A punk YouTuber takes down witches in the first volume of a new horror/thriller series.
Robin Martine, better known as Malus, spends her life hunting down witches and documenting it on her YouTube channel, Malus Domestica. Everyone watching on the internet thinks they’re seeing a clever amateur drama, and Robin is happy to play into that for the revenue, but witches are painfully real, and all her fights are, too. When she heads back to her hometown of Blackfield, Georgia, to track down the witches that killed her mother, she finds that things have been happening while she’s been away. A new family has moved into her old house and is dealing with some demons that are not quite gone, and friends old and new have need of her help. With a terrifying vision of a spirit called the Red Lord haunting her movements, Robin has to figure out what’s going on so she can move forward. The first in a new series from Hunt (Ten Thousand Devils, 2014, etc.), this novel spends a lot of time setting up action to come. While there are a few action sequences, most of the novel is devoted to exploring Robin’s background through flashbacks, introducing new characters for her to interact with, and inserting suggestions of menace without actual exploits. The witches Hunt sets up are new and interesting but need to be further explored. The father and son occupants of Robin’s childhood home are interesting characters to be expanded on, and her childhood friend and new crush are fun additions to the solo adventurer’s crew. Future books will undoubtedly further the ideas presented in this novel, but ultimately, there is a lot of setup with no payoff.
A good foundation for a series but ultimately unfulfilling on its own.