Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hexed by Michael Alan Nelson, art by Emma Rios

Luci Jenifer Inacio das Neves, Lucifer for short, is a thief.  An occult thief.  And one who only steals things for the right reasons.  Unfortunately for her, someone from her past wants her to steal something very dangerous, and NOT for the right reasons.  Now Lucifer must steal an object with the power to kill, and put it into the hands of a killer, otherwise the life of the one person she cares about could be forfeit.

This was pretty great.  Lucifer is a character from Fall of Cthulhu, which I have not read but now that I've read Hexed I want too.  Nelson liked Lucifer so much he wanted to give her her own story.  So he did.  This means that there are some references to things that happened before which I did not understand, but that just made me want to find out what happened, it did not disengage me from the story.  Lucifer is smart and capable.  She isn't attached to very many people, but to the one person who she really cares about, Val, (no, it's not a boyfriend!  Just a friend!  A female friend!) she is fiercely protective of and loyal too.  She is put in dangerous and tricky situations, and she works her way out of them.

Lucifer has been Hexed, and we don't learn what that actually means until almost the end of the story.  We also don't know how she got into this business of stealing occult objects.  Lucifer is kind of a Robin Hood figure.  She steals occult objects and returns them to their rightful owners.  She doesn't do this on her own, however.  She is hired to do so.  Many of her jobs go through Val.  We don't know how Lucifer and Val met.  I'm not sure how much more I would know if I'd read Fall of Cthulhu, and how much just hasn't been revealed.  I hope there are many more Hexed stories.  I would really like to continue with it.

For the most part, I really liked the art.  From when the story starts, Lucifer has been working for some time, and when crises strikes she doesn't get to rest.  There are several mentions of how she'd love to sleep or take a shower.  And she looked it.  She looked like someone who was tired and filthy and exhausted but couldn't stop.  I wish people's faces had more expression.  There was a generic flat look, a generic angry look, and a generic smirking kind of look and all the characters, for the most part, worse one of those looks.

There was only one scene that I felt was gratuitously sexual.  Lucifer has to cut into a dead body and jump inside to find the doorway into the world she has to get too.  Before we know that's what she has to do, it set up like she's going to have to have sex with a dead body in order to open the door.  She says "Finding the Carasingth will be the easy part.  The hard part is getting into his lair...It's just that there's this whole "yuk" factor...Sadly, violating the body of a 300-pound dead man isn't the worst thing I've ever had to do on a gig.  But it comes pretty damn close."  And the images are of her taking off her pants and straddling a dead body.  Why did she have to take off her pants?  Why did she have to straddle the body?  So I didn't love that scene.

Also, I wish the cover image were not Lucifer crouching in her underwear.  She's such a kickass girl, why'd they have to use the one image of her when she's partially undressed?  Annoying.

This is definitely for older YA and adult.  I really enjoyed it though and recommend it.

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