I know the author of this book from Absolute Write, but even without that connection I would have been looking forward to this. The previous volume, Undead Chaos, forced its way into my top-10 for that year based on it being a really fun adventure with characters I really liked and an exciting climax.
Summoned Chaos, the second Marcus Shifter book, picks up a little way down the timeline from the ending of the last one. Marcus has joined a group of magic users closing a series of rifts which have been opening up all over the place, letting otherworldly horrors into our reality. But when something goes awry at one of the scenes, Marcus gets thrown into a limelight he never wanted, and tries to shine a light of his own on the possibility that something far more wrong is going on.
I have to say, Marcus' journey was a bit of a highlight for me this time. Anyone who follows my reviews at all knows I don't tend to really like main characters as anything other than the drivers of the plot. But this time, seeing Marcus grappling with a lot of personal shortcomings was the more gripping bit - and that's with all sorts of intrigue, battles and car chases to compare it to. :)
Also making a welcome return appearance were... well, I mean, everyone. I like pretty much everyone in this series. But ESPECIALLY welcome were Steve, Marcus' heterosexual life partner minotaur friend who basically steals every scene he's in, and Jethrow, the guy on the receiving end of a rather one-sided rivalry Marcus has going on. I do wish we got more of Quinn, but c'est la vie. We can't have everything.
Overall, while I really enjoyed this book as well, I don't think I liked it quite as much as the previous one. Because it has the dual task of catching new readers up on what they missed if they skipped book 1 and catching the rest of us up on what happened in between books, the beginning feels a little exposition heavy. However, once it settles in and really lets rip with its own plot, it got really hard to put down.