Review: The Wounded Ones by G.D. Penman

The Wounded Ones

Author: G.D. Penman

Published: June 23rd, 2020

Publisher: Meerkat Press

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Format: eBook

Source: NetGalley

Demons and serial killers are Iona “Sully” Sullivan’s bread and butter, but nothing could have prepared her to face off against the full weight of the British Empire at the height of its power. With the War for American Independence in full swing, she finds even her prodigious talents pushed beyond their limits when citizens of the American Colonies begin vanishing amidst rumors of crop circles, hydra sightings and worse. Through a wild and lethal adventure that will see her clashing with the Empire around the world and beyond, the only constants in Sully’s life are an undead girlfriend, a giant demon crow that has taken a shine to her, regular assassination attempts by enemies on all sides, and the cold certainty that nothing and nobody is going to make it out of the war in one piece.

I did not know this was a second book until doing further research after approval in NetGalley, but I made the decision to read it without reading the first installment.  I found this to be an okay decision because the introductory chapters were well written and I got a sense of who characters were and their relationships almost instantly.  Though, I would recommend reading book one first!  I’ve got it on my TBR list now to retroactively read to understand more thoroughly what I’ve just read.

This is a well-written novel with an interesting plot, well developed characters, and plot that doesn’t stop.  I can see some of the science fiction and fantasy influences from table top gaming coming through in the writing and I absolutely appreciate those touches from the author!  Being as June is Pride month, I found Sully and Marie to be exceedingly well written LGBTQIA+ characters! 

The magic system in this novel is really complex and arcane, which I appreciate!  I’ve read too many fantasy books that have a really fanciful idea of magic.  This is the most practical approach I’ve seen in recent memory and I really enjoyed it.  Another note, the political system and political machinations that Sully is involved in piqued my interest in so many ways! Another reason I’d like to read the first book is to really understand the motivations and what has happened in this world.

A layer of sarcasm lays over the entire narrative and it’s something I really appreciate here as well!  There are too many books that attempt humor, but it falls flat.  I believe the humor here hits almost every time and it’s a style of humor that I appreciate.  Also, well written action scenes that made me feel the emotions of the characters!

Overall, this is a great second book with complex characters, intriguing magic, developed political intrigue, crime, demons, and so much more!  I would recommend this book to any fans of Larry Correa’s Grimnoir series, Jim Butcher fans, and other fans of the paranormal/magic/alternative world genres in sci-fi fantasy!

I received a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you to NetGalley and Meerkat Press for the opportunity to review this title!

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