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Monday, February 18, 2019

Book Review: Shrill Dusk (City of Magic #1) by Helen Harper

Shrill Dusk (City of Magic #1)
by Helen Harper
January 4, 2019
254 pages
Charley is a cleaner by day and a professional gambler by night. She might be haunted by her tragic past but she's never thought of herself as anything or anyone special. Until, that is, things start to go terribly wrong all across the city of Manchester. Between plagues of rats, firestorms and the gleaming blue eyes of a sexy Scottish werewolf, she might just have landed herself in the middle of a magical apocalypse. She might also be the only person who has the ability to bring order to an utterly chaotic new world.

This is the first book in The City Of Magic series.

Charley is a part-time gambler, part-time custodian for the Manchester police department. When magic is unleashed on Manchester, Charley’s reality is totally upended. Suddenly, her gambling debt with the local thug is the least of her problems as she attempts to negotiate a regional apocalypse. Wagering her future, Charley amasses a troupe of gal pals determined to stay, and survive, in Manchester amidst evacuation orders. Harper creates some serious romantic tension with the inclusion of Monroe, a surly Scottish werewolf who agrees to a tenuous alliance with Charley and her gang.

Shrill Dusk is the series opener for Harper’s latest collection, City of Magic. Blog followers will know Helen Harper is a perennial favourite of mine, and if you haven’t read a Harper series, seriously, what are you waiting for? The events of Shrill Dusk overlap with the final book in Harper’s previous series, Fractured Faery. While the author includes a note in the opening claiming Shrill Dusk can be read without having read the Fractured Faery series, I personally wouldn’t recommend it. Readers will have a much richer reading experience if Fractured Faery is read prior to City of Magic.

Shrill Dusk is another Harper winner for me, and I can’t wait for book two. Charley is funny, creative, and resilient. I admire her pluck and determination to stay and defend her town. I look forward to seeing her powers develop and understanding their origin. Of course, as a romance junky, I also look forward to more Monroe. Romance, though, always takes a backseat to the action in a Harper tale. I enjoy the tone of Harper’s urban fantasy series; her characters never take themselves too seriously. This lighthearted approach always leaves me feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Five Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.

Helen currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere

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