Book Review: Passenger (2016)

Book cover of Passenger; Manhattan in a bottle, a ship in a bottle reflected underneath.

Passenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

GENERAL SPOILER WARNING

Softly, Nicholas asked, “Do you really believe I’d take my leave of you without so much as a good-bye? If nothing else, I gave you my word that I would take you away from here if you were in danger.”

“Promise?” Etta whispered.

“Always.”

I really appreciate this book. Is that a weird compliment? Well, I do. I appreciate it. I love time travel stories and I love romances and I love books with historical settings that pay homage to those settings while rightly calling out issues that impacted different people of the time. We get a modern lady and a historical lad and we get commentary on the past and the present and I just – I appreciate it. It’s a very nice book to have picked up.

And the locations!! You’re not just going to one place in history, no. You get MANY. This is a book for history nerds. We also get to travel with Etta and Nicholas from modern day New York City to 1700s Atlantic Ocean (pirates!) to 1940 London and then to France and Cambodia and Damascus (can’t remember the years) – SO MUCH TIME TRAVEL. The settings are so richly detailed, you get descriptions of the fashion, the technology, the lack of technology, the openness of later developed lands, the sounds and smells. Bracken is a really evocative writer.

We first meet Etta when she’s having an overwhelming case of imposter syndrome. We find out this is largely related to her relationship with her mother, whom she feels detached from. The opening really focuses on how much she seeks her mother’s love and affirmation, and I felt quite bad for Etta. Her entire sense of self worth was related to winning her mother’s affection. Her only friend is Alice, her violin teacher.

The night of Etta’s big rehearsal, she suffers a great betrayal, but before she finds her answers, she’s pulled out of the rehearsal and through a passage – a doorway through time. You go to different years, but the same day (1 December 2014 could only bring you to 1 December 1770, etc). The girl who’s brought her to the past, Sophia, tells her that she’s being brought to the wealthy and infamous Ironwood family. A historical time travelling family of whom Etta is apparently distantly related. Worse, most of the Ironwoods are caught up in a scheme to control the timeline (there are other time-travelling families), led by the cruel, racist and abusive Cyrus Ironwood. And it’s Ironwood’s exiled son, Nicholas, who’s been tasked with bringing the ladies to New York.

Nicholas is just wonderful. You get both his point of view and Etta’s. We actually start off with Nicholas, when his brother Julian dies in a time travelling accident. The entire family blame Nicholas for Julian’s death and think he did it out of jealousy. Nicholas put them behind him for a time, but he needs the money Cyrus is offering to be free of them once and for all, and so he’s agreed to a final job. That job being taking Etta to Cyrus.

But what Sophia and Cyrus never told Nicholas is that Etta had no knowledge of her ancestors, no idea what a passage is or how it works – and Nicholas is rightly furious on her behalf. He instantly appoints himself her protector and THEY ARE SO ENDEARING FROM THE START. They fall quickly into guarded friendship and then sparks of romance blossom. Both intend on going in different directions, but they can’t help falling for each other and IT’S SO GOOD. SO LOVELY. I LOVE THEM.

I’m so glad I gave the book a go. It was sitting on my shelf for years and I honestly did not expect it to be what it was and IT WAS SUCH A NICE SURPRISE. I loved the time travel explanation and set up. I loved that it wasn’t just Etta who could time travel, but all of them. You could change time, but you couldn’t erase yourself from the timeline, you got expelled from it instead. It was fascinating! I loved the romance and how they developed together. Pirate partners! And ooooh, the twists at the end. Nice. Definitely going to pick up book two when I can!

Some Book Stats

The results of the free promo on my books has been wonderful! A Promise of Return is currently in the #1 position in LGBTQ+ Science Fiction on the Zon, and at #5 in Gay Fiction, along with A Time of Prophecy at #6.

A History of Madness, A Promise of Return, A Dance of Lies and A Touch of Death are in the top 10 of Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction!

A Dance of Lies is also currently at #7 in Science Fiction Adventure!

A Game of Wings and Marks is #110 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy!

The Man and the Crow is currently at #7 in 45-Minute Romance Short Reads!

Dust & Lightning is currently at #37 in Dystopian Science Fiction!

The free promo continues for another day! Thank you so much to everyone who has shared my links, spread the word and picked up a copy! Means the world to me!

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Book Review: The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

The Book of Life (All Souls #3) by Deborah Harkness

The Book of Life (All Souls #3) by Deborah Harkness

SPOILER WARNING

It took me way too long to finish this series, but seeing as I just reread book one for the autumnal vibes, I finally managed to get back into the groove of the series and wanted to see how it ended. And I really wanted to see how Matthew and Diana wrapped things up in the book (rather than the show, etc). I think overall it’s an incredibly interesting, vividly written tale, but I didn’t love it as much as book one, mostly due to the characters rather than the plot (which, again, I found quite interesting). That said, I am picking up book four promptly, so it certainly left me wanting more!

I will say, I missed the dark academia atmosphere of A Discovery of Witches. This one is more focused on the vampire family dynamics and Diana’s pregnancy – and Matthew’s overprotectiveness as a result of that pregnancy. I was particularly fascinated by how Harkness worked out mythology in the All Souls universe and props, because it was very scientifically done. It kinda reminded me of Underworld insofar as it’s fantasy with a focus on genetics and diseases and such. The dynamics of vampire families and the relationship that Harkness builds between fantasy and science fiction is also endlessly intriguing (I like the comparisons to wolf packs) and I found myself pondering the lore quite a lot (and still am whilst reading book four). It’s honestly super cool.

I did however find myself a bit frustrated at times by some of the characters’ decisions and relationships – especially their endless need to adhere to a hierarchy that is just constantly working against them and which none of them enjoy – but it is intriguing. (I did find the lack of werewolves an interesting exclusion, especially with how much focus there was upon wolves in general, and Matthew’s indignance at the idea of werewolves was quite funny.) There’s also quite a lot of talk of mitochondrial DNA, which went a bit over my head, I will admit.

Funnily enough, where Matthew and Diana’s love and relationship were my favourite aspects of book one, I found myself more invested in the wider de Clermont family in this one, but much less so in their relationship. Matthew’s overprotectiveness of Diana and the pregnancy became a bit much for me, personally. I don’t know how she tolerated it. Like, character wise I suppose it made sense, but him hissing and growling at Chris, Diana’s best friend, and Jack, the boy they raised together, seemed quite … territory marking, lmao. Around Baldwin, Benjamin and Peter, sure, go forth and lose thy shit, Matthew. But around family and friends it just got a bit irritating. That said, it was nice to see how their relationship’s progressed since book one and how Matthew is trying not to be so overbearing, and it’s good to see Diana putting her foot down a bit more. (Wish she’d do it even more, but I digress.) Towards the end Diana exerted more agency, but I just felt a little confused by her characterisation at times in the beginning/middle. Although maybe that was the point, what with her changing so much throughout.

Speaking of romance, Phoebe and Marcus were super cute and I really liked their relationship (and they’re why I picked up book four, which I’m quite enjoying!). I found them much less obsessed with each other as opposed to Diana and Matthew. They were quite practical about things, too, and always seemed like they were on the same page. Marcus wasn’t ordering her around the way Matthew often did with Diana (and everyone else). Garrowglass and Fernando were two of my favourites! Chris and Jack, too. I loved Chris just flat out refusing to put up with the vampires’ shenanigans. He was such a breath of fresh air. Baldwin, on the other hand, drove me up a wall, honestly. I did quite like when he and Matthew were exchanging barbs, although I wish Matthew had a bit more of a spine when it came to Baldwin. He was just so insufferable throughout. Ysabeau and Sarah remain fabulous, however. Marthe is great throughout! Benjamin made for an interesting villain, but I wish there was more focus on Matthew’s relationship with him. I feel like that was glossed over. Matthew’s so quick to claim other vampires – even abhorrent ones – and so much emphasis is on blood and the power and pull of blood, both in vampire romantic love and in platonic love and their ties to each other, and yet with Benjamin and his family line, it felt like they were almost one-sided in their villainy. It has been a while since I read book two, though, so I may have missed something. Benjamin just seems to come out of nowhere a bit and then he’s after Diana, but it all felt a bit convenient. Where was Benjamin her whole life? If Gallowglass and Philippe knew about her, then surely Benjamin knew, too. (And why did Gallowglass never try and save her parents? If he knew she was going to have such enormous power, why didn’t they go into hiding from Peter Knox when Diana was young? They could have introduced her to Matthew some other way if need be, no?)

I also feel like Matthew got away with a lot? If he spends like 5 (?) hours reciting the names of every vampire he killed in New Orleans during a spree to stop blood raged vampires, then he killed so. many. vampires. I don’t care for Baldwin, but Matthew I grew less fond of throughout this one, which wasn’t how I felt reading book one. His willingness to fold to Baldwin and sacrifice Jack until Diana told him not to was absolutely appalling. Matthew’s obsessive love seems to have some odd limits with his son where it doesn’t with Diana. Honestly towards the end I even mildly hoped Gallowglass would come back and Diana would pick him.

It is a fascinating read, and the characters are so layered, but the absolute devotion and adherence by everyone to Matthew didn’t feel earned for his character backstory. And it felt like Matthew earned it less and less with every chapter. Diana, maybe. She’s the first one to fight back against the Congregation in centuries. The first to say straight out that their laws are bullshit. But then Matthew comes in and I feel like he overshadows her story after she gets pregnant. She folds into vampire life, as Sarah rightly points out. And while she does eventually connect with the London witches, it still read to me like she was going to follow behind Matthew, rather than stand at his side. She was more forthright in book one, I found (ironically, I found it maddening every time she insisted on opening her door in that one [it happened like three or four times?]). They make a big thing of Matthew naming the scion after her family, too, but I dunno. He just frustrated me a bit at times. I do overall recommend this trilogy though, and I am excited to see where the next book goes.

Book Review: The Battle That Was Lost (Ringlander, #0.5)

The Battle that was Lost (The Ringlander #0.5) by Michael S. Jackson.

The Battle that was Lost (Ringlander, #0.5) by Michael S. Jackson

“Some tides are inevitable, Horse Master. They may never be stopped.”

This is my first foray into the Ringlander universe and it was straight into battle with this one! I really appreciated that there was action from page one and even though I wasn’t familiar with the novel’s setting to have context for the opening battle that unfolds, it was easy to fall into the story and let the characters lead the way. So for anyone not sure whether to start with this one or the novel, I think this is a fine starting point! It certainly left me wanting more!

It’s quite a short read, but the amount of action and violence and worldbuilding packed into the pages makes it feel much longer – I was totally shocked when I turned the next page and realised it was done! And I quite liked Staegrim as a character. (And also that is a really cool name!) The prose moves along at a brisk, crisp pace and there are a good number of flashbacks to provide more character development. I’m curious to see where the storyline goes in the next one and how this battle sets things up for the novel. I honestly did not expect so many twists in so short a tale, so I’ve a feeling that the book will be VERY VERY VERY intense! Excellent. Can’t wait!

Thank you so much to the author for a review copy.

 

#IndiePride: K. Leigh – Constelis Voss: Colour Theory

'Do you think you're malfunctioning?' Constelis Voss 1: Colour Theory by K. Leigh. #IndiePride

THIS #INDIEPRIDE SPOTLIGHT POST FOCUSES ON K. LEIGH’S CONSTELIS VOSS

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'Do you think you're malfunctioning?' Constelis Voss 1: Colour Theory by K. Leigh.

Blurb: The series opens on a dystopic planet-sized ship in the far future, where a very advanced android receives a personality file from the 90s. He is the only one of his kind.

His name is Alex, and in his quest for understanding just how he got to be an android-and on the planet-sized ship known as CONSTELIS VOSS-he finds curiously familiar faces who help him color in the blanks.

As the coincidences pile up-friends, objects, scenes, motifs, and tropes-they start to form a pattern. A pattern that’s set against the backdrop of a dystopian, corrupt civilization, with a conveniently very-evil villain.

A pattern that seems, in all its madness, to be directly linked to him.

Something is pulling the strings, and figuring out the mystery is the only way to save himself, his friends, and the future of the very human race itself.

But will he be able solve the mystery without losing himself-and his friends-in the process? The road to hell is paved with good intentions, after all.

Art from the author’s website.

A brief synopsis of vol 1: On dystopian spaceship CONSTELIS VOSS, android Alex gets a 90s-era persona file. He’s the only robot to remember being human. “New” friends. A dictator with a stolen face. Coincidences. Memories.

What does it all mean and can humanity survive a war spurred by an unstable android?

Art from the author’s website.

Bio: K. Leigh is a bi trans man [he/him], 34-year-old once-painter, sometimes-freelancer, and artist living in Providence, RI. They write hopeful/tragic LGBT+ stories full of funny/horrible characters, in various genres. Every story they write challenges readers to look deeper than the surface-level details. Life is complex, and so too must our characters be. You can find K. Leigh fiddling with op-eds on Hackernoon, penning short stories via the official CONSTELIS VOSS blog, and causing chaos on all social media networks.

Book Review: Legacy of the Brightwash

Indie Book Spotlight: Book Review (image shows a man flipping through a book)

Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar

“My son is imprisoned in the Rift, Mr. Finn. I come here three or four times a week to see him and most of the time he has fresh bruises. No new ones this time, thank the North Star. As long as my son is in this place, I don’t have ‘good’ nights.”

I fell face first into this story. I bought it a while back and cheered it on during the SPFBO finals because it just looked SO GOOD, but I haven’t had the time to read it until recently. AND NOW I’M ANNOYED I PUT IT OFF FOR SO LONG. I devoured 150 pages in one day. That rarely happens to me anymore because my attention span is a joke, lmao.

The smoky, magical, grim world of Krystle Matar’s Brightwash is a fitting follow up to my last read, A Handful of Souls (another SPFBO semi-finalist). Like A Handful of Souls, the Dominion Matar’s characters inhabit is a dark, brutal city, filled with oppression, secrets and tragedy. Each character has something to hide, something to run from, someone to protect. These characters are so real and actualised from the onset, and just amazing to read about. I felt like I was tugged into their universe from the very beginning.

“Everyone’s tired, Captain. Everyone is just bones and exhaustion in this city.”

SPOILER WARNING FROM HERE

The story starts with Captain Tashué Blackwood finding the body of a girl on the city’s riverbank and the series of events that follow. As he tries to solve the horrific crime, Tashué begins questioning everything he thought he knew about the world of the Dominion and those they call ‘tainted’ (or, as his son prefers, Talented).

Gif of Orlando Bloom in Victorian clothing and a hat (from Carnival Row)

Tashué is exactly the kind of character that I love because he’s so intricately thought out, but I did definitely want to scream at him multiple times throughout. Case in point: after his son Jason failed to register his Talent, he was arrested and thrown in a horrible prison called the Rift where all Talents are suppressed (and all inmates treated abysmally). And, like, UGH. PROTECT JASON AT ALL COSTS.

“His father is a stubborn man who stands by his beliefs, no matter the cost. Jason inherited that. And he believes that the Authority is an evil entity that will strip his humanity from him, so he defied them and got himself sent into the Rift.”

We start the book three years after Tashué watched his son be arrested and did nothing, and the years of Jason in prison have begun eating away at Tashué. He begs Jason to register, Jason refuses. He doesn’t want to sign his name on a document labelling him as ‘bad meat’. (With you, Jason buddy. I’m with you.) I definitely found myself struggling with Tashué’s reasoning and loyalties. It’s so, so clear that he loves his son and yet he JUST KEEPS GASLIGHTING HIMSELF. Not that it’s not believable, just that it’s so heartbreaking. So not what a father should do. Which is, of course, the point.

Every word hit Tashué like a fist. Queen of the common man, maybe, Queen of the ‘regular’ people, but even she clearly believed that people with Talent were people apart. To be managed. Jason had it, all along, back when Tashué still thought the Registration was for safety, to help people. Tainted, bad meat. Jason, I’m so fucking sorry.

And it was this scene that really made me cheer for the character development of Tashué in *checks notes* the first 153 pages. Like, we get such a deep dive into his mental civil wars with himself and I really enjoyed seeing him go from being someone I wanted to scream at to someone I was like YAS GO MY FRIEND, I AM AT YOUR SIDE FOR THE ENSUING SHENANIGANS. But still also kind of wanted to scream at and throw spoons at.

Look, he imagined Rainer saying, the man is so loyal to our ideals that he allowed his own son to be processed for refusing to register. An exemplary Officer, truly.

I really and truly loved the scene where Stella called Tashué out on just how badly he let Jason down. She laid it all out there and I loved her for it. For not letting him try and apologise his way out of it. But what I really loved about the scene was where Tashué broke. I wish, for Jason’s sake, that it had come earlier, but his speech to Stella just SHREDDED ME. He’s the most frustrating and infuriating character at times, but Christ I just loved his development and his angst and his need to fix things. No one was proved more wrong than Tashué and reading how deeply it ripped him apart was harrowing, but just, ugh, amazingly well done. Hats fucking off to Matar because I LOVED EVERY FUCKING WORD OF HIS SPEECH.

“I’ll carve off every piece of my own humanity if I have to, to keep him safe. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same! If you had to sit in front of your child and see how they’d been beaten, to watch the bruises and the cuts come and go and wonder if the next time will kill them, you would do the same fucking thing. You don’t know what it’s like to go into that place and look at your child through that fucking grate and watch them die in front of your eyes, diminishing in front of you. Judge me all you want for all the mistakes I’ve made, fine. Judge me for everything that led me and Jason to this point, fine. But don’t judge me for what I do now to try and undo the damage I’ve done!”

Poor Tashué. Poor, poor Tashué. Lad really needs so many hugs.

Hugs for the lot of them, really. I wanted to hug and protect Jason in every scene (and when he was off page! I wanted more of his POV!). He’s twenty years old, his father’s turned him in, he’s being beaten and starved – just PROTECT JASON AT ALL COSTS OKAY?!

And Lorne. Oh my gosh, Lorne. His devotion to Jason and Tashué is just wonderful to read about and I WANT ONLY GOOD THINGS FOR HIM. I have a terrible feeling that something bad is going to happen to one of them and it’s making for STRESSFUL READING. I adored Lorne and I really hope we get more of his POV in the next book. Him and Jason both.

Gif of two men kissing

GIVE THEM THEIR HAPPY ENDING.

Every shred of him got so hot in a fight that he was convinced part of his soul burned away. And in the quiet moments after, when he was trying to sleep and his whole body ached, his mind flashed him through all the fights he could still remember.

Gif of redheaded woman (Demelza from Poldark) by the sea

Now, Stella I loved from page one. Stella is Tashué’s latest charge to monitor on the register, and she’s full of secrets, and I just loved reading her POV. Her and her daughter are just precious. Stella works helping people, healing them magically undercover where and when she can. It’s easy to see why Tashué falls so fast for her.

What world was it if she let [the boy] die only because she was afraid for her own life? Living longer was not a good enough gift, not when an innocent child was in front of her and she had to choose.

And I totally shipped her and Tashué from the start. (Matar does an excellent job of showing Tashué’s inner turmoil regarding their power dynamic.) Stella is just such a good person through and through. And her scenes with Tashué were so adorable and wholesome. I really hope they get more happiness in the next book!

Gif of Demelza kissing Ross

As for Illea … From the get go I’ve been like,

Robin Hood gif saying, 'You see, I don't trust you.'

Like, AT ALL. I am curious to see where the next book takes her, and what happens with her and Ishmael, but honestly I just want Ishmael to get on Team Leave the Fucking Dominion. Frustrating as he could be in places (WHERE WERE YOU AT THE END, DUDE?!!?) I adored Ishmael overall. He had a quiet presence despite being one of the most brazen and outspoken of the cast, and I loved his love for Tashué. (Which it doesn’t seem like Tashué appreciates? lmao. Cos his whole speech about Ishmael not loving anyone is a bit funny cos it’s obvious to EVERYONE that Ishmael loves him. Oi vey, someone hit Tashué with the awareness stick.

“Fuck them and their manners and their etiquette. I won’t diminish myself for their approval. I am who I am and I’m sitting at their fucking table anyway, aren’t I? And when the Queen wanted company last night, she sent for me.”

And the moments and exchanges between him and Tashué were filled with so much meaning and hinted-at history – I really hope we get more focus on their past in the next book. I HAVE QUESTIONS AND REQUIRE THESE TWO TO SORT THEIR STUFF OUT.

If you can’t tell by now, I adored the book. Characters that make me want to throw the book across the room because I want them to find joy are the best characters, honestly. \o/ And there are so many to love, root for and scream at in Brightwash.

Overall, the setting of this world is so unique and the take on fantasy and politics is both familiar and fresh. It’s a murder mystery set in a dark, gritty world that grows into something much bigger. The horrific opening act reveals something far, far worse lurking inside the Dominion and I’m really curious to see where it’ll go in the next book. Further, something I’m unflinchingly picky about is character development and relationships, and what I loved about Brightwash is how much time you get to spend getting to know the characters and the world. It’s a BIG CHONKY TOME of a novel and yet it reads quickly, never feeling heavy with info or taking too much time to get to the next point.

As magical and mysterious as Carnival Row, as upsetting and filled with warning as 1984, as harrowing and heartbreaking as The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, as powerful and painful as V For Vendetta, and as dark and twisty as The AlienistBrightwash honestly blew me away.

Book Review: A Handful of Souls by Stephen Rice

book review; photograph of hands holding open a book

A Handful of Souls (The Split Sea #1) by Stephen Rice

Mud, gold and lies. That’s all you get in Branera.

gif of Laketown from The Hobbit

OH HECK YES THIS BOOK. DARK, BRUTAL, FAMILY-FOCUSED FANTASY.

Okay, to properly ramble about this book, there might be spoilers from here on out. So, SPOILER WARNING.

This is my first read by Stephen Rice and I must say I’m in awe of the prose. So many well spun lines! Like, I just really adored the descriptions and details. So many were so visceral (which is a compliment for a dark fantasy book in my opinion, but my goodness the BLOODY TEETH and the YELLOW GLOWING GUNK and aught else. I won’t clarify further, lmao. This is a fantasy book that doesn’t shy away from the brutal and rough). Despite how grimy and grim the setting was, I could so clearly envision the world and sank into the story easily. The writing is never info-dumpy, nor did it ever get in the way of the plot, but it twists and dives, offering wonderful turns of phrase. Rice’s prose is very descriptive, almost lyrical, even when describing the horrors of the dark world he’s laying out for the reader to devour.

Branera was the proudest, richest city in the Northlands, even if half of it was buried in rivers of mud and shit. The buildings that rose high enough were blessed by the greatest of the northern aristocracy, with boarded paths threading between these affluent peaks and reserved for the exclusive use of the fantastically well-off.

The story follows multiple POVs, but all centred around the Kale-Tollworth family. You follow Husker, Lily, Lark, Rose, Josef, Dren and Crone through the dark and twisting roads of Branera, to the Split Sea, and beyond. The cities and lands have as much life and character as the cast.

Gif of the Crows in Ketterdam from Shadow and Bone.

That said, Lily stood out to me from the start and her chapters swept me up into the narrative. While she might not look like Max from Black Sails, I couldn’t help but imagine her thus in my head. Can’t explain it!

gif of Max from Black Sails

She was magnificent. Half-baroness, half-beggar. A bit of everything he had ever wanted.

I loved Lily’s character instantly. She was prickly and opiniated and hard-headed, but loyal and determined and I just really rooted for her throughout. Rose, her sister, I was a little bit hesitant about, but following her chapters was very interesting and she juxtaposed Lily nicely. And, I must say, she grew on me and I was rooting hard for the sisters to sort things out.

POOR LARK, though. (Their brother.) Like, poor all of them really, but POOR LARK. I just felt so bad for him. Like, all the time. PROTECT LARK AT ALL COSTS. I don’t think it’s a big spoiler to say Lark dies (it’s on the back cover), and bless his little heart, he just has a rough go of things from start to finish. I really appreciated the final scene cos bless his wee little heart.

Husker and Dren I also felt bad for. Honestly, I just spent pretty much the entire story feeling bad for all the characters and the hardships that they have to, somehow, surmount. I felt SO BAD for some of them at the end, so I really can’t wait to see how it shapes up in the next book and how all the trauma is resolved and the relationships mended.

Despite the grimdark nature of the book, the writing is never too heavy or the moments too bleak for it to be overwhelming. I felt a spark of hope throughout and this wasn’t diminished by the ending (HUZZAH!). I just kept wanting to know what was going to happen to everyone and if they could possibly be all reunited and healed after all the gunk. So much gunk.

Something I found really quite cool about this story was how unlike so many other fantasy reads it is. Like, it’s grimdark family drama in a world that brought to mind everything from Westeros to Ketterdam. Now that I think about it, I reckon this book would nicely suit fans of A Song of Ice and Fire and The Bone Season. I have also barely dipped my toes in The Wheel of Time and Shadow and Bone book series at this point, but I did enjoy the shows, and I think fans of those would enjoy this! There’s a motely cast of characters and you care for them all despite their edges, and the family relationships are so wonderfully threaded together.

Excited to see where book two takes the Kale-Tollworth family!

Thank you to the author for a review copy.

#IndiePride: L. Gourley – Incipience

L. GOURLEY'S INCIPIENCE. #INDIEPRIDE

THIS #INDIEPRIDE SPOTLIGHT POST FOCUSES ON L. GOURLEY’S INCIPIENCE

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L. Gourley's Incipience

Blurb:
Incipience is the debut novel from L. Gourley and first in the Incipience series. This fantasy novel explores the concept of fighting your inner darkness, and how alluring it can be, when trying to fight fate to determine who you are.

After the angels and the humans came God’s final creation: the seraphs. The last attempt at a perfect being. The cause of Lucifer’s rebellion.

Excommunicated from Heaven alongside him to prevent further provocation of war the seraphs were left to deal with the aftermath of his fury, endlessly battling the demons created from his malice.

Raised a warrior, Kali thought she knew the people that raised her, until she discovers a terrible family secret. When dark forces come to destroy everything she loves, she must fight to save her world. But will it be so easy when some of that darkness lives within her? 

Check out the rest of the books and authors being spotlighted for #IndiePride, go here. For the book reviews of the ones I’ve already read and reviewed, go here. For the Goodreads list of the books, go here.