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This is a fantastic historical urban fantasy. I loved it!
Ethan Kaille is an interesting character. He is a Thieftaker, a conjurer who uses his magic to track down thieves and the stolen items. I liked this eighteenth century gent. He has a very sharp mind, and is quite talented as a magical detective. He has a dark past, which gives him an air of mystery.
I saw a post on Facebook by someone I follow, who recommended this book, It piqued my interest, so I had a look at the blurb and decided to give it a try. I downloaded it as an audio book, so I could listen to it while doing housework, or just before going to bed.
The tale was narrated by Jonathan Davis, who brought the characters and story alive with his narration. I could listen to his voice for hours! In fact, I did! I became so involved in the story that I didn't realise how much time had gone by!
The story took me on a journey into eighteenth century Boston, where the people are beginning to protest at the British taxation of the colony. I am not a history buff, but I am interested in this period in America's early history. The author has woven a wonderful tale into this backdrop.
Although I haven't read any of the books, Ethan Kaille reminded me of Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden (I've watched the TV series based on the books). Nevertheless, Ethan is his own character and has his own quirks. He uses elemental magic - earth, wind, water, air and fire - for his spells. He is hired to find a piece of jewellery stolen from a murdered woman. However, he finds himself being pulled into a deadly cat and mouse game with a formidable opponent. The story has several twists and turns, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. I found it interesting that one of Ethan's fellow thieftaker's was a woman; a rather ruthless one at that. However, she does not use magic to find her client's belongings. I had the picture of her in my mind's eye as a mob boss or a pirate, who intimidates and bullies her way into finding the items. Saphira is not a nice person, but I got the feeling that, although she was jealous of Ethan, she was attracted to him too. But, Ethan loves another.
I was a little disappointed at the way the author didn't make use of mixing different elements for stronger spells for his character/s. This, in my opinion, limited Ethan's ability to create more powerful spells in defense or attack. Simple maybe better, but there is one scene which could have had a bit more oomph to it if a few more elemental spells were mixed. But, this didn't stop me from enjoying the story. I reached the end of the book, and found myself looking forward to continuing the series by reading/listening to Thieves' Quarry as soon as possible.
D.B. Jackson has written a fantastic historical urban fantasy. I loved his writing style, which was fast paced and action packed. The story flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. I have never read any other books by this author, but I would definitely read more of his books in the future.
Although there are no explicit scenes, there is mention of scenes of a sensual nature. Therefore, I do not recommend this book for younger readers. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal, urban fantasy, mystery, thriller or detective genres. - Lynn Worton
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Let me start this review with the preface that I love Johnathan Davis and everything he narrates. That being said, I really wanted to like this book more than I ended up doing. It's a murder mystery (sort of) set in pre-revolution Boston, about a magician Ethan who works as a thief taker. As a murder mystery it's not exactly interesting, it tries to focus more on the magic side of things.
The book was too long and rather repetitive. It wasn't that it reiterated plot points again and again (like some mysteries), but the scenes seemed to repeat. It could easily have been pared down quite a bit. The character's motivations were a little vague, especially Sophira. There were times that it felt like things were happening just so that Ethan could get beaten up more. For a supposedly smart guy, Ethan takes a long time to figure out some seemingly basic plot points. There seems like lots of interesting back story that could be expanded upon in further books, but even on the strength of Johnathan Davis's narration (which is absolutely excellent as always), I'm not sure I'll be getting any of the rest of the series.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
"Thieftaker" is not just a modern urban noir supernatural detective story dressed up in a period costume, it is driven by the events and the mindset of the period, which gives it a distinctive and intriguing flavour.
It is driven as much by character as by plot. Our hero is not an easy man but he is one you could learn to care about. The people who threaten or help him (sometimes the SAME people) have motives and emotions of their own that make them much more than plot devices.
The supernatural world is well thought through and skillfully revealed and the plot stands up as a detective/thriller story in it own right.
Jonathan Davis narrates the book with a steady voice that has exactly the right pitch and pace to get the most from this tale.
I've already ordered the next in the series and I have high hopes of it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful