This review does not contain spoilers.
At age six, Kanara Arrou is whisked from the slums of her birth to serve the powerful Oken family. Acutely aware of how the world works, Kana demands only the best from herself, determined the payments sent to her half-beggared family will never cease. But when Lord Ryoichi Oken assumes command over the household, everything begins to change; Kana’s talents are recognised by activists with unknown agendas and every waking moment is now cloaked in fear.
READ. THIS. BOOK. I am absolutely serious. I want you to get on your computer or your Kindle or your whatever and buy and read this book. This is absolutely my favourite Treading Twisted Lines instalment so far and I want to share it with everyone.
First, Suddenly Calling is much, much longer than the rest of the story cycle and that works to its advantage. As the plot builds, this story becomes so rich with characters, action, and suspense that it needs the added length. Cutting this story short would have been cruel and unusual punishment and I’m thrilled that I got to read so much of Kana’s story in one go.
The writing has developed so much from The Chosen Voice. It’s crisp, clean, and perfectly suited to Kana’s character. In previous Treading Twisted Lines stories there’s been a tendency to long, flowing sentences that led to me getting lost in description. With Suddenly Calling, I always knew what was going on and every foreign concept was explained just the right amount.
I have to praise the inclusivity in this text. Lesbian, gay, and trans* characters are accepted as the norm. One side character’s transition from male to female was so seamlessly inserted that I actually had to flip back a few pages and realise that, no, I wasn’t wrong and that this was just that awesome. Just like with the scene and concept descriptions, there’s no clubbing you over the head with information; rather, it’s just enough to let you draw your own conclusions and help build the world as you read.
If it’s not already clear, I think you should read Treading Twisted Lines immediately. Especially Suddenly Calling. I don’t know how many times I dropped my Kindle on my face because I wanted to keep reading long after my eyes and body were demanding sleep. Every smack in the face was so worth it. This is one of the most impressive feats of self-publishing that I’ve come across to date.