This is an intriguing start to a science fiction/fantasy series. I really enjoyed it!
I was recommended this book by Amazon through their Aud..Show More »ible division, due to my taste in science fiction and fantasy. I was intrigued with the blurb, so I downloaded the audio book. The story is narrated by Imogen Church, who has also narrated Bridget Jones's Diary. She did a fantastic job in bringing the characters to life. I loved her speaking voice, and her reading pace was perfect.
Peppercorn Clara is a young woman of eighteen, who has been working as a prostitute in a brothel since the age of fourteen in the Labyrinth city called Labrys Town. I really liked her. She is stubborn and determined, and hiding a secret. She has magic in her veins and is a wolf shifter.
This is a unique story; the world building and character development is extraordinary. I loved the descriptions of the scenes and characters. The story has a post apocalyptic feel to it, with a hint of steampunk, which is further enhanced by the split timelines, which are forty years apart. The characters in both the past and the present are quite interesting. However, the changing timelines were a bit confusing at times. Trying to keep it straight in my head was a little like juggling apples (extremely difficult, since I don't juggle), but I persevered and found myself hooked! I even listened to the story twice! I was intrigued as to how one million humans ended up living in the middle of a labyrinth. Did they feel like prisoners, being trapped within the confines of Labrys Town after the portals were closed? Or, safe from the dangers of war ravaging the Thaumaturgists? This aspect was not explored by the author, but I couldn't help but wonder at it. But, if I lived in such a place, would I be happy, angry or sad at the circumstances? I don't know. Maybe a combination of those emotions. Nevertheless, the denizens of Labrys Town seemed resigned to their fate and carried on as normal.
I loved meeting Old Man Sam, a bounty hunter, and Vam Bam, the Resident of Labrys Town. They, along with a Necromancer called Hamir, and Marney, an empath, are the only remaining members of The Relic Guild. This guild acts as a magical police force, who confiscate objects that had been brought into Labrys Town by the Aelfir and the Thaumaturgists before they closed the borders, to keep the denizens safe. I loved Hamir; he is a very intriguing character, who has a very dry wit. He has been around for a long time and has seen and done a lot of things, but he seems ageless to me. Unfortunately, Fabian Moor, a renown Thaumaturgist thought to have died forty years previously, returns to Labrys Town after being in hiding. Enter Clara. What follows is a fast paced race against time, and a dangerous foe who will do anything to gain access to The Nightshade, the home of the Resident and the Guild. There are twists and turns galore, as well as magic in this tale, which kept me riveted. I was intrigued with the appearance of the mysterious avatar, who appeared to know everything that was going on, but refused to divulge too much information to the Guild members. I am not sure what he/she's motives are, but it will be interesting to find out. The end of the story left me hanging, as it finished on an unusual cliffhanger. I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers because they frustrate me to the point of screaming, but I am looking forward to continuing this story as soon as I can.
Edward Cox has written an interesting debut novel. I loved his fast paced writing style, but found the flow of the story to be a bit disjointed due to the flicking timelines. However, each timeline story flowed well within its respective space. I will be keeping an eye out for more of this author's work in the future.
Due to scenes of violence and abuse, I do not recommend this book for younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book if you love science fiction and dark fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton
This is the third and concluding book in the Relic Guild series. I absolutely LOVED it!
The story is again narrated by Imogen Church. She did..Show More » another fantastic job in bringing the characters to life. Her ability to voice the different accents used for the various characters impressed me. I loved her speaking voice, and her reading pace was perfect.
Clara is a young woman of eighteen, who has been working as a prostitute in a brothel since the age of fourteen in the Labyrinth city called Labrys Town. I really liked her. She is stubborn and determined. She has magic in her veins, is known as a magica and is a wolf shifter.
The story continues from the shocking events at the end of the second book, The Cathedral of Known Things. The Nightshade is under the control of the Genii and the members of the Relic Guild are scattered. Their only hope is to locate Goldur Bellow, a Nephilim, who first met Vam Bam and Angel during the Genii War forty years previously. Meanwhile, Sergeant Ennis, a policeman of Labrys Town, has been tasked to investigate and locate the members of the Relic Guild. However, during his investigation he finds out that things are not as they seem.
As this story progressed, loose ends from the previous books were tied up, but new secrets were revealed. I found myself on another emotional rollercoaster ride as the story reached its zenith, then climaxed in an all out battle. Eblisha Spiral, the first lord of the Thaumaturgists and now leader of the Genii, is a megalomaniac in my opinion. I think that Fabian Moor and Mo Asherzad came to the same conclusion in the end, though a little too late to avoid their fate.
This is a unique story; the world building and character development is extraordinary. I loved the descriptions of the scenes and characters. The story has a post apocalyptic feel to it, with a hint of steampunk, which is further enhanced by the split timelines, which are forty years apart. The characters in both the past and the present are quite interesting. This split timeline shows the reader the events in the past that led to the isolation of Labrys Town from the houses of the Aelfir, and also reveals secrets hidden by a few of the characters. This story has several twists and turns that kept me hooked. There is a bit more action (as in explosions and weapon fire) compared to the other two books but, it's the storytelling that instantly pulls you in. The author has a fantastic way of describing the scenes so that you can picture them easily within the mind's eye. My only complaint is that it ended!!
Edward Cox has written a fantastic trilogy. I loved his fast paced writing style. The flow of the story seemed a little more seamless than the first book, and I was sad to reach the end. This is an author who is unafraid to kill off his characters. Although this is one of the things I find annoying about authors (they usually leave me an emotional wreck and I end up with a book hangover because of it), I will be keeping an eye out for more of this author's work in the future as he has found a firm fan in me.
Due to scenes of violence and gore, I do not recommend this book for younger readers under the age of 15. However, I highly recommend this book if you love science fiction and dark fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton