by Terrance Mc Arthur
This week we have a review & giveaway of the first book in a brand new series by fantasy author Keri Arthur. We also have a short behind the book interview with her. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of CIty of Light, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL.
City of Light by Keri Arthur
Review by Terrance McArthur
Science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal books are all about world-building, creating an alternate reality with details that try to make them consistent and…real. In City of Light, Keri Arthur has built a reality, world, and history that takes the impossible and makes it matter-of-fact to at least one character Tiger, a seductress-spy who should have died a hundred years ago in the shifter/human war if it hadn’t been for the test-tube mix of shifter, vampire, and tiger DNA that had been dosed with an immunity to all known poisons. She can change body shape and scent, read other people’s minds during sex, travel swiftly as molecules in darkness, and has acquired massive combat skills over the last century of practice.
That first paragraph was an information dump, giving you a lot of information straight, no chaser. City of Light has enough material of the strange and unusual kind to fill an information dump truck, but Arthur manages to spread it out into manageable bites and throw in a spoonful of sugar (Tiger’s wry attitude) to make the medicine go down in a most delightful way.
Tiger lives in a one-time underground military base with the ghosts of the soldiers and children who had died around her. When she rescues a girl and her uncle from a horde of vampires, she is pulled into the hunt for other missing children, even though the shifter uncle wants to kill all the test-tube soldiers. The war unleashed dark creatures from another world, and they are trying to get a foothold in cities that are flooded by light.
This first novel in the Outcast series is marked by wild-and-crazy combat sequences and graphic sex scenes. Tiger was designed as a sexual lure, so her lovemaking is passionate, yet emotionless, more a means of getting information than expressing emotion. Nevertheless, she does have emotional attachments to Cat and Bear, two child-ghosts of soldiers-to-be who died in her arms during the war.
Arthur is a strong writer with a talent for pace and action. Her Riley Jensen and Dark Angel books have built her a loyal following of avid readers. The tension in City of Light is credible, predicated on the past and the secrets of the characters. The world holds together. Tiger may have superpowers beyond the normally paranormal, but she has weaknesses that make her relatable. This is a series to follow.
Behind the Book, an interview with Keri Arthur:
KRL: How did you come up with the idea for this new series?
Keri: This story is what I call a slow burner, as it developed over years rather than months.
KRL: What was the inspiration for the main character?
Keri: I don’t really think there was any inspiration, as such. I tend to develop characters as I go along—building them as I build the world.
KRL: This series is kind of a mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Why did you decide to go that way?
Keri: It wasn’t intentional; it was just what seemed to suit the story more. Although I did want to get away from the modern urban setting I’d used in both the Riley Jenson series and the Dark Angels series, and still use in the Souls of Fire series. I love Melbourne to death, but I just needed to play in a very different world.
KRL: What has been the most fun about creating this new series?
Keri: Creating the whole world, then populating it with all sorts of weird technology and people.
KRL: How do you go about creating a new “world” for a series like this?
Keri: Imagination, mostly. But I also read up on future technologies, just to see what might be on the horizon, and therefore a logical inclusion in a future set story.
KRL: Do you anticipate there being several books in this series?
Keri: There will be three in this series, although there is a possibility of an offshoot series featuring different characters.
KRL: How many series do you have going now, and what books do you have coming out in 2016 besides this one?
Keri: I currently have two series going right now. City of Light is the first of the Outcast series, and then there’s the Souls of Fire series.
Aside from City of Light, I have Flameout (Souls of Fire 3) out in July, and Winter Halo (Outcast 2) coming out in November.
To enter to win a copy of City of Light, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “city,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 30, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.
Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy: