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In the same vein as SUPERNATURAL HELLBOY and BLADE comesDÄMOREN A secret society of monster huntersA holy revolver forged to eradicate demonsA possessed man with a tragic pastA rising evil bent on destroying them all MATT HOLLIS is the current wielder of the holy weapon Dän With it he stalks and destroys demons A secret society called the VALDUCANS has taken an interest in Matt’s activities They see him as a reckless rogue—little than a ‘cowboy’ corrupted by a monster—and a potential threat to their ancient order As knights and their sentient weapons begin dying Matt teams up with other hunters of his kind such as LUIZA a woman with a conuistador blade; ALLAN an Englishman with an Egyptian khopesh; MALCOLM a voodoo priest with a sanctified machete; and TAKAIRA a naginata swinging SamuraiAs the hunters become the hunted they must learn to trust one another before a powerful demonic entity thrusts the world into a terrible and ageless darkness Dän is book one of debut author Seth Skorkowsky's urban fantasy series Valducan from Ragnarok Publications


10 thoughts on “Dämoren (Valducan, #1)

  1. says:

    Milestone achieved This is officially my 100th review I am ecstatic that this is the book that I get to review for said milestoneUpdate the lovely ladies over at Bookspren were so kind as to feature this review on their blog You can check it out hereThis is easily a 5 star book It has cemented itself in the top 3 spot for my favorite debut novels Right with Malice by John Gwynne and Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames Don't ask me to rank them because I'm not sure I could make that choice Not to mention this spectacular cover US covers tend to not be in my opinion very aesthetically pleasing And man I love this cover Dan is an awesome blend of urban fantasy horror and paranormal It is pretty low fantasy The characters don't really wield any magic besides a gift Matt was gifted to heal when he touches demon blood and one of the characters has tattoos that can sense demons and do a few other things We follow Matt Hollis in a first person point of view He and his family was attacked by a pack of wendigos fourteen years before our story begins That was the day that changed everything for him That was the day his family was slaughtered he became possessed by the demon that attacked him and that was also the day that he met the demon hunter armed with the Holy revolver Dan that he would later become the owner of Fast forward fourteen years later and Matt has taken up his mentor's mantel After a violent series of murders leaves only fifty Holy weapons in the world Matt is approached by 2 men from the holy order known as the Valducans and recruited into their ranks Due to his possession fourteen years earlier it's not the type of possession we're thinking of it's like a watermark has been left behind he is widely untrusted by the other members of the Valducan Once sabotage and assassinations begin the Valducan know they have a traitor in their midst All adds up to Matt possibly being the culprit so he has to prove himself and gain their trust all while protecting Dan and trying to uncover the true traitor among their ranks The plot is full of so many twists and turns that it is truly tough to feel like anyone is ever really safe Maybe not even our protagonist Skorkowsky's characters are all so uniue and feel so real They each have their strengths and plenty of weaknesses This helped me really connect with a lot of them I hated them when I was meant to hate them and might have even liked a few of those same characters by the ending There was just enough character development there to make me excited for the future books since each book is going to feature a different character and weapon The weapons are actually characters just as much as any of the people One thing that I thought was really cool was how we got these little snippets in between some of the chapters that kind of gave us some insight into Dan and her past owners It really makes you feel a connection with the weapon which is something truly uniueSpeaking of weapons they were part of what made me love this book so much I'm used to fantasy books that only feature a few different types of weapons Mainly swords Which is always understandable due to the setting of the book So here we get a huge variety of Holy weapons since it's set in present day We get your run of the mill medieval sword a revolver a katana khopesh machete toki poutangata saber mace and so much that I can't even recall right now This made the story feel even uniueThe demons and mythology in this book was yet another thing that had a lot of variety I'm a sucker for a book with demons so this was the selling point for me I was pleasantly surprised at just how many demons and monsters we got We had vampires werewolves ghouls wendigos oni hellhounds incubi ifrit lamia rakshasas crimson strutters and even a dragon I was blown away at just how extensive his list of demons and monsters was He really held nothing backThe only thing I would say that could make this book better would have been a glossary in the front Mainly just because of how extensive the cast of demons and monsters is And it seemed each monsterdemon has their own colors of flames when they're killed so a glossary explaining what each type of demonmonster looks like a brief summary of their lore color of flame when extinguished would've been really cool Some of that is explained throughout the book but glossaries are always a cool touch It in no way made me enjoy the book any less but I thought it worth addressing Also kind of a disclaimer there is uite a lot of gun porn in this book He gets very detailed at different points and I know that some people aren't fans of that stuff so I thought I'd add that here too There was a bit of a lull once Matt our protagonist gets to the Valducan base and the gun stuff gets pretty descriptive It wasn't but maybe one chapter and the only time that I felt the book fell into a lull Luckily it's a very short period so it's really easy to get through This is such a strong debut novel in a series that keeps growing and growing It encompasses so many elements that I think it will really satisfy a wide range of readers You have demons monsters demon hunters huge variety of weapons urban fantasy elements horror gore some great action moments of humor that help to lighten the story a bit and a spectacular ending that I don't think anyone will be able to predict Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys even just a few of these elements You won't be disappointed


  2. says:

    When Matt Hollis a lone demon hunter with a magical pistol is approached to join the ancient order of Valducan knights he warily accepts Can the Valducans put aside their suspicions and accept Matt before they are overwhelmed by a demonic force bent on ridding the world of holy weapons?I got this ARC from Ragnarok Publications the fine folks responsible for the Dead West seriesFirstly Dan a magical pistol with an eually magical bayonet attacked was forged from a shattered magical sword also called Dan Dan's current wielder Matt Hollis is tainted by demon blood after a bullet fired by Dan passed through a demon into him giving him some cool abilitiesI really liked the mythology Skorkowsky established around the demons Pretty much any monster you can think of was actually a human infected by a demon Even dragons and vampiresThe story was pretty good Matt has to overcome the mistrust of the rest of the Valducans and help them deal with a shit ton of demons There's a lot of action and gore Unfortunately there's also a lot gun porn in this; long descriptions of weapons and lots of technical detailsAnother thing I liked was the inclusion of excerpts from the Valducan's history interspersed with the regular chapters Funny how I'm reading Carrie at the same time and it uses a similar techniueIt was a fun read and things got really tense in the last 20% Since it's the first book in a series I knew some people would live but if the first book is any indication the story of the Valducan knights is going to be a bloody one with lots of casualties 35 out of 5 stars


  3. says:

    Interesting book It's a pretty good addition to the UF universes Here we have a mythology that centers around magic weapons or as the book refers to them holy weapons though the use of the word is somewhat subjective and means something different in this fictional universe than it might elsewhere Anywayas noted the story revolves around weapons primarily Dan Lest I'm unclear there Dan is one of these weapons a revolver with a knife blade under the barrelSeemonsters can be killed by whatever is their weakness silver for werewolves gold for Rakshasas though I never heard of that one so it's probably uniue to the book etc But it takes one of the holy weapons or magic weapons to kill the creature inside the possessed human If you just kill a werewolf with a silver bullet then the actual werewolf floats around in the Aether so to speak till it can possess another body The holy weapons kill the thing inside There are various kinds of weapons and the monsters want to destroy them Once a weapon is broken it's dead See the weapons bond to a hunter and it's apparently a very intense relationshipI meanVERY INTENSE So the hunters are badly shaken up if their weapon dies and as I said if a weapon gets broken or smashed it's deadExcept for DanDan was at one time a sword Dameron was broken But Dan didn't die Dan's hunter had Dan reforged as a cap and ball revolverI'd say that if you like Urban Fantasy in general andor the Monster Hunter motif then you'll like this book We have the protagonist who isn't trusted by his allies traditional monsters nontraditional monsters a twist at the end that while not wholly original isn't one we've seen overworked and it's got a good lead in There are also some openings for interesting characters to come or possibly reappear might be a better word There's a lot of room for expansion in the world and it's magic system There are of course some big internal logic holes in the novel but we live in hope that kind of thing will get handledI mean for example if the only way the actual monsters can be dispatched permanently so to speak is with one of the holy weapons then there must be holy weapons somewhere or we'd be hip deep in lycanthropes vampires and other nasties Still instead of looking at that as a drawback I choose to see it as an opportunity for Mr Skorkowsky I like the book Maybe not the best Urban Fantasy out there and not one I'll be counting the days till the next installment is available but a pretty good UFaction read Recommend mostly though with a few caveats Enjoy


  4. says:

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum tell the truth Dän didn’t start off high on my priority list of books to read when I received it for review though it did hook my attention when I was told there would be wendigos seriously books need wendigos The cover while very pretty also did nothing to draw me in showing a partial image of a bladed revolver Hey gunblades are neat and all but that also tells me very littleThen a couple weeks ago while trying to choose my next read I was struck by a sudden surge of spontaneity and decided to pick up Dän and give the first few pages a shot An hour later I realized with a jolt that I was still reading and that I was already almost a third of the way in The weird thing about that hour is that it honestly felt like a mere few minutes Dän simply took me by surprise I’ve read my fair share of stories about demon slayers and monster hunters so admittedly I wasn’t expecting this first book of Seth Skorkowsky’s new urban fantasyhorror series to be that much differentOnce again I am sorry to have underestimated the dark fiction of Ragnarok Pub Rest assured Dän will satisfy all your needs in the action and thrills department but what I was most impressed with was the world building and uniue body of lore Skorkowsky has created which offered a fresh new take on the angeldemon mythosCentral to the novel is the concept of holy weapons In the world of Dän these weapons are sentient entities that if you’re not careful you may actually grow to care for them and even start thinking of them as characters themselves Somehow the author has managed to imbue unmoving unspeaking objects with personalities of their own For when these holy weapons form a bond with a wielder he or she becomes irrevocably aware that their weapons are alive and that they speak to their souls No one knows how a holy weapon comes to be but they are the only way to kill a demon And the love a wielder feels for their weapon can be even powerful than any attachment to another human beingIt is so with Matt Hollis the main protagonist and owner of Dän the name of his holy sword pistol As a child Matt was the only survivor of a wendigo attack on his family making it out alive thanks to a man named Clay Mercer who killed the monsters and rescued the young boy The former wielder of Dän Clay had resigned from a secret order of demon hunters called the Valducan and left his holy weapon to Matt after he died But many years later the Valducan leadership has taken an interest in Matt’s activities and asked him and Dän to rejoin their ranks due to a sudden influx of coordinated monster attacks and attempts to destroy holy weapons Unfortunately this was not a decision welcomed by all as some of the Valducan see Matt as corrupted For while Matt had survived his childhood wendigo attack he was also bitten by one of the creaturesSo get this In the world of this novel all monsters – everything from werewolves to vampires ghouls to lamia – are all essentially humans but possessed by the souls of the different kinds of demons inhabiting them giving rise to their physical and characteristic traits A bite is how a demon “marks” a person making them an available vessel to possess if or when their old body perishes Now you can see why the other Valducans might be giving Matt the shifty eyesThe book is just filled to the brim with cool ideas like these not to mention the fact Matt’s special condition gives him some rather handy powers blood compasses Can you say awesome? or the sheer variety of terrifying monsters both new and familiar that you’ll come face to face with within these pages There’s certainly no shortage of action I also classified this book as an urban fantasy but in reality the plot will take you to many places across the globe from the wilds of western Canada to the outskirt villages of Florence So not only does it take place in variety of environments Dän is a truly international adventureAlthough it will read perfectly fine as a self contained novel I was also happy to see that it is a “book one” implying that there will be in the future When the Valducan Order expands one thing I'd love to see is kickass female knights like Luiza As one of the only two major female characters I wasn't surprised that the role of love interest fell to her as well but to the point I think the special relationship between a holy weapon and its owner is one of the most intriguing aspects of Dän and I would love to see this uncanny bond further explored with an even greater diversity of characters Really looking forward to see what else Seth Skorkowsky has in store for us


  5. says:

    More of this kinda stuff on Tome Raider I guess I am becoming willing to give unknown small books a go and so far I'm not regretting it at all Then again Michael loved this and our taste is fairly similar with fun action packed stuff so I guess I should have known To my family; if you find my mummified body under a collapsed pile of books Michael is to blame When you hear 'holy weapon' you most likely imagine it as this one single item that is so special that no other can ever reach its level and only the chosen one can even think of using it In this series that's not true at all whatsoever There is a whole organisation called Valducan with holy weapon wielding people who go wherever they are needed to take care of demons that terrorise humanity Our hero Matt was raised by a retired Valducan knight after his whole family having been slaughtered by demons Matt himself having been infected by a demon After the death of his master he inherited Dan the holy gunsword and now he is even being recruited into Valducan as their knights keep dying in horrible ways Not sure how many people have read Darren Shan's Demonata a horror series with gruesome stuff for kids I used to be absolutely obsessed with it it was a genuinely fantastic series It also had a secret organisation to stop demons and in many ways this felt like a spiritual successor of a adult kind From the get go that was a good thing in my mind not gonna lie But I guess that tells everyone that this is horror It's nasty it's bloody people will inevitably die and monsters will come At the same time this is less of the Stephen King kind like gruesome fantasy and to me that works I genuinely prefer it that way Somehow that feels exciting and less about being shocking And boy it was exciting As upsetting as it could be there was so much action and the different characters had so many different skills Somehow it really felt like this world could offer even so much adventure and I am convinced that it is not going to be used up for some time now I'm not saying the author will definitely turn it into one gigantic urban fantasy series long live Harry Dresden but it absolutely has the potential for it The skill is there the cool the great characters you can get attached to it just needs time work to elaborate to write stories Would it be absolutely wrong to call a story charming with so much horrible things happening to people? Then what should I say? It has some kind of a charm that made me interested That made me connect to it that made me want MORE I usually say if I will read the rest of the series at the very end of my reviews but dude be honest I am reading the rest of this so much it's unfunny I'm also happy to see that the author is actually working on it Books are coming out it's not stuck I will have What does it say about me that I'm happy about that Another funny thing about this series is that Matt the protagonist is dropped into a whole new situation with complete strangers They are already a well formed group with connections and attachments but Matt is completely new which to me is interesting as we see tragedies from the point of view of someone only semi attached to the rest He can not hope to feel as much for the others as anyone else because he is the new guy That was a smart decision We connect to Matt's point of view as we know just as little about the others Of course we care we are humans but somehow we are still a bit outside of it at the same time It was great as it didn't make me feel like we were being pushed to feel things The author didn't assume we were instantly 100% in love because we knew a character's name I find this is something that can be done so wrong; expecting the reader to feel gigantic feelings just because we were told we should be feeling that How I hate that Here though it was great Not sure how much of it was deliberate Maybe it was just an idea But it was good In private I joked with Michael about how the guys in this book would be cool as Japanese dating sim game characters All different types all cool I would find it hilarious Which adds even to the potential of this becoming big I have no idea how books become the super big hits but man this would deserve it It would work well people could relate a movie would be super fun Everything I guess I will have to push one series on my friends for gift giving holidays Because I am that friend I AM THAT FRIEND With me it's either hand made stuff or books almost always deal with it I loved it over 9000 stars great stuff I do recommend it I will get the other books I would sell my soul for the new one at this point Good night and I hope I'm sticking to my guns about this one


  6. says:

    Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic ANALYSIS With urban fantasies nowadays there’s only so much being done Faced with the usual bandwagon of vampires werewolves faeries elves and other tropes it can get a tad disappointing for an urban fantasy fan like me Of course we have authors like Ilona Andrews Liz Williams Myke Cole Tim Maruitz and Rachel Aaron who dare to stretch the limits and pave new groundSeth Skorkowsky’s Dän was a book which after reading the blurb I was hoping that would also be different The blurb details a world wherein there’s a series of holy weapons that have been wielded by men and women to defeat all sorts of unnatural and nasty creatures Matt Hollis is our protagonist who is also the current wielder of Dän and he’s been doing his job of sorts since he learnt what the world truly is In his teenage years when he went by Spencer Mallory he came to know what a wendigo is and what savagery a group of them can inflict Saved by a stranger who wielded Dän MattSpencer is drawn to the gun with a mind of its own Fastforward fourteen years to the attack we encounter Matt investigating a strange phenomenon in CanadaThat’s where he meets the Valducans a strange group of people who wield similar weapons and who reuest him for his help There’s much to the weapons than Matt knows but the only way he can get information is if he decides to join this motley bunch The spanner in the works is that Matt has a secret of his own and it might endanger everyoneYou have to admit Seth Skorkowsky has gotten a nice hook with this story There’s a magical weapona freaking revolver with a blade It’s sentient as are other weapons and a mystery organization is holding them to battle with all sorts of nasty creatures The author does really go out of his way to make this tale an international one by having the story move around from locale to locale and doesn’t conform to any one specific mythology either Utilizing a whole gamut of creatures from European Native American and Hindu mythos he keeps the story and the readers on an even keel There’s also a strong undercurrent of horror that the author utilizes effectively within the action seuences and with certain plot pointsThe story also moves at a very fast pace and has some terrific action seuences interspersed Additionally the author also has some neat twists reserved for the end which go on to explain some exciting hints about the mythology of the holy weapons The author also gives some important information about the world between chapters as book excerpts and other such which really helps the reader without going into unnecessary exposition The story is nicely streamlined as the Valducans are constantly hammered on all fronts and Matt has to figure it out before the suspicions against him turn violent The story also ends on a big climax that should satisfy most of the readers and points excitingly towards a seuelNow to the points that didn’t make this it a five star read in regards to the characterization of the protagonist We are given enough of a clue about him and his past however the circumstances with which he grew up would have been exciting to explore A boy who has been savaged by wendigos is saved by something beyond his control and yet looked on with hostility by his savior That’s a terrific origin story right there Of course with regards to the story he wanted to tell I can imagine why the author directly jumped to the present Also in regards to the other characters we don’t get much background on them but they aren’t cardboard cutouts eitherAnother thing I would have enjoyed is that if the author had explored as to how all the world religions and mythologies tie in together there are a few things mentioned here and there But nothing concrete is offered this is what usually ruffles the read for me I would have liked to see how the world religions have been affected or atleast some hypothesis in regards to it But with this being book one in a series it can be understood if the author didn't want to reveal all his cards Lastly one interesting thing the author manages is that he very effectively sidesteps the uestion of which brand of belief is the correct one I thought that was a very smooth moveCONCLUSION Dän is an exciting debut as it offers the best of both urban fantasy and thrillers have to offer Seth Skorkowsky writes a story that is an excellent combination of horror action and mythology further his writing flows smoothly and makes for a damned good read as well Check out Dän if you like Jim Butcher's works mixed in with a strong dash of James Rollins' thrillers


  7. says:

    I tried this story in two formats audio and ebook If I could have managed to listen to the story certain things would not have annoyed me as uickly as they did by reading the story To my surprise I did not like the way Bray narrated the story and returned the audiobook after trying to listen to it several times I got about 20 minutes into the audio before I stopped listening The story comes off like a bad attempt at an anime style story For no particular reason different aspects of the story would irk me from the very start and I kept brushing them aside as minor irritations Sometimes it takes a little work and effort to get into a new story and author It's worth the effort to see if there's a gem hiding in the rough The basic concepts that the author outlines shred any desire I had to read this story A few of the ideas have some merit and the characters are engaging However I can't get over the foundation that the story is built upon I don't buy it The the writer talks about it within the story the less I like it and the it sinks into a mud pit I read over 40% of the story before I skimmed the rest I can state that most of the uestions that are raised at the start of the book will be answered by the end of the book


  8. says:

    45 ⭐️ my first audiobook everMy experience with 'urban fantasy' genre has always been a hit miss with a heavy weighting on the 'miss' part Last year I was delightfully surprised by Dresden Files that whilst with its flaws has uickly climbed up to my 'favourite' shelf I have tried other books since but ended up disappointed not to name any namesAnyhow Dan is clearly breaking this 'urban fantasy is a meh' tide for me If you like Harry Dresden you should enjoy Matthew Hollis and the Valducan crew Dan is a very well crafted story that sucks you in from page 1 and refuses to let you go even after you finished the book It is what they say 'high octane' adventure very big on action and combat and plenty supernatural roadkill But in the same time it comes with a strong party of characters believable backstory and worldbuilding It lacks the depth of symbolism you may find in American Gods but makes up for it with the thrill of a plot pace As far as the escapism go this is a perfect remedy to take your mind away from the day to dayIn summary great kudos to the author I will definitely be coming back for books of the series Special shout out to the audiobook narrator great job there with putting on all those accents Because of its pace and action I think this book lends itself particularly well to the audio format I recommend others to try as wellPS It was my first audiobook experience and it was fun Not sure if I am happy to give up hardback and kindle as my weapons of choice but it is nice to have options Does anyone have good audiobook recommendations?


  9. says:

    Not bad not bad at all Blown away i was not but i didn't want to chuck my Kindle across the room not literally of course while readingSo Dan is basically a book about people who call themselves knightshunters who get boners again not literally for their weapons and also who have taken it upon themselves such selfless humans to rid the world of demonsFirst off i think this book really pushed it with the whole i love my weapon ish It was as far i'm concerned a cringe festIt was just too much TOO MUCHThen the demons For anyone who's conversant with monster folklore that's a thing right? you probably wouldn't have a problem with all the demon names the book kept throwing at you and what their powers were but if the extent of your folklore stops at ware wolves vampires Djinns let's throw in succubus too the demon names just start to blur Plus there's only so many times i want to check google for what the heck these creatures arerakshasas lamia ifrits wendigo a horned frog like beast with gold skin an oni a pair of giant black dogs with eyes glowing like embersyou get the pictureGUNS GUNS GUNSSSS Dan's shells I think this author is a gun nut or well likes guns a whole lot Not necessarily a bad thing really i just didn't expect so much specific gun talk Like there was this part where they in an armory sort of and they started talking about using the reloading press i honest to God had to YouTube what that was and see how it works Bonus point I learnt something new so yay On the other hand did i really really need all that info On to Dan's shells first off Shout out to Michael Britt for the whole gun shell explanation thing 😁 much appreciatedRight so apparently Dan's view spoilerbullets have to be made with some specific shell casing In chapter 13 Matt goes all out whack that he couldn't retrieve like 4 of them so they had to go back for them Meanwhile in chapter one during a car chase he holds Dan out of the window and fires without a care in the world hide spoiler


  10. says:

    45 StarsThat was awesome Dan started off a new series with a bang introducing a fantastic world of demons and the secret order of knights who hunt them Dan follows Matt Hollis a demon hunter who comes into contact with the Valducans an ancient holy order dedicated to hunting and destroying demons using holy weapons to wage their secret war A new treat has risen against the order and the hunters are banding together to find out what’s behind this new evil and destroy it This book was just plain fun The pacing was fantastic I can’t remember a single time it lagged There is TONS of phenomenal action but the author did a great job balancing that with character interactions and world building One gripe I sometimes have with action heavy books is that it seems like the action takes the place of things like dialogue but that thankfully wasn’t the case here I loved the premise A secret order of knights waging war against demons with sentient weapons? Sign me up And the author delivered on the promise creating a world full of varied and interesting creatures The closest comparison I have for Dan is the Monster Hunter International series by Larry Correia which I love Both have monster hunters and are fast paced have lots of action and are wildly entertaining That said this series stands on it owns with some great worldbuilding and plenty of uniue touches The story is told entirely from the POV of Matt though there are a couple other short chapters in the form of archive record entries that do a god job of adding some backstory The author handled that trick well that type of things isn’t always easy to pull off The book wasn’t perfect with a couple small knocks against it I noticed several typosgrammatical errors though not enough to pull me out of the story The writing is polished but at times I wished it was a touch descriptive And I have just a tiny issue with part of the ending that seemed a bit convenient I still thoroughly enjoyed the book and rounded up the 45 rating to a full 5 I read this book in just over a day and immediately bought the next book If you like action heavy urban fantasy with a touch of horror you need check out this book