Storm Demon, by Gregory Lamberson is a Dark Fantasy novel with a strong dash of horror thrown in. The Jack Helman Files are a series and usually I don't like starting in the middle of a series, but with this book it was not too much of a problem. In some ways I found it refreshing to read about a powerful individual that already had his goals and allies in place instead of another, just getting the action off the ground, novel. The first novels of discovering hints of supernatural and such tend to be repetitious, it was nice to read about a guy that was willing to make things happen and was powerful enough to do so. Perhaps I should start all series on the third book.
Jake Helman and his small crew are tough determined folk, but have little in the way of supernatural abilities themselves. This puts them at an extreme disadvantage when they are faced with battling the world's oldest witch. This witch has the powers of a Goddess with a multi-million dollar empire to back her up.
When she goes after Jake's mysterious friend, he knows that his skills would be her only chance to survive, but how can someone fight a Goddess? Jake knows it does not make sense, but he's going to give it a try.
The book is a healthy size, over 400 pages and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I read most of it over my birthday trip to Tucson and I blended well with a little time off. Jake is a likable character and reminds me a little of my own hero, Jack Primus.
The author is not afraid to make Jake vulnerable. He had just lost his hand in the last novel, so the phrase going up against a Goddess one handed comes to mind.
Downsides for me included that I was starting in the middle of the adventure. The series is strong enough that I would have preferred starting at the beginning. This could have been a 4.5 novel, but I had to take points off for that and a few miswordings. He had the one handed man grab things with his hands a few times.
Overall I found this to be a strong, inventive, and enjoyable novel. Lovers of intense action and Dark Fantasy might have a hard time putting this one down. It is good enough that I might try to grab the first ones and give them a try.
Michael D. Griffiths