Book Review: Corpselight – Verity Fassbinder Book 2 by Angela Slatter

Corpselight…

About the Book:

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead in takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful.

CORPSELIGHT, the sequel to VIGIL, is the second book in the Verity Fassbinder series by award-winning author Angela Slatter.


My Thoughts:

“Now, do you know what happened to me today? I was almost drowned on dry land. Do you know what happened to me last week? I was attacked by assassins while I was not quite nine months’ pregnant. And last year? I got beaten up by an angel, sucker-punched by an old witch who tried to roast me and almost eaten by a golem made of garbage. The year before that, I got nearly eaten by a berserker. So maybe you might want to do your research before you start accusing me of – well, whatever it is you think I’m guilty of – and you might like to consider if you really do want this job!”

Verity Fassbinder is back and Weryd crime waits for nothing – not even pregnancy and childbirth! The hormones are raging, the threats are advancing, there’s a new council and archivist to work in with, family members are popping up out of nowhere, bodies are piling up, there’s corpselights dancing in the yard, and the Boatman wants his special knife back. It’s all happening, usually all at once, and just like the first time around, I absolutely love it! Oh, and then there’s David, who is the very definition of perfection. I’m so glad he turned out to be a good guy. Verity is as cutting as ever and with her new family to protect, she’s fiercer than before too. Some interesting dynamics appear between Verity and her cohorts, trust is fractured in some quarters and strengthened in others. I enjoyed how Angela tugged on the threads of Verity’s relationships, stretching her a bit more than in Vigil, testing the boundaries of what she was inclined to tolerate from those around her.

Verity herself is much changed. She’s in a committed relationship with David and is a new mother. There were some fantastic internal reflections on her new role within the context of her crazy, and terrifically dangerous, life:

“And I felt like the worst mother in the world, not just because I wasn’t there now, but because there was a really good chance that this wasn’t going to be just a blip on the radar of my daughter’s life. David would always be there for her, he could be counted on, but I would always be trying to deal with the latest crisis, or cleaning up a mess not of my own making, or trailing along in the wake of something terrible and trying to work out why it’d happened, who’d done it, who needed to be punished and how it could possibly be kept secret. That was going to be our life forever…or until I fucked up, until I died – or I wasn’t there for David or Maisie and they died.”

I loved how Angela worked this angle of motherhood, the guilt and worry that is so common place, into Verity’s story. Verity might fight the supernatural as her day job, but in all else, her experiences are entirely human.

Corpselight ends on a bit more uncertain ground than Vigil did, which kind of makes me glad I didn’t read this a year ago! Angela has set the scene for something big just over the horizon, and I for one, can’t wait to find out what it is in Restoration.

Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Corpselight for review.


About the Author:

Angela Slatter is the award-winning author of eight short story collections, including A Feast of Sorrows: Stories, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, and Winter Children and Other Chilling Tales. She has won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award and five Aurealis Awards. Her short stories have appeared widely, including in annual British, Australian and North American Best Of anthologies, and her work has been translated into Spanish, Russian, Polish, Romanian, and Japanese. Vigil was her first solo novel, and the sequel Corpselight was released in July 2017. Angela lives in Brisbane, Australia.


Corpselight
Published by Hachette Australia
Released July 2017
Available in Paperback and eBook

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