The Iron Codex is a mile-a-minute action adventure fantasy, featuring motorcycle chases, the demons of hell, and buckets of intrigue. There’s a lot of reference to the first book in the series, specifically regarding the pasts of the lead characters and their relation to the war. Mack does a great job of giving us their backstories, treating the book as though it’s a standalone novel. If you want a full history of the magic in this wild universe, you can definitely start with the first book.
I was most impressed by the usage of magic in relation to the war. Mack calls on a cast of sorcerers and demons, creating an Indiana Jones-type experience. Alternating between action sequences and deep, evil-seeming magic keeps The Iron Codex racing ahead toward world-changing events and epic battles. The war is never over in this version of the world and magic is the only way to keep the balance of good versus evil. It’s quite ironic that doing good requires demons summoned from hell.
The writing is top notch, featuring historical figures and places alongside some alternate history. Mack weaves these together to create a version of the world that seems very real. This alternate history sets you on a rollercoaster of moods, toeing the line between thrilling, terrifying, action-packed, and humorous. This is a world where magic isn’t new and those wielding it know exactly what they’re doing, for the most part. This second novel in the Dark Arts series explores the Iron Codex, a book that could change everything. I don’t want to reveal too much — The Iron Codex is definitely an adventure that needs to be experienced.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
If you’re interested in starting the series from the beginning (something that I think would be great if you’re having trouble keeping up):
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