Reagan Moon didn’t plan on being an earth guardian.
He was your average paranormal reporter … until 1,000 volts of raw electricity fused an ancient relic into his sternum. It left him with Powers and lets him do things most humans can’t. There’s others like him, seven of them to be exact. They call themselves the Imperia and are charged with keeping earth from going down the toilet. This usually involves fighting monsters, tweaking the laws of physics, and keeping lots of booze and bandages on hand.
But when Saint Death comes knocking, no amount of holy water and hand grenades can slow her roll. She’s the queenpin of the Santa Muerte pantheon. The folk religion’s central deity often appeared as a Virgin or a bride. Some called her the Grim Reapress. But mostly she was known as Saint Death. Now she’s got a companion. With the help of the Summu Nura, a Neuro priestess has rediscovered the Grimoire of Azrael, the Archangel of Death. And the Tenth Plague is about to be unleashed upon Los Angeles.
Apparently, only Moon and his weathered compatriots can prevent the angel’s arrival. Yet earth guardians aren’t indestructible … as Saint Death is about to prove.
What do you get when you cross a quasi-Catholic folk cult, an interdimensional conspiracy, and a hard-boiled reporter/Earth Guardian? Why, Mike Duran’s Saint Death, of course. This second installment in the Reagan Moon series conjures a menagerie of the grotesque and macabre. When an anonymous tip leads Moon to a shrine used for human sacrifice, he learns demonic forces are threatening Los Angeles. But this time our loner hero must team with a band of fellow oddballs to stand a chance of averting catastrophe. But can he can hold readers’ attention through swarms of internal monologues and plagues of overwrought prose? That will depend on readers’ affection for the noir genre. Those who don’t mind passively perplexed protagonists will find plenty of Peretti parallels in this noncommittally theistic paranormal thriller.
Best for: Adults interested in a gritty angels-and-demons yarn with astronomical stakes.
Discern: Creepy violence, mild-to-moderate language, and low-to-midlevel supernatural beings without much reference to supreme rulers of their good or evil hierarchies.