|Posted by Mark Cantrell on January 10, 2013 at 3:35 PM|
An inspired debut for
Resonant with the hiss and clank of steampunk chic, Hallam’s Greaveburn is a richly-textured and suitably macabre gothic fantasy fit for this cynical age, writes Mark Cantrell on Cheshire Today
Reviewing books can be an ethical quandary these days, given all the sock-puppetry shenanigans that’s rippled through the publishing world recently, so before we begin this appraisal of Doncaster-author Craig Hallam’s debut novel, Greaveburn, it’s perhaps wise to point out that this reviewer is also signed up with his publisher Inspired Quill (IQ).
This has no bearing on the nature of this review, of course, but if nothing else it’s a nifty opportunity for some cheap self-publicity (hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it), and it certainly pre-empts any accusations of favouritism on my part. Trust me, I’m a journalist, I don’t play favourites. I even eschewed time-honoured tradition and procured a paperback copy of the book at my own expense.
Now that’s dedication, you might think. Actually, no; this was the reader’s instinct at work. An eye-catching cover, which, on closer inspection really captures the moody spirit of the novel, an intriguing blurb, a suitably sombre introduction, and I have to say that I was snared. All right, I confess there was a certain degree of curiosity too.
So, with that disclaimer-come-disclosure out of the way, what did I actually make of Greaveburn? Frankly, I enjoyed it. I suspect fantasy aficionados will get a good buzz out of it too. It is certainly a respectable debut for the author.
The novel proved itself an atmospheric page-turner, filled with a delightful array of weird and wonderful characters, all embroiled in the calamities of intrigue, dubious friendships, bitter rivalries, rebellion – and murder most nefarious...
Read the rest of this review at Cheshire Today.
Cheshire Today, 28 November 2012