Welcome to an alternate Southern California, where magic works through consuming the flesh and bones of magical creatures, or other magicians, called osteomancy. Where the United States is a separate territory from the Hierarchies of California, and SoCal is ruled by terror.
Daniel Blackland is the son of one the realms most powerful osteomancers, Sebastian Blackland. Daniel’s father was killed and eaten by the ruler (Hierarch) of Southern California when Daniel was just a boy. In Book One, California Bones, Daniel is in hiding to avoid the same fate, scraping out a living as a thief in Los Angeles. It’s going more or less okay, until he’s offered a job that he can’t resist by the man who pretty much raised him after the murder of Sebastian.
And then, of course, it all goes to shit.
Quick, quirky, and occasionally gruesome, the trilogy is essentially urban fantasy heist novels. There’s a crew of eccentric thieves who work with Daniel, a series of menacing antagonists, a double-cross or few, and some ambiguous allies who help or hinder Daniel and his crew, according to their own self-interests.
The books are primarily written from Daniel’s point of view, which makes following the occasional chapter written from an alternate POV easy to follow. Mr van Eekhout produces well-crafted, fast-paced novels. The world-building is detailed and convincing, the characters fully realized, and the plot requires little suspension of disbelief. Even when the story gets objectively silly, it’s completely logical within the context of setting and character.
Highly recommended for fans of the Dresden Files, Rivers of London, and Sandman Slim series.
2016 Hugo Eligibility: Yes, all 3 books were released in 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy