Sam Hain – Occult Detective: #1 All Hallows’ Eve by Bron James is a book I picked up at London ComicCon last weekend. It’s a well written urban fantasy short story at about 54 pages. In a brief summary, Alice Carroll, your average London gal working a normal job before, you guessed it, the inciting event happens and she meets Sam Hain, the quirky occult detective.
Straight up I want to say really enjoyed the book. For such a short story, it does a wonderful job introducing us to the two main characters. I instantly warmed to Alice and I can see a lot of mileage in Sam’s good-natured but eccentric behaviour. There were several moments which made me smile. Not to mention, as a Londoner, I naturally fawned over the setting.
The only real drawback I noticed is, as these types of stories often are, it’s a tad formulaic. The everyday girl is thrown into a supernatural situation which she doesn’t understand and threatens to destroy her. Along comes the mysterious hero to save her and introduce her to this new and exciting world. He is clearly out of touch with the mundane and obviously needs the more level-headed, down to earth Alice (who, it turns out, might be special too).
But it’s not a reason not to read it. This is the first book of a four long series, so naturally, it’s going to hit similar tones to all opens of a good fantasy series. For a twenty minute read, it definitely made me regret not buying the full set of books at ComicCon. I definitely wanted to read on which is always a good sign.
All in all, if fantasy urban is your genre of choice, this is worth the read. It’s a quick read, engaging and has a great deal of potential with two very well crafted characters in Alice and Sam.