The Best of Enemies by Tim Marquitz is the sixth book in the Demon Squad series. This series has come a long way since we first met the demon Frank, and Marquitz continues to up the ante with each adventure. I don't think this book is the best in the series, but it was still a great read and the tease at the end has me craving the next book.
The story follows on a few weeks after the events of fifth book, with a very bored Frank sitting in Hell making his minions sing, dance and perform for him. When the boredom gets the better of him, Frank makes a trip to Earth to visit his old stomping grounds in El Paseo, but things have drastically changed since the disappearance of Baalth. The city has become a fearful squalor under the management of a new leader, and this makes Frank very angry. Using his new-found strength and powers, Frank begins his quest to take back his city from the hands of the usurpers, and boy is he going to make them pay.
The first thing you will probably notice about The Best of Enemies is that it’s a more reserved story, dealing with smaller human problems, allowing Frank and friends to look back on everything that has come to pass in the previous five books. It is a relatively straightforward story - Frank wants control of Old Town and has to fight a cunning adversary in order to get it - and that allows character interactions to take centre stage. It's a good time to have a story like this, and while it may not have been as compelling as previous stories, it shows that Marquitz has big plans for the future of this series.
While the conflict of this book is clearly stated, the real conflict is going on inside of Frank as he tries to come to terms with everything that has gone on in the past few books. It is obvious (to the other characters and to me as a reader) that Frank is not himself, that something has corrupted him. He has become nasty, he is doing some evil things, and people are starting to become scared of him. The whole concept is interesting, the big reveal is cool and shows that Marquitz has been planning this for some time, but that said I just didn't like nasty Frank. It's weird - nasty Frank was still very funny, I appreciated how cool the twist was, and how much work went into it, but I couldn't completely get into the story with nasty Frank at the helm. Thankfully, the whole situation has been resolved, and I think it will be very interesting to see how normal Frank deals with all the crap nasty Frank left for him.
After the all the Heavenly treasure hunts and interdimensional skirmishes, the Demon Squad series returns to its roots with a more mundane story involving our favourite characters from the previous books. The book did leave us with a juicy cliff-hanger, which I expect will get mixed reactions, but for me it was a great tease after a solid conclusion. It looks like Frank is going to be in a real jam at the start of the next book, and I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Review by Ryan Lawler
FBR favourite Tim Marquitz is back, only this time it's to promote the anthology he edited called Fading Light. Tim was able to attract a number of high profile authors to anthology, and fantasy readers are likely to be f [...]
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