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Sky Ghosts: All for One

Sky Ghosts: All for One - Alexandra Engellmann The image on the cover is really good, but if you feel you need even more awesomeness along the same lines have this one:

A guy walked late at night on the streets of Brooklyn when he saw a woman being harassed by a group of men. Before he realized what is going on the woman killed the troublemakers with her katana and disappeared into thin air. Sometime later this same guy and his friend were ambushed by another group of men trying their best to kill them. Luckily a couple of sword-wielding women - including the one above - showed up and saved the day. Now two friends have a couple of important questions without answers. Who wants them dead and why? What is the mysterious organization protecting them and why?

This is the author's first published book and as such it is a little rough around the edges; despite this, it quite good nonetheless. The plot moves with a fast speed with some very occasional slowdowns. The action scenes are nicely done and were keeping me on the edge of the seat. There is a mystery here as well which is intriguing enough.

This book also has Romance Done Right. Lately a big number of urban fantasy writers have a wrong idea about urban fantasy being equal to paranormal romance; it is not. The romance here never gets in the way of the plot, never feels like it overstayed its welcome and is never about selfish people desperately trying to find a boyfriend/girlfriend. This kind of romance became so scarce lately that I feel it really needs to be commended.

On the negative part the characterization is not the strongest part - most of the time. In particular I really do not understand how anybody could fall for Pain with the way she behaves (she does get developed as a character though). Dave remained static through the whole book.

This problem aside I enjoyed reading the book. I think it is closer to 3.5 stars than 4, but as it is a first major effort by the author I have no hesitation to round it up to 4 stars.