Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review of Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale and Book Giveaway

Belimai Sykes is many things: a Prodigal, the descendant of ancient demons, a creature of dark temptations and rare powers. He is also a man with a brutal past and a dangerous addiction. And Belimai Sykes is the only man Captain William Harper can turn to when faced with a series of grisly murders. But Mr. Sykes does not work for free and the price of Belimai's company will cost Captain Harper far more than his reputation. From the ornate mansions of noblemen, where vivisection and sorcery are hidden beneath a veneer of gold, to the steaming slums of Hells Below, Captain Harper must fight for justice and for his life. His enemies are many and his only ally is a devil he knows too well.

This is actually two novella’s that involve the same main characters but take place couple of months apart from each other. They both include Captain Harper, a member of House of Inquisition, and Belimai who is a Prodigal, a human-like demon.

In the first story these two men begin more or less a work relationship while trying to find Harper’s sister who has disappeared but the relationship turns into more by the end of the story. They get involved in a murder mystery plot that involves the killing of many Prodigals that is told in such a way that you just don’t want to take your eyes from the page – ever. The world that Harper and Belimai live in is a fantasy/steampunk/paranormal type world that is so richly told I couldn’t help but want to know more as I turned the pages.

Belimai for all of his addiction to ophorium and hatred of the Inquistors was a likeable yet sarcastic man. He felt that the only soft parts to him were because of the ophorium as described here:

None of them had understood that my moments of sweetness were pure ophorium. Everything that they seemed to love about me came from the needles they detested. The man they desired was an illusion, an ugly stone made briefly beautiful by a trick of the light. In their own ways, each of them had fallen as deeply in love with my addiction as I had.
But he really wasn’t, I felt, seeing the good parts of himself. He’s been tortured at one point which began his addiction, but that wasn’t what defined who he was – he just had a hard time seeing that. He had a dry, sarcastic personality that showed in different ways. In one of my favorite scenes he has to wait at a law office for hours. He’s bored out of his skull and has to listen to a clock that plays a little tune at every half hour.

The wall clock chimed out a popular tune every half hour, and steadily I grew to hate it. I had nothing to do but wait and brood over the disassembly of that happy little clock.
And then when he’s finally called into the office.

The only thing that truly pleased me was the prospect of escaping the wait­ing room before that clock went off again.
But for all of his sarcasm I believed that he was a good person and was rooting for him and Harper throughout the book… which was strange since this was really more of a fantasy mystery story with a little bit of romance on the side. I guess it’s the romantic in me that doesn’t let go.

In the second story we get to know Harper a bit better when he’s off to visit his ancestral home without Belimai. As he’s waiting for the carriage to take ferry him away he hears a woman screaming for help. When he finds her he is told that he must assist a girl before she is killed. He runs to the house that she specifies only to find that the girl is already dead. With very little investigation he finds that the uncle has killed his niece after a long period of abuse. But the uncle, as well as the abbot who is Harper’s boss – is blaming the death on an intruder and covering up the true culprit just because the uncle is a noble and a friend of the abbot’s. Harper leaves the scene of the crime but is then in a fury to protect the witness, Belimai, his career and life. It’s a mad dash for him to get all of this accomplished but he finds that for all of his hard work matters are falling down around him. In the end he has to make some decisions for himself that are extremely difficult but truly showed me what a fine man he was. He was an incredibly loyal friend and relative who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in.

Wicked Gentlemen is a truly wonderful book with amazing world-building, gritty characters and a lovely romance. I adored the book and all of the little nuances of Harper and Belimai, as well as the secondary characters. I will definitely be reading more from Ginn Hale in the future.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Now on to the book giveaway:

This giveaway is being offered by Blind Eye Books. They have recently gone digital and their very first digital release is, you guessed it, Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale. This digital release is available through who BEB has partnered with.

2 copies of Wicked Gentlemen in ebook format are now up for grabs! Please leave a comment by 11:59pm tonight, March 27th to go in the running. Two winners will be chosen through and announced tomorrow.


SiNn said...

sounds cool and congrats on going digital

The Romance Girl said...

Awesome, count me in!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book but please DO NOT include me as I do not read ebooks.



Dr J said...

This sounds like a wonderful collection of stories -- characters that come alive right off the pages. I love stories that challenge the mind as well as giving us a chance to experience romance vicariously, even through characters that are unlike any we have ever known in real life. Great review . . .

PeggyP said...

This has been on my wish list forever - but I only read/buy ebooks now, so count me in, please!

Kris said...

This sounds cool. Please count me in the giveaway!

froggykm at gmail

Janna said...

Very intriguing! Nice review too :)
And thanks for the giveaway.

Tam said...

I have heard so many amazing things about this book. The chance to get it in e-book would be great. Thanks Tracy. Have a super weekend.

Lily said...

I've been wanting to read this for a while but didn't want to buy a print book. Very happy to hear it's an ebook now. Please count me in.

Have a great weekend and thanks for the great review and contest. :)

Ina said...

I haven't heard about that one but it sounds interesting - please count me in!

Alaina said...

I'd love to win this book-- it's been on my TBB list for ages, but I'd much prefer an ebook copy!

apincus2 at gmail

Chris said...

I've been waiting for this one to go digital! Please count me in.

Tracy said...

Thanks everyone. I'm happy you all want it, it's truly a fantastic book.

Lea said...

Hi Tracy:

Thank you for the great review and giveaway. This sounds like a really interesting, different read.

Please count me in!


Josh Lanyon said...

I have this in print -- it's one of my favorite books in recent memory. I can't recommend it highly enough.

LesleyW said...

Please don't include me as I already have the book in print. But I just want to third (fourth?) the high recommendation for this book. It's one of my favourites.

Ingrid said...

I have seen this book come up several times and it sounds really good only it was in paper :( Good news that it comes in e-book now :)

orannia said...

Fantastic review Tracy! I loved this book - I have a print copy so please don't include me in the giveaway (as I'd rather someone who hasn't read it gets to win :) - and am so hanging out for the sequel...and Ginn's new serial (the excerpt of which is amazing!). Me, a did you guess :)

mariska said...

5 out of 5 stars ? wow, pick me , pick me !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Dana said...

I would like to enter the giveaway.

Renee said...

Just another voice joining the chorus. It's a beautifully written book! Wicked Gentlement is really something special.

I'm thrilled BEB is going digital!

Please don't enter me, as I have a copy on my keeper shelf already.

Great review, Tracy! :-)

Ned said...

That book sounds so intriguing! I just got a Kindle too :-)

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