on March 10, 2018 :
What if the Yelena Zaltana novels by Maria V. Snyder had a lovechild with the TV series Penny Dreadful (minus the 18 rated scenes)?
Protagonist Charlie is a girl pretending to be a boy in Victorian London after being thrown out of her father's house for being able to raise the dead. A brush with the law leads to people looking for her, and she's picked up (literally) by the cold (but conveniently dashing) Mr Lincoln Fitzroy. With his two subordinate sidekicks Seth (the tall, better-looking one) and Gus (the shorter but stronger one), they wish to use her to find "the last necromancer" before anyone else with nefarious plans does. Of course, they think she's a boy, and that the necromancer they seek is a girl last seen in at the home of her father 5 years ago...
Girl with unusual, untrained magic and a strong attitude for sass? Check. A dark and mysterious man with a heart of ice and a mission that means he can't be close to anyone? Check. Menacing sidekicks who turn out to be puppydogs underneath? Check. If you in any way enjoyed the Study series, this book ticks all the boxes and leaves plenty of scope for the Ministry of Curiousities to run on. While the similarities are there, this is a good take on the formula with enough inventiveness to feel fresh.
I always come into self-published books with a feeling that I may have to accept a lower standard, whether this is editing, spelling, or storytelling. This book (free) suffered from none of these problems. In fact, it is far better than some of the "properly" published YA fiction I've read.
It may not be groundbreaking high-minded fiction, but the story flows well, the prose doesn't feel laboured, and the characters don't act to crazy and off-putting teenage extremes (a big bugbear of mine). I found it an enjoyable read and hope to pick up more of the series in future. Thank you Ms Archer!
(review of free book)
on Sep. 17, 2016 :
ya-only-means-no-gratuitous-erotica, action-adventure, london, 19th-century, fantasy
Read on September 15, 2016
Young adult only means no gratuitous erotica, but there is some violence. Survival as a boy was her only way of life after her father condemned and disowned her following her amazed and horrified discovery that she had influence over her newly dead mother. After she escapes from gaol 5 years later, she is kidnapped by a group of rather self righteous men with an unusual imperative. That's all you get, no spoilers, read the publisher's blurb for more clues. I really enjoyed it, and was unaware that it was YA until I settled in to do the review. Good writing, and a fresh imagination bring this sassy survivor and all of the other characters to life!
(review of free book)