Saturday, March 17, 2012

Urban Fantasy and Horror reading challenge: Matchbox girls by Chrysoula Tzavelas

The Particulars:  Urban Fantasy, Candlemark and Gleam, available in print and as e-book
The source: Received as a Kickstarter pledge reward
The Grade: B+

The blurb:

Marley Claviger is just trying to get her life together. Stumbling into an ancient conflict between celestial forces is going to make that a whole lot harder...
When Marley wakes up to a phone call from a pair of terrified children, she doesn’t expect to be pulled into a secret war. She rescues them from an empty house and promises to find their missing uncle. She even manages to feed them dinner. But she barely feels competent to manage her own life, let alone care for small children with strange, ominous powers...
And when a mysterious angelic figure shows up and tries to claim the girls, it all falls apart...
Plagued by visions of disaster, Marley has no idea what she’s gotten herself into, but she knows one thing: magical or not, the kids need her.

The review
I received this book as part of a Kickstarter pledge. Since I was in an Urban Fantasy slump, I didn’t read it immediately. Which I regret, since this is a really good Urban Fantasy novel.  The intriguing worldbuilding takes the standard tropes of angels, demons and fairies, and twists them around a couple of times, until the end result is something unique.   The writing starts with a bang, or a phone call to be more correct, and it doesn’t slow down. Marley’s reaction to the  events were refreshing.  She isn’t a kick ass heroine, she is just an woman who wants to return to her normal life.

The plot is just as fast paced as it should be, and when you think that nothing else can go wrong for Marley and her friends, something unexpected, yet totally logical happens, that turns an already dire situation into a catastrophic situation.  

But what made this book for me were the cast of characters. All of them were deliciously flawed. From Marley with her shambled life, to Zacharias with all his secrets, to the impulsive twins, to the new friends she gets in Corbin and AT. And Neath.. I loved Neath. She behaved like I imagine a cat should.  The bad guys were scary. Brr. I wouldn't want to be alone with either Severin, Tarn or any of the other bad guys.

What keeps me from giving this book an A is the sparseness of description. It stopped me from imaging the settings to the level I wanted, and needed to get really sucked into the book.
Still, I'll definitely get the sequel, since I believe in supporting good authors. And Chrysoula Tzavelas is definitely one of them.


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