Hand of Chaos by J. Hamlet

HamletHandofChaosWhy I Read It: I really enjoy the theme of government sanctioned arcane/paranormal beastie hunters.

Where I Got It: A review copy from the author via Masquerade Tours (thanks!).

Who I Recommend This To: Like your detective novels with a heavy dose of the magical and paranormal? Check this book out.

Publisher: Createspace (2013)

Length: 311 pages

Series: Volume 1 Chaos Theology

Author’s Page

Set in modern day Washington DC, Anna Wei is a government employee. But not a boring employee with a boring job. No, she uses arcane powers to track down paranormal baddies. And she is not alone. She is part of an entire team that does this sort of thing for a paycheck. Of course, they can’t really talk about their work outside of their organization, which might explain why Anna can be quite the weeknight party animal she is; she is seeking companionship but also fears it. So she settles for some drunken sport sex here and there and lives with the hangovers.

And today, at 530AM, she is dealing with a hangover as she heads off to fight a nest of zombies. Wish her luck!

And that is just the opening folks. This was a fun urban fantasy that employs the right mix of magic and nitty gritty detective work. Anna was easy to connect with because she wasn’t perfect and occasionally, knowingly, made bad decisions. Her partner Roy, a paladin blessed with (or cursed with) immortality brought some weightiness to the storyline with his age and experience. A summoner, a shaman, a wizard (Ayham), and a shapeshifter also played parts in the story (though I don’t want to spoil anything for you).

And Anna uses body jewelry/adornments to spell cast. I really liked this aspect because we start out getting to know Anna a little bit (her over indulgences, her job of saving the world) and then Hamlet throws in all the body piercings. We, the readers, don’t judge her first by her body modifications, and hey, they are work related. If I had a nose piercing that helped combat local paranormal baddies, I would wear it all the time. Except during a fist fight.

Speaking of baddies, our biggest antagonist of the story was Ethan. Now Ethan has a sponsor, a demon from Hell named Plague, so he can’t be given all the credit for every little bad thing that happens in this book. I quite enjoyed hating on these two, even though I started off a bit sympathetic to Ethan. After all, he is trying to avenge the death of his brother, even if he loses himself in the process.

My two criticisms are small. There were some typos throughout the book, so it could have used one more round of editing to give it that polish. Also, the cover art doesn’t really portray the book well. I see the government authority on the cover, but where is all the arcane stuff?

All in all, a fun read and I look forward to seeing what this author does next.

lavinia-portraitRIP9BannerWhat I Liked: Anna’s mistakes, even though she is the main hero; Anna’s team of sometimes misfits; the body ornamentation as work required; Ethan and his back story.

What I Disliked: Needs another round of editing; the cover art didn’t do it for me.

I am participating in the yearly reading event R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings. I will count Hand of Chaos as my dark fantasy read for the R.I.P. challenge.

What Others Think:

Check out the blog tour organized by Masquerade Tours for more reviews, interviews.


There is a giveaway for this tour. A $50 Amazon/B&N Giftcard or a Book Depository shopping spree of the same value.

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Places to find J. Hamlet

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