3.5 of 5
First, the blurb:
“Jeremy Gallow is just another construction worker, and that’s the way he likes it. He’s left his past behind, but some things cannot be erased. Like the tattoos on his arms that transform into a weapon, or that he was once closer to the Queen of Summer than any half-human should be. Now the half-sidhe all in Summer once feared is dragged back into the world of enchantment, danger, and fickle fae—by a woman who looks uncannily like his dead wife. Her name is Robin, and her secrets are more than enough to get them both killed. A plague has come, the fullborn-fae are dying, and the dark answer to Summer’s Court is breaking loose.
Be afraid, for Unwinter is riding… ”
Now, my words:
3.5 of 5 stars. This title is a poster child for how I pick books. Not by cover, not by blurb, not even by first chapter. (Although I do check all those, in that order to form a baseline opinion.) My decider: a random 5-10 page read from somewhere in the middle of the book.
Here’s how this acquisition occurred. Cover picture. grabbed me. (Yum.) Blurb put things back on the cusp of Nope. (It’s catchy, but I’m getting picky in my old age about which fae adaptations I’ll bother spending time on.) The first chapter/random page check was a solid maybe. Oh, but that random read? Bliss. The dialogue and descriptions in the scene I read utterly drowned me in reader happies.
I loved the language. The story– if you want the plot, read the blurb, it’s all there–doesn’t break new ground in any way. But it does present all the British Isles faerie standards in a wonderfully skewed, carnival-mirror perspective. The way characters speak and thinks gives the fae the truly creepy, alien unearthliness they very rarely get in contemporary fantasy.
And the plot is so well-crafted and slides from beginning to climactic end as smoothly as water poured from a glass. It’s quite satisfying, but that’s not where the real strength of the book lies. It lies in the inhumanity of its inhuman characters.
I’ve long enjoyed this author’s blog, and I’d read a couple of her other urban fantsies, but her characters never caught me hard. Until this time. This series is on my do-not-miss list.
Bottom line: I enjoyed it far more than I expected, and that takes a lot.