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Relics by Tim Lebbon #BookReview

There’s an underground black market for arcane things. Akin to the trade in rhino horns or tigers’ bones, this network traffics in remains of gryphons, faeries, goblins, and other fantastic creatures.

When her fiancé Vince goes missing Angela Gough, an American criminology student, discovers that he was a part of this secretive trade. It’s a big-money business—shadowy, brutal, and sometimes fatal. As the trail leads her deeper into London’s dark side, she crosses paths with a crime lord whose life is dedicated to collecting such relics.

Then Angela discovers that some of these objects aren’t as ancient as they seem. Some of them are fresh.

Book cover for Relics by Tim Lebbon

Title: Relics | Series: Relics| Author: Tim Lebbon | Publisher: Titan Books | Pub. Date: March 21, 2017 | Pages: 321 | ASIN: B01HL141IC | Genre: Urban Fantasy and Horror | Language: English | Source: Purchased | Starred

Relics Review

Relics begins with a prologue, marked thus, that is an interview between Angela and a police officer in some jail house. The chapter ends with him asking her “What do you think I won’t believe you?” Angela replies “No, I’m afraid you will.” Which struck me as both cliche and perfect. Those are the moments I enjoy in genre fiction. The next chapter begins “Five days earlier.” I must say that when I got to the midpoint of the work I was somewhat annoyed that we had not yet reached the time of the prologue. It’s not a spoiler to say the prologue occurs almost exactly at the end. Now I know this fits the definition of the term prologue, but I must say that for some dumb reason it annoyed me. The story more than made up for that thought I’ll return to the issue at the end of my review.

Five days earlier Angela and her boyfriend Vince wake up, laugh at a couple of bunnies that live in the apartment above them and get it on every single morning, and then head out for their day. Vince does not return. Much of the story is Angela frantically trying to figure out what happened to Vince, and then who Vince really was, and the dangerous cast of characters she meets along the way.

Again, it’s not really a spoiler to say the story is replete with mythical characters, who hide from humans and refer to themselves as the “Kin”. There are all kinds of Kin, and I don’t recall two of the same type making an appearance, though it’s clear that there are not unique. Also, it is a bit confusing because the Kin come from multiple different pantheons with no real discussion of what that could mean. I expect more to be revealed over the next two books.

Angela is well fleshed out as are a few of the other characters that appear. I thought that Vince was a bit less well-developed, particularly in his motivation and rationalization for his past actions. And the story moves at a very brisk pace, which I like. More on that in a moment.

While Amazon tagged this as horror it really is urban fantasy in my opinion. There are horror elements in a few places but they really appear as largely non-supernatural physical violence. Fortunately, the author does a good job of using that violence to move the story forward but not reveling in it to an extreme.

Now back to the five days. Day one Angela walks around. Day five she spends on a plane. There is no way on God’s green Earth that the entire story could fit in the three intervening days. But really, who cares? Like I said, the pace was brisk. Which I like


extreme violence, for example dismemberment, by very powerful beings, but not used gratuitously

You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It can be found here at Indiebound or at Bookshop. Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.

Published inFantasy Book ReviewsStarred ReviewsUncategorized

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