Hello hello, dear readers!
What have we here? Another timely review?! I know, I know. I surprise even myself. Actually, though. I do.
Azimuth is the first book in an urban fantasy series called The Rahki Chronicles. The author, Rennie St. James contacted me to see if I would be interested in reading the first book (re-released in September 2018) and the blurb was so intriguing I agreed: Rennie has been very patient with me as I do battle with deadlines and other reviews! At last, finally, I was able to start the book earlier this week and I gotta say, it was a good read!
While I would call this urban fantasy, it is unlike other books I’ve read in that genre in that it isn’t immediately, in-your-face apparent where exactly the supernatural bits of the book are. There is a really good use of allusion and inference that I found a really interesting way of situating this book within the supernatural genre. That isn’t to say you don’t get up-front and obviously supernatural elements, because they exist as well, but on the whole it isn’t as blatant as a lot of other books that involve Romani magic, shapeshifter mythos and prophecies (all of which are present in Azimuth).
That said, I was a bit tripped up by the odd mention of events or occurrences that had clearly happened in the recent past of the characters but didn’t happen in the book, some of which were passed over with little explanation as to their relevance. Some were eventually explained in flashback or memory-type scenes and none of them impacted my enjoyment of the story in any way other than to cause me to puzzle over them momentarily before moving on.
I do like the way that several main plot threads have been quite cleverly woven together without compromising each other or overly highlighting one more than the others. It can be quite easy to lose the forward impetus in one plot or another when a book or series is working with multiple, only to pick it up in a rather jarring manner later on but this has been avoided in at least this book of the Rahki Chronicles.
The characters are also well thought-out. There are a limited number of central characters, whose perspectives and motives do come to the fore every once in a while but in such a way that it contributes to and highlights the development and journey of the two main protagonists, Mia and Nadya. The glimpses into future plots and characters that are given by these alternating perspectives also encourage an intrigue in following the characters that you’ve already met or who have been alluded to enough that you fell as though you know them already.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Image credits: The inset image I took, and the feature image is a screenshot of the cover from my ARC.
Disclaimer: I was contacted by the author and provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. As with all of my reviews, the provenance of a title makes absolutely no difference to my opinion of the content.