A century ago, the world burned. Even now, though rebuilt and defiant, civilization is still choking on the ashes.
Jackson, a smuggler, lives in the shadows, once a boy with no memory, no name, and no future. Ravens followed him, long-extinct birds only he could see, and nightmares flew in their wake. Once, Jackson thought himself to be one of the lucky few touched by magic, a candidate for the Order of Mages. He is a man now, and that dream has died. But, the ravens still follow. The nightmares still whisper in his ear.
Anna's life was under the sun, her future bright, her scientific work promising. She knew nothing of The Bombings, the poisoned world, or the occult. One day, she went to work, and the next, she awoke in a box over a hundred years in the future, screaming, fighting to breathe, and looking up into the eyes of a smuggler. Anna fears she's gone crazy, unable to fill the massive hole in her memories, and terrified of the strange abilities she now possesses.
The Coalition government has turned its watchful eyes towards them. The secret factions of the city move to collect them first. And, old gods stir in the darkness, shifting their pawns on the playing field.
If Anna and Jackson wish to stay free, they must learn what they are and why they exist.
Unfortunately, even if they do, it may be too late.
Raven Song is the first of a four-book adult-oriented dystopian fantasy series, a story of intrigue, love, violence, and the old spirits in the shadows who wait for us to notice them again. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, and Charlie Human will enjoy this dark magic-laced tale rooted on the bones of what our world could become.
©2015 I. A. Ashcroft (P)2016 I. A. Ashcroft
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"interesting mashup of dark fantasy and a dystopian"
Raven Song by I.A. Ashcroft is the first novel in the series called Inoki’s Game. Jackson is a smuggler in a future world where the United States has been scorched by nuclear bombs. He has been a misfit all his life. Not only was he raised in a group home until adopted, he also has some type of mystical powers and he sees ravens that no one else sees and are supposedly extinct. On a smuggling mission for the government, Jackson finds Anna. Anna displays magical powers from the moment that he meets her. She wakes up with exuding radiation and with powers that she’s never had before. To hop it off, she is apparently displaced in time. Terrified, she must trust the people around her, rightly or wrongly, if she’s going to figure out what has happened to her. Together, Jackson and Anna fight to stay away from the clutches of the government and the magical consortium, the Order, to survive and live as normal lives as possible.
This story had a lot of potential and might still as the novels continue. The plot is an interesting mashup of dark fantasy and a dystopian world with a lot of different people and motivations interwoven. Ultimately, however, I felt that there were a lot of different parts of the plot that were introduced and continued to be hinted at, but none truly resolved. There is enough action in the story line to keep the attention of the reader as the characters were placed in bizarre and exciting situations and discovered little bits of information about the situations that they were in. I liked Jackson’s character quite a bit. He was practical, kind, and gritty. There was a lot of backstory provided about him, which really made him come alive. But I found Anna’s insistence on sticking to her ignorance, however realistic, annoying. Her backstory was also intriguing and I like the way that it was revealed. However, none of the mysteries in the story are solved, leaving the end of the novel seeming like a pause between books. There were different organizations, the government and their special division and the Order, and characters that could have been more clear. I also really found some of the supporting characters compelling and wanted to know more about them. Overall, I liked all the parts of the story, especially the crazy manic Tony, but the lack of resolution makes it hard for me to really love this novel.
The narration by Mikael Naramore was good. He was able to capture the voices of the characters well, especially the manic Tony. In general the characters were distinguishable and the voicing gave life to each of them. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a dystopian fantasy series and characters who fight against the establishment.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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