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  • Amazingly Complex Debut Novel

    Ninth City Burning is the first book by J. Patrick Black so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was an amazingly complex novel and far more than I expected in a debut novel. This is a standalone with no cliffhanger, though it is open-ended for future books in what I hope will be a series. I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. There is violence, as this book is about a war with an alien species. At times this novel seemed more like reading a textbook. Not surprising since the first part of the book is set in classrooms, with pre-teen and early-teen "kids". Ninth City Burning will appeal to those those readers who are more left-brained. Other readers will find parts of it, especially in the beginning, too dry and too educational. It gets better if you keep on reading through the dry parts. The book blurb adequately describes the storyline so I'm not going to repeat that all of that info here. The author did a great job of explaining the "magic" (thelemety) as simply as possible so a complicated subject could make sense to the reader. This is a story of science, magic, battle strategy and saving Earth and what's left of humanity after centuries of war with the aliens. It definitely kept me riveted. I look forward to reading more of his books and really hope he continues this story as a series. I received an ARC copy of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

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