Historical-fantasy blends are my favourite genre, and the Roaring 1920’s is one of my fav periods, so of course this drew my attention.
What to Expect
Expect a half-heist half-revenge story, told in a somewhat non-linear way (lots of skipping back and forth). The story mostly follows Dolly White, with occasional other points of view, as she gains employment and trust at the Earnshaw family. In between, we get glimpses of magic integrated into society (with government licenses and public prejudices), allusions to more happening (like the world of faery), and a good mix-in with your usual culture of speakeasies and bootleggers.
What I liked
Good setting and world building, nice storytelling techniques and prose, and engaging characters. A quick and entertaining read, that holds a lot of promise.
What to be aware of
I found the world-building at the beginning somewhat heavy-handed and overdone, although that improves quickly. Surprisingly, at the later parts I found it somewhat underdone – not enough of certain aspects (like shifters and faery) that were built up earlier in the novel. One only hopes they will be expanded in future installments.
Due to the time jumps, the story can get a tad confusing in the first half (until your understanding of characters and events cements), and I found the ending somewhat anti-climatic as Deeds skips around too quickly over what events are building towards and what I feel should have been the intense climax. It’s a good technique, but falls shy of the mark in execution.
Felix enjoyed the novel. Though his specialty is solving crimes, he certainly has no moral qualms with being the servant of revenge and dipping his hands in the occasional safe. He certainly isn’t a fan of any abusive authority figures, so applauds Ms White on her efforts and choices. He thinks she’ll be a good resource to keep in touch with, even if he’ll never fully trust her.
There’s a lot going for this novel, and (as much as I hate such comments) I think the issues are more with the editor than with the author. Certainly one to read for lovers of the period and the historical-fantasy genre, with hopes that there will be sequels and that Deeds will get into her stride.
Enjoying the reviews, but wondering who the heck is that Felix fellow? Glad you asked! He’s the protagonist of the Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, an historical-fantasy blend of a paranormal detective on the background of ancient Rome.
Come meet Felix and his world on the free short stories and novels!