True Winter by Q.K. Petty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the premise … a secret organization (The House of David) that travels the world to collect powerful artifacts in order to sequester them away in some “warehouse” in order to protect us all from the people that would abuse them (yes … I know it has been done before but I still love the concept). The twist here is that there is a counter organization that works toward free access to these same artifacts despite the danger (aka caveat emptor). The House is organized with an absolute head of house that priorities and assigns tasks and goals for the org. Four (4) Tennins armed with weapons of Archangels. Twelve (12) Judges imbued with splinters of the cross (aka Fingers of God) that grants them superhuman abilities … with each Judge training an Acolyte. And various support elements such as clean up crews in the background. Seditio, the opposing organization, is more nebulous and apparently run by a mysterious Mary with a psycho-terrorist second known as Whiteface.
The book opens with a mission to retrieve the “Chains of Peter” in Mobile AL; after which we see a flash back to the MC’s (Eden Dowler aka The Grim Reaper) first mission to retrieve the “Blood of Mary,” both of which are deadly to the unworthy/impure. This pretty much sets the [fast] pace for the first half of the book as the House attempts to retrieve the Aegis of Zeus and the Sword of Joan of Arc before the story turns extremely (and somewhat unexpectedly) dark for the last half of the book. By the end you see something of a personality switch between Eden and his acolyte Orion (which quite frankly was not done that well). There are a few twists and turns, much of which is signaled ahead of time if you are paying attention, until we get to the tragic end with a hint of things to come (it is a series after all).
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
#TrueWinter #FourSeasons #NetGalley
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My Ratings Explained ...
- [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
- [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
- [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
- [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
- [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.