Sunday, October 23, 2016

Raven Song (Inoki's Game, #1) by I.A. Ashcroft


A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.

Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.

Anna’s life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she’s gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.

The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.

If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.

Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.

Raven Song is the first of a four book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.

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This is going to be a short review because there's not a ton to say (which isn't a bad thing). All in all, I enjoyed the world building in this book. The characters were also interesting enough to keep my attention once we got deeper into the story, however, I do feel like the beginning dragged a bit. It was hard to really care about the central plot because so much time in the first few chapters was spent on backstory for Jackson. Once Anna came into the picture things really picked up. Even though I felt the story took a while to really start going, this was a fast read all the way through. There were a lot of little mysteries and clues which were engaging and held my interest throughout. I would recommend reading this if you're into sci-fi, mystery, and made up worlds, as the one in this book was well done. I think a few scenes needed to be described in a bit more detail, for example one in the beginning where Agent Walker and them find mutilated bodies, but other parts were really well described. It's fast enough that you should give it a chance, and at only 290 pages, it won't be a waste of your time if you don't absolutely love it.


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