The book I read was not the book I thought I was going to read. I'm not sure what I expected, but what I got ended up being interesting and thought-provoking, especially in this day and age.
Amberlough is a fictional province in a fictional country called Gedda. A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in this glam spy thriller, or as I've also heard it called - a cabaret thriller. (Think 1930s Germany)
I had problems with what felt to me like slowness in the first 2/3rds of the book, if I'm being honest. It felt draggy and what's the point, even though the writing was quite good and I will admit, it built up the atmosphere quite well. It set up a lot of backstory and situational things about the governments and past spy doings that are needed to tell the tale. But I think I was just not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. Because the writing is very special and engaging and perfect for the 'period' of the book.
I've seen the book spoken about in romance circles, but it's not really a romance. Yes, there is a romance at the heart of it, a love story for the ages type of thing, but it's not any kind of HEA that I know about.
The book ends on a cliffhanger and while that usually pisses me off, I was okay with it this time. It fit the book. And the book is clever, it's dark, it's scary (especially when held up against the current shit going on in the world), it's exciting. But there are moments of humour and moments of true sweetness and gentleness, but baby, they're few and far between. And maybe all the more precious for it.
Anyway, I'll be looking for the second book when it comes out. Wondering what's happened to the three main characters and if we'll be seeing any of them again. Two of them I think for sure we will, the third? I'm not certain at all.
Anyway, Amberlough ended up being a different and intriguing read. Check it out.