Review: Nightwise by R. S. Belcher

As I graced the first page of Chapter One, I was already hooked with the narration. R.S. Belcher is a good storyteller. Nightwise is short but it's full of action. The plot moves at a quick trot, almost with no respite that you can't quite catch your breath before you're plunged into the next heart-thumping scene.

Nightwise by R.S. Belcher Review
Author: R.S. Belcher
Publishing Date: August 18, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Edition: ebook (I got an ARC via Netgalley)
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
ISBN-13: 9781466842748
Size: 320

In the more shadowy corners of the world, frequented by angels and demons and everything in-between, Laytham Ballard is a legend. It's said he raised the dead at the age of ten, stole the Philosopher's Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. Wise in the hidden ways of the night, he's also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago.

Now a promise to a dying friend has Ballard on the trail of an escaped Serbian war criminal with friends in both high and low places--and a sinister history of blood sacrifices. Ballard is hell-bent on making Dusan Slorzack pay for his numerous atrocities, but Slorzack seems to have literally dropped off the face of the Earth, beyond the reach of his enemies, the Illuminati, and maybe even the Devil himself. To find Slorzack, Ballard must follow a winding, treacherous path that stretches from Wall Street and Washington, D.C. to backwoods hollows and truckstops, while risking what's left of his very soul....


I don't know how old Laytham Ballard is but let me assume him to be in his mid-thirties. He's your typical male alpha. And no, this isn't one of those romantic books, nor a romantic one for that matter. Nightwise is a real thriller book with a knockout antihero to boot.

Anyway, if you're a male reader, you could imagine yourself in Laytham's shoes while reading especially that it's written in the first-person POV. Laytham's a real badass. If you're a female reader like me, you can simply swoon.

Belief has power. Getting someone else to believe what you believe has even greater power. I’ve always been all about the power, not so much with the following or the believing. I believe in me, that’s pretty much it. Believe in someone else too much and they’ll fail you or screw you, or both.

I say that Laytham is an antihero because as how the publishers put it, "he's also a cynical bastard who stopped thinking of himself as the good guy a long time ago". He's selfish and yet, practical (if summoned evil things are following his trail, he'd drop his items on someone so these things will pounce on that unsuspecting victim). He's quick to react to possible danger unless much of his energy's already exhausted from his various chakras or he's too stoned or too occupied battling his hangover. He's also conceited.

"What do you believe in?"
"I believe in how amazingly badass I am."

There's a great touch of the mystic in this book. More often than not, the author would use terminologies you'd usually find in books for meditation and perhaps, books from the underworld. If you're not into this kind of things, don't let a complicated word put you off, you can simply move on.

The story revolves mostly around New York with high places like the Wall Street and Times Square with a few mention of outside places from past events.

For a contemporary thriller story of urban fantasy, this book is quite typical. You'd come across the Illuminati and have a peak into the BDSM scene. And one must not forget, the character must always go to a pub/club.

While so much mojo is involved in the story, technology is quite utilized here. But still, with a touch of magic. The author also made use of modern things to keep with our time like Minecraft and P90X. Moreover, Laytham is well-connected. He has an ex-military friend who's good in hacking, collecting intel, and in covering his tracks. I'm not sure if Laytham's ex-military himself.

Nightwise is a quick read with its small size and fast-paced plot that will have you reeling when hell starts breaking lose. And just when everything starts getting so good, it ended at an effing cliffhanger.

I spent my life at the frayed edges. I didn’t have anyone to be that invested in, to make my breath catch or my heart race. No one to protect or to avenge. Most times I was cool with it, part of the price I had chosen to pay for the power and the Life.

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