First off, I listened to this book on audio. The narrator was easy to listen to and engaging and the book-length was under 3hrs listening time which was perfect for me to listen to over a couple of days of commuting.
Second, this isn't my first Stacey Rourke book and it seems she has a thing for writing kinda prickly but likeable lead characters... Octavia is in her early twenties and has had it rough in life so I could understand why she was the way she was from the defensive barbs to the soft heart underneath. The author cleverly reveals enough about Octavia's past to make her understandable and relateable (even though she's a freaking necromancer and nothing about her is normal!) without revealing too much about her in one go. It added to the air of mystery in the book and made me look forward to learning more about her in future instalments.
Third, this is one of the best novellas I've ever read that isn't attached to a well established series.
There is world building, character development, and an engaging and thoroughly entertaining story that both made me laugh repeatedly and tugged on my heartstrings.
I enjoyed the mystery and the sense of danger. The supernatural elements and the interpersonal moments. I loved how the book had a well developed plotline of its own while simultaneously setting up the series plot. I was engrossed from beginning to end and I'm all in for reading the rest of the series and seeing how things play out with the overarching elements.
War mages are the magical equivalent of tanks: tough, powerful, and deadly. They have to be, in order to defend the supernatural community from the dangerous threats it sometimes faces. But what happens when the threat is them?
John Pritkin has been trying to recover from a demon curse that separated his body and soul and almost killed him. The reunification has left him with a flood of memories to process, some that he recalls from his past and some that he doesn’t, as well as wonky magic, fluctuating power levels, and a splitting headache. Something that only intensifies when he finds himself stuck in a city under siege—by his fellow war mages.
As the only one not overwhelmed by a massive enthrallment spell, John must find a way to free his fellow mages before they destroy themselves, and take a city of a million people along with them.
I feel like I waited forever for this book to come out! It was supposed to be a novella but it grew and grew until it was a full-length monster of a book. Normally, this would be fine with me but I must admit that I'd have probably enjoyed this book more if it was a novella... There was a lot of stuff that could have been trimmed out. However, I enjoyed the book regardless of all the random stuff.
I mean, it's a Pritkin book! I love that crazy assed War Mage!
And in this book we get to see what Pritkin was up to in between the last two Cassie Palmer books and how the events of Ride The Storm have changed him.
We've had Pritkin novellas and pov shorts before but getting to see inside his head for a full novel? Awesome. I just wish there were some more Cassie related thoughts... Although when there were Cassie thoughts, I wasn't disappointed!
Basically, this is something worth reading if you're a fan of the series. If you're not I don't think there'd be much point in reading it.