As regular readers of this blog will know I don’t review books I didn’t enjoy, but I most definitely review the ones I did – as it’s a pleasure to spread the word.
However, with Inceptio, it was so good I was almost too scared to review it as I wasn’t sure I could do it justice.
It’s not even my usual type of read – so although I’d heard good things about this particular author, I’d put off reading her books. And as it turns out that was really silly. Note to self: read more widely.
From the Back Cover:
New Yorker Karen Brown is caught in a tangle of hot foreign agents, vicious maniacs and tough families. Running for her life, she is forced to flee from her home into the alien culture of Roma Nova, the mysterious last outpost of the Roman Empire in Europe. Who wouldn’t fear failure? Or will she tough it out and find herself? Apart from kidnapping, heartache and a close encounter with Latin grammar, she must contend with a fascinating but arrogant Praetorian special forces captain.
Plus a crazy killer wants to terminate her for a very personal reason.
Roma Nova is Karen’s dead mother’s homeland. Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman exiles and now ruled by women, it gives her safety, a lover and a ready-made family – but at a price. Joining a law enforcement service as an undercover investigator, Karen focuses on staying alive, but is determined to find out why the killer persists in hunting her.
Part action adventure, part military thriller, laced with romance and coming of age, this is Roman fiction brought into the 21st century through the lens of alternative history and driven by a female protagonist with heart and courage. If you enjoy thrillers and mystery books for women with twists, this is for you!
Inceptio is the first in a series – which is good to know – as having read this you are left wanting more.
All the essentials are present for making this an excellent read. There are great characters, interesting settings, an intriguing plot and wonderful storytelling. But it’s the originality that’s off the scale.
This is a contemporary story but it’s set in an alternative – and highly plausible – history of the world. In this alternative world, Roma Nova is a wealthy and powerful state which is situated between northern Italy and Austria, and it is where most of the action is set.
There are vividly detailed descriptions of people and place. There is intense emotion. And the pace is brisk and compelling. Yes it’s a real ‘just-one-more-page- and-I’ll-stop’ sort of book.
And the characters – oh, the characters! With all of them, Alison Morton avoids stereotyping. All of them surprise and intrigue. I loved the two leads Carina and Conrad. Carina especially – she starts out feisty but leading an ordinary life – and grows into a (sometimes) literally kick-ass, strong and brave woman. And Conrad – oh Conrad – what’s not to love? The supporting cast are wonderful too – surprises everywhere.
With its scenes of brutal violence, its high level of suspense, its intriguing mystery and crime elements and its poignant romance – this is a novel that’s difficult to categorise. It has got everything. Incidentally, I also reckon it would make a hell of an amazing TV series – I can just see it as a Netflix type box set.
So in summary: My advice – just read it.
And to whet your appetite even further – you can view the book trailer on Youtube here – it’s awesome in its own right.
Inceptio is published by Pulcheria Press and is available online and in bookshops. Formats are paperback, ebook, audio, and MP3 CD.
Inceptio is available now from various places – see below: