(Full disclosure: M. Todd Gallowglas is a founding member of the Genre Underground. However, this review was not solicited by him and is made of–(click-click) *gulp*–uh, of my own free will.)

When I read the original Halloween Jack & The Devil’s Gate, I was immediately drawn in to the steampunk world created by Mr. Gallowglas. (You can see my review here.) The character who becomes Halloween Jack is written to be genuinely clever and engaging, even a little scary. However, I honestly wasn’t sure if a fairy-tale/legend story like this one would translate into a sequel.

Well, I was wrong. Curse of Frost is easily as much fun as the original. It’s been seven years since Halloween Jack and his family defeated the Devil, but that was only the beginning. Old Scratch has another trick up his sleeve, and he’s not fooling around this time.

The story is full of twists and turns, and once again I was genuinely surprised by Jack’s ingenuity on more than one occasion. Mr. Gallowglas knows how to set up a story to make his characters come across as very smart, even while misleading the reader into thinking that it’s just being made up as it goes along. When the reveal comes, you’ll be surprised, and that’s high praise coming from a guy who gets annoyed by trite storytelling!

 

Editorial errors, while occasionally visible, were few and far between in the edition that I read, which I was very happy to see. Overall the formatting was strong and I had no major issues while reading.

 

CORRECTION: I noticed very, very few errors. I think there were a couple of times when I spotted a homonym confusion early on in the book, but on reflection, that’s the only thing that comes to mind. Editorially speaking, this book is very clean.

Once again, Mr. Gallowglas hits it out of the park with a well-spun yarn, with surprising twists and turns, great characters, and more than one laugh-out-loud moment to be found!