by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of The Holver Alley Crew. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Sometimes, a fantasy is too good to look at from only one viewpoint. It cries out to be viewed from another angle.
Marshall Ryan Maresca created the otherworldly city of Maradaine for The Thorn of Dentonhill, a novel about a schoolboy/mage/superhero/avenger, a character followed in The Alchemy of Chaos. That academia/magic/underworld blend wasn’t enough, so Maresca took another look at the city, creating a male/female police detective duo with paranormal aspects for A Murder of Mages and An Import of Intrigue. He needed another part of Maradaine society to explore, so he now introduces The Holver Alley Crew, a ragtag gang of thieves on a mission of revenge.
Asti and Verci Rynax, raised as thieves, have left crime behind them. Verci has a wife and child, while Asti has PTSD from his days in wartime Intelligence operations. A fire in the neighborhood wipes out their plans for a legal business and saddles them with a major debt, so they fall back on their training. Other displaced persons are enlisted for a coach-robbing caper, but the problems they encounter reveal conspiracies that motivate them to plan a casino heist.
A motley crew they are:
• Verci and his family found temporary housing with her sister, whose nosy husband keeps suggesting unsuitable jobs.
• Asti has stress-related blackouts that end with him covered with blood…of other people. Terrified that his Hulking out will harm those near him, he avoids close contacts.
• Helene Kessler, an Annie Oakley with a crossbow, annoys Verci’s wife by seeming to be interested in her man.
• Julien Kessler—Helene’s cousin is big and strong, but seemingly slow of mind.
• Kennith, a dark-skinned immigrant who can fabricate amazing things. The stable where we works becomes the gang’s headquarters.
• Mila, a young child of the streets, who has made a career of noticing things and sizing up people.
Later additions to the band:
• The Old Lady—Josephine runs low-level crime in this part of Maradaine, and always has a job available for people she trusts…if a crime boss can trust anybody.
• Almer Court—an apothecary with a fondness for mayhem-producing concoctions. His business survived the fire, but he wants to help with their criminal adventures.
• Win, a locksmith in shock from losing his shop and his family…handy for cracking safes.
• Gin, an actor with a knack for artistically changing faces.
They are felonious, but they have scruples. They only kill guards because being hired muscle implies a dangerous and short career path. Innocent bystanders are off-limits.
Holver Alley may be a low-class district, but the people do their best to survive…by any means necessary. There are bars, churches, shops, inns, bakeries, and more. Maresca must be using a little magic of his own to create a double-mooned world where each neighborhood is unique, and there’s a surprise around every corner. He’s mixed up a potion of The Sting, Ocean’s Eleven, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, and The Thomas Crown Affair, and offered up the dish the way revenge is supposed to be served—cold.
To enter to win a copy of The Holver Alley Crew, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “crew,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 29, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out more fantasy/horror book and TV reviews in our Fantasy and Fangs section.
Click on this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.