Danielle Ackley-McPhail is in my small writing critique group. I was invited to give her manuscript a read through before it was published. It was a great chance to sit in on her creative process. It was difficult to focus on my critique duties when all I wanted to do was enjoy reading the story. I couldn’t help it!
I think she has an inventive approach on third person narrative. If you read this story from a biker’s perspective, you are going to know that voice. If you have no past experience in the world of bikers, then you will have a bit of biker cred when she finishes with you. The story is at once poetic and brash. You’re rumbling along one moment and are captivated by the world around you the next.
You can tell Danielle has spent time with her characters and their world. The prologue is touching and does a great job of setting the back story. You feel the magic in the world and hear a bard’s voice. When you transition to present day, you are dropped right into a motorcycle bar. She does a great job of matching the words and the tone with the current locale of the story.
The characters are fun to get to know. There are more than a couple that I would like to hear more about in future stories. She leaves you wanting more. You want to know everyone’s back story. You even want to hear their perspective. The use of magic was well-played. The main character, Lance Cosain, is dealing with his own duality. He is part fae and part human, halfling. He is dealing with this as he is forced to go to war with the crazed high king of the fae, Dair na Scath, and the king’s champion. Danielle also offers us strong female characters. Lance has to deal with balancing his position as leader of The Wild Hunt Motorcycle Club and his relationship with his girlfriend. Everyone is the club is looking to him for guidance. He tries to protect his turf and his people as she seeks to demonstrate she can handle her own.
The action sequences are great. The atmosphere is rich. The characters are indeed characters. The world of fae is believable. The gremlins of the road were a special favorite of mine. I would suggest you read it just to catch a glimpse of them. You will never look at potholes the same. I really did enjoy this book. I should also mention here that I didn’t read the book with the benefit of the terrific illustrations. I’ve seen them now. They are stunning. Linda Saboe did an amazing job of capturing these characters in ink.