Eilidh is a person from a magical realm banished for crimes which were not her fault. Munroe is a police officer Perth who has a bad habit of knowing where the trouble is. But when a murder happens on Eilidh’s doorstep their two worlds collide and the investigation turns up hidden traits in both of them. This book has all the intrigue and whodunit as the best detective novel and an excellent fantasy basis that it rich in history and still feels fresh.
The cover is very well professionally done and draws a potential reader into several key focus’ on the page. The cover is typical of the fantasy market in which magical creatures live alongside humans and interact with them in secret and gives little away as to what is going to happen in the story, much as the magical creatures of such book give little away about themselves. However my one criticism is that the cover gives me a sense that the story will be based in a historical context and not a modern urban fantasy book as it is. While it is not a negative point and it does add proof that one should never judge a book by the cover, some people may be upset while others may miss out on what is an enjoyable book.
Character (and their development): 18/20
Both the main characters in the story are well thought-out and as you read you can almost hear their voices and feel you could reach out and touch them. The best part of Eilidh’s story is her background and how as the story progresses you catch glimpses of her chequered history until near the end you can be sure exactly what happened. When I read the book I was at first unsure of whether or not to feel sorry for the outcast or not, but as I went on my attitudes toward her changed as any good character should force you to do.
Munroe is an policeman who seems as if he could very well be knocking on my door asking me about some crime that has happened in the area. His analytical approach and the way that he discovers the new world that he is thrust into are well played and he reacts just as he should. The master stroke of the character is that he is not the Sherlock Holmes of Perth; instead he makes mistakes that anyone who has read the book knows is are mistakes, but Munroe who has not had the benefit of reading the antagonist’s thoughts would not know.
The antagonist is a brilliant idea, however not a new one to fantasy books. However his wit is up there with the best Bond villains and he is more deadly than anything some of our best action heroes have met in literature to. I would have loved to have seen more of the antagonist and gotten to know them a little better, but as it stands they are still one of the better villains in indie literature.
The story is not unique in any sense, in fact off the top of my head I can think of several films and books that have the same story, although the players are obviously different. What makes this story is that it feels fresh and you aren’t feeling bored by it and that is due to the uniqueness of the world in which the author has so brilliantly crafted in the novel. Another great factor is the fact that the author doesn’t mess you around with useless back-story at the beginning of the book and that the characters are immediately thrust into action, giving the reader little time to catch their breath at the start.
Unfortunately, speaking more about the storyline will give away certain plot lines and I would prefer that you would just accept my recommendation and read it yourself.
The thing I love about indie authors is that style is very different author from author. When I pick up a traditional author the style can often be no different from the next and to be honest bores me to pieces. Its why when I write reviews for traditionally published authors their style is normally low in marks and their storyline is either high in marks or it has completely failed to hit the mark. Saying that indie authors don’t always have great style, some do get it wrong, but this is certainly not the case.
The book starts with a pronunciation list at the front of the book, this gives some clarification on how unusual words should be pronounced, allowing the reader (if they are like me and printed off the list) to continue reading at the pace set by the book with just a quick flick down to check how it should sound. However I do wonder whether a casual reader would do so, and might stumble in a few places, but personally, even if this was a print copy I was reading, I would copy that list down. The author also does a great introduction to the world, not assuming that the reader is telepathic and knows exactly what the author was thinking when she wrote the book. It is a great move.
The descriptive tone of the book adds to the environment and just like the characters you can certainly clearly imagine the surroundings you are reading about. The change of the character’s viewpoints is also brilliant done and in such a way that one event is sometimes seen by a couple of characters but you get extra details from each new point of view.
The pace of the book is not too rushed, allowing the reader to fully take in what is going on and appreciate the story at the same time. When reading the book I had no idea I had gotten so far until I looked at the page number when I gotten up to get a cup of tea, surely a good sign. The build up also allows the reader to get excited when the ending is in sight and you know something big will happen. When the big event does occur you can be rest assured that it is good.
Spelling and Grammar: 20/20
I couldn’t see a single mistake. What more can I say.
In conclusion I will have to say this is a great book and well worth a read. The characters are well thought out and interact with each other and the reader in some of the best writing that I have seen to date. The writing is perfect and the ending of the story leaves the reader satisfied and yet opens up the door to further books which follow this one. I would highly recommend this book.
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