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THE ALARNA AFFAIR

Interesting Start

By Susan Amund, author of Barghest

May 25, 2016: As the first in a series of books, "The Alarna Affair" gives a glimpse of a fascinating mashed-up world of steam and paranormal. The writing is descriptive and well-paced; hints of something larger and more mysterious than two boys on a train appear immediately, encouraging the reader to continue.

I would have liked a bit more reaction from Jon. Upon seeing a winged figure (which is apparently quite fantastical and unbelievable in this world) swoop through a train station, Jon only questions if he saw it. Proof of the flying thing does not lead him to question the adult with him, but only to think that it would be impolite to discuss. Even a second sighting does not inspire him to inquire. Although Jon and Tam both seem particularly mature for their ages, Jon’s reticence would be more believable if there was more inner dialogue for him showing his reasoning for not speaking up.

The mystery overcomes that one small irritation, and I still want to read more. Kara is by far my favorite character, and seems to be more fully developed for the reader than Jon. I recommend "The Alarna Affair" as an interesting introduction to the Blackfeather world.

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