Thursday, July 20, 2017

Reader's Review: "Barrow Fiend" by Amy Hopkins


Synopsis from Amazon:

When Emma is approached by DCI Greyson to assist with a case, her first instinct is to say no. Still shaken by the attack on her life six months earlier, and balancing her friendships with a budding relationship, she'd prefer to stay clear of the danger.
However, circumstances force her hand and she throws herself into the investigation. She soon realises that her target isn't a mysterious creature, but a dangerous man without the slightest care for human life...
Can Emma survive the biggest risk she's ever faced, or will she have to sacrifice too much?

>>>>>>

My Review:

You know that feeling when you finish a book and it has taken you through such a roller coaster that when you finally get to the end you feel all hyper like you want to solve all the world's problems and you're just going to forego all semblance of punctuation in the process?

Yep, this is basically me just now.

I read the first book in the series about a year ago, and absolutely adored it—now reading the next one is like revisiting old friends, seeing how much everyone has grown since the last harrowing experience, and vehemently rooting for them in the face of this new peril!

I loved every moment of this book. Emma is more accepted into the Talent community—albeit grudgingly, and it doesn't mean that she has grown in confidence in her abilities. Doesn't help that most of the Talented people in her life view her as either a political tool or a pretentious weakling. But when a string of vandalism uncovers a dangerous smuggling ring that threatens to expose the Other world to our own—Emma has no choice but to dive in and help prevent the impending disaster, even if it might kill her in the process.

The expansion in the world-building that happened in this novel was absolutely amazing and just stellar in every way! I loved the lessons learned and the way the characters unfold even more this time around. Harrod and his stuffy ways getting overruled or told off for his insensitivity, Martin preferring to withdraw from pressure and yet having to step up and defend those in danger, even the way Emma grows to depend on Gibble and Barg as more than just "non-human assistance", but as friends. No spoilers, but she does get taken pretty low, and the way various characters rally around her touched me deeply. The camaraderie in this story is absolutely delightful. This is just the sort of wholesome storytelling that remains treasured for generations, with none of the "grey morality" or "questionably intimate scenes" that very often accompanies urban fantasy adventures dealing with magic and makes it hard to share with a younger generation.

Amy Hopkins blows me away with BARROW FIEND, and I would rate it *****5 STARS***** all the way, and add without hesitation an Upstream Writer Certified WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMENDED endorsement. A delightful adventure from start to finish, and characters worth raving about!
 
Further Reading: (Urban Fantasy/Excellent Series/Great Characters/Good Pacing)
 
The Vemreaux Trilogy--Mary E. Twomey
       -The Way
       -The Truth
       -The Lie  
The Chronicles of Lorrek--Kelly Blanchard
        -Someday I'll Be Redeemed
        -I Still Have A Soul
        -I'm Still Alive 
 The Fair Folk Chronicles--Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins
        -Foul is Fair
        -Street Fair
        -A Fair Fight 
The Therian Way--Kimberly Rogers
       -Leopard's Heart
       -Wolf's Path
       -Tiger's Shadow
Lord of the Wyrde Woods--Nils Visser
     -Escape From Neverland
     -Dance Into The Wyrd  
The Books of Winter--R. R. Virdi
       -Dangerous Ways