This isn’t a book that I would have picked up on my own, but I’m glad that I did.
Since this is the first of a series, the second novel is due out in May. The fact that this is a fantasy world may be more obvious in later novels, but in this one, the only indication that it is a fantasy is that the areas discussed haven’t existed in human history.
The plot follows a group of people associated with the Bumble Bee Caberet in the city of Amberlough. The plot is a spy story set in an environment much like that of pre-WWII Germany. Or maybe today. Before the election that brings the radical, homophobic One State Party, the city is accepting of, and reveling in, diverse lifestyles and identies.
Once the OSP is elected, through an election many believe to have been tampered with, the main characters, and the city as a whole, must deal with the fact that the new regime will crack down on many who were believed to be good citizens before.
Although many of the characters are unlikable, at least I found them so, Donnelly makes them engaging and compelling. There are no good guys, and even the bad guys have shades to them. It’s an interesting book; I look forward to the sequel.
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly. Tor Books (Kindle Edition, February 7, 2017). Amazon