*4.5 out of 5*
Marked as urban fantasy, I went into this novel with little expectation. I wasn’t familiar with the genre and – seeing as this book was being released by a primarily horror outlet, Silver Shamrock – I figured it would be dark and bloody. But it isn’t! A Stranger’s Guide isn’t the kind of book that will startle, scare, or sicken you. Instead, you can expect thoughtful world building, witty conversations, a diverse log of characters, and interesting story lines crossing over one another.
In this decently-sized novel, you’re introduced to the haunting city of Glasglow, which contains various people and species of power. There are gods, demons, vampires, fallen angels, and more to find along the way (including creatures I’ve never heard of before). This diversity definitely works in the book’s favor, giving it a zing any time a new character is introduced – who will they be underneath their glamour?
A Stranger’s Guide is unlike anything I’ve read prior; it’s largely conversation-based, with streams of mystery, fantasy, and dark magic coming together in an intriguing pool of fiction. The gothic atmosphere and easily-driven POV work well on the foundation, whilst allowing the other flavors to rise the reader as they move along.
I will say that it has some minor faults. The pacing is a bit slow at times, and the finale was disappointing and lackluster. However, Platt has left the story with the ability to kick off a series, which is great news! The world she created here is one I’d like to revisit.