Friday, September 4, 2015

Starlight by William Stacey

Title:  Starlight
Series:  The Dark Elf War #1
Author:  William Stacey
Publication Date:  August 27/15 by Bastard Sword Press
Length:  520pgs
Genre:  urban fantasy
Shelf:  Review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A secret power. The revival of magic. An ancient evil stirs.

Twenty-year-old university dropout Cassie Rogan has returned to her small British Columbia home. Tortured by an accident that killed her parents, she drifts, failing life at every turn. When an impossibly localized lightning storm hits the surrounding forest, Cassie discovers her supernatural side.

After centuries of atrophy, the forces of magic are flowing back into our world, and Cassie can wield arcane powers. Her life seems destined to turn around, until the downside of magic brings everything to a screeching halt. Horrifying mythical beasts now prowl the northern wilderness—including the Basilisk—an enormous eight-legged lizard that can turn its prey to stone.

Recruited by a secretive agency, Cassie must quickly master her powers to protect mankind. As she develops her skills, a dark power secretly watches from the shadows. The Fae Seelie (a.k.a. the Dark Elves)—humanity's ancient enemy—have returned to settle the score.

Starlight is the first book in the Dark Elf War series, an epic urban fantasy and coming of age series that features fast-paced action, mysterious creatures, careful world-building, and breathless pacing.

Author William Stacey is a 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist.

My Review:

Welcome to the battle of magic vs. technology where Stacey had me hook, line and sinker by the end of the first page. This novel is action intensive. The author has developed a magically woven plot where suspense and action meet fantasy. Stacey’s unique military approach to fantasy makes this novel stand out. I love the detailed geography of the areas in question. It allowed me to feel as if I were part of the story. The connection between faerum and northern BC made it all so real. I also enjoyed how Stacey gets technical about the subject matter without bogging the story down. Altogether, this was an intensely gripping novel.

Stacey has created some unforgettable characters to carry this story forward, both human and fae. The variety of character types and backgrounds gives everyone someone to love (or hate, as the case may be). All of the major players are so well developed that I felt as if I’d actually met them. He’s also nailed fae/fantasy names, giving his cast an endearing aura. Cassie’s detailed past, right down to the car accident, gave perspective as to why she is who she is. Our little fae visitor was also quite fun to get to know. Although in theory she was the ‘bad guy’ I really enjoyed the different views that she provided on the story. On the other hand, Elizabeth & Buck definitely set my teeth on edge, as they did with most of the cast. Their holier than thou attitudes, although coming from different beliefs, was a little hard to digest. And I really love Alex. He was so much fun, walking the line between duty and life.

Emotions, adventure, danger, and suspense, Starlight has it all. Stacey is definitive proof that Canadian authors rank up there among the best of them. Will I be reading more of this series? You can be your last dollar bill. Not only that, but I’ll be delving further into this author’s work.

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