Dangerous Ways by R.R. Virdi
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date: December 14, 2016
Reviewed by: Bob James
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A
That being said, Dangerous Ways is the first book in a new series by Dragon Award nominated author R. R. Virdi. This epic sets the standard for Urban Fantasy novels. From the beginning of this novel Virdi doesn’t so much invite you into his world, as he opens a vortex that sucks you in from the opening scene. This world is the foundation for all his writing in the Urban Fantasy genre. His first series, The Grave Report, and this book, the first in The Books of Winter series, all take place in this amazing world and not only do we get a compelling story, we get another view of this wonderland from a different angle.
Did I say wonderland? Well, Alice surely wouldn’t recognize this wonderland as we see the ominous side of many fantasy creatures we have come to know and love in the writings of others. We follow the journeys of two characters, dare I name them? Yes, I will. Jonathan Hawthorne and Cassidy (Cassie) Winters lead us through this world popping into the most interesting and frightening places.
Their journey is fraught with danger from the very creatures they need to contact.
Jonathan has two strikes against him as he has gotten involved in the affairs of mortals previously. A third time could cause this timeless man to lose his life. Still, he gets involved in Cassie’s problems. Cassie is a girl in trouble whose amazing powers have marked her for death from the creatures of this world while she has no understanding of the world, or even the depths and the danger of her powers. The journey through the world also sees interesting growth in the characterization of Cassie as she adapts to this unknown world and its strange ways during her adventures.
AS I said before, we see a side of fairies, elves, trolls, and dwarves that was never revealed by Tolkien. But wait, there’s more. Yes, Virdi introduces us to many other amazing creatures in his world. Each one more dangerous than the next. Not only can you not trust any of these amazing creatures, who would just as soon kill you as look at you, you can’t even trust your friends. The action is intense and leaves the reader on the edge of their seat all the way through the book.
I’ve read Tolkien, but not many other fantasy writers. Fantasy never appealed to me. I devoured this epic, though, torn between the desire to read it slowly and make it last or read it quickly to find out what happens. I ended up reasing it quickly because I couldn’t put it down. This book was a top ten finisher in the category of Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novel in the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll of 2016. The caveats: at times the action may be too intense for younger readers and there is occasional use of adult language. That being said, it is a great read for most people.