Title: The Gutter Prayer (2019)
Author: Gareth Hanrahan
Series: The Black Iron Legacy #1 (Series Tracker)
A ghoul named Rat, a man degenerating into stone, and an orphan thief with a mysterious gift work together to uncover a dark conspiracy in an ancient city filled with tunnels, monsters, and dangerous gods.
Author Gareth Hanrahan has built an undeniably cool world that crackles with dark energy. The monsters that patrol and infest the city of Guerdon are human enough to be comprehensible, but grotesque enough to be creepy and unnerving. The architecture of the city itself is imaginative and fun to explore, with layers upon layers built atop the haunted past they’ve tried to bury.
I had a difficult time connecting with Hanrahan’s writing style, which felt a bit stiff and difficult to lose myself in. The book never sucked me in the way I wanted it to, but the concept and tone were enticing enough to keep me going. I’ll be intrigued to see where the sequel goes after The Gutter Prayer’s game-changing final act.
★★★¼ out of 5