My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Title: The Conductors
Author: Nicole Glover
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: 3/2/21
Publisher: John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
Categories: Mystery, Historical Fantasy, Slavery, Underground Railroad, Magic, Adult Fiction
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
A compelling debut by a new voice in fantasy fiction, The Conductors features the magic and mystery of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files written with the sensibility and historical setting of Octavia Butler’s Kindred: Introducing Hetty Rhodes, a magic-user and former conductor on the Underground Railroad who now solves crimes in post–Civil War Philadelphia.
As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.
- I love how the underground railroad and slavery history are part of this story. Hetty helped many people escape the South after the Civil War by using her magic and bravery. Now that she is in Philadelphia she plays a role in figuring out murders taking place around them, some of the victims being her friends.
- The celestial magic in the story was very interesting. I liked how it was based off of constellations and they used sigils to conjure up the magic.
- Hetty is a strong character – she is smart, caring and so brave.
- Hetty and Benjy’s relationship was a marriage of convenience but it grew into something more which was so nice to see. They really were partners in solving the mystery and taking care of the people around them.
- Triggers: slavery, abuse, murder
- This is definitely a mystery, not quite a cozy mystery, and mysteries and I have a strained relationship – meaning if it’s too slow, I will not be invested in the story. This was slow for me. If you like mysteries though, this might be up your alley.
- It would have been nice to learn more about the magic system because it sounded so fascinating. I love the idea of using the constellation sigils as magic. I just needed a little more information about the magic.
The concept of blending magic, black history tied to slavery, post civil war and the underground railroad is fantastic. I just wished the story held my attention more and that we got to see more of the magic system. In the end, Hetty and Benjy make a good partnership as they figure out the mysteries and investigates murders happening around them. Even though this book wasn’t for me, I think mystery lovers will really enjoy this book because of it’s uniqueness.
📚 ~ Yolanda
2 thoughts on “The Conductors | ARC Review”
Great review! I might check this one out. I really love the cover!