Not Forgiven, Neven Carr

Not Forgiven, Neven Carr

Not Forgiven

Not Forgiven, the riveting sequel to Forgotten, follows Claudia Cabriati’s efforts to discover what lies behind the traumatic break in her memories and uncover the truth.

With the enigmatic Saul at her side, Claudia is chasing down the last of the loose ends that came out of the case they just solved—and all of them are leading back to Araneya mansion where Claudia spent her childhood. However, neither of them in their darkest moments imagined the picture that those threads might form…

Neven Carr’s thrilling follow-up novel in the Araneya Mystery series brings back the all-star cast from Forgotten and follows the inevitable tightening of the bond between Claudia and Saul. Showcasing one of the author’s trademark twisty plots, Not Forgiven explores the psychology and impact of institutionalized violence, PTSD, and human perception, staged in the dramatic scenery of Australia and leading to the grand reveal of several cold-case murders, as well as shedding a bit more light on Saul’s murky past. The pacing manages to combine suspense with explosive action to create an environment for the reader that few other books I’ve read can equal. I’d recommend this book to readers of mystery, action, or romance—this book combines all of them and does it well.

The Book of Abisan, C H Clepitt

The Book of Abisan, C H Clepitt

The Book of Abisan

The Book of Abisan is an adventurous urban fantasy, where a religious elite that persecutes magic users is extending its activities across alternate realities.

Yfrey is a magic user on the run, her home long since gone and her family and friends dead or imprisoned. Jacques works as an archivist in the UK, keeping people at a distance as much as she can. When a fluke of magic sends Yfrey stumbling into Jacques’s life, neither Jacques nor Yfrey thinks they stand a chance of surviving the pursuit on Yfrey’s trail, never mind fighting back—but the freedom of two worlds is hanging on their success.

The Book of Abisan creates a tantalising cast of relatable characters, with their own traumas and doubts, trying to pull off the impossible. On the one hand the story combines a journey to self-discovery for the protagonists, and on the other the storyline is balanced by violence and danger. As I’m not keen on the fluffy-fluffy approach in my reading, I appreciated author C. H. Clepitt’s ability to inject glimpses of gritty realism into the plot. The book makes good use of the alternate realities theme, building up the antagonists across realities in very different guises.

The Alien Diaries, Glenn Devlin

The Alien Diaries, Glenn Devlin

The Alien Diaries

The Alien Diaries combines the American Civil War, aliens on the run, and a modern book store owner in an original, unlikely, enjoyable read.

Kate Arendell is an orphan, working in a run-down New York tavern in the last quarter of the 18th century. The tavern owner uses her and her brothers as unpaid labour, and beats them for entertainment. She and her siblings are rescued from their employers by mysterious passers-by—but as they journey into countryside brutalized by war, their rescuers show an ability to heal wounds unknown in their time.

When I first picked it up, I looked at the diary format and was afraid I’d let myself in for the fictional fantasies of an 18th century miss. However, by the third ‘diary entry’ I was hooked and happy as the plot twists started coming in. The Alien Diaries manages the mix of diary entries and the rest of the story smoothly, and despite an eclectic range of settings and eras, the storyline and the characters are clearly written and easy to follow. Happily, author Glenn Devlin didn’t feel any need to be predictable, and I found myself enjoying the unexpected in this book. The technical side of the writing was also pleasantly well done, and I didn’t find myself being hauled out of the story by a wandering gerund. As a whole, I would certainly recommend the read; it combines several genres and does it well.

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