First of all, this is a debut? Yo.
This book absolutely does not read like a debut. It's written with all the polish & originality you'd expect from an author well into their career.
Ryhalt Galharrow is a product of his environment. Long years spent hunting down scum in the wasteland of the Misery have coated his humanity in a fine layer of desolation.
Now, I want to speak to my fellow gamers nerds for a moment. This novel is the bastard child of Borderlands and Mad Max. I specifically call attention to gamers because reading this is exactly like playing a video game.
The dialogue, the story, the characters, all of this I found myself mentally transforming into cut scenes, leveling systems, and boss battles! Seriously I don't think I've ever had this kind of experience with a book before. Even the rhythm of plot twists & development of the concept unfolded in exactly the way video games often do.
This feeling was only intensified by the First Person POV of Captain Galharrow. It felt as though I was "playing" him as a main character! All I can say is bravo on this point because it swept me over with a heavy sense of nostalgia while maintaining its novelty.
But the really great thing about Blackwing is that it's enjoyable even if you've never touched a video game in your life! It's gritty characters & morose imagery & black humor all set against a background of bleak circumstances, but this combination creates quite an enjoyable aesthetic for the reader.
Also, shout out to the neat magic system & creative monsters that make appearances all throughout this book. I can't wait to see what else will pop up in the dunes of The Misery.
I'm here to say the hype surrounding this one is well worth it. If you're a fan of Grimdark fantasy, especially, this is not one to miss out on!
***I received a copy of Blackwing from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Ace and Ed McDonald for this opportunity.***
Publication Date: October 3, 2017