Friday, 29 May 2015

The Soulseer Chronicles #1: Marked by Sue Tingey (Jo Fletcher Books)

Sue Tingey’s debut novel, Marked, is an urban fantasy published by Jo Fletcher books and is the first book in the Soulseer Chronicles, and currently available to buy in the UK.

With no family and very few friends, Lucky’s psychic ability has always made her an outcast. The only person she can rely on is Kayla, the ghost girl who has been with her since she was born.

But Kayla is not all that she appears.

And when Lucky is visited by a demonic assassin with a message for her friend, she finds herself dragged into the Underlands – and the political fight for the daemon king’s throne.

Lucky, trapped in the daemon world, is determined to find her way home… until she finds herself caught between the charms of the Guardian Jamie, the charismatic Daemon of Death Jinx – and the lure of finding out who she really is.

Reading a Jo Fletcher-published book is always something that I’m going to look forward to because you know that most of the time, you’ll get something good and Sue Tingey’s confident debut is an example of that, with the first novel in the Soulseer Chronicles being a very well written offering that should be worth a look for fans looking to read something that focuses on a world parallel to our own, with a great urban fantasy feel that’s richly developed.

Marked follows the journey of Lucky, a psychic whose ability to see ghosts has always made her an outcast, with no family and few friends to speak of. The only person who she can rely on is Kayla, the ghost girl who has followed her around since she was born, but even Kayla, is not quite who she appears, and when Lucky finds herself visited by a daemonic assassin with a message for her friend, she finds herself pulled into the political battle for the Underlands and the fight for the daemon king’s throne, even if she, at the same time, is doing everything to try and get back home.

The characters are intriguing and whilst there is a romance subplot it is handled well and never slows the story down. As well as Lucky and Kayla we also find out that Lucky soon gets caught between the Guardian Jamie and the charismatic Daemon of Death Jinx, who are the other two characters involved in a love triangle with Lucky, but it never really feels as though we’ve ‘been there, done that’ before, with Tingey writing well enough to avoid the clichés and resolve the romance plot well whilst at the same time, moving the story along nicely. The supporting cast of Mr Kerfuffle and Mr Shenanigans are nice additions to the book as well as bodyguards, and any Neil Gaiman fan should feel right at home with the style of this book, as it’s smartly and compellingly written with some confident prose.

The world that we are introduced to combines Heaven and Hell into one place and is a fascinating approach to Urban Fantasy which keeps the fresh feel of the novel rather than it being again, the same old story that we've seen countless of times before. It’s different and blends the modern-day British setting with the parallel world very well indeed, not falling into the trap of having all demons evil and all angels good, blurring the lines between the two factions wonderfully well.

The character interactions and the relationship between Lucky and Kayla is pretty great throughout the whole novel and we get some nice, well rounded characters here that work. When combined with the extremely well paced first offering and richly developed world, Sue Tingey’s Marked a fascinating opener to what should be an excellent trilogy. It’s currently available to buy in the UK although (according to it won’t be available in the USA until October 6, and is something that you should certainly consider picking up when you can.



  1. Interesting. Based on the synopsis this could easily be a book I could be ambivalent about, a take-it-or-leave-it book. But your comments on the whole Heaven/Hell aspect definitely make me want to take a closer look at it when I can; that part sounds right up my alley!

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  3. Not a very good review, I've read the book and there are very many problems with it. Grammar wise she seems to only write in run-ons and fractured sentences. Also, the plot is lost to the reader and drags on without a climax. In addition to the nonexistent climax, the ending is fuzzy and still leaves you wondering "that's it?" This book feels like the drawn out first half of an actual plot line and if she had an actual editor that cleaned it up she would realize this. You can reduce this book with editing to half a story. Lucky as a character is also incredibly naive, ignorant, childish (most characters are actually), unrealistic, and unable to think for herself and poses as the worst main female character to ever exist in a book with a leading female role. She has been there just to fill in between two incredibly hot male characters that I would rather be reading about instead. She's a throw away.

    Honestly the concept is great, the themes are great, but this was very very far from a cleaned up and polished story. She has a long way to go before I would consider giving it 3.5 stars out of 5.