This book came highly recommended by a fellow bookworm. I couldn’t wait to read it so a huge thank you to Sara Bain for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
As any of you that know me will be aware, my TBR list sits at about 4 years long so it takes a pretty interesting-sounding read to push its way to the front of the queue. This is what happened here…
What the blurb says:
LONDON solicitor Libby Butler’s life is in a self-inflicted mess. Her affair with her boss is going nowhere as is her position in the prestigious city law firm where she works. A narrow escape from the knife of south London’s elusive serial murderer, The Vampire Killer, has challenged her outward bravado and left her nerves and personal life in tatters.
When duty calls Libby to a metropolitan police station in the middle of the night, she meets the enigmatic Gabriel Radley. Dressed like an ancient warrior in studded leather armour, Gabriel has a habit of disappearing from police custody and danger appears to dog him.
Gabriel is searching for a ‘stone’ he has lost, its value ‘beyond human imagination’, that will help bring a ‘monster’ to justice. When Libby agrees to help him, she unwittingly plunges her life into a series of disasters and neither she nor any of her friends are safe.
A cult who call themselves The Awakened, a gangland thug and his henchman, a female assassin, a detective chief inspector from Scotland Yard, and even the serial killer, all become inadvertently embroiled in the chase for the stone and the pivotal force of Gabriel.
As the death toll rises, Libby is forced to face herself, learn the true value of life and the potent significance of the Sleeping Warrior within.
Can you see why now? A murder mystery with a dashing hero and a paranormal element, this absolutely rang all of my bells! Oh but it is so much more.
Sara Bain’s writing style is simply brilliant. The dialogue she creates and her humour are absolutely addictive. Each character in this novel has an entirely unique voice and the way she combines the mundane (in terms of language) with the fantastic (in terms of events) had me rattling through this novel at a rate of knots: ‘Don’t be a bloody fool! Of course not. If he was the Vampire Killer, I would certainly know about it. He’s never even read the Twilight Saga’.
Libby is entirely likeable. She isn’t beautiful, or perfect, or above blame and she sure as hell makes mistakes and behaves badly at times. Hooray! A human female protagonist! And that’s not all. We also meet Rose Red in this novel – a complete kick-ass female Russian assassin but one who is as far removed from a caricature as you can get. There is much more to her than meets the eye. So, what? Two strong female characters? Damn right!
Gabriel is a ‘Vascaran’ (so there!) and is just amazing; I challenge any woman to read this and not fall a tiny bit in love with him. So what if he’s from another dimension? ‘Despite his outward beauty, an inner magnificence shone from within Gabriel… He was ruthless yet forgiving; terrible yet gentle: it was this perfect balance of conflicting qualities that made him so captivating to his friends and bewildering to his enemies’. To some extent he acts as Libby’s conscience and softens some of her harsher edges: ‘A good man whose love you do not deserve sits in a cold cell awaiting injustice…’
There are plenty of characters to get to know – from those that come from the ‘real’ world to those that don’t. Each is drawn brilliantly. Sat here at my computer I can absolutely picture Nicole, the interfering psychiatrist, as well as Carl the hot-shot lawyer and Libby’s philandering boss. But equally, I can also picture Shinar: ‘the most malevolent creature Rose Red had ever encountered and she would forever feel tainted and filthy’.
The novel is an action-packed exploration of good versus evil and its blend of realism and fantasy absolutely works. What a debut! One of my favourite reads of the year so far.
Get a copy on kindle NOW! It’s only £1.84 at the moment – an absolute bargain: The Sleeping Warrior
If yo’d rather have the book: The Sleeping Warrior