Dark Tidings is an entertaining blend of genres, guaranteed to appeal to readers who enjoy ‘mash-up’ fiction.
For the first half, it flips between what almost feel like two different books: the sword-and-sorcery medieval fantasy that wizard Madrick and thief Tung are having misadventures in, and the modern cyber-thriller where super-hacker Michael plans to bring down the most powerful secret organisation in history.
It’s when the two worlds combine that the story really kicks off. There’s plenty of humour in the surreal scenes of spell-casting in the 21st Century, and also some chillingly believable observations on just how the rich and powerful manipulate everything from behind the scenes.
The book covers a lot of ground, but concludes with more than one ‘open door’ through which events could continue. Ken Magee has created a warm, amusing but also unsettling world, and I’m keen to find out what happens next in The Black Conspiracy.