Raven Song- Review ****

I ran into I.A. Ashcroft’s book Raven Song in the Goodreads group Making Connections and received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I browsed for a title extensively because I’m only interested in reading books that wrap me up and I cannot ignore. This was the end result of better than an hour’s worth of prologue/ first chapter previewing. Who wants to pick a mediocre book and leave a bad review, after all? After browsing, I was hooked.

Jackson and Anna, our point of view characters, deal with magic in post-apocalyptic New York City. He’s a local, and an heir to a struggling currier service. She’s a science nerd who magically time traveled from our future even further forward.

Like I said, the prologue peaked my interest. When I read the first couple chapters I grew a bit hesitant. Anna’s hits the scene by chapter four and I’m hooked! As Ashcroft’s first novel, yes I did a bit of fanboy lurking after I finished the novel, the writer found narrative voice very early. On my first novel, I feel I hit that stride in the dead center of the book, so I’m very impressed! Even on my third novel I went back to the drawing board in order to secure the tone of the story. If you give this book a shot, and you should, don’t you dare set it down before you meet Anna.

I’m a fan of stories with more than one point of view character. Seeing things from more than one point of view is a great way for readers to discover the world for themselves. It’s like they get to hear about someone from a couple friends, and learn things in the process that neither directly said. Ashcroft nailed the idea in the character Frank’s description.

By chapter fourteen Jackson has also won me over. In chapter fifteen Ashcroft came through with bits of foreshadowing from Jackson’s childhood that I overlooked.

Ashcroft personification of the antagonist near the novel’s climax is haunting.

With a blend of martial arts experience and as a writer, I tend to dissect fight scenes. While I suspect that Ashcroft is not a martial artist, no offence intended dear author, the final fight is riveting!

I withheld the fifth star solely on the opinion that some of the prose was wordier than I prefer.

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