Welcome to the latest review on the blog! Westu hal to you, I hope that you are staying well and reading something awesome.
I have the pleasure of once again working with Storyteller on Tour to help bring one fantastic book to a wider audience, welcome to my review of Kept From Cages by Phil Williams.
Before we begin, my thanks are once again extended to Justine and Timy for hosting my blog on the tour, to Phil as well for the awesome physical copy of the book. Also a quick reminder to check out the rest of the bloggers and bookstagramers on the tour this week, it promises to be a fun week!
Now the blurb
No one returns from Ikiri.
Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.
Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?
On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?
This is a fantastic urban fantasy novel, the book I didn’t realise that I needed and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is my first book by Phil, it was a refreshing read, very creepy in places and felt very authentic.
Now what I mean by authentic is that the sense of place you will get from reading this is amazing, I felt so immersed in this world. It switches the action between small Texas and Louisiana towns and the Congo, this is also what made it so compelling and refreshing to read. It is an urban fantasy novel but it pushes urban fantasy out in to the great outdoors, this is something I would love to see more of in this part of the genre. It certainly is a compelling part of the book and the story as well.
The language used in the book was wonderful as well, having actually met someone from Texas, the language was great and again lent an interesting edge to the book. It really helped to immerse me in both the characters and the story, the story of the Cutjaw kids as they make their way was wonderful just purely in the language employed. It added something, it made me feel invested in the characters, there were some wonderful comedic sections between the Cutjaw gang. This really led to some much needed respite from reading, this is a creepy book in places, and again a level of authenticity that was wonderfully received.
This is a well paced book, it is very character driven and the plot is subtly revealed by Phil in key parts of the book. What I will say is that this one enjoyable, well written, creepy urban fantasy story that did give me chills in places, I also had the notion every time I was about to stop reading that I could fit in one more page or two. The mystery at the heat of the story is amazing, it’s well handled by Phil as he subtly reveals what is going on, while the Cutjaw Kids are compelling. The other story of Agent Tasker is equally important and is easily the more urban side of the adventure, it also comes with the wonderful character of Katryzna who is introduced in a darkly comic way and kept me entertained on the way through the book.
This book easily gets my seal of approval to read, it was fantastic. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for and I was richly rewarded, this is character urban fantasy at it’s finest. It felt such an authentically well written book with some great, absurdly funny moments in between some terrifying moments and chase scenes. I am quite excited to read the sequel, Phil does a great job of wrapping this story up and subtly hinting at what might be, needless to say, bring on the sequel!
Before I go, here is a little bit more about Phil an author I really need to read more of.
Phil Williams is an author of contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction, including the Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers and the post-apocalyptic Estalia series. He also writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English, two of which are regular best-sellers on Kindle. He lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.
I would also like to point out that from the 13th to the 19th, the Ebook of Kept From Cages is available for 99p/99c from the Amazon UK/US store, take it from me it’s a great book and well worth diving in to!
That’s all from me, westu hal and thank you for sticking with me in this review always! Stay safe and I hope that you are reading something awesome.