Auckland Allies Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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As for the writing, it's solid. I enjoyed the 1st person snippy narrative of Tara, whom I consider the main character. I just wish the whole story was told from her POV. Instead, the book alternated between the three friends, all in the 1st person, and it got confusing at times. I'd put the kindle down then pick it up a few days later and forget who's telling the story at that point. And like a lot of books, it started to drag in the middle. Once the situation was figured out and the solution was in sight, the "getting there" was a bit on the slow side. But overall, a pretty quick read and enjoyable. Three and a half stars. If you like urban magic novels, then check out this series some time.
Auckland Allies is set in modern times but with people with magic, called practitioners, Tara is a Maker and Sparx is her neighbour. They end up being chased by blokes in black all because Tara did some work for Sally. A mistake on their part as instead of keeping their plans secret they made enemies. Okay, they aren't powerful enemies but they are resourceful.
The core characters all appeal as Sparx and Sally speak to my geeky side in different ways while Tara reminds me of how all of us might put on a tough shell but really we are all squishy feelings inside. This is a great story that I'll be pointing out to all my friends, especially those who lived in Auckland like I did.
Aukland Allies is an exception to that rule. It’s fast-paced, with a well-knit story line that blends a thrilling struggle against nefarious foes of awesome power with nerdy personal conflicts and a bit of off-beat romance.
The story is set in Aukland, New Zealand, where Mike lives. That’s an unusual setting for urban fantasy. Most UF stories are set either in the United States or in the UK. But it works well, and the descriptions of the city and its barely-tamed environs are a large part of the book’s considerable charm. One delicious scene has Sally overcoming an armed and magically potent attacker using local wildlife as a weapon, in a way that strangers from the northern hemisphere would never expect.
Aukland Allies is not only a great story in its own right, but it has the potential to start an urban fantasy series that’s unusual and way above average. It’s got a subculture of magical practitioners, with shadowy, authoritarian people in positions of power, fascist nasties like the Blokes in Black, and much youthful rebellion and challenge to fossilized tradition.
Applying my usual objective system, I’m going to give Aukland Allies five stars. This is the first time I’ve done that for one of Mike’s stories, but this one has superior characterization and writing (as his usually do), and also a superior plot.
If you like urban fantasy, geek culture, or occult stories, get this book.
There's a lot to like here: excellent characterization, good pacing, lots of depth without navel-gazing, and - my favorite element - the main characters very much earn their success. They're all bit players in the magical world, mostly because they're got very little innate magical talent. They're unlikely heroes. They have to figure out ways to use what skills and talents they do have to accomplish their goals. You'll have to read it to find out if they succeed :)
It's a fun read and I'm glad I picked it up. I am eagerly the next book.