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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet in the Roma Nova series, 29 May 2014
By 
Debbie Young "Debbie Young" (Gloucestershire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Successio (Roma Nova) (Paperback)
Having enjoyed the first two books in Alison Morton's Roma Nova series, I was very pleased to receive an early review copy of the third, which picks up Carina Mitela's story some years on when her eldest daughter Allegra is a teenager. When a new threat befalls Carina and her fascinating country, the slick thriller action familiar from her previous adventures kicks off, but this time with added depth from the continuing development of her family relationships as the next generation matures. I loved the well-drawn characterisation of both the youngest players and the oldest generation, Aurelia and Quintus, and the further development of their relationships with Carina and her husband Conrad. As ever, the action scenes were well-paced and exciting, with the castle scene towards the end especially graphic and gripping. As a Londoner, I also enjoyed the part of the action that took place in the UK. This book - and indeed the whole series - is surely just asking to be made into a movie! I was interested to see that the planned book 4 (or should I say IV?!) will focus on the wonderful Aurelia's back story - I'm really looking forward to getting to know her better. Thank you, Alison Morton, for another great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep them coming!, 3 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Successio (Roma Nova) (Paperback)
In retrospect, I’m not quite sure what genre Ms Morton’s book belongs in. Alternate History? Thriller? Hard core action? Ultimately, of course it doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is a book you want to read very, very quickly – things are a tad too exciting at times – while at the same time you don’t want it to end, because once you do so, this fantastic reading experience is behind you.

In this the third instalment of Ms Morton’s Roma Nova series, we yet again meet Carina Mitela, her husband Conradus Mitelus, their families and friends. In Roma Nova, power resides with the women, and it is rather interesting to note just how subtly Ms Morton presents her matriarchal society – a society Roma Nova’s men are as committed to defending as the women are. As a consequence, Carina is the head of her household, but as her husband is formally her boss – he heads the Praetorian Guard’s Special Forces where Carina is a Major – power is equally balanced between Carina and Conrad, both of whom have devoted their lives to the service of their country.

Roma Nova is a proud little country, a last remnant of the Roman Empire squished in between New Austria and Italy. Ms Morton has not only created a past for Roma Nova but also changed the course of history in general, thereby alluding to the Eastern States of America as being a smaller and rather different country than present day USA. Personally, I would love to read more about this different world, but the hints offered are tantalising enough, further enhanced by glimpses of Roma Nova culture and traditions, built on old Roman values and festivities.

As to the characters, Carina knows how to kick ass – skills she will need to rely on heavily to save her family this time round. When Conrad’s unknown daughter pops up, ostensibly to claim on her father’s love, he doesn’t quite know how to handle this angry twenty-five-year-old. He drowns in guilt that he failed her, waving away Carina’s logical comments that he hasn’t failed her, seeing as he never even knew Nicola existed. Where Conrad sees a hurting woman, Carina perceives a seriously disturbed person, intent on revenge. Her suspicions are validated when she finds out that Nicola has on purpose endangered the life of Carina and Conrad’s eldest daughter, but Conrad won’t listen, angrily accusing Carina of meddling where she shouldn’t.

Over a couple of months, Carina’s marriage is torn apart. Conrad refuses to let her in to help him, and the more excluded Carina feels, the angrier she gets. Besides, Nicola is dangerous – Carina’s gut churns in fear at what this woman can do to her loved ones, but Conrad dismisses her fears as ungrounded. He is obliged to stand by Nicola, even if it means abandoning his wife and other children.

As the plot thickens, Carina’s relationship with her husband reaches glacial levels, and as a reader one feels sorry for them both, stuck in a web of miscommunication and old, personal ghosts. It would be a disservice to future readers to reveal too much of the twisting plotline, but suffice it to say that this is at times quite the emotional rollercoaster, peppered with fast-paced action. No wonder one can’t put it down!

Throughout, Ms Morton’s writing is precise and unsentimental. Descriptions create a vivid sense of place and Ms Morton’s knowledge of military matters and all things Roman shines through on every page.

In many ways, Successio is a book that is plot driven rather than character driven. The story is full of twists and turns, gripping in itself, but as icing on the cake Ms Morton presents us with several well-developed characters. Carina and Conrad may be tough military professionals, but first and foremost they are fallible and vulnerable human beings, with their share of personal fears and less likeable traits. They are not always rational, at times they flay each other open, but when it comes to the crunch, Carina can no more walk away from her husband than she can chop off her arm – no matter that he has consistently distanced himself from her in his efforts to work things out on his own.

I've been waiting for the third in the series for a long time and was more than thrilled when I was given an early reviewer's copy. Successio more than lives up to the first two books in Ms Morton’s Roma Nova series. In fact, I hereby pronounce it my favourite of the three!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceit and shifting allegiances drive this compelling alternative reality thriller, 7 Jan. 2015
By 
Dolphin (Stuck inside a cloud) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Clearly, Alison Morton is as much a reckless risk-taker as her main character, Carina Mitela, as I will explain. In Book 3 of the Roma Nova series, the author again unleashes non-stop action galloping on the shifting sands of delicately balanced relationships and expedient loyalties. A new character explodes on the scene, toppling the careful order of Roma Nova society and chain of command with a deadly domino effect that spares no-one. She is a young female operative, trained by UK special forces, whose impressive proficiency and single-minded focus almost mirror Carina's own. However, her driving motivation is not defensive but destructively offensive and, like the legendary Trojan horse, she penetrates Conrad's and Carina's successful world, and opens a Pandora's box of guilt and repressed childhood trauma that turns powerful individuals into mere puppets in her carefully-plotted mayhem.

Now about the risk-taking: after creating one of the most fascinating heroes in my recent memory in book one, and shamefully marginalizing him in book two, the author now proceeds to dismantle the mystique piece by piece, leading us to wonder whether Conradus has not, in fact, gone mad. It seems incredible that someone in such a crucially important position can behave so irrationally without consequences and, indeed, when he finally steps over the line, the Imperatrix's retribution is swift and merciless. Carina, for her part, having lost her most precious supporting influences, starts to crack under pressure. No longer the formidable (and perhaps too super-human) heroine of many risky undercover operations, she is now at her most vulnerable, a distraught mother and wife, torn between her devotion to the highly responsible position of Head of Training and Personnel (with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel) and her tender family bonds.

I read through this thrilling sequel with a mixture of fascinated horror and impotent frustration at how ridiculously some of the characters acted. However, it all makes for a very lively read with the constant anticipation of a staggering revelation that will make sense of all the inconsistencies.

For me this is not an ideal stand-alone book, and I would strongly advise anyone considering it to start instead at the beginning with INCEPTIO, and carry on with the equally brilliant PERFIDITAS, to get the full thrill of the evolving saga. The author excels at keeping a large cast under control, with vivid characterisation and exciting developments defining their personalities much more interestingly than just passive description. However, in this book, I feel the balance has tipped a little too much in favour of non-stop action and the characters' believability has suffered as a result. It's a personal minor criticism and in no way does this detract from the book's overall quality. After all, I don't mind a little suspension of belief in exchange for the highly-charged events that drive the storyline. The ending was a little abrupt and I would have preferred to say goodbye a bit more leisurely to some of the characters that had become so familiar over the course of three books and nearly a thousand pages.

So, well done, Alison Morton, for entertaining me on the edge of my seat for so long, but I could have used a fuller winding up of this fascinating saga. A final word should be said about the cinematic quality of the action scenes, especially the old castle sequence, which will remain in my mind as though I had watched it on film. In fact, as I said before, this whole trilogy is first-class movie material and, in the right hands, would adapt brilliantly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prodigal daughter from Hades, 23 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Successio (Roma Nova) (Paperback)
In this the third volume in the Roma-Nova series the author has done her best work to date giving the reader a taut thriller from start to finish. Carina and Conrad are driven to the edge and beyond as a piece of Conrad's history in the form of a daughter he did not know about shows up in full time revenge mode. Revenge not only directed at the father who she feels abandoned her but also against anyone who he is close to including Carina, the Imperatrix and their children. Nicola, the prodigal daughter from Hades, is an example of how the bad guy/girl should be written in any good novel. Her perseverance, resourcefulness and the downright ruthlessness of her character are what good stories are made of. By the same token, those same qualities are imbued once again in the heroine making her once again occasionally act outside the purview of law and order to safeguard her family. This is definitely a page turner of the highest order and while I really enjoyed the first two books, this one captivated me even more. 5 stars and a hearty recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced thriller!, 11 Sept. 2014
This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Another great read in the Roma Nova series from Alison Morton. Once again her imagination shines through and alongside her well crafted storytelling a great novel is produced.

Having read the other novels in the series I knew I should be in for an exciting read and I was not disappointed, a thrilling roller coaster read.

Time has moved on and all the characters have matured and there are some new additions. It has a great plot with the addition of unknown children, a torn apart marriage, and lots of other twists and turns. Again Morton brings her characters to life, all very individual, yet separate personalities. They are a good match when put together and have developed well. The dialogue is realistic and tight, a good sense of time and place is created and there is loads of emotion and vivid descriptions. Although it is part of a series this one would read well as a stand alone novel.

An excellent read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Successio? Total Success, 27 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I have been awaiting this book with bated breath. Having read and loved the previous two Roma Nova books I was delighted to see the third one released. Another great book from Alison Morton, filled with intrigue, action, excitement, but definitely not missing emotion. I cannot recommend these books highky enough - if you haven't read any of them already, please do, you are missing out on a great piece of writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, 26 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I have waited a long time for this and read it very quickly!!! Too quickly I am now waiting for the next book...................
To be serious for a minute. I enjoyed the first 2 books in this series. I wasn't sure when I started reading the first one, but soon got stuck in
The 3rd book deals with the family a bit more and there were times when i wanted to kick Conrad up the backside!!
It is a little darker than the previous books, but not too dark
There is drama
There is violence ( not over the top and should not put you off)
There is pathos
There is politics
There is humour ( not a lot but subtle when it is there)
There are stroppy teenagers
There are confused parents

Really just about everything you need in a good book and this IS a GOOD book

Well done Alison, worth waiting for, now no sitting on your laurels, when is the next due out!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars and although I found the covers dull, together they make an impressive collection, 4 Aug. 2014
By 
Louise Wise (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
This is the last of the Roma Nova saga. I can't say much about the cover other than it's similar to the last two books, and although I found the covers dull, together they make an impressive collection.

The title Successio, in Latin, means descent, inheritance, succeeding etc so I think this book could focus on the main protagonist's family life. Maybe the grandmother, Aurelia Mitela (Nonnie), elderly in the last book, has died and Carina inherits? Shall have to read to find out.

The blurb nicely includes a first line hint at the troubles of the previous episodes before drawing me back into Carina's life. The blurb also reinforces my belief that this book will concentrate on troubles brewing in the Mitela household.

The look inside is again (almost) the same as the others--background story--which because I commented on before I shan't do so here.The only difference was the illustration of Carina. A nice touch.

Straight into the review of the story...

The beginning hinted at friction between Carina and her stepdaughter, Stella, which was nicely done. Nothing heavy handed. Then Conrad received a mysterious letter where Carina, instead of asking him about its contents, decided to be sneaky and follow him.I've always come away feeling that Conrad and Carina aren't a strong match for one another. They seem to mistrust the other, and in Book 1 and 2 I felt it was because he'd picked up on the sexual spark between Carina and Apollodorus--maybe he'll just never forgive her. Maybe I read too many romances!

Anyway, instead of asking her husband what the hell is going on Carina follows him and discovers he has a daughter from a past relationship laying claim to his affections. Nicola Sandbrook is resentful of Conrad's other family (Carina and her children) but worse, she is now the heir to the throne after the beloved death of Grandmother Nonnie (I came to love this character, and it was a sad moment when she passed).

Nicola is a nasty, flawed character, and intent on destructing the entire foundations of the Mitela household. She first causes trouble by trying to lead Carina and Conrad's oldest daughter, Allegra, astray, but then settles on Stella (another daughter from Conrad's past) and uses Stella's jealously over her stepmother Carina to worm her way into the Mitela household.

Then her destruction gets steadily worse as Carina and Conrad drift even further apart.

Successio, like the others in the series, is a plot driven book rather than character but I preferred Successio to the others because in this one, Carina seems more human and less of a superwoman. Conrad was allowed emotions as well, but so much so, I began to think he was a wimp! Neither could I understand why he was blind to Nicola's evilness and turn his back on Carina and their other children.

Subtly, Morton had dropped into the story that Conrad had had an accident and although recovered physically I felt his mental state was still in rehabilitation (because of his eagerness to side with his villainous daughter), but whether this was intended or not, I wasn't sure.

Even so, Carina was cruel to break the news in front of others about the activities of this bad daughter. She should have waited until they were alone. Their massive bust-up over it could still have happened, but the reader would have been more in Carina's court. Instead, I lost sympathy for her a little.

It's a tight read, tighter than the others, which seemed to have many little sub-plots feeding through. I did think that Carina would have had more respect at work by now, and the constant put downs she received was unnecessary because she'd proved herself time and again that she was an effective solider.

Successio is probably the only book out of the three that you could read as a stand-alone novel. It's genre is an alternative history (and well thought out) but first it's a crime story with a strong emphasis on thriller.

Very well done. Another strong 4/5.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Real in the imagination..., 10 Oct. 2014
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
The fascinating world of Roma Nova continues to enthral in this clever alternate history which maintains the story of Carina Mitela, the leading female protagonist we have followed since the very early days of INCEPTIO. SUCCESSIO takes up the story some years after the conclusion of book II.

Threaded throughout the novel, the ever present threat of danger is the central theme, but in SUCCESSIO, darker elements are exposed and as old secrets are uncovered, the very real threat to the Mitalea forces Carina into re-evaluating everything she has ever known about her life in Roma Nova. The need to protect her family is, as always, paramount, but Carina is no longer the young idealistic warrior, she is now far more mature, with greater family responsibilities and there is no doubt that at times, she finds these obligations difficult and fraught with danger.

As always, it’s a real treat return to the vivid world of Roma Nova. The thrilling nature of the narrative brings time and place to life in quite a believable way, so that almost without you realising it, the characters take on a life of their own, and very soon Roma Nova becomes quite real in your imagination.

There is no doubt that the success of this series is down to the meticulous planning and fine attention to detail that we have come to expect from this talented author. I am sure that the series will run as long as Ms. Morton has the imagination to keep Roma Nova alive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ROMA NOVA series just gets better and better., 3 April 2015
This review is from: SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I’m a great fan of alternative histories and bought into the world of ROMA NOVA in the first of Ms Morton’s books, INCEPTIO. I’m therefore very pleased to have Carina’s story carried forward through in SUCCESSIO all be it a few years after the end of PERFIDITAS when she is older with more family and personal responsibilities.
The problem with a series can be that after the initial action the suspension and pace can drop but I was please to find that in SUCCESSIO the opposite is true. This is due to a very nice twist in the plot which also allows us to explore Conrad’s past and character much more.
As always it’s the attention to detail and painstaking research which allow you to fully believe quasi modern successor to the Roman Empire we learnt about at school.
But don’t be lulled into thinking this is a family saga it’s not. It’s a thriller with many unforeseen twists and turns in every chapter.
Well recommended and I look forward to the next instalment.
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SUCCESSIO (Roma Nova Book 3)
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