ad – this book was gifted in exchange for a review
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS // Woah, it has been a HOT MINUTE since I last reviewed a book on here. In fact, I couldn’t actually tell you what the last book I reviewed actually was. I well and truly feel like I’ve gone back in time 5 years writing a book review again – I almost don’t really know how to do it anymore but I’m going to give it a good go for the sake of this book and author!
Author L. Gourley and I have been forever linked by a mutual monumental fuck-up from a publisher who made a lot of promises but ultimately ended up fucking us all over. Whilst L Gourley was writing Incipience, I was writing my own non-fiction book, “Finding Your Way Back To You”, which has since ended up in a folder in the depths of my laptop. I haven’t looked at it since.
But L. Gourley stuck two fingers up to that publisher and went ahead and self published her novel. I’m so glad they did because it’s quite obvious how much time, effort, thought and planning went into this story. You can find the official website for Incipience here but first let’s tell you what the book is about, shall I.
Incipience by L. Gourley
After the angels and the humans came God’s final creation: the seraphs. The last attempt at a perfect being. The cause of Lucifer’s rebellion.
Excommunicated from Heaven alongside him to prevent further provocation of war the seraphs were left to deal with the aftermath of his fury, endlessly battling the demons created from his malice.
Raised a warrior, Kali thought she knew the people that raised her, until she discovers a terrible family secret.
When dark forces come to destroy everything she loves, she must fight to save her world. But will it be so easy when some of that darkness lives within her?
My review of Incipience:
Now I just want to say that Fantasy isn’t my usual genre. I don’t read a lot of Fantasy and when I do, it’s often very much mixed in with other genres which kinda obscures the fact that it’s Fantasy. For that reason, I was a little apprehensive going into this, especially as it’s written by someone that I speak to online.
But to me, this was a friendly Fantasy. By that I mean everything was set out and explained to cater for the not-into-Fantasy reader. It was actually very clever so bravo to L. Gourley for getting this non-Fantasy reader to read an entire Fantasy book – and love it!
The storyline of the book itself is really intriguing and the first chapter, which explains how to Seraphs came about was absolutely stunning to read. I adored that chapter and it instantly drew me in.
Getting into the story, we meet the main character Kali, who unbeknownst to herself at the start of the novel, possesses demonic darkness within her. Kali is a great character, who goes through so much in such a short space of time and is clearly struggling with her identity, her power and her place in the world.
William, Kali’s brother, was another main factor in the book and William and Kali’s relationship was great because it wasn’t sugar-coated nor was it played up or down for the sake of excitement. It seemed to me, like a very normal brother and sister relationship. They loved each other deeply but when they clashed, everyone knew about it.
There was a great mix of tension, action, excitement and chill within this book. Kali, William and their friends are under threat for a lot of (well basically all of) this book but it’s not a boring game of cat and mouse by any means. There are some lovely in-between moments with Kali, her friends and her brother with his partner Amerial. It was nice to see LGBTQ+ representation in the book too.
Incipience draws on the authors own experiences with mental illness and although if you didn’t know that, it wouldn’t be totally obvious, what is obvious is that Kali is in a constant state of conflict with her own mind. If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough, you’ll know that I’ve suffered from mental illness too and some things Kali comes out with made me go, “oooh snap”.
One more thing before we wrap up and that’s the ending. Oh boy, the ending. The ending to me was like a climatic ending that just left you hanging right in the middle of an orgasm. It’s like “erm… what?!” I know this book is the first in a series, so it’s understandable why it ended like this but dammmmn.
Okay for my first book review in half a decade, I don’t think I’ve done too bad. I really, thoroughly enjoyed Incipience and I’ll definitely be wanting to read the sequel when it’s out to see how Kali, William and their friend’s fate plays out. I loved the dark aspects of the book and the fact that they resided mostly within the characters, rather than external forces.
L. Gourley did an amazing job with Incipience and I’m so proud of them for releasing this book after being so fucked over by this publisher who will remain nameless. It’s a real page-turner, a Fantasy for the non-Fantasy readers (huge achievement!), high tension and intricately woven themes throughout. Loved it!
Are you a Fantasy lover? Will you be picking up a copy of Incipience?
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