’s right, and we can all relate to that.

Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Agent Ferrero, the FBI agent who has been tracking Yancy as a serial killer, becomes a major player in this book.  Though Ferrero starts out as a reluctant ally, she becomes more and more sympathetic to Yancy as she learns more about the magic world.  We get to meet some of Yancy’s friends from the Guild—Ben and James—and even learn a bit about his wife and family. The bad guy, Randy Shelton, has a backstory that is believable. He is really just a pawn in a bigger conspiracy, which is even more believable given the character.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ We’re starting to learn more about Yancy’s world, the Guild, his family, and magic in general.  We learn a lot more about the Fairy Realm and the Hinterlands.  We learn major creatures like Old Man Winter, the Fates, and Lady Luck actually exist.  Thankfully, Yancy is equally irreverent with all of them.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ In attempting to rescue a friend’s kidnapped grandson from Fairie, Yancy not only comes to the attention of a Lich-ridden evil sorcerer, but loses his access to Vis.  Along with the FBI agent trying to collar him, Yancy must change the course of history to heal his magic and save the world from the Lich’s machinations.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I really enjoyed this episode of Yancy’s adventures. I feel like this book did more than the first to help us get to know and care about our protagonist, and yet it still delivered the adventure and sass for which Yancy is known.

Stand Out Award Badge2If you like this book…

Check out the first book in the Yancy Lazarus series, Strange Magic.

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

About Invested Ivana

I'm an adult learning professional, a book blogger at One Book Two, and lifetime reader. I like geeky things. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employers, my clients, the other reviewers on this site, or this site as a whole.

Posted on May 23, 2015, in All Reviews, Standout Award and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

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