3 out of 4 stars
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Raven’s Peak, written by Lincoln Cole, is a fast-paced supernatural action thriller that does not let up. The story centers around demon hunter Abigail and college student Haatim. After Haatim finds himself targeted by demons when he is hired to snap pictures of Abigail, the pair go on a hunt to stop supernatural forces that are terrorizing a small town in the mountains. As book one in the World on Fire series, this novel is a thrilling start to what promises to be a compelling series.
The elements of the novel that struck me the most are its pacing, flow, and dialogue. The narrative is extremely fast-paced and packed with action scenes, but it did not feel as though there were details missing. There are a few subplots involving minor characters that kept me guessing where it was all going which tied up nicely, bit by bit, the more I read. The dialogue felt real, and there was humor added in conversations between Abigail and Haatim that broke the tension of particular scenes, but did not detract from the suspenseful feeling of the narrative as a whole.
The characters are the shining star of this novel. Simply put, they are mysterious, from the protagonists to the supporting characters. Each individual has a story and a reason, and each character is related in some way to another. Regarding the protagonists, although it is not immediately clear what their personal stories are, there is a feeling that they’ve experienced some not-so-pleasant things. All is explained later on in the story, but each protagonist is written in such a way to allude to something more, and each character’s issues are pertinent to the overall story. This helps to root a somewhat unbelievable story in reality.
This novel is not what I was expecting, and I was a bit disappointed for it. I was expecting more of a mystery story with supernatural elements, but this is not a mystery story. All of the elements of a supernatural thriller are present, but the narrative feels like an action novel with bits of the supernatural thrown in. The narrative is fast-paced and flows well with plenty of gory action, but I suppose I was expecting something a bit toned down and more cerebral. The premise of the plot reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just with demons. This does not detract from how well the story is written or how engaging the plot is, it just took me by surprise.
Overall, I rate this novel 3 out of 4 stars. The book is engaging and action-packed, but I was expecting a more mysterious story. If you love action and suspense, you’ll love this novel. However, if you want a read to make you think a bit, this is probably not the story for you.
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