Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams

Under Ordshaw
Under Ordshaw by Phil Williams
Publication: May 29th, 2018
Ebook. 304 pages.

About Under Ordshaw:

"Welcome to Ordshaw. Don’t look down. Pax is one rent cheque away from the unforgiving streets of Ordshaw. After her stash is stolen, her hunt for the thief unearths a book of nightmares and a string of killers, and she stands to lose much more than her home. 

There’s something lurking under her city. 

Knowing it’s there could get you killed."

I hadn't read an urban fantasy in a while, so I was excited to dip my toes back into the subgenre and see how it went. Under Ordshaw was brought to my attention courtesy of the wonderful TBRindr service started on r/fantasy that helps to connect indie authors with reviewers! When I was asked about reviewing Under Ordshaw, I was really drawn to it for a variety of reasons, the largest of which being how interesting the concept sounded. I love the idea of there being creatures or mysterious unknown things existing beneath a city that is otherwise unknown to its inhabitants and I had a great time exploring that concept in this book.

The underground tunnels were one of my favorite parts of this book and were so fun to explore. I loved learning about the various creatures Williams developed and how he introduced them to the story. His descriptions of the creatures, the underground, and even other characters and settings were really well done and vividly established. As an added bonus, there was never too much in the way of heavy info-dumping, everything was instead introduced and elaborated upon at reasonable points in the narrative and without being excessive. The additional world-building added to incorporate the fantasy elements was strong and I felt firmly grounded in the narrative.

Pax is really a fantastic urban fantasy character. Her personality is highly relatable and she's a rather tough and unafraid person with plenty of street smarts, but she's also not overly cocky in ways that would put her in danger, which I particularly liked. She's a bit headstrong and impulsive at times and certainly makes some mistakes, but these were all sort of done in ways that were understandable rather than frustrating to read about. There are a few other characters we follow throughout the story that consistently bring strong personality and excitement to the narrative as well.

One thing that I liked about the characters in this book was that none of them seemed explicitly good or bad; there was a lot of grey area sprinkled amidst the plot that left me unsure what to really expect from anyone. In turn, this helped to keep me on my toes and constantly wondering what would happen next--and end up reading this book so quickly!

Under Ordshaw is a really fun adventure with a lot of interesting characters (and creatures) thrown in to keep things interesting. I found the major plot thread that ran through the book to be a compelling that I actively cared about and was interested in finding out the conclusion of.

Overall, I've given Under Ordshaw four stars! If you like urban fantasy or are looking to check out something from the genre, this is a perfect book to check out!

*I received a copy of Under Ordshaw in exchange for an honest review. This has no effect on my rating of the novel.*

Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound

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