*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
With Stomatt propped against the wall, Reece straightened out the boiler suit and patted down his legs, then twisted his gun belt round so the pistol was hidden to his rear. Caleb caught his eye like he wanted to suggest something worrisome, and Reece smiled it off before it was said. Because everyone liked Reece once he got talking. He rapped his knuckle on thee door. “Excuse me, good people! I know it’s late but we’re in bad need of assistance.” No reply. “Had ourselves an accident back up the road. Damnedest thing, you wouldn’t believe – car on its roof, and we got a man down.”
Nothing. Caleb worried, “Think they heard us coming, hid away?”
“Why’d anyone hide from a couple harmless musicians?” Reece said. Caleb’s eye tracked down to the gun belt. Reece curled his nose: even if they did see La Belle Riposte holstered there, it was an instrument as exquisite as his trumpet. And they were in Texas – who didn’t had a gun? He knocked again. “Hate to be a burden, but my friend here lost a lot of blood – can’t even stand right now.” Still nothing. “We’re decent people, like yourselves – just trying to get back home.”
Caleb shifted. “We could try another one?”
“Another house?” Reece raised an eyebrow to indicate the hundred miles of nothing surrounding them. He called out, “We don’t need to stay long, just got to patch up my friend – get him some water, fresh bandages. I gotta insist on that much at least.” One last pause. “We’ll make our own entrance if we have to.”
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Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.
Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?
On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?
Kept From Cages is the first in a duo of supernatural thrillers, and is a beginning that will have you salivating for the next installment. Filled with strong characters, a supernatural mystery at the core of the story, and Williams engaging and enthralling writing, it is a difficult book to put down.
The reader is taken on a journey through America, Africa, and Europe as the mystery of Ikiri unfolds, from a criminal gang of jazz musicians who now have a young and near magical ward, to a British spy tasked with uncovering the reason for multiple villages around the world annihilating themselves. The most enigmatic character for me was the character of Katryzna, an unhinged and untamable assassin that has her own motives, her own goals, and is not about to let anyone stand in her way – not even the voice of her conscience that only she can hear but that tries its best to guide her anyway.
Kept From Cages has unsolved murders, international conspiracies, rogue assassins, demons, a girl with red eyes, a man with a sword for an arm, and a swift and sure writing style that makes turning every page just that much easier. I thoroughly enjoyed my journey to Ikiri and look forward to the release of book two, hopefully very soon.
As a book one, Kept in Cages is an explosive beginning to the Ikiri story and will have you counting down the days until you can get your hands on the next one.
About the Author –
Phil Williams writes contemporary fantasy and dystopian fiction and non-fiction grammar guides. His novels include the interconnected Ordshaw urban fantasy thrillers, the post-apocalyptic Estalia saga and the action-packed Faergrowe series. He also runs the website English Lessons Brighton, and writes reference books to help foreign learners master the nuances of English.
Phil lives with his wife by the coast in Sussex, UK, and now spends a great deal of time walking his impossibly fluffy dog, Herbert.
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