Friday 16 September 2016

VIGIL by Angela Slatter

From award-winning author Angela Slatter comes her first full length novel, VIGIL, where the normal and the weyrd combine on the streets of Brisbane. 

Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength - and the ability to walk between us and the other - as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us. 

But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale - and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways - and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane. 

And Verity must investigate - or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from Hachette Australia--huge thanks to Jessica--and was keen to check it out. I mean, an urban fantasy story set in Brisbane? I'm totally in! Love reading urban fantasy books, and one that's set in Australia definitely grabbed my attention.

Verity Fassbinder walks between the very fine line of Normal and Weyrd. Her mother was human, but her father was a bit of a monster. After he was imprisoned, her maternal grandparents adopted her and raised her as human. But she was bound to find her way back to the Weyrd side, even if they don't look kindly on halflings.

The only power she inherited from her father was strength, so she can certainly kick butt. She's smart, stubborn and resourceful, which comes in handy in her sorta-PI job--especially since she works for her ex. Bela is old and definitely not human. He's also infuriating and omits a lot of pertinent details. After she was hurt by a 'serker, she was assigned an otherworldly driver called Ziggi and is never short of jobs.

Verity also consults with a feisty human inspector. So when word on the street is that someone is making wine from the tears of kids and sirens start turning up dead, she's on the case. But she seems to constantly be one step behind. As the truths start coming out and they get closer to home, she's not only racing against the clock to ensure ancient creatures don't destroy everything, but also has a very personal stake...

Yikes. What a wild ride into a very interesting and dangerous alternate Brisbane! The characters are memorable, the mystery intriguing, and the way everything fits together is perfect.

I can't go into too many details about the flesh and bones of this story because I don't want to give away the meaty goodness, but I will say that it's got heart. There are twists and turns, lots of dubious and shadowy 'people', plus  a multitude of Weyrd resentful about the rules the rise of human civilisation has forced them to adopt. When you consider that, there's no doubt problems are bound to arise.

And it looks like Verity will keep finding herself in the middle of it.

Vigil is an intoxicating, dark urban fantasy story that first hooked me into a world where myth and monsters exist alongside humans. Then somewhere along the line, Verity's voice and plight was what kept me glued to the page. There's a bit of everything in this story, but the mysteries will suck you in, deep. I also enjoyed the casual and subtle way in which Verity meets a cute guy and before long, we're falling for him too. :)

I don't care what anyone says, urban fantasy stories totally rock! They combine some of the best stuff in stories: fantasy, myth, legend, monsters, mystery, horror, drama and awesomeness. And I'll always enjoy them.

OMG. This book is soooooo good, I can't wait to read the next one.

Vigil, July 2016, ISBN 9781784294021, Jo Fletcher Books

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