You met Sue Duff earlier this week. Now it's time for a look at the first book in her Weir Chronicles series. FADE TO BLACK can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Smashwords.
FADE TO BLACK reads like a rollercoaster. You know the drill: you buckle in and grab the bars. You stare at the course ahead of you, wondering what in the world you’ve gotten yourself into. Then the click-click-click of the cars heading up the first hill begins. It’s slow and steady, but smooth. And then you get shoved into 60-mile-an-hour headlong race to the finish.
If you’d like a plot blurb, jump to the bottom of this post for the official summary. This YA novel has some classic sci-fi and fantasy elements, from magical beings to fancy technology. The setting is urban and modern, so you don’t have to wrap your head around a weird distant future or a skewed medieval setting. There are cars, cell phones, and people who can teleport (called “shyfting” in the book – pretty cool).
FADE TO BLACK’s strongest point, in my opinion, is its characters. Once you get to know the main crew, it’s hard not to love them. I would argue that Patrick, who is jokingly referred to as Ian’s sidekick, is one of the best characters in the entire book. Ian (the protagonist) is complex and endearing, but there’s just something about Patrick and how he changes throughout the book that makes me love him. The whole team is quirky – how could they not be, since most of them have magical abilities? But they aren’t so quirky as to be totally unreachable. I found myself invested in nearly every person in the book, not just a choice few.
It’s a quick read and full of action and some snark. People die and there are giant wolves. (Oh, yeah. My inner middle-schooler was really excited about that part.)
Final ruling: Definitely recommended!
Sue Duff's FADE TO BLACK is Book One of the Weir Chronicles:
Ian Black is an illusionist with a talent for keeping secrets. College student Rayne Bevan has a gift for uncovering them. She suspects the popular performer’s skills extend beyond the stage and that he’s the area’s mysterious and elusive defender of the innocent.
In her efforts to uncover the truth, she is swept into a hidden world of the Weir, a magical race who struggle to prevent Earth from self-destructing. Her inquiries expose Ian to those who would kill for his connection to the planet, and as he fights to keep Rayne safe, they discover a force behind the Weir’s raging civil war – a traitor bent on launching Earth’s Armageddon.
MASKS AND MIRRORS (out NOW!) is Book Two of the Weir Chronicles:
Ian Black’s commitment to safeguarding Earth has come at a price. His career as an illusionist is at a standstill and attending to the planet’s needs has distanced him from his best friend, his guardians, and the woman he loves. When presented with an opportunity to perform, Ian seizes the chance. But moments before he takes the stage, Ian encounters the mysterious Jaered and a rebel force fighting to protect Earth alongside the Weir.
Jaered is determined to stop a malevolent Weir from releasing a drug capable of wiping out the last vestiges of their race and plunging Earth into self-destruction. But when Jaered is willing to sacrifice an innocent child to obtain the drug for himself, Ian risks everything to uncover the secrets of the rebel forces and their true intentions for Earth’s survival.
This Beyond the Trope Book Review was written by Michelle. You can find more of her reviews on Goodreads.