Kicking off her new urban fantasy series with a bang, Australian author Keri Arthur introduces us to Tiger who has lived her life in an abandoned government facility since the war between her people and the shifters. The last of her kind, but still accompanied by the dead who still walk the hallways, Tiger endeavours to stay out of the way of those who live in the post-apocalyptic towns above. Tiger has good reason to live the solo life. She is dechet, a created hybrid of shifter and vampire, and one of the few remaining witnesses to the great war that has decimated the world.
The surviving cities remain under siege from those who crave darkness; the vampires and wraiths. Then there are the rifts; portals of energy that few can pass through, or even see. What is most vulnerable in this dangerous world is the children. Children have begun to disappear from the cities. Having seen the death of so many of the young of her own kind, it is the knowledge that more will be harmed unless she personally steps up, that galvanizes Tiger into action.
Does it sound like there is a lot going on in this novel? There is. Vampires, shifters, wraiths, hybrids, rifts; the reader needs to keep sharp as to what Tiger must do in order to break through every obstacle in her rescue efforts. It’s a little exhausting. A debut fantasy novel must in some ways keep it light on the rules and regs, so that we can easily pickup up the vernacular and have some sense of confidence in knowing how everything works. It’s not so easy to visualize the landscape in CITY OF LIGHT; some elements seem to contradict.
Arthur has created a world still going through the process of change and if you like futuristic Wild West novels, you’ll enjoy what the author has crafted here. Tiger uses sex to obtain information and she has a romantic interest also in this series entry which is an appealing lead into the next Tiger novel. Tiger herself is a bit of an uber super hero; the kitchen sink approach has been used here in that many standard fantasy elements have all been thrown into the one novel. Tiger is purposeful, independent and interesting with her strong self-survival skills and has the stones to be a strong action lead. The melancholic “left behind” setting of this novel is well crafted and the action sequences are again very good. A solid entry into what will be no doubt another successful action series for author Keri Arthur.