An Arc was sent to us by the publisher in exchange for an honest review of this book. Thank you to Del Rey Publicity team for allowing us to read this and review it.
I’m not going to lie, I was really excited about The Conductors. The premise was so intriguing to me and I thought that this has the potential to be an instant favourite for many people.
Pitched as “The Underground Railroad but with with magic” but with also some crimes solving added on top… who wouldn’t want to pick it up to give it a read?
There were several things I truly enjoyed about this novel but the truth is I think I might have spoiled the enjoyment of the book with the anticipation of it. I had very high expectations, so much so that once I had finished reading the book, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed.
Let me tell you why.
Nicole Glover breaks the stigma surrounding the blending of two well established genres with a solid attempt of marrying crime with fantasy.
The Conductors by Nicole Glover is an excellent crime novel. We follow the main character, Hetty Rhodes, a former conductor on the Underground Railroad who now uses her magic to solve crimes in her community in a post Civil War World. The set up, from the start, was engulfing. I like that the book didn’t shy away from touching on matters of race throughout the book especially for when the book is set. Glover done an excellent job at making me feel maybe an ounce of what black people are dealing with on a day to day basis through out the world, now.
Hetty is an excellent main character and Glover doesn’t shy away from giving her various hats to wear; from the investigator hat to the spouse hat, Hetty comes of as a complex, well fleshed and well thought out character. Most importantly to me, Hetty felt like a real human being and not a fiction character that had been developed for the benefit of the plot.
When the first body appeared in the novel, I’m not going to lie there was an element of confusion as to where the story would go. I was excited that Glover didn’t shy away from mixing two genres in her book but I also think that because of this, the book made me feel disappointed in the end.
The fantasy element of the novel were too sparse. I wanted the world building to be so much more than it actually was, to be explained the magic system and to understand why the classification between the two types of magical people in this world was important. I wanted so much to be rooting for the magical system, being an avid fan of magic in novels but it didn’t turn out to blend too well with the crime aspects of the novel; the magic being conveniently there to help further the investigations.
The Conductors is the first novel in a series and I’m keeping my eyes open for the continuation. I want to see if the second novel will go deeper in the magical elements, if the characters backgrounds and experiences will be further explored. However if you are a fan of crime novels but also like magical elements peppered through out the novel, then this book is for you.
In conclusion I would like however to congratulate Nicole Glover for trying to break the stigma that two genres can’t be blended as The Conductors is a solid novel that proves that sometimes, it’s good to have crime mixed in with mystery and crime.
The Conductors comes out tomorrow, 4th of March 2021 and I would encourage anyone to give this book a try. You never know what you might like unless you try.