Smoke & Summons

Smoke & Summons

Book - 2019
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"As a human vessel for an ancient spirit, Sandis lives no ordinary life. At the command of her master, she can be transformed against her will into his weapon--a raging monster summoned to do his bidding. Unlike other vessels, Sandis can host extremely powerful spirits, but hosting such creatures can be fatal. To stay alive, she must run. And in a city fueled by smoke and corruption, she finds a surprising ally. A cunning thief for hire, Rone owns a rare device that grants him immortality for one minute every day--a unique advantage that will come in handy in Sandis's fight for freedom. But Sandis's master knows how powerful she is. He's determined to get her back, and he has the manpower to find her, wherever she runs. Now, to outwit her pursuers, Sandis must put all her trust in Rone and his immortal device. For her master has summoned more than mere men to hunt her down..."--Jacket flap.
Publisher: Seattle : 47North, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781503905436
Characteristics: 319 pages ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: Smoke and summons.

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PimaLib_ChristineR Apr 05, 2019

I quit reading the Paper Magician series after book two, but thought I would give Holmberg another chance. I didn't hate this book but I didn't love it enough to continue this series of hers either. And I would suggest that if you felt "meh" about the Paper Magician books, that you would be well-served to skip onto something you really love.

The idea is really interesting: Sandis is enslaved in a city without slavery. She lives in an underground world that few know of, a tool of a type of mob set-up that uses slaves like Sandis as enforcers. She and other teens are used as vessels for demons through a set of runes carved into their skin and the summoning power of their owner, Kazen.

When Sandis finally escapes she has a few things she needs to do: discover her true relationship with her demon, who doesn't seem too bad when it isn't ripping people apart in its fiery maw; find a living relation to shelter her; and hide from Kazen and his crew intent on her return. Soon after her escape she finds aid from a boy named Rone, who has his own issues.

Okay, so that's all great, and we get some movement on two of the fronts, but a lot of the story is taken up with escaping from Kazen and his henchmen. The characters are shallow. I couldn't tell you much of anything about the two lead characters just a week after finishing the book. I know what has happened to each, but I don't know anything especially deep. And Holmberg writes with a very religious tone that puts me off of her writing. I don't need a homily disguised as a fantasy.

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