Lightning Tracks (#1) by A. A. Kinsela

Published: 1st November 2018Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Plainspeak Publishing
Pages: 260
Format: ebook
Genre: YA Fantasy
★   ★   ★   ★ – 4 Stars

Nick isn’t a warrior. He knows some basic karate, but that’s it.

So when an assassin turns up to settle a blood debt, Nick narrowly escapes with his life. In his haste, he unwittingly flees to Korelios, a place he thought existed only in his eccentric aunt’s ancient legends.

All too soon, he finds himself caught in the middle of a war, and he must make an impossible choice: do his duty or follow his heart.

His choice will decide the fate of an entire civilisation.

Note: I was asked for a review by the author. 

I was curious about this story because while there were some elements that I was wary about, I was also intrigued. Fantasy and I have a love/hate relationship so while I was open minded, I was preparing myself. Thankfully my worry was all for nought because this is a wonderful Australian fantasy. It is refined and simple yet has a detailed and engaging story that has all the elements that makes a fantasy a fantasy.

Kinsela keeps the fantasy world elements close to our own, Korelios is another realm overlapping our own world with differences but a familiarity as well. Kinsela herself calls it an alternative history/fantasy novel and I think that is an apt description. The world is vast, made up of different cultures, languages, and has its own important history. The Australian landscape plays backdrop to both realms which was something that I really enjoyed. The characters may speak different languages and not actually be in Australia, but they still have emus, goannas and kangaroos. The world reflects Australia and as an Australian it is wonderful to see the Australian environment be able to be used in this type of storytelling, it is suited for this genre quite well.

Our introduction to the world is told through dialogue, character observation and thoughts, as well as natural story progression. Kinsela cleverly avoids the long paragraphs of description and world building and instead weaves it naturally through the story where the reader can piece together new and old information and construct the world in their mind. The world is rich and complicated but it is easy to understand.

Nick is a character I fell in love with right away. His voice is perfect and his personality is one of a defender more often than a fighter which I loved. Nick is a good kid but has had troubles and his loyalty is a blessing and curse. It’s not just Nick, all of Kinsela’s characters are well developed and from their first introduction she captures their voice and you know who they are. I was already so engrossed in Nick’s story that when it changed points of view I was surprised, certainly intrigued, but it adds a whole extra level of storytelling and suspense.

One thing I was not expecting was to still be so engaged continuously and especially at the end. Kinsela maintains an ideal pace that keeps the story flowing naturally but not fast enough that the reader feels like things are being brushed over. Conflicts are raised and resolved and new ones form in suspenseful and captivating ways while the longer story stretches out. I will admit I had reservations with some elements but Kinsela uses her characters well and in ways that feel true to who they are.

This story was full of delightful surprises and I cannot wait until the second book comes out because I would love to see where Kinsela takes these characters and this wonderful story.

You can purchase Lightning Tracks via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon Aust | Amazon

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