This was a beautifully written book; I liked it a lot. The characterization is wonderful and the story engaging, driven and sweet.
Belimai Sykes is a Prodigal, a human of part demon descent. Belimai has a tortured and horrible past and as a Prodigal he also has a number of intriguing powers, but it is his addiction that drives his life the most. When Captain William Harper shows up and asks for Belimai’s help tracking down a serial killer that is killing and torturing Progidal’s, Belimai is excited to do some of the investigation work that he is so good at. The plot though is bigger than either Harper or Belimai expects. Along the way Belimai and Harper will forge an unlikely bond with one another.
This was a wonderful book. The writing and the descriptions are beautiful and breathtaking. I loved this book from the very first sentence “The night hung in tatters.” The whole book is dark and moody; it has a bit of a steampunk feel to it. The plot was engaging and made the book difficult to put down. The book is broken into two parts; the first deals with the Prodigal serial killer and the second deals with Harper’s fight against the entrenched authority of the city.
The characterization was excellent. Belimai is a complex character with an intriguing past and a sardonic wit that hides layers of anguish. Harper is also more than he at first appears to be. The relationship between the two men is sweet, beautiful and complex. The sex scenes are not really all that explicit, but more sensual. Even the side characters are interesting and make you want to learn more about them.
This book does deal with same sex relationships, but that is not really what the story is about…I think people would be doing themselves a dis-service to skip this beautiful book because of the GBLT aspect of it…at heart this is a fantasy/mystery not a social commentary. I am actual kind of surprised that this is classified as a GLBT book; to be honest this story reminded me a lot of Mercedes Lackey’s Last Herald-Mage series or Lynn Flewelling’s Nightrunner series. Both of these books feature same sex relationships but have never really been classified as anything other than fantasy.
The book was light on action scenes, but the action scenes were well done. The world Hale created was intriguing, if not as broad as I would have hoped for. For the majority of the book you are stuck in the main city.
All in all I really loved this book. It was a pleasure to read. The strongest points were the beautiful writing and the wonderful attention to characterization. I wish that I could read another book with these characters. I will definitely be keeping an eye on Hale’s future works.