FADE TO BLACK
The dystopian world feels all too real in this series starter by British author Knight. The world would be a tad too dark to stay immersed in if not for the roguish charm of Rojan Dizon. A reluctant but capable hero, Rojan is a secret “pain mage”; he has the ability to perform magic using his own pain and others’. The action starts strong and rolls along with well-executed fights, duels and magic battles throughout. The persistent sense of lurking danger along with Rojan’s inner conflict between apathy and authentic emotion contribute to an absorbing read.
Bounty hunter Rojan Dizon has a special talent for finding people who don’t want to be found in the plague-ridden city of Mahala. Though he tries to avoid getting too emotionally close to anyone, he can’t refuse his long-lost brother’s plea for help. A series of strange murders sends Rojan on a quest through the city’s worst slums to find his brother’s daughter, his niece, but he uncovers a world steeped in more government corruption and secrets than even the pessimistic hero thought possible. (ORBIT, Mar., 384 pp., $14.99)