DARK IMMOLATION, by Christopher Husberg
Let me preface this by saying I was fortunate enough to beta read for Dark Immolation, which means the following opinions are preexisting.
An amnesiac assassin, a child vampire, broken religion, and a drug-based magic system: what’s not to be excited about? Dark Immolation picks up several months after the events of Duskfall. Winter fears her friends and husband dead; Knot, Cinzia, Jane, and Astrid fear winter dead. The Cantic religion is in flux; Knot is being consistently overwhelmed by multiple personalities; Astrid is keeping secrets about her true motivations; and mad gods are pulling strings.
Dark Immolation is one hell of a sequel, one of the most interesting I’ve read in a while. Plenty of contemporary fantasy (Duskfall included) favor a breakneck pace, and while that’s fine I tend to personally favor stories a bit slower, which is why Dark Immolation really worked for me. I felt like I got to know the characters and the world more, and the story progressed at a more even pace while retaining the intrigue, magic, and mystery established in Duskfall.
**Let me also so that in addition to being a fantastic storyteller Chris is an equally talented teacher of the genre, possessing an MFA in creative writing. Any time I’ve asked him questions I come away feeling like an unofficial mentee.
Comparable title: Mistborn: The Well of Ascension
AN ECHO OF THINGS TO COME, by James Islington
I manage a bookstore; I think it’s one of the coolest jobs. I mean, who wouldn’t love to work with books every day? I’m always looking for something new to read, so when The Shadow of What Was Lost came into the store I was immediately enthralled by the cover. Then I read the description and the reviews on the back…
For the first time since I discovered Brandon Sanderson, my immediate reaction was “Holy shit—I NEED to read this.”
And I was not let down. Davian, Asha, Wirr, and Caeden are all interesting characters in their own rights; each has a believable arc and I found myself sympathizing with their situations pretty easily. The magic systems utilized by the Augurs and the Gifted were complex and awesome, helping to put into perspective just how powerful some of these characters are and will become.
One of the coolest parts about The Shadow of What Was Lost was the way in which time travel was employed. Not everything is as it seems on the surface, which is important when it comes to such a tricky plot device, but Islington handles it deftly.
An Echo of Things to Come will be released August 22nd, 2017, which means I’ll just sit here impatiently in my corner until then.
Comparable title: The Eye of the World