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Quirky Supernatural Thriller

By McQueenSerialFantasy, author of Exiles

Feb 26, 2018: Let me start from the top.

As other reviewers have noted already, the story is a bit of a slow burn at the beginning. The suspense and action takes a while to arrive, but once it does, the narrative begins to grip and reliably leaves you wanting more. I started reading this work as part of a review-swap, and I’m quite certain that I will continue to read as additional installments are released. That says a lot all by itself.

The writing is solid, with well-chosen words and phrases that avoid coming across as hackneyed or obvious, a pitfall when dealing with such a well-known genre. It successfully builds its own mythos at a pace that subtly eases the reader into their suspension of disbelief. I found myself wanting to continue reading not just to discover what happens to the characters, but to learn more about the mystery of the supernatural forces that threaten them.

I’ll echo the sentiments of TanaNari. The catlike nature of certain characters occasionally feels at odds with the otherwise dark tenor of the story. While they do contribute to the supernatural genre’s otherworldly aesthetic, their different nature often seems redundant, as the world is so accustomed to their presence (despite the occasional statement that implies the opposite) that you often forget that they are different at all. I think this is partly due to the cerebral nature of the plot. The characters rarely interact physically, neither with each other nor with their environment, which leaves their physical traits and aspects with few opportunities to take center stage.

The cast is huge.

Don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate a lot of characters, but as the story moved from establishing its foundations to advancing the narrative, a handful of them were left at least a half-step behind. It’s odd, because the slow ramp-up of the story would probably have benefited from being (rather counter-intuitively) a little bit slower in order to make room for just a teaspoon more development.

That being said, the characters that did receive attention are very well written, each possessing their own personal histories, quirks, personalities, and faults. I like the characters. They feel real and they make me care about what happens to them. I would argue against those reviewers who slighted the story’s periodic focus on the gritty details of the characters lives and careers. The color and detail in the background lend welcome realism to each character’s narrative aesthetic and emotional context.

A final comment on the story. It plays out like a mystery in which the detectives not only have to search for answers, but discover the questions. The dark spaces at the edge of the narrative map are tantalizing, and that, I think, is the story’s strongest draw.

A great, enticing read.

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