Mary Sue Brigade – a review of Vigil by Angela Slater

It’s a new urban fantasy read – this time not following teens and children. Let’s see what the adults are up to, I said.

According to this book, really boring stuff. Adulthood is boring enough without cool creatures and magic, but this novel proved that even with all that it is pitiful.

Verity Fassbander, a half mortal half supernatural, is an investigator of crimes involving supernatural creatures. Two hit the streets of Brisbane that cause great intrigue – the illegal collection of children’s tears to be made into wine, and a series of siren murders. When things get personal and Verity’s own friends and associates get involved in these activities however, things get personal. Human lives are at stake just as much as the supernatural, and being one of few to walk between the worlds Verity has to solve this and prevent a conflict which may cause the world to end.

The worldbuilding was the most compelling part of this novel. It did take some turns generic to urban fantasy, but they were presented in unique ways. It takes place in the Australian city of Brisbane, in which supernatural creatures secretly intermingle with humans. They have gangs, black markets and even cute cafes. I really liked the magical realism side of things and following Verity through the novel having grown up in it. It was explained and built upon really well. The representation of creatures was very fun as well, my favourite being the original depiction of sirens existing in conjunction with the evil mermaid association that was Mandela Effected into our knowledge of sirens today.

The characters weren’t nearly done as well. Side characters that were on page for one chapter had more personality than the main characters. Every main character wreaked of Gary Stu and Mary Sue. More than one? Are you crazy? I’m wallowing in disappointment that this disease has spread across most of the cast in this book, especially when they don’t even have character arcs. I think the only situational change was that Verity got a boyfriend.

We once again have a plot solved by dialogue, talking and trying to know the right persons. Is this how all novels with a hint of mystery are solved? Regardless, it became a huge disappointment in a semi supernatural world that the investigation directly involved that maybe twice. And rarely at Verity’s hand. It just made me wish for more of a similar calibre rather than an investigation that could’ve happened without the demons and angels.

Basically the plot was about as supernatural as the time I dreamt about my cat catching a mouse and then it happened two mornings later.

Vigil gets a score of 2/5. Less talky talky, more monstery monstery.

Yours in writing


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