Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Influx

Influx (Clandestine Daze Book 1)Author: Tim Marquitz
Series: Clandestine Daze, #1
Released: June 30th 2015
Publisher: Ragnarok
Length: 199 pages
Source: Author for review
Buy: Amazon

For Theodor Crane every day is a lie.
A doppelganger, Theo is trapped in the role of the man he murdered. Tasked with safeguarding the secrets of his homeland his loyalty is torn between his new life and his mission when an influx of militants stream to Earth. A pawn of both sides, he's given just days to bring the terrorists to heel. Failure means war, but success comes with its own consequences.
Either might see Theo dead. 

Here are the three things that can lift my mood any day of the week: 1. bacon; 2. Nutella; 3. anti-heroes written by Tim Marquitz… and not necessarily in that order of importance. The very simple truth is that no one writes foul-mouthed underdogs better than Tim. First came Frank, the charming bastard, and now there’s Theo, a doppelganger and a hot mess with a moral compass that points every which way but north and a dry, self-deprecating, wicked sense of humor.

But as interesting as he sounds, the thing you need to know about Theodor Crane is that he’s been dead for months, and he really wasn’t that great before his unfortunate demise. In his place is actually Z, a doppelganger from Aellisar and a spy for the Aellisarian Intelligence. Z has only one mission – to prevent the war between his people and the few humans aware of their existence. For that purpose, he will deceive, steal and kill. Thanks to Marquitz’s excellent writing and even better imagination, this character, like those before him, comes alive on the very first pages and makes you cheer for him even while you berate yourself for feeling that way.

We aren’t new to Z’s charms – we’ve met him before in Eyes Deep, the prequel novella released last year. I knew to expect a very dark, extremely conflicted character, but the depth of his development still took me by surprise. Z is a special creature, feared even by his own people. He can shapeshift into anyone at all (by killing them first and eating small pieces of their eyeballs), which makes him a formidable enemy and an excellent infiltrator. But most unfortunately, Z has a conscience, no matter how weak it may be, and it keeps him awake at night. The longer he lives the life of Theodor Crane, the more difficult it is for him to bury his emotions. Getting attached is the stupidest thing he can do, and yet it’s almost impossible to avoid it.

The short interludes between chapters offer us glimpses into Z’s past that gradually turn him into a somewhat more sympathetic character. He may be a killer and the worst kind of thief, but his redeeming qualities definitely count for something. While the plot can seem a bit episodic at times, the moral dilemmas and self-justifications more than make up for it. What’s more, the action scenes are graphic and very detailed, each one done with a movie-like quality. For someone who gets confused during action scenes more often than not, these were a true delight.

At this point, after several years of being his very enthusiastic fan, I can only say that Marquitz is consistently excellent. He has one of the strongest, clearest voices in genre fiction and his excellent sense of pacing serves to strengthen his narrative. Fans of urban fantasy, this is one you absolutely do not want to miss. I’d highly recommend starting with Eyes Deep, but even if you jump right into this one, you’ll soon find yourself completely immersed into Z’s story.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. Gotta love an author that can make you love the anti-hero! I'm definitely checking out this author!

  2. I like your three things and agree they would make me smile. I am adding this to my list.I have not tried this author.

  3. It's like we're the same person Maja. Bacon and Nutella? YES AND YES! I would be a happy girl with those two things in my life every single day:) I'm not familiar with this author though, so I need to remedy that. You've given me some of the best recommendations lately, so I have no doubt I'll be a fan of his as well!

  4. Nutella-covered bacon. Yes? No? Too much? Lol. Interesting premise!

  5. Oooohh anti heroes! I LOVE the sound of that! I haven't read this author before, but you make it sound like his books are fantastic. I like how the characters aren't ones you're supposed to love, but still wind up charming the pants off of you.
    Great review, Maja!

  6. I'm someone who can get confused with a fight scene, but I do love them when they're well done, like in Kate Daniels, so I'm happy to hear these are easy to follow. I like the sound of Z, a conflicted anti-hero, although eating someone's eyeballs is beyond gross! I need a new UF obsession so I'm going to check out the prequel. I think my husband would like this series as well. Excellent review, Maja! :)

  7. This sounds like all of kinds of awesome. If it was a tv show, I would be all over it. I'm looking for more male pov in urban fantasy and I really like the sound of this one. I'll have to look up this author. Great review!

  8. Whoa! How do I not know about this author that specializes in antiheroes? I'm missing out. Again, gosh darn it!

    1. You know I love sneaking up on you with these, my darling!

  9. Yes to well written anti-heroe! Bacon and tomato sandwiches for me :)

  10. So need to read it for the "foul-mouthed underdogs". :D I love that! This sounds like a book that is perfect for me and I'm going to put this author on my must read list.

  11. Ok. I seriously need to read this one! I'll stay with Eyes Deep first, though.

  12. I need this! I'm all for an author who can make me love an anti-hero.


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