Reviewed by Steve Dean
I can find no reference to an Iceni Fields Publishing online, so I’m assuming the author created his own publishing company to self-publish his own book. Don’t quote me on this, I’m open to being corrected on this point.
Right, let’s start with the blurb. This, allegedly, is the tale of two cities, one of them London by day, and the other London by night. The darkness is rising, and only a lost twelve-year old girl can save the city, but has to save herself first.
Except that’s not what it’s about. What we have here is a second-rate crime thriller about organised crime and modern-day slavery, with some supernatural guff tacked on. It’s as if the author wrote a crime thriller, was told it was no good, and then added the fantasy element to spice it up, like literary ketchup.
So, what is it about? Well, think of any crime thriller you might have seen on the tele recently, and that’s pretty much it. All the characters are there, the struggling detective who made one mistake, the mindless thug, the thug with a heart, and even the corrupt senior officer. There’s also a missing child and a tube train driver who witnesses a suicide. Added to this are a couple of ancient spirits, good and evil, who don’t really play much of a part in the whole thing.
The writing itself is ok, although the dialogue needs work. The characters are two-dimensional and unoriginal, and the plot is very pedestrian. There were also several physical incidents in the book that didn’t really work, the author needed to think them through more. I was barely a quarter of the way in before I began to get bored with the whole thing.
I’m going to pass on some advice to the author and other writers. This isn’t mine, but was told to me by successful writers. Firstly, write about what you know. Secondly, don’t lie to your readers, because they’ll find out very quickly. Third, write what you want to write, not what you think people want to read. My personal advice to the author would be to not bother writing the next book in the presumed trilogy, but look to the three points above and start again with something else. I would certainly read it, as long as it’s not more of the same