“When all else fails, the ass end of a carp makes a damn fine weapon.”
Your new favorite monster hunter has arrived! Bubba the Monster Hunter has some competition in this horror comedy collection from best-selling author duo Gail Z. & Larry N. Martin!
By day, Mark Wojcik can be found elbow-deep in engine grease, making cars and trucks safe for the highway. By night, he can be found traipsing through the wilds of Pennsylvania, making the world safe for humans. He’s more than just a mechanic, he’s a New Templar Knight. He travels the backroads and byways fighting weresquonks, ningen, selkies, ghosts, and…gnomes? Is that gnome…naked? (sigh).
Season One collects the first four novellas in the Spells, Salt, & Steel series –
Spells, Salt, & Steel • Open Season • Deep Trouble • Close Encounters
Some of you may have noticed that I’m moving right along with the books in this crazy world created by Gail Z. Martin (AKA – Morgan Brice) and Larry N. Martin. You also may have noticed that I’m not exactly reading them in order. If you’ve read more than a couple of my reviews, you have probably noticed that’s not anything new. I have a little bit more back tracking to do because I’ve only scratched the surface – so stay tuned. 😉
Spells, Salt, & Steel
When all else fails, the ass end of a carp makes a damn fine weapon.
No, that didn’t come from the lips of Bubba the Monster Hunter, but it sure could have! That sentence right there kinda encapsulates the life of Mark Wojcik, Monster Hunter. A blue-collar mechanic from the wilds of PA, Mark likes his beer cold, his poker games private, and his monsters…well, he doesn’t like them at all. So when he finds himself dueling a Japanese mythical monster in the Linesville Spillway in the wee hours of the night, he has to use every available weapon to survive and vanquish the ningen.
Even if it means beating the damn thing to death with a carp.
If interloping Japanese fish-monsters weren’t bad enough, there’s a Nazi ghost terrorizing the community. Somebody needs to gank the ghostie, and Mark is the man for the job.
They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night.
They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness.
They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.
They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird.
That reading order thing? Yeah, this particular book in the Spells, Salt, & Steel series came out before the previous books I’ve read (Badlands, Witchbane, Sons of Darkness & Dark Rivers.) Which only means that I feel like I already knew Mark before I started, even though pretty much all of his interactions with the other books were by phone. It didn’t take me long to totally fall in love with Mark Wojcik. ❤
He shares a lot in common with his fellow hunters, mainly, most of them fell into this business by loosing someone they cared about to the monsters that most people don’t even know exist. One thing that I’ve noticed already is that these authors are great at writing monsters – in all their gory detail. *shivers* And for the record – I love every minute of it. This story, just like the others, has some really great supporting characters from all walks of life. What I really loved about Mark so far, was his sense of humor. There were some pretty gruesome moments in Spells, Salt, & Steel that were made a lot lighter by Mark’s quips and inner dialogue.
Basically, this was a great beginning and I can’t wait to continue. 😉
The carp-slapping, grenade-launching son of a gun Mark Wojcik is back, and this time he’s going hunting!
When there’s trouble in the Pennsylvania wilds, there’s only one person to call. It’s out of Bubba’s jurisdiction, so the monster mashing falls on part-time mechanic, part-time cryptic killer Mark Wojcik. He’s got a gun, a cast of supporting characters you won’t believe, and more ammunition than you can shake a stick at. This time, there’s something funky happening in the woods, and Mark is about to learn more about hunting, and The Hunt, than he ever wanted to!
I can’t remember the last time I started reading an Urban Fantasy and highlighted as many “LOL” moments as I have while reading the books in this series. Mark faces real danger with every case he takes. Some think he has a death wish and sometimes he thinks he might as well. Yet, he’s determined to rid the world of creatures like the ones who tore his family from him – and not just the ones who didn’t survive the attack that changed his life. Then there are lines like this that can’t help but make me want to get to know him better:
So here I was, loaded up with more weapons than Elmer Fudd in duck season, looking for a carnivorous cryptid in a bottomless swamp. What could possibly go wrong?
F*ck-all, that’s what.
I’m beginning to adore Mark Wojcik. 😉
As the title suggests, most of the “hunts” that Mark is hired for in Open Season have to do with “hunting” and not just the kind Mark does. People are disappearing, evil’s lurking in unexpected places and new and interesting allies are found while old enemies are still just as crazy as ever. Through it all, the “family” that really matters is right by his side when he needs them most. ❤
Mark Wojcik is back, and this time there are ghosts, gnomes, dragons, and way more than you ever wanted to know about a gnome’s fiddly bits!
When there’s trouble in the Pennsylvania wilds, there’s only one person to call. It’s out of Bubba’s jurisdiction, so the monster mashing falls on part-time mechanic, part-time cryptid killer Mark Wojcik. He’s got a gun, a cast of supporting characters you won’t believe, and more ammunition than you can shake a stick at. This time, Mark’s not sure what’s more dangerous, a haunted hotel, or the live guests at his girlfriend’s work soiree!
Another installment in the Spells, Salt, & Steel – Season 1 that makes me adore Mark Wojcik even more. He gains even more unlikely allies in Deep Trouble that add to the menagerie.
One of the things that make me like Mark so much (and there are many, many things) is the fact that he doesn’t just arbitrarily eliminate every “monster” he hunts down. If they’re not a danger to anyone around them, he finds a way to help them.
There’s only one more story left in Season 1 and with the promise of more to come, I can’t wait to get to know Mark and friends even better. 😉
There’s a drunk werewolf passed out on his porch, a monster mistaken for a mammoth stalking the nearby woods, zombies at an abandoned sanitarium, and his niece has been kidnapped by a haunted hotel that makes the Overlook resemble the Waldorf Astoria.
For Mark Wojcik, it’s just another week in the wild backwoods of Pennsylvania.
That’s right, Mark Wojcik is back, with more monsters, more one-liners, more action, more mysteries, and now with added shady government conspiracies! This time old family ghosts come calling when his dead brother’s widow calls to tell him his niece has gone missing, Mark knows she’d rather cut off her arm than ever speak to him again, so if his sister-in-law is calling, it’s gotta be serious. Mark finds out just how serious when he realizes that his niece has vanished into a haunted hotel that only appears once every few decades, so if he’s going to get her home safe, he’d better haul some serious ass!
Can Mark save his niece when he couldn’t save his brother?
Things get a little personal in Close Encounters and then a little crazy… uh crazier? than normal.
This is the last book in Season 1 of Spells, Salt & Steel, and if I didn’t already know that the 5th installment was already in the works, I’d be a little miffed. As it is, I’m going to have a hard time waiting to see what happens next. It seems that Mark’s ghost hunting escapades have just leveled up a notch.
All the stories in this installment are even more connected than all the others and trust me when I say, they end with a bang… literally. I love how this series is also connected with characters from other series – even characters that don’t belong to just Gail Z. Martin, Larry N. Martin and Morgan Brice. As a matter of fact, I’m planning on delving into the characters created by other authors because this world is amazing.
Stay tuned! I can pretty much guarantee that there’s MUCH more to come!