What Are We Reading?: Demonslayer: Book 2 in the Psychonaut Trilogy, by Tom G.H. Adams
3.5/5 Nested Worlds
Give me the short version:
Recently ascended to the burdens of arcane power, Psychonaut Merrick's ability to tear the veil between worlds may not be enough to save him this time.
Tom G.H. Adams brings us a solid, rollicking fantasy / spy / action / thriller in Demonslayer. Merrick's ability to read pheromones and intent is particularly fascinating and well depicted, and I'd be remiss not to call out Adam's gorgeously detailed worlds as Merrick skips between realities.
I have to admit, action isn't so much my thing. On reading book 1 I worried I was the wrong audience for this. However by book 2, most of what I found offputting (a few movie-logic aspects, a whiff of creepy in how female characters got sexually "rated") were toned down or gone, leaving a tight fast-paced story. If you're into action-fantasy, slap another half star on the rating and dive into it.
Book 2 can be enjoyed standalone or with book 1 for more backstory. Completionists who don't mind a touch of kink won't want to miss the first book, especially with a fresh new line edit on the way following Adams' recent work on the audiobook (joy: if you love hearing a story in the author's own words, Tom G.H. Adams is also an audiobook narrator so that's two birds with one stone).
Book 1 intrigued me enough to keep going, book 2 was quite enjoyable and based on Mr Adams' impressive acceleration I'll be buying his new releases. Favourite bit:
"He recalled the oppressive weight of the Vale. The name was a misnomer. The abode of the dead was less a sparsely populated verdant landscape, more a morass of spectral bodies, crawling like worms on top of each other, all vying for his attention."