INFERNAL Am­ne­siac an­ti­heroics

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 384 pages | Hard­back/ebook Au­thor Mark de Jager Pub­lisher del rey

stra­tus isn’t sure what he is. Or where he is. Or even how he got there. What he does know is that he’s not en­tirely hu­man, and that he’s got to find out more.

This am­ne­sia pro­vides an in­trigu­ing mys­tery for au­thor Mark de Jager’s epic de­but, but can get a lit­tle wear­ing. Sure you want to know who Stra­tus is, and the re­veal some­what pays off, but for the most part, be­tween Stra­tus’s in­hu­man in­stincts and his con­fu­sion about his iden­tity he isn’t par­tic­u­larly like­able. Ex­cept when he’s hun­gry – his ap­petite is quite amus­ing. Get­ting an an­ti­hero right is a bal­anc­ing act, and some­times Stra­tus un­for­tu­nately leans more to­wards anti- than hero.

Other char­ac­ters are used spar­ingly, swordswoman Tatyana be­ing the high­light. Her in­tro­duc­tion makes things more in­ter­est­ing, giv­ing Stra­tus some­one to parry the odd quip with, and she comes with a promis­ing back­story of her own.

For much of the time Infernal may leave you feel­ing as con­fused as Stra­tus him­self – for every ques­tion an­swered an­other 10 sprout up in its place. That’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing, but it makes for hard go­ing in a book that rests so heav­ily on its cen­tral mys­tery. Bri­die Ro­man

Mark’s wife Liz beat him into print: book three of her Black­heart Legacy se­ries came out in Jan­uary.

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