Book Review – Cold City by @fpaulwilson

What to say? This book was awesome! I typically read and review fantasy, so this was a break from the norm for me. Apparently this series delves into that genre later on, but there wasn’t any of it in here. I’m glad I read it though as everything about it I loved.

Cold City

I have never read a “Jack the Repairman” book by F. Paul Wilson before of which there are a lot already. This is the first of a prequel series to those other novels (which I will read). Consequently, I already knew Jack survived, but even without the fear of death on the plate, the book kept me captivated and rooting for our “hero”. Since I knew nothing of what comes after, everything was new to me. I look forward to lots of “ah-ha!” moments as I “catch up” with the series.

The book takes place along the eastern seaboard of the US in the early/mid 1990s, but mostly within New York City. Our hero is a college dropout who is about off the radar as much as anyone can be. He lacks a social security number, a license, even a telephone. And that is exactly the way he wants it.

Every single character is rich in personality. Each is unique and has their own desires. Dialogue is fantastic – not once did I think to myself “who would say that” – and the conversations all flowed fast and smooth. The attention to details the author took with the characters is something only those who read other people very well can manage. I was truly blown away by these aspects of the book. If you love great characterization, you will do flips for this book.

The plot was amazing too. There were always four or five things going on at once between multiple factions. From the mob and jihadist terrorists, to Latin gangs and tobacco runners, you never knew what was going to happen next. There was mystery and suspense on almost every page with new clues that lead to more questions while providing the answers you wanted to know. I can’t forget to mention the love interest that came into play despite our hero’s reluctance or his mysterious best friend who owns a successful sporting shop yet never has any customers. I can’t give enough accolades for this book.

I rate this book a stunning 5 out of 5 stars. If you like mystery and thrillers you will devour this novel.

You can buy it here (US):

You can buy it here (UK):

Book Review – Blood’s Pride by @EvieManieri

“Blood’s Pride” by Evie Manieri is a solid fantasy which I quite enjoyed.

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Evie’s writing suspends disbelief. It is fluid and rich with detail, but not overly so as you’ll find in many classics. She pulled me into her world and her story kept me turning page after page. I invested myself in her characters. None were heroes and none were truly villains either. Each had histories explaining the people they’d become and understandable if not relatable desires.

The book is quite original in its setting. It takes place in a seaside desert with hints of a much colder world to the north. A great mountainside temple lies in the sealed away shadows of its past. It is the gateway to the mines that brought an imperial host to its shores.

Twenty years later, the slavers are fractious as the oppressed revolt against their bondage. The slaves refuse their murderous masters and seek revenge for the destruction of their faith. No longer will they toil in the black mines of the mountain under heel and rod. They have a plan.

The magics of the world are varied. Black metal from the mountain has mystical properties. It is the source of the enslaving empire’s attentions. The warring twin Gods of the dune wanderers bless their followers in exchange for their singular devotion. Should its secrets be unearthed, the lost faith of the enslaved harbors the most powerful magic of all.

A large cast of characters and shifting points of view might throw off some readers. I had no problems following along. I did feel the actions taken by two of the characters were at odds with what I’d come to know about their personas. This initially broke the spell Evie had cast over me, but she made up for it in subsequent chapters. I came to understand I hadn’t fully understood the characters I thought I had and I liked them more for it. Looking back, there were hints I simply hadn’t caught.

The tale ties up tight, yet there are definite lead-ins to the next books. One element of the ending was bitter-sweet and was both unexpected and predestined. I look forward to the next installment of the trilogy.

I rate this story a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If you like original fantasy settings and good writing, you’ll enjoy it too.

You can buy it here (UK):

  • Jo Fletcher Books Direct Link (Support this fine publishing house)
  • Amazon.co.uk
  • You can buy it here (US):

  • Amazon.com