Karen here! This week I decided to review two books. The reason being, they came out at the same time, and I read them back to back. And let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down until the second one was finished! The ‘Phantom Knights’ series, by Amalie Vantana, is one of the most action packed, gripping reads I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Seriously, I started the first book, Phantoms in Philadelphia, and didn’t stop reading until I finished it at two in the morning. Which I promptly decided to start book two, The Charleston Chase, which lasted probably until three am when I decided I absolutely had to get sleep. That one I finished the next day. lol. These two stories are unique, in that I haven’t read many books like them, and I will admit that I look very much forward to the rest of the series.
Starting with Phantoms in Philadelphia, the book had me hooked from the beginning. Set during the days after the War of 1812, this book centers around a group of young men and women who call espionage their profession. Employed during the war to spy on the British, now their mission is a bit deeper. America may be safe from outside forces attacking, but its new enemy lurks in the shadows, hiding behind symbols of secret societies. And only the “Phantoms”, as they call themselves, can stop it. Led by Bess, a young woman of society, this group must weave through not only the back-alleyways, but the social elites, to discover the secrets, and hopefully destroy an organization before it kills them. I loved how this book focuses on Bess, a woman who is so strong, and her little brother, Jack, who has no problem helping his big sister. This story focuses on the relationships of friendship, and the sibling love that all the “Phantoms” have for each other. Yes, there is a bit of romance, but to me, I found the fact that the story focused more on them as individuals, and a family, brought the characters out more. The narrative is so well written; it just flows from page to page, carrying you along until you realize that you’ve read five chapters when you were planning on one. It is full of suspense, and intrigue, and honestly a good dose of mystery. As the “Phantoms” have to discover who is behind these societies, I couldn’t help but try to guess myself.
The Charleston Chase is no less intriguing, carrying me along just as hurriedly. I found myself having to figure the puzzle out, trying to learn who to trust and who not to. So many characters found themselves in this category for me, and I loved it! Like the first, it mainly focuses on the siblings, but this time it brings in more of the romance aspect. As a die-hard romantic, I couldn’t help but enjoy watching the banter between Bess and her beau, a rare man whose wit, intelligence, and strength matches her own. Nor could I help but sigh for the romance between Jack and his lady, full of secrets that I was dying to learn. This story had some amazing twists, some that I guessed, but many that I did not see coming. I love it when a book offers me a surprise twist!
Together, these two are just the start of the series, and one that I cannot wait to read the rest of! It reminded me a bit of National Treasure, only with more intrigue and espionage than treasure hunting. And the best part, Phantoms in Philadelphia is free! You can get it for either Kindle or Nook. And The Charleston Chase is really reasonably priced as well! (Also available for Kindle and Nook). If you want to find out more about the author and her upcoming works, including sequels, check out her website, and feel free to follow her on Twitter.