Saturday 2 September 2023

Book Review: Masters of Death by Olivie Blake (Fantasy)

Title: Masters of Death
Author: Olivie Blake
Publisher: Tor
Publication Date: 8 August 2023 (2018)
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Bought Copy

This book is about an estate agent. Only she's a vampire, the house on sale is haunted, and its ghost was murdered.

When Viola Marek hires Fox D'Mora to deal with her ghost-infested mansion, she expects a competent medium. But unbeknownst to Viola, Fox is a fraud - despite being the godson of Death.

As the mystery unfolds, Viola and Fox are drawn into a quest that neither wants, nor expects. And they'll need the help of a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel and a love-stricken reaper. As it transpires, the difference between a mysterious lost love and a dead body isn't nearly as distinct as you'd hope . . .


Masters of Death was an unusually slow read for me. Usually I'd finish a book this length in three days, but it took me five due to the author's verbose prose style. It's hard to skim-read Blake's writing; you really have to pore over each sentence. But that didn't mean I enjoyed it any less, and having read some of her other works, I went in knowing what to expect. Overall, I found the story interesting. There was a lot of jumping back and forth in time in the telling, but it was always clear to following and added to the slow layering of the truth throughout the tale. Viola and Fox were both interesting characters. Though I would say Fox's name kept pulling me out of the story a little as my mind naturally kept drifting to The X-Files. The premise was original and fresh and held my interest throughout and I felt it ended in a satisfactory manner. I might have gone with a different cover design though. I don't think this one accurately indicates the genre/style of the book, reminding me more of a non-fiction text on the history of medicine, or something of that ilk. Overall, I am giving this story 4.5 stars.

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