Raven Song (Inoki’s Game #1) by I.A. Ashcroft is an urban dystopian fantasy. The book also contains elements of science fiction and magical realism. The book has an intriguing plot, complex characters, some great action scenes and magic. The story is multi-layered and has been written well. The content is original.
The book takes you in a world that is shrouded in mystery with a number of unanswered questions. In the beginning of Raven Song, we meet Jackson, one of the main protagonists of this novel. He doesn’t remember his past. Disturbing dreams are haunting him and he kept seeing creepy ravens that no one else sees. These ravens are supposedly extinct in the world he is living. On a government mission, Jackson discovers a woman inside a box out on the plains. Anna is her name. Anna appears to have been displaced from her world. She does not belong to this world. She is from the past but doesn’t know how she ended in this dystopian world. On top of that, she has magical powers. Together, Jackson and Anna start a journey and try to find the reality of their existence. However, it is not an easy task as there are a number of people who want to see them dead.
The story is unique and the writing is excellent, but the pace of the plot is slow. The mysteries in this book take their own sweet time to unfold. Therefore, skip this book if you don’t like slow-paced books. By necessity, the story in this book jumps between present and past, and between the two main leads. In fact, the entirety of this book revolves around the development of these two characters. The character of these two keep growing and readers come to know different facets of their personalities.
It was the cover of this book that attracted me towards this book. This cover, depicting a creepy raven, on the top of a city is really cool. The title is fantastic and synchronizes well not only with the cover page, but also with the contents of this book.
So, what was my after-reading impression in general? Well! To be frank, reading this book left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the book impressed me on several fronts and I certainly enjoyed reading it. But at the same time, I did not like the way the story was framed. The book started well but soon started to confuse the heck out of me. This confusion was too great to comprehend the meaning of the events going on in the book, and I felt befuddled. There were a number of such chaotic moments. While I stayed in this perplexed stage for some time, the book gradually became a thrilling ride once I started to get the hang of it. Now, the broken pieces of the story were making sense. Making the initial events confusing appears to be a deliberate attempt from author’s side. However, instead of giving tantalizing bits and pieces, inclusion of some interesting details with a bit of dramatic elements could have strengthened the first one-third portion of the book. I would have definitely appreciated that.
Overall, Raven Song is a promising first book of a promising new series. The book ends with a number of unanswered questions and I will definitely be looking forward to the next book of this series.