Carter’s a homicide cop in Titanshade, an oil boomtown where 8-tracks are state of the art, disco rules the radio, and all the best sorcerers wear designer labels. It’s also a metropolis teetering on the edge of disaster. As its oil reserves run dry, the city’s future hangs on a possible investment from the reclusive amphibians known as Squibs.
But now negotiations have been derailed by the horrific murder of a Squib diplomat. The pressure’s never been higher to make a quick arrest, even as Carter’s investigation leads him into conflict with the city’s elite. Undermined by corrupt coworkers and falsified evidence, and with a suspect list that includes power-hungry politicians, oil magnates, and mad scientists, Carter must find the killer before the investigation turns into a witch-hunt and those closest to him pay the ultimate price on the filthy streets of Titanshade.
Thanks to DAW Books and the author for an advanced reading copy of Titanshade (The Carter Archives Book 1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.
First impressions of Titanshade: OMG, BECKY. LOOK AT THAT COVER!
Really though, in all seriousness, it resembles a classic, gritty episode of Law and Order: SVU, but instead of a straight-shooter detective like Olivia Benson, you are left with (what appears to be) Nick Sax from Happy! in a city on the brink of collapse. Not to mention that said city is full of humans and monsters alike; some with nasty, big, pointy mandibles that, every so often, need to be hankied.
But it is much more than that. Titanshade was easy to get drawn into because the city is eerily similar to some of our own metropolitan areas, though with a dose of magic and some serious mandibles (as you can tell, they are hard to get out of your mind… or from around your neck). It has the vibe of Frank Miller’s ‘Sin City’ graphic novel, a city that never sleeps with trouble around every corner.
Carter is a character I could really get behind and stand by through the thick of it. Even though his “troubled” past and drinking habits tend to get the better of him, he is out to do the right thing no matter who he pisses off. I also enjoyed the witty banter, and injected wisdom, from his rookie partner/babysitter, Ajax. I was pleasantly surprised how fleshed out Stout’s characters were, and how great the dialogue was between them, considering this was his debut. Quite impressive to say the least.
All in all, I absolutely loved Titanshade and cannot wait to be offered my next ride-along. It is sci-fi noir at its finest WITH MANDIBLES. I just hope the smell of cinnamon dissipates before I get there.