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Friday, 11 November 2016
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with nothing but the knowledge that he is not human, with no memories of his past but possessing great strength, a powerful sorcery and the burning instinct to survive at any cost.
Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he sets out across a landscape torn apart by the ten year war between the Kingdoms of Krandin and Penullin, now reaching new levels of savagery as a dark magic drives the world to the brink of destruction.
As his personality grows with each step he slowly uncovers the truth of what he has become and the unquenchable thirst for vengeance that has led him there.
That synopsis right there is what interested me in this book, when I first discovered it on GoodReads! A main character who doesn't remember who he is, who essentially knows nothing. I was intrigued, I was thinking of how the story might be told, what might happen and honestly...I was surprised at every turn and blown away. There's nothing about a sequel anywhere, but judging from the ending...I'm hoping there is. I mean...what a finish to the book...what a last line! I read that line and I was like HELL YES.
Infernal is intriguing from the opening, and from there, there's plenty of intrigue and mystery throughout the book. What's going on? What is Stratus? Who is he really? and so on. The plot is gripping and complex, with plenty of different threads combining, and plenty of surprises thrown in there. There's lots of shouting and gasping to be done at this book as you read! I really enjoyed the world of the book, I wanted to know more about the history of it, it fascinated me. I thought the world building was very well done it was vivid and it felt very real as I was reading.
Stratus having no memories was not only an interesting angle to take with a main character, but it made for truly interesting reading. As Stratus journeys along, we journey with him. He knows as much as we do about himself and the world and I loved that. We learned with him about the world, what was going on in it, the politics, the history and so on. It was such a brilliant angle, there was no info dumping, all the information was worked in to dialogue and so on, and I really loved that. I don't know, I've never read a book before with an MC like Stratus, with no memories and I found myself really enjoying it and it made it amusing too, as Stratus would describe things that we obviously know what he's talking about but he doesn't know what it is or what the word for it is.
Speaking of Stratus I really liked him as an MC, he's so funny without meaning to be. He's determined in his journey, but I love how he is in general. He's got this dry, ironic humour to him, he kind of reminded me a bit of Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy, as I was reading I was picturing that guy once or twice as Stratus said certain things! I found him really refreshing and engaging, as was his journey. There's some other brilliant characters, I loved to hate the Cardinal. I don't know what it was about him, but something about his attitude just made me think of the villains we kinda roll our eyes at because it's like "yeah yeah, calm down. It's not over yet". I cackled at his demise, I'm not going to lie. Then there are the characters I loved. I really liked Lucien and I look forward to seeing more of him, if there's another book (I'm hoping there's another book), I loved his interactions with Stratus and Tatyana, and I liked Fronsac, he wasn't what I was expecting him to be when first introduced. But I LOVED Tatyana. I seriously loved her. She was such a badass that Stratus is all "I made a note to kill her from a distance or while she's sleeping if it comes to it", I can't remember the exact quote but Tatyana is so awesome! I loved her interactions with Stratus, she cracked me up more than once, and the two of them together where such a brilliant pair. I could picture them and the scenes so clearly in my head, they where totally brilliant.
I thought the magical system in the book was interesting with the Songlines and I want to know more about it, I thought the book had a really good pace to it, it was dark, Stratus does some questionably creepy things, and there was a very creepy scene. But then there are necromancers running about among other things so what do you expect?! There's blood and guts and the author doesn't shy away from the violence. There's tonnes of action and fighting and like I already said...blood. All the blood. And some brains too. Because why not. I'm not gonna lie, I got some iZombie vibes at one point. OH and I loved the prose, and the language the author used and the imagery (although some of the grimmer imagery was *shudder* but it worked), I loved the atmosphere created and I just generally loved the authors storytelling!
Infernal is genuinely a fantastic debut, and I'm now choosing to believe that there is definitely going to be a book two because after that cliffhanger ending, how can there not be! Also the writing is brilliant, and I think things are about to get even more interesting in the world of the book, from the point we left our anti-hero at! I definitely think you guys should give Infernal a try, it's such a great combination of things, and it's original and that makes it stand out from the crowd!