Title & Author: The Scribe: Irin Chronicles Book One, Elizabeth Hunter
Genre & Publication Date: Paranormal Fantasy, October 15, 2013
Book Description: “Ava Matheson came to Istanbul looking for answers, but others came looking for her. A reckless warrior guards her steps, but will Malachi’s own past blind him to the truth of who Ava might be? While ancient forces gather around them, both Ava and Malachi search for answers.
Whispering voices. Deadly touch. Their passion should be impossible… or it could be the only thing that will keep them alive.”
First Line: “You’re going to think I’m crazy.”
My Take: Okay. This was an awesome book. (I’ve had such a huge patch of awesome reads lately that I’m almost afraid to say it out loud *giddy hand flailing*) Obviously Elizabeth Hunter is an Indie heavyweight, but this book really shows how deserving of her success she is. Talk about an amazing premise with mind blowing execution. But enough gushing, let me get on to the review (warning: there may be more gushing).
First off, our story takes place in modern day Turkey. Ahhhh, thank you for a landscape that hasn’t been done to death in paranormal fiction. The streets, the buildings, the food, the sights, even the weather all felt so well drawn and detailed. And no, we don’t start in Turkey and then head off to Western Europe or the U.S. by chapter three. This story takes place in Turkey, in its cities and its countrysides, and I loved it. Given that the plot has much to do with the Nephilim (called Irin in this tale), keeping the plot in a place that is rich with ancient history makes so much sense–The Nephilim, for those who haven’t brushed up on their Book of Genesis recently, are the children of the “sons of God” and the “daughters of Adam”. In other words, they’re the offspring of fallen angels and human women, so they’re mortal but quite powerful.
I can go on and on about the plot and the incredible world building and legacy of these Irin, but that would require another three paragraphs at least to convey how happy my little reader heart is, and I want to keep this spoiler free and be sure to talk about our main protags.
Ava is a great heroine. Strong, independent, smart (both academically and in her travels), I was all the more drawn in by her daily struggle with hearing voices. It’s not voices telling her what to do, rather she hears the inner voices of everyone around her. Not their thoughts, but their souls. So, that guy in a traffic jam who is blaring on his horn and cursing at the driver in front of him, his mind might scream anger, but if Ava were listening, his soul might be telling her anguish, or fear, or despair, which she then feels right along with him. No wonder she keeps people at a distance and never stays in one place for long.
Then there’s Malachi, one of the Irin who has sworn to fight the Grigori (equally powerful beings pledged to dark enemies–more of that intricate history I mentioned). After a terrible massacre, the Irin are essentially a race of men, one that is dying out. Malachi was such a great hero. Strong, decisive, but also uncertain, gentle despite the devastating losses he’s been through. The deep sorrow and loneliness of all Irin really reaches out from the pages.
I was in it people, so, so in it.
The Magical: The tattooing the Irin do on their bodies has to be one of my favorite elements here. The arduous and ceremonial process involves imprinting their bodies with script in the language of the angels to endow themselves with speed or strength or focus, etc. Cooool.
The Mundane: The author impaled me and then shoved me off a mountain with the cliffhanger at the end. I haven’t been this pained since “The Desolation of Smaug”. It’s been a few days since I finished the book and I’ve still got a limp.
Summary of Thoughts: This book is currently $0.99 on the Kindle. Of course, when I say $0.99 what I should really say is to expect to spend that, and then whatever the cost of book 2 and 3 are, because you won’t be able to stop with just this first one. As much as I abhor cliffhanger endings like this–and there will be agony if you read this–it really was a great tale with a unique setting, a sense of immense history, and a beautiful love story between two lost souls. Absolutely 100% recommended.
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