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  • Writer's pictureDean Asquith

Before Again by Claire S. Duffy Review

Writer: Claire S. Duffy

Publisher: Fika Books

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publish Date: 30th November 2022

Pages: 298

Reviewed By: Dean Asquith

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


A trip home turned into a historical nightmare. When a portal unleashes a paranormal threat, can one woman put an end to the killings?

Kirsty McIvar deliberately chose to spend her life as a lone wolf. But after leaving her dreaded hometown behind, she reluctantly returns ten years later to attend her beloved grandmother’s funeral. And when she rushes to rescue a man being burned alive, she’s dismayed to find that she’s torn open the fabric of time… and set loose an ancient killer.

Fighting to avenge her gran’s apparent murder amidst an out-of-control timeline, Kirsty joins her not-so-deceased great-grandfather and a recently resurrected Viking to stop the culprit’s rampage. And despite her blossoming feelings for the young warrior of yesteryear, the fierce woman is determined to destroy the immortal magic wreaking havoc in the Scottish port.

Can Kirsty and her rag-tag crew kick evil back into history where it bloody well belongs?

My Opinion

A dark, twisting yet humorous paranormal adventure through Glasgow and time itself!

Before Again is the beginning of a new series dubbed ‘The Shadow City’. It follows the life of Kirsty, who is so blissfully funny but also deep and haunted. She leads a cast of characters who define ‘rag-tag’ but come together as a slick unit.

This book has everything from rampaging Vikings to ballroom dancing, throw in a pinch of serial killers and some should be dead but aren’t relatives and you have a recipe for magic!

I was so pleasantly surprised by this book, I was unsure at the beginning but once it got going, I was hooked! I will say that my love of Norse culture and deep interest in the Vikings helped. I am glad that Claire S. Duffy went with good old fashioned burning alive rather than the fabled ‘blood eagle’ too…that would have made this fantasy a very…very dark fantasy!

Kirsty’s character development throughout the story is fantastic, she grows in herself and as a person tied to others. The story is gripping, once you make it through the first few chapters. These are by no means bad, but they have quite a different feel to the rest of the book, and for me, it really kicked off after a few chapters!

Before Again is a superb entry novel into the new Shadow City series and the book will have you laughing, feeling shocked, vengeful amongst other emotions throughout. I really enjoyed my time reading this and the cliff-hanger at the end…master stroke.

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