Two and a Half Dead Men by Jason Krumbine is a quirky paranormal adventure featuring two brother, Mort and Thane Grym, who work as Grim Reapers, a job they inherited from their father who has gone missing. The two brothers are as different as night and day. Thane is neat, responsible and seems to honest care about the souls they collect. Mort is a drunk, a poor gambler and a womanizer. They fight, a lot, but they love each other and are doing a difficult job the best they can, and for what seems to be not much money. This time they’ve got a doozie of a case on their hands. Two dead guys souls have gone missing and there’s a third dead guy, who’s not actually dead, running around. And to top it off, there’s a new Grim Reaper outfit in town, competition that the Grym brothers are not looking forward to. Thane and Mort need to figure out what’s going on before they end up beaten to death themselves.
This had a lot of pieces I tend to enjoy in an urban fantasy. The narration is rather snarky, the two main characters have the potential to be hilarious, there are some rather comic situations and lots of action. In the end, though, it was just okay. The plot was good, but in some ways the individual scenes felt repetitive- the Gryms get beat up by some huge guy, the Gryms fight with each other, Mort wants a drink and a stripper. But it kept me reading. Actually, I think that my husband might enjoy it more than I did. It’s short, fast-paced and I think he would find the brother’s constant bickering amusing.
As the first in the series, it set the characters up well. I got a good bit of information about them and their background without feeling like it was being force fed to me. Also, the basic mystery in this story is solved, but two issues are quite obviously and being carried into the second. In that way, the end was a little heavy-handed. Also, the story is told in the present tense, which I know can be an issue for some people, but I personally am not bothered by it, but it was a little choppy at points. I did notice a couple of typos, but nothing major and I tend to read right through them anyway.
Overall, it’s a quick, out of the ordinary read. I’m kind of interested in seeing what happens in the Gryms’ lives next.
2½ out of 5 stars
Category: Urban Fantasy
Grym Brothers #1
Published April 24, 2011
Book source: For review