Synopsis: John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.
This is a split POV slow burn of a book, telling us the story of John Carver, former soldier suffering from PTSD after losing his squad in Afghanistan and trying to get his mess of a life back on track, and Mackenzie, an Australian nurse abducted and held against her will in a secret facility.
I enjoyed the premise of this book, especially the deep dive into Carver’s psyche as he struggles to find peace within his own head. The second and third parts of the book were my favourite, when we get to explore the idea of superhuman powers and what people would do with that concept.
The main characters are likeable and compelling, though I honestly don’t think they needed to have any sort of romantic involvement, a strong bond built on shared e experiences would have been enough without adding any smoothies.
If you’re looking for sci fi and suspense, this is a great read.
Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.
A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.
He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.
After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children.
To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest (or insert your own standard version of the same).
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