Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Starlight's Children

Starlight's Children Starlight's Children by Darian Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll just say starting out: I usually don't find that books as essentially good-hearted as this one have such a high body count. But it definitely is noblebright, not grimdark, despite that, and well written to boot.

I very much enjoyed the first book in the series, which introduced the mashup of police procedural, secondary-world fantasy, and forensic thriller that continues in this one. The lead investigator, a former soldier who's trained as a physician in part as a way of atoning for the lives he took in the war, is intelligent, determined, and brave, and ably supported by a cast of secondary characters who manage to be morally complicated while still, mostly, people you can cheer for. Nobody is lily-white, but unlike in a grimdark fantasy, they haven't given up on becoming better people, or lost hope that they can do what's right.

The dialog and, to be honest, many of the social attitudes are modern rather than of the technological and social period of the setting, but that would be almost my only criticism. This is a good concept, well executed.

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