Review: Relics (Tim Lebbon)

Mar 20, 2017
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Relics isn’t the sort of book I’d normally read.  It’s a book that involves selling relics from the fantasy world.  Unicorn horns, nymphs, fairies, satyrs – you’ll find them all in this book.  However, since the protagonist in the book was a researcher in the field of criminology, I figured I’d give it a shot – criminology does interest me.

Story

The book takes us to London and follows Angela as she attempts to find her missing boyfriend, Vince.  Vince has mysteriously dropped off the grid, and Angela takes to the streets to find him.  Her first surprise is that he only does freelance work for the real estate company that is purportedly responsible for his full time employment.  The bigger shock is that he works as a relic hunter, tracking down relics of fantasy creatures for a notorious criminal’s personal collection.  When Angela meets someone even more scary than the crime boss, her heads starts to spin.  What the hell is going on, exactly?  Before she can try to make sense of it, she needs to shake the people that are following her so that she can find Vince.  She cobbles together a motley team of allies to help her – but will they be in time?

There’s plenty of action in the book, as well as more subtle conflicts as well.  Definitely a lively tale.

Characters

Lebbon’s characters are definitely fascinating.  It’s a diverse cast that includes characters from the human and fantasy realms.  The characters definitely feel alive, with plenty to like (or hate) in their personalities.  I felt that it was very easy to identify with Angela, and also easy to hate the antagonists.

Verdict

I read the book mostly because the protagonist was a criminologist.  As it turns out, there’s not actually very much criminology in the book – most of the plot involves the supernatural aspects of the story.  It was grounded enough in the human world to avoid losing me in the details.  The tone is definitely serious, with a lot of negative events occurring.  While I don’t typically read books in the fantasy genre, I did enjoy Relics.

Relics is available for sale on March 21.

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Review: Parallel Lines (Steven Saville)

Mar 09, 2017
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Parallel Lines is the story of an unusual bank robbery.  Adam is a desperate man – he’s terminally ill, and he want to make sure there is enough money to care for his special needs son after his death.  Obviously, the solution is to rob a bank.  He sets to work finding out how to maximize the amount […]

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Review: The Killing Bay (Chris Ould)

Feb 17, 2017
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The Killing Bay is the second in a series of books set in the Faroe Islands (the first is The Blood Strand.)  The books begins with British detective Jan Reyna recovering from an injury in the Faroes. We find out that Reyna is Faroese, but has been raised in England by relatives.  The book begins […]

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Review: Snatch (Gregory McDonald)

Feb 03, 2017
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Gregory McDonald is known mostly for creating the character of Fletch, made famous in the movies by Chevy Chase. As a kid, I read many of the Fletch novels, so I was happy to review another of McDonald’s books. To be more accurate, Snatch is actually two distinct books (Who Took Toby Rinaldi and Safekeeping) […]

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Review: In Sunlight or In Shadow

Dec 05, 2016
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of In Sunlight or In Shadow for review purposes. I’ll read anything with Lawrence Block’s name associated with it, so when I had the chance to receive a copy of an anthology he edited (and contributed to), I jumped at the chance.  All of the stories in In Sunlight […]

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Review: Sinner Man (Lawrence Block)

Nov 17, 2016
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Sinner Man for review purposes. If you’re a long time reader of The Soap Boxers, you’ve probably read others articles I’ve written about Lawrence Block.  If not, you can find them all here.  Block is my favorite author.  He’s been writing professionally since the 1950s, and as a result has […]

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Review: Quarry in the Black (Max Allan Collins)

Sep 30, 2016
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Quarry in the Black for review purposes. Quarry in the Black is the 13th in the series by Max Allan Collins.  I hadn’t read the previous twelve books in the series, so I was jumping in blind.  There’s always a danger in doing that, as there can sometimes […]

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