After surviving a serious injury, a man soon realizes that he not only sees and hears demons, but feels destined to hunt and kill them in this series-opening supernatural debut.
Paul Stone’s devastation at witnessing a van smash into his best friend, Kris Reed, is compounded when Paul himself, checking on his maimed bestie, is sideswiped by a second car. He wakes up from a three-day coma, but Kris unfortunately dies. So it’s perfectly natural that Paul assumes he’s hallucinating when he later sees Kris watching TV. Kris, however, is there, a Guide for Paul, who as it happens is a Walker. Paul can cross between worlds, retaining his human life while also destroying demons—little red, horned beasts invisible to humans and feeding off individuals’ fear and negativity. Paul has help from Guide Kris (mostly providing information) as well as a healing ability and a special pocket watch that counts down to impending demon encounters. But something bigger is at play: Walkers are turning up dead, the only capable killers being God or another Walker. Paul teams up with a moderately good devil (devil’s not synonymous with demon), seeking assistance from both heaven and hell. But who knows what will transpire if Paul’s really the Stone Walker, prophesied to wage war on all demons and devils. While much of the story focuses on Paul learning about tales of angels and demons in conflict, the new Walker does engage in fisticuffs with demons and a few other things. The mystery of murdered Walkers wraps up in a satisfying, rapid-paced final act with bloody battles and a surprise or two. Contrarily, multiple chapters devoted to a character named Mason, who was driving one of those vehicles at the beginning, seem disconnected. The plotlines are indisputably linked, with Mason having his own demon. But his story too often veers into lengthy, uneventful scenes, like discussing music/musicians with potential lover/band mate Sarah, while his coda is weirdly ambiguous. Some of the main plot elements Norry (Zombie Zero: The First Zombie, 2016, etc.) leaves dangling, including the idea of an Original Demon. But the blistering cliffhanger ending makes clear that the author’s setting the stage for subsequent series entries.
Takes time to find its footing, but a promising start for a sure-to-be epic tale of combative worlds.