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The Ledberg Runestone (The Jonah Heywood Chronicles, #1)

A debt that needs to be repaid ASAP. A messed up alcoholic with shamanic powers. And a plan that sounds just crazy enough, it might even work! What could possibly go wrong?

Jonah Heywood is not your typical shaman slash P.I. – he’s a cripple with crude manners, first to run away to save his skin, and has a soft spot for the bottom of the nearest bottle. But he’s also in debt. And to get out of it – and unscathed, seeing as the loan sharks are not exactly lenient and would like nothing more than to tear him limb from limb – he needs cash. Lots of it, and fast. So when an opportunity appears itself in the form of a job he knows is not safe to accept, he takes his chances only because there’s nothing left to do. But things rarely go Jonah’s way, and this time is no different…

This book left me in quite the dilemma, I must say. On one hand, the characters were all unique and quite easy to relate to. It didn’t hurt that the dialogues between them were also witty and interesting.

Let’s start with Jonah himself. He was a flawed man through and through. He was so addicted to booze, and everyone BUT him could see it, which is quite realistic. A person with an addiction usually never sees the problem themselves. It was also quite nice to see that the writer didn’t feel the need to keep showing that addiction as something tiring, or forcing it down our throats – you know, every other scene and such. Jonah would reach for the bottle only when things would get rough, or when he was starting to get insecure and all that. Another thing I actually liked is that he wasn’t weak. Far from it. When he finally decided to stand up to everyone trying to push him around, we got to see he had the power to do so to begin with, he just chose to ignore his self-worth and was scared of his own abilities, due to past traumas. This shows a man willing to lower himself to a point where everyone underestimates and insults him, as long as he doesn’t get innocents killed again. He was trying to learn from his youthful mistakes, even if he went all wrong about doing it – it was still so humane of him to do so clumsily.

Aside from Jonah, I adored the scenes with his father. The old guy had no magic powers whatsoever, and was more badass than his own son in his prime! Respect!

Oh, and Sam! Sam was the kind of best friend I wish we all had. Sarcastic, considerate, and yet so subtle in his ways. He didn’t try to filter his mouth when he was ripping a new one on his friend, but he was also trying to be accepting of his flaws and what he had gone through before all this fiasco in the current book. Not to mention that he was willing to risk his life to save Jonah – despite being a normal person himself.

The only problem with this book was the number of plot holes. There were many things that went unanswered, or that didn’t make sense. Like, how did Sam get from laying asleep on Jonah’s floor to rescuing him in the woods? In terms of time, the whole event happened quite fast for him to have managed that. The scene with the payment with Lysone – the whole thing with the price going up and then being the same confused the heck out of me. And what on Earth happened with that girl who kept warning Jonah not to give the runestone to Lysone, only for her to kill one of Mama Duvalier’s daughters and then blame it on him?

Like I said, plot holes.

But the story was relatively easy to read through, and enjoyable. Lots of action, and dry humor, and suspense. And of course, magic! The kind we don’t usually see in books – you know, the whole voodoo-style and the idea of using spirits from bottles (which I’m totally stealing for one of my D&D campaigns, Mr. Donovan, just so you know!). Simply refreshing. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Jonah and his peers, hopefully filling in the blanks I got from this book – and my, that plot twist with Kari and Lysone! You seriously don’t know which one to trust and who is the Big Baddie after all!

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***