****I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review****
The synopsis of this book does not do it justice! "Made Men" is what you'd get if the TV show "Supernatural" and a procedural cop drama had an illegitimate love child. The book focuses on Jim Shaw, an ex-military man who works as a contractor for the government and police (occasionally) to keep supernatural creatures in-line; everything from the classic werewolf, fae creatures, monstrous elves, and wisps so they don't hurt humans. In the world Creamer creates, all the creatures of lore and monsters that go bump in the night are no longer living in the shadows, but out in the open. They are no longer seen as just legends, but a fact of life. Shaw's job is to put the bad ones down and help law enforcement figure out who (or what) is responsible for the mayhem. Personally, I love this kind of stuff as I'm a big fan of supernatural lore and even the crass characters on "Supernatural". And while Creamer does a fabulous job, a bit more editing was needed. As it stands, his book is what it'd look like if "Supernatural" hated commas and paragraphs – which, who knows, maybe it does, but it started to get a bit distracting and it spoiled an otherwise thoroughly entertaining read.
Creamer uses his knowledge as an ex-police officer to make for a very realistic experience in a fantasy setting. The procedures, the weaponry, and the banter between the police and military types is spot on. It’s rare that these urban fantasy’s will bother with that kind of realism because, after all, when you have werewolves and vampires, what’s the point in realism? But that’s what makes this such a refreshing take on the formulaic police procedurals! But, be warned, given Jim Shaw’s line of work and background, he swears quite a lot and makes comments that can be seen as sexist. It’s never really out of place because it fits with the characters and scenarios, but be forewarned, if graphic language and gore bother you, you may have a harder time enjoying this book. It’s not any more violent then you’d see on an episode of Game of Thrones though, so if you can handle that, you can handle this.
Creamer makes such great characters that feel organic and very different from one another that I really enjoyed them and want to see them again in future books. It’s my love of these characters that has me forgiving a lot of the grammatical errors that pop up consistently throughout the novel. If it had happened a few times, whatever no big deal, but the same mistakes happen so constantly that it’s impossible to overlook. I’d still urge you to read the book despite that, but know it’s there ahead of time. Hopefully, knowing the comma issue, and some of the “unnecessary” characters and situational descriptions are there, it won’t trip you up the way it did me.
That was the disappointing thing about this book and story. It was so good with all the details (maybe too much or not enough given Creamer was a cop so he assumes the reader knows what certain weapons are), the unique and realistic characters and scenarios, the interesting twist on supernatural and urban fantasy, it’s a shame that the editing of the book brings it down. It just needs that final little polish to fix the grammatical issues and some of the oddities when it comes to his villain’s motivations to take this book from “good” to “excellent”, or in this case, from a 4.5 to 5 star rating. I hope Creamer either goes back to tweak this story, or his next in the Jim Shaw universe fixes some of these things as I will be sticking around to see what this one-legged contractor encounters next!
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