5 out of 5 stars.
Publishing my own first book has been a rewarding—and challenging—experience. Facing those challenges alone would have been difficult enough, but I’ve been helped through the process by several other new, or fairly new, independent authors (you’ve seen me mention—and sing the praises of—Joshua Gayou, and his excellent debut Commune book series).
Vincent Phan Tran has been another new author that I’ve been lucky enough to confide in, bounce ideas off of, and trade war stories of the trials of publishing books. Like Joshua, Vincent also writes in a different genre from my own, however there are some elements that are common to all three of our styles, such as great action, unforgettable characters, and a fresh perspective on the subject matter each us is tackling.
Vince recently released his debut novel, Jebediah’s Crime. This is the first in his planned “Hinge Series” of heroic supernatural thrillers. The last term in that rather rambling genre designation is where we find the most common ground between our stories, as this is indeed a thriller. If you’ve read, and liked, my debut novella No Time to Bleed, I believe you’ll find a lot to like in Jebediah’s Crime, as I did. Even if you’re not traditionally a reader of supernatural thrillers or “urban fantasy”, you’ll be taken in by the fast pace, intricate action sequences and interesting settings. Jebediah’s Crime is a painstakingly well-crafted story, set within an expertly developed world, with interesting characters and lots of satisfying action.
Those of you who know me, or have read my work, know that I love history. And here, smack-dab in the middle of an urban fantasy story set among dragons, magic and fantastic locations, there’s a morsel of real history that is poignant, moving and captivating. It’s a sequence where one of the main families of the story are escaping Saigon at the end of the Vietnam war. Here is where, at least for this reader, the author has made his most indelible mark. While its treated as a flashback, it takes skill to to weave such an iconic moment in actual, real world history, into a tale of fantasy and magic. And we get a definite sense of the affect those events have had on the author in real life, and how it has wrought the themes that have taken form in his stories. The Vietnam sequence is skillfully crafted, and lends weight and credibility to the rest of the story.
The book concludes satisfactorily, with no major cliffhangers. But it ends with the promise of much more to come from Vincent Phan Tran, and with these characters we’ve come to know. I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Disclaimer: I was provided an Advanced Reader Copy by the author at no cost. I was only asked for initial feedback, though there was no requirement to post an official review in exchange for the ARC. However, I enjoyed the book so much that I gladly purchased it upon release, and am proud to offer my thoughts in this review as a verified purchaser of the book.