Monday, 11 March 2019

Review: Vicious Rumer, Joshua Winning

I had the great privilege of sharing the stage Joshua Winning during the genre panel at the Unbound Author event in Nottingham last October. Eagle eyed observers in the room may have noticed my jaw hitting the stage that during the "who are your influences?" question when Winning answered that his were Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Robin Jarvis.

Suffice to say, I bought the damn book.

It's bloody good. I mean, really bloody good.

Vicious Rumer follows Rumer Cross, hard-nosed, solitary, and damaged, as she tries to escape the legacy of her mother: Celene Cross, the so called 'Witch Assassin'. Not so easy when a mobster with a propensity for throwing his enemies in to oubliettes decides that your  mother left a mystical weapon in your care, nor indeed when said mother might placed a curse on you that means anyone you get close to dies a horrible death.

Fast paced, slick, and nasty, this is a cracking thriller that manages to be kinda charming despite not holidng back on the pain, darkness, death and despair. The plot races through blood-magic, political conspiracies, and mob violence without letting up for long enough for our protagonist to have a shower. I tore through reading it at much the same pace. Winning captures Rumer's voice perfectly, her mixture of affected heartlessness and vulnerability providing a capable, sympathetic female protaganist who you are willing to follow in to some very dodgy places and questionable actions.

Honestly, go read it. Jarvis would be proud.

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