Sunday, August 14, 2016

Black City Saint


4 Stars

For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal realm and that of Feirie separate, seeking in vain absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the Gate has not only remained fixed, but open to the trespasses of the Wyld, the darkest of the Feiriefolk. Not only does that mean an evil resurrected from Nick’s own past, but the reincarnation of his lost Cleolinda, a reincarnation destined once more to die.

Nick must turn inward to that which he distrusts the most: the Dragon, the beast he slew when he was still only Saint George. He must turn to the monster residing in him, now a part of him…but ever seeking escape.

The gang war brewing between Prohibition bootleggers may be the least of his concerns. If Nick cannot prevent an old evil from opening the way between realms…then not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal realm.

Just finished up this sic-fi thriller and I have to say, it was intriguing. It's a great concept with a fascinating setting, back in the prohibition days of Chicago. The book had a crime/thriller feel that had me reading in an old times gangster voice for the entirety of the book, no matter how hard I tried to stop. I felt like every sentence should have ending as a question, 'see?' like the black and white  gangster films I've seen. 

As I read, I wanted to know more, but it felt like the author was really trying to add in action where it wasn't necessary. Our protagonist keeps walking into traps, most of them willingly and then fighting for his life, just barely getting away. He had no real plan but jump in and get wet. Which is a fun characteristic, there's a lot of potential for trouble makers leading the story, but the scenes still felt a bit forced and unresolved. A little more detail of the world during those battle scenes probably would have helped. They were over too quickly.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the world Knaak created for us. Faerie, Saints, Bootleggers, Gangsters and my all time favorite, the Thompson gun. Very quick read, very promising author, I look forward to another book.

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