April 17, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Geek Lit: Harmony Black (Harmony Black Book 1)

Daniel Faust's FBI adversary graduates to her own novel series with this first installment.

Author Craig Schaefer has been writing a rather enjoyable series about a Las Vegas con man/magician named Daniel Faust.  I’m a fan of those books.

Now Schaefer expands that universe a bit by giving a Faust supporting character/minor adversary Harmony Black her own series with this first installment.

In many ways, Harmony is Daniel’s opposite.  He’s a con man/criminal who makes up rules as he goes along in a quest for justice that matches his own moral code.  She’s a straight-arrow FBI agent who believes strongly in law and order.  He steps on toes.  She’s by-the-book.  He gets by with help from a lot of friends, including a succubus girlfriend.  She, despite working for a black ops-style FBI section, largely works alone and doesn’t seem to mind.

That last one changes here as Harmony is reassigned after the presumed death of Faust in the fifth book of his series.  Aside from a few references and a supporting character appearance, this is Harmony’s show.  She’s quick to dismiss Faust as a sociopath and leave it at that.  Now she’s put onto a three-person team that includes an agent that was partially raised by a corrupt sorcerer, a wheelchair-bound psyche expert and researcher, and a teenage super-hacker.  Harmony is taking the place of a recently deceased magic-user as she herself is a trained witch from childhood who knows a thing or two.  Their job is to bring in, often with extreme prejudice, the things that mean harm and go bump in the night.  Harmony still believes in following the law on this, which leads to some mild conflict, but mostly she gels well with her new team, particularly the other active field agent Jessie.

As it is, they’ll need that teamwork.  Their current case involves returning to the town Harmony spent the first six years of her life in before a tragic incident occurred and cost her a few family members.  Something is stealing infants from their homes.  That something has been doing this off and on every thirty years or so.  Harmony is one of the few eyewitnesses to the thing as it is…

Schaefer is off to a good start here.  He managed to expand the world and made Harmony a good protagonist going forward.  She is not Daniel Faust, nor should she be.  She’s her own person with her own style of adventure.  As with Faust’s works, the novel mostly sets up a grander design going forward as Harmony and her new allies have an investigation dropped in their lap that may take a few more novels to solve (as of this typing, there appears to be at least three more Harmony Black novels).  Considering I burned through this sucker in two days, let’s say nine out of ten competitive demonic bounty hunters.