Genre: M/M Paranormal
3.5 HEARTS--Different. Hella different and I liked it for what it brought to the table.
Tired of reading paranormal that feature the ever popular choices of shifters? Want to read about a different type of beast? Want diversity? Want to read snark without it going into lames-ville?
You might be interested in reading Sam Schooler's "Writing Your Own Ransom Note".
Set in Chicago, Jazz is 19, bi, Canadian, a victim of racism and bullying due to his vitiligo. Believable. But the story doesn't play the 'woe is me' card which I give kudos to the author for. He's working at a doughnut shop and his coworker spots a monster wolf-dog (hilarious internal dialogue BTW) sitting on Jazz's car. He tries to cajole the wolf-dog off his car but instead the wolf-dog has plans for him.
The animal is not of this world, he's a hellhound named Pyxis. And Pyxis is on the hunt for rotting souls...guess who Pyxis thinks has one?
The two encounter a mini snark filled, junk food gobbling road trip to save Jazz's soul. And they perform an inventive way on sussing out the soul rot. This is a short story, so not too many guesses on how Pyxis works this out. (Don't fear, Pyxis has a human form)
The story wasn't action packed or suspenseful. No bang, bang, shoot'em up here. This is perfect for a reader who wants something to read between novels or on a lunch break. There is sex but it wasn't intense or something that might make you get flustered. Everything about it was quirky and I liked the vibe and for the different ways it introduced different types of people. There was an ease about it that I liked.
But the story was kind of too short. Something about the ease of Jazz and Rosa's reactions was a little hard to swallow for me. And it ends with barely a HFN. I think I'd have liked a little more length. Maybe finish the case or at least read what happens to the culprit.
Overall: quick, easy and different. This is part of a series of standalones short stories, Purgatory Inc.