I am very excited about this. If you will note, the release date for Fade to Black is in the side bar ———–>
What I’m excited about is that I have snagged an interview with the author, Francis Knight. It will be on the blog on February 26th, release day! Whoo hoo! A major coup. It doesn’t hurt that I am one of her minions, who got to beta read this bad boy before it went to press.
Oh yeah. I admit it. I am proud of it. Here is the blurb:
It’s a city built upwards, not across—where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.
Rojan Dizon doesn’t mind staying in the shadows, because he’s got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can’t hide for ever.
Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan—this is going to hurt.
First person POV has become a hallmark of the Urban Fantasy genre. But this is more than urban fantasy. The author uses the term “noir” and that’s fitting. Noir needs voice, grit, and colorful characters. Add to that a government that holds its people in an iron grip, poverty, lingering seepage of a substance called Synth that was an alternate power source until they realized it was killing everybody, and the sorts of people that flourish in the dank and dirt of a city choking on it’s own populace, darkness, and fear. This is the setting alone.
And luckily for us, Rojan has a gift for description. He paints the city with a verbal brush, so you almost shrug your shoulders in, made aware of the claustrophobia of the buildings all around.
Mahala was built to make you look up, and then up again The other side of Trade, the merchant houses, shops, arcades, markets, show rooms and laboratories were all covered by more buildings, so that all I could make out in the lowering light were facings, flashing red Glow lights shouting out wares, and black chasms between. Walkways clung to them like spider’s webs, if they were spiders trying to spin a city. Above lay Heights, on graceful spires and spindles, then Clouds, giant platforms that I would never see except from underneath, full of gardens and rarer wonders, or so I’d heard.
Please allow me one more:
So, just under Trade, beneath the factories that were the pumping heart of the city, their rumble echoing through every brick and girder and bone. This place wasn’t a factory. It was a shack with graffiti that would make a whore blush painted over the shutter. It looked derelict, as though the only thing holding the place together was the neighboring buildings, to the sides, above and below. In the shuddering darkness, the shop hulked like a giant abandoned baby, unwanted, unloved.
As for plot: Rojan is a pain mage who prefers not to resort to pain. He’s good at finding people, especially through magical means, but as that is illegal, he does his best to do it without cutting himself or dislocating a finger. (ouch) So, you know what’s ahead, right? You don’t get to be a pain mage and sit on the sidelines when your niece is kidnapped. He has to use his magic to find her, and it tells him she’s in a place she should not be. A place cut off long ago due to the Synthtox. But down there he must go.
This book gets going and really rolls. Snappy pace, great characters, secrets upon secrets, I’m almost afraid of giving too much stuff away! I really recommend this if you enjoy Urban Fantasy, dark fantasy, thrillers with fantasy elements. It’s a great read.