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AURELIA (Roma Nova Thriller Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 272 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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There are many novels that take as their starting point the assumption that a major historical event turned out differently: The South won the US Civil War, Hitler conquered Europe and kept it, the Spanish bested Drake or Napoleon won at Waterloo. Alison Morton’s four Nova Roma books take a different path. Instead of a different outcome, Ms. Morton imagines what happened if a culture survived.
The idea: A small corner of the Roman Empire survived, keeping some of the culture and religion of Rome – and Latin! – alive into the twentieth century, while the country itself – Nova Roma – had to change to accommodate technological changes. Like Switzerland, Nova Roma has never been conquered. Morton takes practices that were alive during Roman times, such as Senators having clients, and imagines how those practices morphed in almost 2,000 years.
There is a further twist, a twist that makes the books so imaginative. Unlike Switzerland, a patriarchal society, Nova Roma is a matriarchy, albeit a modern one.
So what is excellent about the books?
1. Use of history. Ms. Morton has thought out how today would be different if Nova Roma existed for the past 2000 years. BUT, this history is dropped into the plot in frozen blocks; instead, only when relevant is it mentioned.
2. Use of history. As far as I can determine or remember from my history and years of Latin, the little details of society then are accurate. This makes it so easy to accept Ms. Morton’s recreation of them in modern form – no “willing suspension of disbelief” is required.
3. Plot. Well thought through. Each book has a natural conclusion (no cliffhangers), while creating the beginnings of events that will form the plots for the next books.
4. Characters. I am a fan of strong women – women with “agency” – the ability to make things happen rather than respond to events. It is also the ability to learn from mistakes.
5. Complicated personal relationship(s). There is a romance here, in addition to mystery and suspense. The romance is far from linear.
What didn’t I like? I think that the female lead, Carina Mitela, should have made a different romantic choice. However, I’m male, and I tend to be harder on male characters than I gather female readers are.
My standard disclaimer: I purchase the books, I don’t know the author and I wasn’t asked to review them.
While there was plenty of action, the language flowed easily yet was intelligent; it didn’t need grisly detail or expletives to make you sit up a little straighter and hold your breath, wondering what was to come next. Toward the end, I actually became worried I might run out of pages before the story ended – I did not. But I was sorry to have come to the end of such an interesting speculative fiction premise.
Thank you, Alison Morton, for the enjoyable hours I spent reading Aurelia.
Inge H. Borg, Author of the “Legends of the Winged Scarab” Series.
I loved the pace of this book, it’s so fast paced and easy flowing that you can’t help but sucked in.
The character Aurelia was well-developed. She has a military background and is very motivated and driven by her need to show just how much a woman can do without the need of a man. She’s strong and while a lot of people respect a woman in a powerful position some still believe a woman beneath them..and she’s loves to wind these people up..some hold grudges.
When we first meet Aurelia we learn of her military background but after some family misfortune she must leave the profession behind..family come first.
She’s soon recruited to be a spy of sorts, with her background and position in power she’s the perfect agent.
Silver is being smuggled and Aurelia soon stumbles upon the person responsible.. but she’s can’t prove it yet.
What happens after that is that we are treated to some very interesting twists. We have great characters such as a potential love interest who helps Aurelia..but he’s got his own secrets. There’s the jealous suitor who Aurelia despises and the biggest treat for me was the military contacts she makes throughout the book in her previous military role and her new role. Each very clearly defined, straight-laced but each intriguing in their own right.
As I’ve said the book is fast paced but the plot was great, I didn’t think anything was missing and it worked well. I particularly liked the historical edge to the tale, bringing the idea of Praetorian’s and such to a modern-day tale, It really gave it the unique feel.
I’m certainly going to pick up the previous 3 books and the series and look forward to more from the author. Her writing style is energetic and purposeful, the characters are always on the move and I loved how things played out.
This is a mystery with a historical edge, twists come out of nowhere.
I really fell for Aurelia..she has so much to deal with but she’s strong, she will persevere.
Most of all I loved how the author managed to make this mystery fun and serious at the same time, at times it’s light hearted at others very poignant. Loved it.
My thanks go to the author for the chance to read and review their work in exchange for an honest review.