Review: Fade & Night’s Black Agents (Paxton Locke #1 & 2)

I decided to do this review blog as a two-in-one. I read the first two books in Daniel Humphreys’ Paxton Locke series because I got to be Tuckerized (and red-shirted!) in book two. Of course, that meant I had to read from the start. Now I’m totally hooked on this incredible series!

So, here are my reviews (on Goodreads) for both books. Enjoy.

Autograph - Daniel Humphreys - Night's Black Agents.jpg
Signed book placard from LibertyCon

Fade (Paxton Locke Book 1)Fade by Daniel Humphreys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy. That’s the term that comes to mind for this book. Yes, there is a mixture of horror, but paranormal captures that, I think. This is not my normal genre (let’s face it, I’m a sci-fi junkie), but I have two ulterior motives for picking this one up.

1) I beta read for Daniel Humpreys’ Z-Day series.
2) I’m a red-shirt character in book 2 of this series.

The book was not given to me, however. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s the review.


These are the typical onomotopiatic & exclamatory words you will generate in your mind as you read this book. It starts you at the top of the roller-coaster drop, then yanks the track out from under you, then turns on the jet engine on the back car. Now we’re not talking about combat or physical action here… we’re talking about suspense building. You don’t get a break. The reveal for the first bit of tension is done in the middle of the build-up of the next.

Am I exaggerating a bit? Maybe a little, but I’m telling you this book is well written, and a page turner. It has some of the best ‘info-dump hidden within the scenes’ writing I have seen in quite a while. Even the backstory portions are so tantalizing that when they interrupt the main action, you don’t want to stop hearing THAT PART to go back the first.

I guess I should mention what it’s about. Paxton Locke, a man in his mid 20s, is a ghost hunter. His ability is an after-effect of some really ghoulish crap foisted upon him by his demented mother some 10 years previous. I won’t spoil anything else. Think Paranormal (TV) crossed with Dresden Files, crossed with… well, that other thing that happens in book 2.

If you like paranormal, read this book. If you like ‘urban fantasy’ in it’s current definition (circa 2018), read this book. Mystery, thriller, horror… yep, those too. These are not my typical reading genres, but this book still pulled me in for the ride.

I give this book four stars and call it an engrossing read.

Night's Black Agents (Paxton Locke #2)Night’s Black Agents by Daniel Humphreys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Picking up where the first book left off, Paxton Locke tries to move on with his self-appointed task of ridding the world of ghosts… and maybe his mother the witch… the real kind.

So, disclaimer… I bought this book, but:
1) I beta read for Daniel Humpreys’ Z-Day series.
2) I’m a red-shirt character IN THIS BOOK.

There. Now the review.

HOLY CRAP! There is a lot to digest in this one. While a bit slower than book 1, it is chock-full of reveals and new twists that move the series to a whole different level.

The main character is starting to realize that his little ‘dismiss the ghosts’ thing is just the frost on the tip of the paranormal iceberg. While he is helping his stand-in father-figure to solve some really strange goings-on in Denver, his fugitive Mommy Dearest is tearing around the country gathering her power to… well, gather more power. And a shadow agency begins to reveal its presence to the reader as well. The book is just as engrossing as the first, but for different reasons. You get many new characters with backstory teasers you have to keep reading to figure out. You get much more in depth into Helen Locke’s personality (can you say, ‘Bitch’ with a capital ‘B’?) And you get sucked into a whole other arc of story that is seperate, but just as deadly. It’s a wild ride.

My only complaint is the cliffhanger ending. I plan to keep reading the series, but I don’t like books that end with serious unfinished business. Robert Jordan burned me out of that. Hopefully, the next book will be out soon, though, so I won’t have to wait long to find out what’s next.

I give this book four stars and call it a ‘The Hits Keep Coming’ read.

View all my reviews