Cover Image: Bottle Demon

Bottle Demon

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Stephen Blackmoore is the best paranormal noir writer out there today. He’s exceptional. If you like Sandman Slim, try the Eric Carter series. Try to read them in order, though. The author assumes a certain amount of knowledge by the time you get to this book.
Was this review helpful?
Confession time first.  I didn't realize I had missed a book between Fire Season and this one.  Which left me a tad bit confused about The Whole "Being Dead" Thing.

For those new to the series, I very much recommend starting at the beginning with Dead Things.  Eric fits in well among a line up of literary contemporaries such as Sandman Slim or Harry Dresden, there's even something for fans of Preacher but pulling on Aztec mythology rather than Christian.  It's a dark urban fantasy featuring a necromancer who has a penchant for falling into problems above his weight class, a tendency to mouth off rather than play politics, and has a dry sense of humor.

One thing that Blackmoore does well with this series is in effect keep it "small."  The cast does grow and change, Eric needs to travel, but so far the core story is tight and personal.  Some of this may be due to the sheer lethality of the situations he's in, limiting the effective cast size, but it's also in the story's focus.  By their very nature, many of the plots and locations take us inwards not just outwards.  Decisions and actions taken before Eric was born coming due, and in ways that force him to confront unpleasant truths.

As I said at the start, I accidently skipped the middle book, Ghost Money, but the necessary particulars were woven into the story to keep me on the right narrative path.  The arc from Fire Season to Bottle Demon is tightly knit, seeds planted in book four coming to fruition two books later.  As I mentioned earlier though, the big thing is the story keeps things personal in the details and in the horror.  We have our magic and mayhem, but at it's core we have weighing of choices and sacrifices, and paying the cost of ones decisions.

Excellent continuation of the series.
Was this review helpful?
So let me start with this was one heck of a ride. Stephen Blackmoore managed to take his main character, kill him and then bring him back without missing a beat. There is only one other author I’ve seen manage that feat so effortlessly, putting Blackmoore up with the likes of Jim Butcher. Granted, Eric Carter is a necromancer so you’d think he’d have an advantage in rising from the dead but that is not how the author shapes either the plot or the character’s powers. Instead the reason for Eric being back acts as the major plot point of the entire novel, catapulting the action in the novel and motivating the characters. 
As Eric Carter scrambles to find out why he was brought back, in a body without scars and tattoos altered, he discovers he’s been gone five years. Darius, the Djinn, is attempting to free himself which adds all kinds of complications. Eric must not only prevent his escape but deal with all the changes that have occurred in LA and among the mages in his absence.  And as usual, not everyone is terribly thrilled to see him back in the land of the living. Yet, all Eric wants to do is return to his job as the Aztec god of death Mictlantecuhtli. No spoilers but as usual, things don’t go the way Eric wants. 
As usual, it is the fast paced action and snappy dialogue that makes Stephen Blackmoore so successful and a favorite author to read. What makes this book in particular a favorite, though, is how thoroughly the author has thought out the changes in his character and the long term effects. Eric is not the same as the person we’ve known in the last five years. He has much the same humor but he is more thoughtful and less prone to anger. He is also much more likeable. There is still a gritty quality to the books but the changes to the character allow Stephen Blackmoore to reset the world and the character, resolve the major character arc and set Eric Carter on a new path. 
Just like the previous novels, the characters are beyond black and white. Every character, even minor ones, have depth and dimension. Every character pops off the page and the motives of most of them are murky, even occasionally Eric. The world that gives us is intriguing and now that the character has come back from the dead, his character can literally end up anywhere. I have no idea what direction the next story will take but I loved “Bottle Demon” and can’t wait for the next book.  
Rating: 5 out of 5 tattoos
Was this review helpful?
The sixth entry in the dark urban fantasy Eric Carter series resolves the cliffhanger ending of the last volume and is an enjoyable read as Eric must uncover who is responsible for his current condition and why. Familiar characters return to make an appearance and by the end most major story arcs are wrapped up leaving the decks clear for a new direction for this series or possibly serving as a series finale.
Was this review helpful?
Bottle Demon (Eric Carter #6) by Stephen Blackmoore is a very addicting urban fantasy series. I honestly don't know why I put it off for so long, but I'm glad I'm finally caught up. Eric Carter is one of characters where you just have to know what happens to him or what's coming down the road for him. He hasn't had an easy ride, that's for sure! Let's just say that the previous novel ended on a massive cliffhanger and this one does one heck of a job resolving it. It was great seeing a lot of other cast members reappear again in this installment too. I can't wait to see what's next for Eric Carter and I hope we'll get to find out soon now that I'm all caught up!
Was this review helpful?
I thought I was going to be saying goodbye to Eric Carter with this book and am absolutely thrilled to have found out that Blackmoore will be writing at least three more novels in this universe as they started baseline fantastic and have gotten successively more hilarious, terrifying, engaging, and complex with each volume. I am very much a sucker for characters who walk the line between the light side and the dark, especially those who do so unapologetically and Carter is one of the few I've found who is authentically gray while also, somehow, someone to root for. Blackmoore did a fantastic job closing the arc that's been going for six novels and still leaving enough potential dangling ends for a new one to start and I can't wait to see what bloody, monstrous, horrifying trouble Eric (and his new partner) get in to next.
Was this review helpful?
Urban Fantasy is my favorite genre ever. Seriously, read my bio and you’ll find out how much I love its tropes and how curious I am to see any kind of mythological creature interact with the modern world. Cue NetGalley, and me browsing for some new UF to read. When I found Bottle Demon, I wasn’t sure reading it was a good idea. Since this book is the sixth installment of an ongoing series, I was afraid I would not be able to understand what was going on. I asked for an ARC anyway, and I’m so glad I did! I’ll tell you why in a heartbeat, but let me talk about the cover first.

I love how haunted Eric looks here, and the bottle at the center. It’s very fitting and it looks great. While we’re at it, let me tell you I loved Eric’s character. He’s jaded and he keeps telling himself he’s a bad person, so he gives a lot of hard-boiled style vibes, but in truth he’s… well, not a cherub, but he’s a decent, albeit scarred, person. In general, all the characters are great, from the villains to the secondary ones. I mean, what about the Ambassador, a character that is a sentient thing? It is brilliant.

Hey, since we’re at it, let me also express my joy for how all the women are portrayed. From Gabriela to Letitia, from Amanda to Santa Muerte, they are all badass. And it’s not because they fit the strong female character trope: they are strong willed, awesome persons (and a goddess). I can’t even begin to say how impressed I am by the characterization in this novel. It was such a pleasure to read.

The novel itself works perfectly as a standalone. I had no issues whatsoever figuring out bits of the events that led to this installment. Furthermore, this one made me very curious to know more about them, and I’ll buy the previous books for sure. The stakes are high, the plot very compelling. It works great. All the elements are there and, if you pay enough attention, you can figure out the solution along with Eric. I had lots of fun guessing and reading to see if I were right. And once I was done, I was left with ideas and speculations that made me look forward to following Eric’s journey. I have so many questions, and I want answers!

There are some memorable quotes thrown here and there. Most of Santa Muerte and Eric’s dialogues were great. Actually, most dialogues were great, and the final one between Eric and Gabriela… I loved how they both knew what Eric did was wrong but also necessary. What impresses me the most about this duo is that they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They have to compromise and choose the lesser evil every time, and they’re willing to accept the price they have to pay for their actions.

A special mention goes to the Harry Potter reference I found. I’m always happy when I can spot bits of pop culture inside a book. Plus, I’m a huge HP fan, so it kinda made my day. What also made me squeal with joy (and wipe away one tear or two) was how immersive this story is. Here, I said it without spoiling anything!

Now, on to the only real issue I’ve had. I’m grateful for all the explanations because they helped me understand what Eric was dealing with, but I started to find them distracting once I had a good grasp of the previous events. That said, I think this book is an awesome read and I loved it to bits. For this reason and all the ones mentioned above, I decided to rate it 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?
After reading the prequel to Bottle Demon, Ghost Money, I was so curious as to what, if anything, was going to happen next to Eric Carter?! Not every plot can successfully bring a character back to life after an extended period of death but Bottle Demon nailed it. I was just as much in the dark as Eric about what was taking place with him after he had been awakened and I loved speculating right alongside him. I felt that his confusion and his process for finding out what was taking place was realistically done and added a great mystery element to the story. With each scene another puzzle piece dropped into place and pretty soon I had a clear picture of what was truly happening and it was intriguing.

Also, I found that I had such compassion for Eric because he never seems to get a break. When he finally had a measure of peace it was taken from him and I liked that he understood it and, in his way, mourned that loss. Of course, he is not the kind of guy to just sit around feeling bad for himself, especially not when there are others who really need his help. So, expect that in his way he kicked butt and took names in this story. There was plenty of action, magic, and the kind of paranormal activity that I have come to expect with the Eric Carter series. It was good to see some of the characters that I have come to know in this series but not all were actively a part of Bottle Demon. There was a distinctive feeling that if this series continues, this book will be the one that changed the direction of what we can expect in future books. I, for one, cannot wait to see what is next!

This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
Was this review helpful?
I really like this darker series and I was curious to find Eric Carter again.

I was very surprised by the story, because the novel starts when Eric is resurrected. He doesn’t understand what happened but one thing doesn’t change: everyone is still trying to kill him. It’s been five years since he died and many things have changed during his absence. The problems remain the same and Eric will have to use all his allies to figure out what is going on.

Once again, I had a great time with this series. It was a real pleasure to see all the characters. The novel gave me the impression of being a transitional volume, but that’s not a problem. Gabriela is an important protagonist in this story and while I would have liked to have seen Vivian, we do hear about her. Of course, we see Darius as well, but many other characters as well.

Yes, this was again a very nice book in the series and I’m looking forward to read the next one.
Was this review helpful?
Dear Daw,
I’m writing these post because it’s time you stop approving my requests for urban fantasy books that are not the first in series.
My credit card is begging you to stop making me discover excellent series as I usually go and buy the others books.
It happened with Titan Song (loved it, great storytelling, lots of humor and a great series) and it happened again with Bottle Demon.
Bottle Demon is an excellent story, gripping, dark and highly entertaining. 
I don’t know how Eric was in the previous books, I know that I liked him in this books and he’s a fleshed out and complex characters.
The world building is amazing and tightly knitted plot is fast paced and action packed.
I loved the storytelling, the character development and read this books as fast as I could.
Now I have to read five other books but it’s not a problem.
This one is strongly recommended.
Many thanks to DAW and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
I’ve been reading this series since it first began, and I think this latest is my favorite of the whole series. Poor Carter really goes through the wringer with the events that happen between books (can’t say much as spoilers), and he still has a problem to deal with starting in this one. As with the other books, Carter is still not well-liked in this one, but he isn’t as beat up as normal so don’t expect much violence. In some ways this one seems more sad than usual, but not in a boo-hoo way, more like a close look at death in many of its forms. All that aside, I really liked the ending of this one, and I really hope this isn’t the end of the series because one major story arc was pretty well tied up in a very nice, well-written bow. Great urban fantasy series you must try. Highly recommend. I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.
Was this review helpful?
Eric Carter is an imperfect character that many will love. Filled with paranormal, intrigue, magic, folklore, and more, this book will appeal to the series readers as well as make new fans. I would not recommend going into this book without reading the others in the series.

Thank you NetGalley and DAW for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
"The sixth book of this dark urban fantasy series follows necromancer Eric Carter through a world of vengeful gods and goddesses, mysterious murders, and restless ghosts.

The Necromancer is dead. Long live the Necromancer.

After being attacked by a demon in the one place he thought he was safe, Eric Carter has been killed, his soul sent to take its place as a stand-in for the Aztec god of death Mictlantecuhtli. But somebody on Earth isn't done with him, yet. Somebody with the power to bring him back from the dead. He doesn't know who, and worse he doesn't know why.

Between an angry death goddess, family secrets steeped in blood, a Djinn who's biding his time, and a killer mage who can create copy after copy of himself, Eric's new life looks to be just as violent as his last one. But if he doesn't get to the bottom of why he's back, it's going to be a hell of a lot shorter."

I have an obsession with necromancers later. And the TV series Dynasty, which brings me to point number two, does our hero on the front cover look like Alexis's forth husband Sean Rowan to anyone else? With a better haircut of course.
Was this review helpful?
Bottle Demon by Stephen Blackmoore, a fun read. Eric Carter is back from the dead though how, why and who did so elude him. The Jinn in the bottle is close to breaking out and everything has gone to hell while he's been gone, what more can go wrong...
Was this review helpful?
Bottle Demon by Stephen Blackmoore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right from one hell of a cliffhanger ending to THIS.

Okay, so it kinda shocked me. You know, time passes when you're dead and all and having ... or rather, BEING real-estate in the afterlife is kinda something large to leave a story on, and that's where we open up in this novel.

Only, it's resurrection time and I'm getting a serious Buffy vibe, and the mystery rocks most of the book. I likey. And I like it more when we're into the clay puppets, demons, Klein bottles, pocket universes -- and deals with devils.

I used to feel sorry for Eric Carter. Now I see a bit of new life in him and the series. Pun intended. Fun stuff.
Was this review helpful?
[spoilers ahead for the series as a whole, but not for this specific book]

I had written in a review in the past that the main character, Eric Carter, was a real jerk and would be better off dead, so imagine my surprise when Eric is beaten to death at the end of the last book. Of course, main characters never tend to stay dead in urban fantasy, and Eric is mad as hell when he is forcefully resurrected and yanked out of his peaceful afterlife in Mictlān in the opening pages of Bottle Demon. 

Freed from the chronic traumatic encephalopathy that plagued his former body and made him impulsive, violent, and irritable, Eric is much more likeable now. His time in Mictlān has made him more introspective and concerned about the collateral damage of his choices. I was rooting for him this time without guilt.

This series is continuing strong, and the author said in a recent interview he had another three books planned in this series. 

I'm eagerly looking forward to them.
Was this review helpful?
Not the story I was expecting, but not a disappointment by any means. I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The previous book ends with Eric dying and Santa Muerte by his side, suggesting that an afterlife in Mictlan will be the setting for the next book. But NOT. Instead, Eric wakes up in a ritual circle with a strange woman helping him spew black gunk and as usual, someone's trying to kill him. Everything to do with Aztec gods is basically set aside to deal with the threat of Darius breaking free, and the mages of Los Angeles trying to prevent him from ending the world. Eric's enemies and many and varied, and everyone is holding Quetzalcoatl's fires against him.

The story is well-written, fast-paced, and full of surprises, but it reminded me more of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim than Blackmoore's previous books. A new romance blooms, an old one ends, and it looks like future books will have a different theme that I find a little disappointing. But Blackmoore surprised me with the direction of this book, and maybe he'll continue to surprise me. He's given me plenty of reasons to hope.
Was this review helpful?