Listen up everyone!  The recipe for today is you take one debilitated cop and mix him with powerful gods, malevolent beings, terrifying dragons and deadly shapeshifters.  You then sprinkle in his wife and son and combine all these ingredients together into a different dimension.  Stir the concoction thoroughly and you will end up with one awesome story which takes epic fantasy writing to a whole new level!  There can be very little doubt that Rooms of Ruin by Erik Henry Vick is a wild ride which will engross and captivate readers everywhere!

Rooms of Ruin is Book 2 in the Blood of the Isir Series.  Essentially, the story focuses upon Hank, our New York cop, who finds himself trapped in a multiverse world and seeking to find a way home for his wife Jane, and their son Sig.  The only way to make this happen is to travel in this new world to the distant Rooms of Ruin.  It is here that the pathways which connect the two worlds can be restored and Hank can thus bring himself and his family back home.  If only it were that easy!

To bedevil matters, Hank must battle a curse which has burdened him with a devastating disease.  On top of this he must clash with his nemesis, the Dark Queen, who commands armies and all types of evil and deadly creatures.  They are tasked with one main objective…trap Hank Jensen and his family and ultimately destroy them!  Fortunately for the Jensens, they are not in this predicament alone.  They are in fact accompanied by a powerful and magical group of their own who are sworn to protect them and have even bestowed powers onto Hank and Jane.  It is a race against time as Hank and his crew scramble to escape the grasp of the Dark Queen and ultimately find their way home.  Can they succeed in their quest?  Or are they doomed to spend an eternity in a foreign and hostile land?

The theme of this novel is very clearly a good versus evil one.  However, to clearly illustrate and project this theme, the reader is taken on a wildly exciting fantasy adventure.  The story is full of battle scenes and non-stop action which is cleverly tied together by meaningful dialogue.  There are quite simply no “lulls’ in this epic novel.  The author also illustrates the unique depth of his imagination as the plot unfolds.  While there may be Norse mythological components to the story…do not be misled.  This is clearly Erik Henry Vick’s world!  It is his creation…and what a concoction it is!  I found myself stopping as I read to actually contemplate the level of creativity and imagination that this author possesses.

While the plot is captivating and engrossing, so are the many characters in the novel.  Other than Hank and his family, there are numerous other players such as Meuhlnir, Mothi, Sif, Veethar and Althyof.  Each has their own unique powers and they are developed in a very incremental and thorough fashion.  I had trouble at first keeping all the various characters straight in my own mind.  However, it was not long before that was no longer the case and I became deeply vested in their development and inevitable outcome.  As the story progressed, Althyof became on of my favorite characters, even though I actually had little use for him at first.  Other than their individual development and captivating powers, I found the humor and obvious caring which was shown between the different characters to be truly engaging.  They may have been magical and godlike in their own right…but they all revealed themselves to be uniquely human in many respects.

For me personally this novel has everything a reader could possibly hope for.  A captivating plot, imaginative and believable setting and fully developed, complex characters.  There are some violent scenes in this novel yet I believe it would be suitable for all adult readers.  Young and old alike!  I give it my highest recommendation!

5 out of 5 Godlike stars for this one!