The Conductors is a fascinating start to a new series by debut author Nicole Glover. With a prominent historical fiction setting, The Conductors definitely felt like first a historical fiction book with fantasy elements. I became immersed in the intricacies of their world, the characters within, and the setting. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the Libro.fm. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Listening to The Conductors via audio was an intense ride. At the beginning, I was so invested in the world and the characters. All the past histories and grievances that we’re dropped into throughout the book. Combined with the Interlude chapters, I was able to get a good sense of Hetty, her friends, and Benjy. I fell in love with their stories, the roads they traveled, and the ways they are brave and strong. And then by the last third I couldn’t stop listening for the pure mystery!
I am so excited for the sequel because there are pieces of the world I want to explore. I loved that there’s a difference in their magic – star sigils – versus the magic of the white elite – sorcery. The setting transported me and gave me serious Kindred vibes while also examining the daily pieces of their lives. Glover is able to combine the every day with the magical. The mystery with the mundane. As for the mystery, I had no idea who it could be the entire time and that element helped me get swept away.
The narration from Bahni Turpin gave the world a warm feeling. Turpin is able to subtly convey the emotions of Hetty. The ways that she continues to discover things about herself, and her past, throughout the book. I sincerely enjoyed The Conductors and the ways we get caught up in situations around us. All these loyalties, stories, and histories. The action maintains the pace which is slowly developed throughout the beginning. All of this leaves me anticipating the sequel!
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