Original Title: Best Left in Shadows
Year Published: 2015
Published by: Gelineau & King (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Number of Pages: 80
First Sentence: “The slow lapping of the Prion River mingled with the creaking wood symphony of the water wheel beside the dock.”
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
A Highside girl. Beaten. Murdered. Her body found on a Lowside dock. A magistrate comes looking for answers. For justice.
Alys trades and sells secrets among the gangs and factions of Lowside. She is a daughter of the underworld. Bold. Cunning. Free. When an old lover asks for help, she agrees. For a price.
Together, they travel into the dark heart of the underworld in search of a killer.
This was such a joy to read and after finishing it, I just wanted more. It is short and the pages just fly by. It was entertaining and gripped you by the throat from the get-go and never let go.
Alys was such an amazing character. She was strong and a super capable fighter. She even fights with a weapon that might not be a girl’s first choice. She is very complex yet easy to understand. I loved the fact that she has a deeper backstory but as far as we know she hasn’t made the choices she has because someone she loved died, something that often happens in order for a girl to become a hero (and is also ridiculous).
Dax is also a great character. I loved the fact that standing next to Alys he has an air of being clumsy and slightly incompetent, but he in his own right is an amazing fighter. It’s just that he has to enter a world he isn’t comfortable with, but Alys is. The relationship between Alys and Dax was very entertaining and I look forward to reading more about it in the following books.
The world in this book is so intriguing and really gets you interested. The social structure is very interesting, and it’s quite fascinating to see how the classes are separated. The difference between how the classes live, dress and overall behave was really detailed.
The overall plot was extremely detailed for such a short story. That reflects just how good the authors are at conveying the plot and writing it in a way where there is something happening all the time without it being too much or feeling rushed. It was paced in a perfect way that suited both the story and the short format.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do.