The Immortal City (The Magicians of Venice #1) by Amy Kuivalainen
Read: 17th – 22nd August 2019
Publication Date: 19th September 2019
Quote from The Immortal City
“You flew all this way to offer your services as a consultant?”
“No. I flew all this way because that language hasn’t been seen I ten thousand years and I want to find out who the hell wrote it,” Penelope replied bluntly. “But I will also agree to be your consultant if it means we can find them.”
My Overall Rating: 5/5
Plot: 4/5 – Flow: 5/5 – Character Development: 5/5 – World Building: 5/5
The Immortal City is the first book (324 pages) in Ms Kuivalainen’s new urban fantasy series – The Magicians of Venice. As the series name suggests, the story takes place against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Venice, Italy.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I write about how the story was told rather than the plot itself, which means that my reviews don’t contain spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.
Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.
Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.
As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.
With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was given an unedited digital version of this book for free from the publisher (BHC Press) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review; these are my words, I’m giving you my honest opinion here.
As a new-to me author, I was very impressed with Ms Kuivalainen’s writing style; it felt graceful, full bodied and very easy to read. I thought that the story itself was intelligent and felt well researched and cleverly balanced myth and fantasy with the hard brutality of a crime thriller. I enjoyed her prose; the way she weaved the beautiful Italian language into her tale while adding the archaic Atlantean and magical languages that added a depth of realism was inspired. The Immortal City was an unexpected find that I will treasure.
Those of you that have read my reviews before, will know that I enjoy a story more when the main female character is intelligent, resilient and can look after herself and I wasn’t disappointed here; Penelope proved to be all of these things and more. But this story is not just about Dr Penelope Bryne, there are a host of well written characters in this book that all play their part. I liked the way that Ms Kuivalainen seemed to build up our relationships with the entire supporting cast over the course of this book, giving us insights into their personalities, histories and motivation which brought them alive in my imagination.
Crime thrillers are not my usual reading genre – especially ones involving brutal serial killers – but this book captured my interest and kept me hooked. I loved that it had me so captivated and invested with our protagonists that I found myself blubbering like a baby as well as giggling out loud and although it horrified and shocked me at times too and got my blood boiling with fear and rage, it definitely hit all the right spots passion-wise *blush* and warmed my old romantic heart.
As you can tell by my rating, I really enjoyed this book.
My only niggle was that I had already guessed a few twists before they had been revealed. There were a few growls at my Kindle because I was frustrated that these proven intelligent characters hadn’t already realised what I had worked out myself pages earlier.
I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that, as a first in a new series, there are threads that are left to continue to the next book and beyond, but rest assured, dear reader, no perilous life-or-death cliffhanger for our main characters in this book to leave you bereft and frustrated. woop!woop!
I really liked this gripping story and lost track time while reading it. The Immortal City has everything that I look for in a great read; adventure, mystery, action, great characters, a little humour and it even had sprinkling of romance.
Due to the darker themes, sexual content and graphic violence, I’d recommend this book to adults who are not offended by scenes of this nature who enjoy urban fantasy stories about myths and magic that feel like modern crime thrillers – think Dan Brown – with the added layers of relationship drama – family, platonic and romantic.
So, has my review of THE IMMORTAL CITY (THE MAGICIANS OF VENICE #1) encouraged you to find out more? I really hope it has. Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author.
(I am part of Amazon , The Book Depository, Foyles Book Shop and Waterstones affiliate programmes, which means when you use those links to buy a copy of this book, I will get a (very) small % from the sale.)
Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.
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