Titanshade is a brilliantly wound novel that pairs a hard-hitting detective with a slew of murders amidst a shady city. There’s danger and intrigue aplenty, mixed with the intensity of a high caliber police drama. Nobody is who they seem to be and as the murders continue to pile up, the stakes become that much higher. With compelling characters and a fascinating use of magic, Titanshade is a thrilling read for fans of murder mysteries, fantasy novels with modern settings, and science fiction alike.
The city of Titanshade was most intriguing as a setting. This is a city on the verge of collapse, a once bustling metropolis filled with oil money that’s down on its luck now that the wells have dried up. Deals are in the works, people are desperate, and throwing a bunch of murders into the mix makes for a chaotic environment. It’s a gritty city with a slight veneer of success that easily wipes away to the discerning eye. Our detective knows every inch like the back of his hand. He works the streets with ease, knowing just where the clues lead.
The group of detectives have an interesting dynamic. We have the brilliant detective who has a messy past. The new recruit who is eager to fight crime and bring justice to the world. The stuck-up detective who takes every opportunity to advance his career. They constantly butt heads with witty banter and thinly veiled insults that build a sense of deeper camaraderie. Stout makes each of the cases exciting with his attention to detail and our protagonist’s keen eye for the unusual.
The magic is terrifying to behold. I don’t want to say too much about it, as it needs to be experienced. Let’s just say it’s closer to dark magic than the happy-go-lucky kind. There are horrors to be found every time it’s in use.
Overall, Titanshade is a great mix of elements from the speculative genres. From science fiction, we get a futuristic city and alien-human populations. From fantasy, we get a dark magic that pulls answers from the dead. From mystery, we get all the workings of a solid police drama. Combined, the pieces make Titanshade an eminently entertaining read to be savored.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
By Dan Stout
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