This was part of Fantasy Factions grouping, and earned a semi finalist spot.
Anelia is a newly accepted member of the Potentia, which is a group of elite female police that guard the city of Petrasada.
She’s only on her first day of work when she gets involved in a case involving multiple murders, the longer the case goes unsolved, the more bodies pile up.
She’s been given a partner who has 15 years experience on the job, but she’s not very nice to Anelia at first. She doesn’t think she’s earned her spot, she thinks that other applicants had more potential and lets Anelia know her thoughts loud and clear. At first, she makes her life a living hell, but over the course of the investigation Anelia starts to show her talent and the relationship evolves.
While investigating the murders she discovers a wealth of underground crime, including a ring that was making and smuggling a drugged beer. The drug makes people go insane and they get very addicted very quickly. Their skin washes out, their eyes go red, they don’t make a lot of sense, and their sole purpose in life is to get more of the drug. What’s weirder is that it also makes their blood turn a vile yellow mush that smells terrible.
Final score: 7/10
Anelia is our main character and it’s a single POV book so you get to know her quite well. She’s pretty headstrong, she doesn’t always follow orders, and she’s definitely a rookie who’s equal parts lucky and talented.
She tries not to let it get to her that Fallon, her partner, doesn’t show her any respect at first, and is set on proving that she deserves to be in the Potentia.
Despite being a little headstrong and reckless at times, she’s a likeable enough character, she enjoys to let loose and have a beer with friends whenever possible.
Final Score: 7.5/10
- Petrasada is a neat city, it’s a city in the clouds that floats above a desert-like planet that reminded me a little bit of Bioshock Infinite sans the rails everywhere
- There’s a cast system in place where what level you live on in the city shows what ‘class’ you are. The higher up in the city you live, the more prestige you have. It is possible for people to climb the ranks a little bit, so it’s a looser cast/hierarchical system than some.
- It’s believed that only women are able to wield magic, which is why the Potentia are a completely female squadron. However, Anelia sees a man do something she believed to be magic which throws that theory on its head.
- The Potentia serve a group called the Priestesses, and you don’t get to see much of them until the end, but their influence is spread throughout the city.
- There are a lot of bird references in the book, and cadets new to the Potentia are called Pigeons, because “their main job is to pick up trash and try to avoid being killed”
- The Potentia have a special cloak that gives them a number of abilities, increased speed, increased strength and sight – but most notably a set of wings. The cloak transforms into wings and lets the Potentia police the city from the sky.
Final Score: 8/10
This was pretty well paced, it was also a short book, there was nothing I felt like was a slog or a slow point in the book, it was pretty go, go, go.
This was definitely a ‘lighter’ book, there were a bunch of violent murders but the spirit of the book was the good triumphs over evil, the Potentia are a solidly ‘good’ group of people who are trying their best to keep the city in order.
Pacing Final Score: 9/10
Writing Final Score: 8/10
Although I’ve seen a few worlds were only women can use magic, they definitely aren’t common. I’ve never seen an all female police force and it was handled nicely. The only other book I’ve seen where the main character flies with magical or artificial wings was GRRM/Lisa Tuttle’s Windhaven.
Final Score: 9/10
- For people who like female POV
- For people who like shorter faster paced books
- For people who enjoy police/cop stories
- For people who like odd couple pairings
- For people who like murder investigations
- For people who like a lot of magic
- For people who like a very fantastical setting