The Hallow serum was once sacred to the Auld Bloods. Used to gain access to their lost ancestral powers, now it is regulated and administered by the powerful Providence Company. Evolved from the echelons of the Auld Church, the company exists to maintain the balance between faith, science and politics.

But keeping the peace between humans and Auld Bloods isn’t easy. Taking Hallow comes at a price. Providence Company Assessor Cam must deal with backstreet bootleggers, burnt-out addicts and floating nuns that won’t stay on the ground.

When a string of Auld Blood deaths appear to have been caused by a corrupted batch of Hallow, Cam begins to suspect all may not be as it seems. Bodies are piling up. Someone is hiding something, and the consequences are becoming monstrous.







At it’s heart, this gaslamp fantasy set in a backdrop of a 1920’s style world has all the trappings of a noirish thriller, but with the added ingredients of floating nuns, backstreet bootleggers and a dystopian company that employs gangs to police its segregated population of Auld Bloods.

Holly Tinsley loves her grimy backdrops. Her previous books, the Vangaurd Chronicles expertly captured the underbelly of the victorianesque world that the books were set in. Similarly , in The Hallows, the reader is plunged into the murky, grime encrusted underbelly of her new world.

Camellia, assessor of the garden district (hence all the members of the group are named after flowers, such as the burly Daffodil, or the aptly named empathic Forget – me – Not) , along with his crew are called in to investigate a suspicious death of an unknown female. This leads Amelia to discover that there is something fishy going on. The death doesn’t seem to add up as the woman stopped taking the state franchised drug Hallow (an organic compound that heightens the powers of the Auld bloods).

As usual, Tinsley deftly manages to weave plot and character together to create a fantastic arc for the characters to a conclusion that will definitely surprise the reader. The book meanders from its initial noirish backdrop to epic fantasy scales as Camellia's past comes back to haunt him.

Fans of books like Krystle Matar will definitely feel at home with this book, as The Hallows has that gripping mix of modern and old.

The Hallows is a short book so that the means that the prose is clipped and to the point. Tinsley doesn’t waste time on complex world building, weaving the different backdrops through the story rather than giving time to large amounts of exposition. The plot initially starts at a languid pace as the mystery of the poisoned Auld bloods is developed, but by the third act, gears are shifted and the accelerator is definitely pushed to the floor as the crescendo builds.

The Hallows is a fantastic mix of plot and character dynamics and anyone who likes a good noirish thriller set in a fantasy environment will definitely find something to love in this book.


Popular Posts