Review: Chaos Born by Rebekah Turner

Title: Chaos Born {Chronicles from the Applecross #1}

Author: Rebekah Turner

Published: Escape Publishing November 2012

Synopsis: Lora Blackgoat, smuggler and mercenary, has been lying low after a job gone bad made her a laughing stock in the industry. When a childhood friend turns to her for help, Lora leaps to restore her reputation and starts hunting a killer who is stalking the gas-lit streets. She never expects that her path will lead her to the Order of Guides, a sadistic militant religious organisation – or to Roman, a deadly and dangerously attractive half-angel warrior who also hunts the killer. When Lora discovers that the killer has broken fundamental laws of magic to enter the city, she also uncovers a conspiracy that leads back into her own dark past.

Status: Read from November 17 to 18, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Escape Publishing}

My Thoughts:

Chaos Born is one of the first titles released by Harlequin’s newest venture, Escape Publishing. It is an exciting start to a new series which has a lot of potential and I’m thrilled that Escape is offering Australian authors new opportunities to share their talents globally.

Featuring Lora Blackgoat, Chaos Born is a creative urban fantasy novel set in The Weald, a world hidden within our own where magic shuns technology. Lora is a Runner working the Blackgoat Watch, an agency run by Gideon, a satyr, who brokers a range of services including retrievals, security work and the occasional exorcism. After her last job went awry, forcing Lora to behead the client and her possessed colleague, she has been lying low but when an old friend asks for help she agrees to help him hunt down a brutal killer stalking Applecross.

Lora Blackgoat is not your typical heroine. A mercenary with a gambling addiction that she funds by smuggling from the Outlands and fond of a drink or three, she wields magic learnt from the woman who raised her after the death of her mother. She has a fearsome reputation for violence, despite relying on a cane due to an accident as a teenager that crushed her pelvis and has few people skills. Though her white hair marks her as a Witch Hunter she has never displayed the talent but  as she hunts for the Butcher of Applecross it becomes obvious that Lora is more than she seems. Despite her prickly personality, Lora is an appealing protagonist who is, albeit somewhat begrudgingly, loyal and brave. Her (many) flaws make her more believable and I especially like that she owns up to her mistakes.

Turners inventive world building includes elements of steampunk and hosts a mix of paranormal creatures. Full bloods are rare, Otherkin (half breeds) are more common and within the novel there are shape shifters, brownies, witches and  All of The Weald’s community is kept in line by the City Watch, a police force of sorts, but the Order of Guides, a militaristic religious order run by Grigori Priests use half Nephilim as Regulators to enforce their will amongst the magical residents, distinguishing between darkcraft and lightcraft. I’m not entirely clear on some elements of Turner’s world, for example humans seem to be part of The Weald as well but I’m not sure why or how they fit in.

While the plot focuses on establishing the world and its characters their is a strong storyline involving the identity of the killer stalking Applecross, leading to some action packed confrontations. There is also the beginnings of a romance for Lora with Roman – a half-angel Regulator whose attraction to her threatens them both. Plenty of mystery remains for Turner to follow up in continuing the series including the tall man who haunts her dreams and how Lora will deal with the revelations about her past.

Debut author Rebekah Turner plans that Chaos Born will be the first of six planned books in the Chronicles from the Applecross. Fast-paced and imaginative I really enjoyed this novel, I am already looking forward to the next installment and I urge fans of the paranormal fantasy genre to give Chaos Born a try.

Visit Book’d Out later on today to learn more with author, Rebekah Turner

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: AWW Feature: Q & A with Rebekah Turner, author of Chaos Born « book'd out
  2. The Australian Bookshelf
    Nov 25, 2012 @ 21:23:42

    Sounds like a strong launch title in the paranormal romance genre for Escape! Great review, Shelleyrae.

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  3. Polina
    Dec 07, 2012 @ 10:50:01

    Fantastic Review. Thank you, Shelleyrae!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Jenny Schwartz (@Jenny_Schwartz)
    Dec 07, 2012 @ 10:57:04

    I really enjoyed Chaos Born … the flawed heroine yet managed to be engaging and the world building was absorbing. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series … and learning more about Seth :)

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