Vigil

July 23, 2016 - 3:09 pm No Comments

Verity Fassbinder Book 1
Author: Angela Slatter
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Page count: 351pp
Release date: 7th July 2016
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

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Jo Fletcher books (an imprint of Quercus) is fast becoming the publisher to go to for high quality, award level genre fiction. So, team up multi-award winner author Angela Slatter with her first full length novel, and you have pure gold.
Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds; daughter of a human — and a Weyrd — she can walk in both worlds. Though she doesn’t have much power herself, her ability to walk between worlds is a valuable asset.  This lands her the job of keeping the peace between both races and ensuring the Weyrd stay hidden.
The Council of Five act as a sort of government of the Weyrd, having arrived over in the past from whatever old country they came from and established themselves. Verity’s  ex ‘Bela’ AKA Zvezdomir ‘Bela’ Vlad Tepes (you may recognise the name) turns up at Verity’s door one eve, looking drop-dead gorgeous as usual, if a little bit goth. He’s arrived in a distinctive purple taxi cab (Verity was injured during her last job for Bela and now sports a limp) driven by Ziggi, her usual chauffeur. Verity clambers into the car, complete with shrunken head Gris-Gris in the window, to find one of the Council of Five sitting there.
Over twenty children have gone missing, some normal, some Weyrd, and Bela is there as chief spy/cop/enforcer to hire her to find out where the children have gone and who has taken them.
This is a solid Urban Fantasy set in an ‘other’ Brisbane where the Weyrd blend in as the homeless, the drunk, the disenfranchised and the alternative community. Angela Slatter’s voice, though distinctively unique and hers, reminds me a little of Jim Butcher (Dresden files) and Seanan McGuire (The Incryptid and October Daye books). Predominantly because Slatter combines high octane, fast paced action with PI Procedural, a whole host of wonderful creatures (not just bog standard vampires and werewolves), a cracking sense of humour and a deeper thread running through it. That thread? Racism, prejudice and treatment of other. Slatter isn’t afraid to veer towards the issue of how ‘other’ is often treated and her cast of characters is wonderfully diverse. Add to this the ongoing tension between Bela and Verity (how can he really beget ex when she blooming well works with him?) and how this affects her, and you have a great addition to the genre, and one I predict will last  the long haul.
Smashing book which kept me reading through the night, as in, couldn’t put down! Splendidly written too.
5/5

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