It takes an Oni by Scott Rhine
It Takes An Oni is a superhero fantasy story. Solomon is a priest to a god of the underworld; he believes that he is a hideous monster, hiding his face behind numerous masks. He is a master of disguise, assuming a different persona on a daily basis.
The story opens with an elaborate heist at a vault held in the Smithsonian religious arts centre, which is jeopardised when high witch Delilah brings along her daughter. Morgan immediately recognises Solomon in his latest disguise, but she’s taken hostage when the robbery goes wrong and he must save her instead of the artifact.
Solomon has always been protective of Delilah and her daughters after she made a bargain with his god to save her first child. A few years later, while springing Morgan from her school with an expensive birthday gift and a trip to see a mixed martial arts fight, Solomon is caught by the witches. His penance involves wearing an ankle cuff which burns when he refuses to answer direct questions.
After the foiled vault heist Solomon has a new enemy; in his quest to retrieve the lost artefact he befriends a young man who is a wind spirit and with the aid of a network of informers and assistants Solomon plans his final task.
The opening chapters of this book were very intriguing and I enjoyed entering Solomon’s world. It is filled with a large cast of characters from a range of mythology and paranormal tales. Solomon is a deeply layered character who fills much of his life with good deeds to compensate for being the monster that he believes that he is.
The story continues at a swift pace, at times a little too fast as I sometimes struggled to keep up with the storyline; however, this was only a minor complaint. Also, Rhine uses a method of describing many of the characters as similar to a well-known person, often a celebrity, but some of these went over my head when I didn’t know that person, so I couldn’t then form a good image of the character in my head.
I liked this story for the mythological and paranormal themes, the pace and detail kept me interested and I would be happy to recommend this to fans of the fantasy genre.
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An interesting monster…
For a hundred years, he’s stolen art and gems from around the world, and he can look like anyone. Now Solomon Oni has taken a commission to rob something of devastating power from the Smithsonian’s religious artifact vault. His only friend, other than a magical tattoo artist and the odd djinn, is a young misfit witch named Morgan. When supernatural thugs threaten her, he demonstrates just how much a former servant of the underworld can do to punish the wicked. Sometimes it takes a monster to catch a monster. Fans of Ocean’s Eleven and anime will enjoy this fantasy adventure.