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This review is from: Crimes Against Magic (Hellequin Chronicles Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The book is set in modern day London with flashbacks to 15th century France. The story begins with a flashback and it instantly set the tone for the remainder of the book. I was immediately gripped from the start with the scene McHugh painted. The story flowed so easily and I eagerly devoured each page with the impatience to get to the next.
The novel switches from present day London for a couple of chapters before switching to 15th century France. I normally have a strong dislike towards flashbacks, as I just want to get on with the main story and not revisit past events. In the past, when books have utilised flashbacks, I found myself speed reading past them - but not with this book. The flashback chapters were riveting and when the scene moved to the present day, I felt irritated at stopping, but then I would soon become engrossed into the present day storyline that I found myself annoyed at moving back to the past - and thus the cycle was repeated.
The book contains themes of Greek mythology interwoven with Arthurian legends. A combination that might leave you scratching your head but it worked really well. And I enjoyed the twists McHugh applied to classic tales like the Iliad and King Arthur.
As like most urban fantasy novels, it is told in first person and solely from the main characters (Nate) point of view - while I would've liked to have seen into the thoughts of other characters - it allowed the reader to build a connection to Nate.
One particular aspect of the book I liked was the strong, feisty woman that Nate encountered throughout the book. They're not your - helpless, damsel in distress princesses awaiting their prince charming - but independent woman who know how to look after themselves.
The book does contain violence and some scenes of light sex - it doesn't cross over to being explicit and though I wouldn't suggest the book to children, it should be fine for young adults/teenagers.
Some negative points:
The main character - Nate, is seen as a powerful figure and feared by his enemies but he continuously finds himself in situations where he's being pushed around by his adversaries. It's not a major criticism - just a slight annoyance.
The book, near towards the end, loses some of its beguilement. The story focused a little too much on Nate's amnesia, and at times, to the determent of the story.
The support cast to the main protagonist were interesting and likeable but not developed to the point that I was overly apprehensive about whether or not they died.
This is an excellent, action packed, urban fantasy book. It's a real page turner, and I finished the book within the day - a clear sign of how enjoyable I found the story.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and if you're looking for an edgier, less forgiving version of Harry - then let me introduce you to Nathan Garrett.