The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Elizabeth Hunter is one of my favorite paranormal authors. I love her beautiful prose and evocative imagery. Having enjoyed her Elemental Series, I grabbed The Scribe (Book One of the Irin Chronicles) with glee.
The Scribe centers on Ava, a young American woman, who hears voices, and Malachi, a soldier with a shadowy order.
For the most part, the story takes place in Istanbul, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. Ava has come for help and answers about the voices in her head. She gets much more than she bargained for as a shadow world is revealed with a history, culture, and tensions that she never imagined.
I enjoyed The Scribe – enough to pick up the next books in the series. The story certainly intrigued me from page one and I kept flicking pages until my questions began to be answered.
As this is the first book in a series, there were parts where the work slowed and/or was what I would term ‘overcooked’. Yes, I understand exposition is important, but I felt that some points were labored and I found myself muttering “enough already”.
There was also the way in which a lot of information was imparted, which brings me to Ava, the main female lead. Similarly to Beatrice in Hunter’s Elemental Series, we have a character with a naivety that borders on stupidity. Ava’s incessant questioning made me feel like I was being badgered by a toddler. She is supposed to be a grown woman, a world traveler, a person who doesn’t fit in with society, but she has a ‘bewildered’ quality to her that puts others in danger.
To be honest, this is a form of innocence that I can’t relate to. Malachi was a lot more patient with Ava than I would have been. I’m hoping, however, similar to Beatrice that we see a lot of character growth in the rest of the series.
In saying that, there are some parts of this story that are funny, charming, suspenseful, and down right heartbreaking.
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