The Infernal Game: Cold Warriors by Rebecca Levene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ms. Levene managed to write a book here that is an equal mix of supernatural and spy noir. There are many twists and turns here. I thought I had figured everything out, but I hadn't even discerned the tip of the iceberg. The whole storyline that seemed to be apparent turned into something even more sinister. I liked how tense the narrative was. Ms. Levene writes tautly, like a spy thriller, and the well-executed, horrifying supernatural elements pricked me into another level of unease. This story was very dark, with some ugly use of magics and villains who worked for the real bad guy (if you know who I mean), but it was quite appealing and well-written, and I didn't feel icked out as I read it. I liked that there were real heroes in this story, even if they were weary and conflicted (like spies who had been at the game too long, chess pieces acting out their roles in a game that they didn't understand). Even in this dark universe, there were still some people who knew that there were some boundaries that shouldn't be crossed. Although there is a bit of gore, it was not over-the-top, and it was written in a way that was true to the understated espionage tone.
This book is highly recommended for horror/dark fantasy fans who would like some spy thriller elements thrown in and deftly executed, at that. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, because I like this idea, and I have a real soft spot for Morgan, the protagonist.
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