As far as Gabriel Bleak is concerned, talking to the dead is just another way of making a living. It gives him the competitive edge to survive as a bounty hunter, or “skip tracer,” in the psychic minefield known as New York City. Unfortunately, his gift also makes him a prime target. A top-secret division of Homeland Security has been monitoring the recent emergence of human supernaturals, with Gabriel Bleak being the strongest on record. If they control Gabriel, they’ll gain access to the Hidden — the entity-based energy field that connects all life on Earth. But Gabriel’s got other ideas. With a growing underground movement called the Shadow Community — and an uneasy alliance of spirits, elementals, and other beings — Gabriel’s about to face the greatest demonic uprising since the Dark Ages. But this time, history is not going to repeat itself. This time, the future is Bleak. Gabriel Bleak.
This book lacked the hook “The Calling,” had as the first few pages plodded through familiar territory, involving a gun fight within a bar. During this scene we are introduced to the main antagonistic group of the story whose a sect of the government that wishes to control the humans who are able to hone the “energy” contained within the hidden,which the story describes as an entity based energy field. So from the onset the story seems fairly atypical of other urban fantasy stories. And the writing seemed strong from the beginning as the fight scene’s very detailed and fairly exciting.
But even the author’s adeptness at writing fight scenes could not salvage a story that lost me towards the hundred page mark. As it ceased to hook me at the pivotal moment within a book. That moment were the author can either deter the audience or further immerse the audience. Instead, as a reader I felt more detached as the story progressed and was unable to become emotionally invested within any of the characters. I was willing to believe within the motives of some of the characters. But nothing ever surprised me or had me clamoring for more.
Many are bound to disagree with me; but nothing within this story seemed innovative. Elements of the story seemed emulated from other stories. And some parts seemed wanting to have the depth and humor of a really good episode of Angel. But it never reached that extent as it’s attempts to balance humor and drama seemed largely contrived,just as with the development of the protagonist. A protagonist whose dry humor was lost on me and seemed forced rather than fitting with the character.
Nothing within the story either impressed me or shocked me. And perhaps with others, this story may seem outstanding and compelling. As with all reviews and critical analysis’s of books; we’re all bound to derive a different experience from every story we read. Some may love “Bleak History” for it’s conventional elements intermixed with some very well written action sequences. But for me, I usually hope to not only be enthralled but also to care about the characters involved within the story. And this story somehow failed to have authenticated characters, whom you care deeply about.