Romeo Spikes by Joanne Reay
|Book Name:||Romeo Spikes|
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.