Stone Cold is book two of Devon Monk’s A Broken Magic series, which, in turn, is a spin-off from her Allie Beckstrom series. If you haven’t read Hell Bent, book one, read that review instead.
Recapping from Hell Bent, Shamus wields Death magic and works best with Terric, who handles Life magic, yet both men generally wish to stay as far away from each other as possible. However, in Stone Cold when their nemesis Eli Collins appears, killing Shame and kidnapping Terric, not even death will keep them apart. It’s non-stop action from that point forward as Shame endeavors to not kill his friends, eliminate his enemies, and maybe just save the world.
What I like best about Stone Cold is how Shame is such an adorable asshole. Monk nailed that juxtaposition. Unlike Hell Bent, in which I had to struggle through various points of his assery and build my understanding of his situation, Stone Cold strikes an excellent balance from the start, making Shame an incredibly likable jerk (on paper, at least) throughout the entire story. Action fans will find no shortage of thrills, but characterization wins this book for me.