4.5 stars, rounded up to 5
Karnage is the second fantasy book I have read this month, and I have to say that from page one, I could hear voices (not a good sign!) saying 'You don't know what you're getting into.'
That's the beauty of great fantasy writing. I want to get lost in a new, different and thrilling.
Book One of the Phoenix Ashes Trilogy, Karnage, is a beautifully detailed world with a myriad of characters that at times, threaten to overwhelm the reader.
However, this being a trilogy, it would not work with a handful of characters.
What the author has done - brilliantly in my opinion, is give her characters tremendous abilities that within the confines of her world, are believable and well constructed.
The author has gone to great lengths to make us understand what the different characters charms and abilities are. Her way of describing things is way above many fantasy writers, and I can only see this growing in the next two books.
There's lot's of fun and thrills along the way, but there is one absolutely gobsmacking moment, about five or so chapters before the end, that makes this tale so captivating.
Lucas, who is main character no2, is one of those Marmite type characters - you'll either cheer for him, or want him to fall down a very long flight of stairs.
The drama is balanced well with the humour. Lines such as the ones below made me smile:-
The next day, Professor Lyle worked us hard to build our stamina. I would make sure to thank him when I was being chased by a stampede of animals, but right now it was not what I needed.
The ending is pretty much perfect. I know there is to be a second book, but you'll close the page and think 'hmm, I feel good about this.'
AJ Leigh - very talented author. I look forward to the next in the series!