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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - On Holy Ground by Louise Cole

On Holy Ground by Louise Cole

Everyone wants the heroine of The Devil’s Poetry.

They want her dead.

Callie, the only reader to have survived the magics of the Book, plans a wonderful future with the man she loves – only to have her life ripped apart by tragedy. Worse, a strange infection is passing through the population. An infection which leaves them white-eyed and terrifying. With the demonic Cadaveri increased a thousandfold, the world once again teeters on the brink of war.
Callie goes looking for answers, but since the Order of Sumer first recruited her to read its mysterious manuscript, the game has changed. As someone who understands the Book’s secrets, she is either a saviour or a curse to all who know her. Stranded in the US, hunted and penniless, she desperately needs allies. But the Order, the Cadaveri and the world’s intelligence services all have their own agendas – and all their spies are on her tail. 

Callie must put aside love and grief, and re-evaluate everything she knows about the Reading. And to do that she must find that Book, and escape. Or die trying.

I really enjoyed reading The Devil's Poetry, as you can see from my review, and I was excited to see where Louise would take the story next. It turns out the answer is America. Callie and friends (and foes) jet off to the States for some international thrills and adventure. This opens the series up beautifully. While the first book was set almost exclusively around Callie's home town and London, On Holy Ground jumps location several times, and with the expanding focus we get to see a lot more of the Order and the Cadaveri.

This is one of the highlights of On Holy Ground. When it shows us more of these two opposing factions, we get to learn alot more about their aims, their motivations, and what they are and aren't prepared to do to achieve them than we did in The Devil's Poetry. The distinction between good and evil and the choice between right and wrong become murkier than ever. This moral complexity is one of my favourite things about this book series, as it reflects the real world around us much more effectively than anything that has the good guys fighting the forces of evil.

Something else I loved about On Holy Ground was seeing Callie having to cope on her own. In The Devil's Poetry she generally had the Order around her, a team of highly skilled operatives protecting and directing her. In On Holy Ground she's cut off, she's on the run and she's brilliant! The chase sequences are well written, dramatic and exciting and have the feel of a Hollywood blockbuster to them as she changes disguises and tries to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. It's also very hard for her, or the reader, to be sure who she can trust, as every one has their own agenda. Despite this, it is nice to see Callie keep acknowledging the help she is receiving, whether from strangers or her support network back home, and that wherever she is, she's not completely alone.

On Holy Ground ramps up the action and drama from The Devil's Poetry, explains more of its world and gives the reader a realistically morally complex set of characters. I love it.

I'm giving On Holy Ground four and three quarter moons.



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