Dark City (The Order of Shadows) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 24, 2016
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But from the very first page, the writing sucks you in. This is sentence-level descriptive creepiness that doesn't slow down the frenetic pace of Morgan Rook, odd-job boy for the mysterious magical Organization, going around town bashing different night creatures after an old friend is murdered by a mysterious assassin.
That's the plot in a nutshell: Morgan goes here, gets punched, uses crystals and sword/gun to take down evil creatures, gets a hint about a greater conspiracy amongst the bad demons/devils, etc. Then he gets a hint about his past before he woke up, aged 10 in an abandoned asylum in the hills, and then he goes and bashes something else.
And usually stuff like a flimsy plot, pulling out a gun to shoot an undead assassin AFTER he's dodged your sword and killed your friend, and not a lot of thinking on the part of the POV character makes me bored or irritated. (There's also like no romance, so you know, that kind of makes me sad)
But that stuff never bother me in this book. And you know why? See aforementioned sentence level writing comment. This is just fun to read. And the imagery is cinematic (who wouldn't want to read a book where the main character goes into an abandoned asylum and goes into a room where wax candles mounded, dripping on a wheelchair provides the only light? I mean, come on)
So I'll most likely pick up the next in the series. There's enough hints in this first book that Morgan Rook is much more complicated and powerful than we think at first, and also there's that cinematic writing.
I couldn't quite give it five stars because I had a small problem with the hero. Moran Rook is a wizard who apparently can't see how powerful he is. He can move in and out of time, step in and out of people, manipulate their thoughts, and pull magic from the air. And yet, he always doubts himself, thinking he's not strong enough or good enough. He accepts being a low-level acolyte working for peanuts for the mysterious "Organization".
But he can't seem to lose! Of course he gets hurt. He gets beat up and thrown around a little, but no matter who he's facing, there is never a doubt that he'll win. Nobody is a match for him. There's no sense of impending doom, no thought that he might fail and die. He's too overpowered for a character who supposedly "Isn't all that".
Otherwise, it was an enjoyable story, and I'm sure I'll continue with the series.
Wasn't expecting much from book when purchased but ended up being the best book of this type I've ever read. I'm currently starting on book 2 and also purchased book 3.
I've just downloaded the prequel, How to Kill A Witch, and I'm looking forward to the rest of this series. Well done!
Top international reviews
Kit Hallows does a good job to keep the reader captivated throughout the whole book. His imagination is quite fertile and he manages to make the reader envision it through great imagery. The characters are interesting and could be more fleshed out but I guess what was sacrificed in this department was fully used to make a fast developing plot (neck-breaking more like it). Some of the fleeting characters (I do not want to name any so I won't spoil the plot) are interesting and should be granted their own little stories. I guess that was the author's attention, to get us intrigued. This is just book one after all. Personally, I want to read the next installment as soon as possible. For now I will have to make do with the prequel "How To Kill a Witch". I hope it is as good as the book I just read.