Sequel to Lady Lazarus (2010, etc.), an urban historical fantasy where World War II is about to be fought not just with guns, tanks and planes, but also by witches, vampires, angels, demons and werewolves.
In Budapest, young Magda, last of the powerful Jewish Lazarus witches, can rise from the dead and, as the plot unfolds, frequently has to. Seemingly, she's alone in her determination to exercise her good magic against the Nazis. Previously, Magda summoned the angel Raziel; he battled the demon Asmodel to a standstill but as a result is now mortal—and Magda's beloved. Magda, meanwhile, holds Asmodel trapped in a tin can while pondering if and how to use him against Hitler's satanic legions. She also needs to locate The Book of Raziel, an ancient tome of mighty spells, now lost. Meanwhile, she finds some possible allies in the legion of spies orchestrated by Winston Churchill. Her vampire boss, the defiantly anti-Nazi Count Bathory, summoned to Berlin by the pro-Nazi Vampirrat, has been condemned to a public staking. And as the invasion of Poland gets under way, Magda's psychic sister Gisele, persuaded by the silver-tongued Asmodel, runs off to Krakow. This richly promising and intriguing material is, however, too often undermined by flabby characters. Magda carefully considers her choices, comes to a reasoned decision, then impulsively rushes off to do something else. Raziel, handsome and muscular, sings the odd psalm but otherwise poses more of a liability than a help. Gisele is merely whiny and annoying. We meet the Count only briefly and far too late. Asmodel, by comparison, is a towering presence.
Fans of the previous will jump right in, but the uncommitted may find too many nits to pick.