Dark War: A Matt Richter Novel (Matt Richter Novels)
by Tim Waggoner
Review by Mel Jacob
Angry Robot Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780857661128
Date: 28 June 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Tim Waggoner is a master of the humorous dark fantasy noir genre. His Nekropolis series features zombie P.I. Matt Richter as he literally strives to keep his body together and stop a war between two Dark Lords of Nekropolis. He also has to rescue his friend and savior Papa Chatha and save his kidnapped wife Devona, a pregnant half-vampire. Too many missing magic users raise major questions.
Matt, once a policeman, became a zombie in the first novel and never looked back. Papa Chatha gave him a magic spell that enables Matt to reassemble himself when parts fall off. The spell is starting to wear off and he needs to have it refreshed. However, Papa Chatha, along with a number of other Arcane (magic users) has disappeared. Finding him has become a matter of personal necessity for Matt.
Devona is pregnant according to Varvara, Queen of the Demons, with twins thanks to a charm from the Lord of the Dead that enabled Matt to become human for one day to procreate. Galm, Devona's estranged father and the Darklord King of Vampires, suspects Devona's offspring will have special powers. He wants her to return home, but she refuses.
Talaith, witch and Darklord of the Arcane, accuses Varvara of taking the missing Arcane. Varvara insists she had nothing to do with the apparent abductions, but welcomes a war. Matt fears the damage the two cause will kill a lot of Darkfolk and cause major destruction as well as upsetting the balance between the Dominions. Father Dis, the overall god of Nekropolis, orders Matt to stop the carnage.
Strange alliances and even stranger weapons come into play as Matt tries to unravel the source of the problems and stop the war. His disintegrating body and accumulated injuries add complications.
Waggoner manages to humanize the monster denizens of Nekropolis, a city of the Darkfolk transported from Earth to another dimension. He has created a wacky world of unique characters and makes the reader care about them. Humor abounds and he uses clichés effectively to underscore his points. Dark War is the third Nekropolis novel. The series began with Nekropolis and continued in Dark Streets. Angry Robot originally contracted for all three, but it is hard to imagine Waggoner won't continue this successful series, especially since he ends Dark War with a great cliffhanger.