Fierce Fantasy Night – Writing Panel Recap

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Writing Panel Recap

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Unsouled by Will Wight




Romeo Spikes by Joanne Reay

Romeo Spikes by Joanne Reay
Book Name: Romeo Spikes
Author: Joanne Reay
Publisher(s): Beautiful Books
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy

I’ve been writing articles for Fantasy-Faction for a while now and been honing my writerly skills for longer than that. When I was asked if I’d like to review a book at first I thought, Blimey, what do I know? Then I realised that long before I made a commitment to getting my own writing out there I was a reader. And I was a reader that had moved away from fantasy for a while because I was looking for something new. Well, things changed while I was away and when I came back to fantasy a few years ago I was excited.

Since then I feel that there has been a bit of a renaissance within the genre. Sub-genres have mushroomed and cross-overs abound. I consider this to be a very Good Thing.

So I said yes, I’d love to review the book. Now I’m not the fastest reader so it’s been out a couple of months and I also had to put it on hold while I moved house. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this was one of those books that doesn’t let you go. I read it in two sittings and that was only because I had to get up for work after the first sitting!

Romeo Spikes is pacey, jam packed with action and I found plenty of intrigue to keep me thinking. It is a supernatural fantasy with a superb bad guy. Step into the world of the Tormenta. Preying on weak humans, driving them to suicide and living off the life they’ve thrown away. You’ll never look at other people in the same way again. That boss that’s driving you crazy, the boyfriend that sapped all your confidence… maybe it’s them…

There’s a huge amount of characters, all well crafted and convincing, and boy, does Joanne Reay not suffer from that problem a lot of writers have. She has no qualms about killing off great characters! I mean that as a compliment as it brings a touch of realism to the tale.

This is book one of the Lo’Life Trilogy so there is a lot of setting up needing to be done, which in the wrong hands can be dry. Not here though. The story covers a huge amount of history without feeling overwhelming; such is the pace with which it is told. From page one I was sucked into this world and at the end of every chapter I was thinking, right, I’ll just read this next one then it’s time for bed…

Now, a word of warning for the delicate people out there. The blurb on the back says ‘The tragedy of suicide is not death. It is what dies within us whilst we live.’ There is a lot of suicide going on, all kinds of scenarios, all kinds of people. If you find that subject painful for any reason, maybe this isn’t the book for you. But if the idea of what happens to those who do go there gets you thinking, grab it, devour it, hell, savour it!

Book two is due out in 2012, but there will also be digital and graphic novels coming soon and the film rights have been placed. This is one of those books that was easy to visualise cinematically, every scene teases all the senses and for me it ticks all the right boxes. I can’t wait to see where it all goes from here.

Now, just so you know, I won’t always be complimentary when I review a book but it was great to have a positive one to start with!

Romeo Spikes is avalible now in the UK and is due out in August 2012 in the US.



  1. Avatar Jamie Gibbs says:

    Wowza, that sounds intense, but I love the premise of sapping someone lost life force. Reminds me a little of the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who, but more tragic. Looks like a damn good read, thanks for the review.

  2. I thought this was a great book too. I read it a few months ago. Beautiful books have since gone into receivership. Do you know if/how this is going to affect publication of book 2?

  3. Avatar Libertine says:

    Glad you like the review Jamie, let me know what you think when you’ve read it!

    Robin, I had heard that, not sure what it means for the rest of the trilogy, hoping the rights can be transferred to another publisher. Don’t know how all that works actually. I guess we can always import from the US once it comes out there!

  4. Avatar Pat Challis says:

    Hi guys, I’ve just read this novel myself after being sent it to review for my site and it’s absolutely brilliant. Yes, the first publishing house that published this did go under but Titan Books have seen re-released this one (hence why I got sent it to review) and part two is slated for a release in early 2013. Hope that helps guys.

  5. Avatar Libertine says:

    Pat, thanks for posting the update. I actually met Joanne Reay at this year’s Fantasycon. I’m told that the new version has some changes so it’s in my TBR pile to do a follow up!



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