Sunday, September 16, 2018

REVIEW: Undertow by Brooklyn Ray

UNDERTOW is the second in a series, but easy to slip into.  The reader is introduced to a circle of young witches embroiled in some inter-personal strife,  very complicated magic, and possibly an occult war. The relationship between water-witch Liam and necromancer Ryder is already complicated before omens of death and visits from a sinister kelpie up the stakes considerably. 
Brooklyn Ray does an excellent job of dropping the reader into the midst of sharply drawn characters and more new adult high stakes magical angst than there is water in the ocean.  And I don’t mean that as criticism, I love me some sexy magical life-and-death angst.  And the texture and aesthetics of the world (magic, familiars, fae, demons etc) are very enjoyable and delivered entirely without clichés or tiresome exposition—things just are how they are.

My only complaint would be that this novella seems like a long chapter from the whole story.  The strand of the story resolved in this part is the one most immediately relevant to the point-of-view character Liam but with loose ends that need resolving within just a few weeks.  And I can’t help but feel that Liam is not one of the more dominant characters in this charismatic ensemble cast. 

The question is whether I want to keep paying for the Port Lewis stories on an ongoing installment, and that depends somewhat on whether I think the story does ultimately reach a satisfying resolution.

8/10, Review copy via Netgalley

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