Paul Kane is a name that deserves far wider recognition. His imagination is all over the place and you are never sure what you’re going to get from him. So far he has covered a reimagination of the Robin Hood myth, the end of the world with a disease, Sherlock Holmes crossing paths with the Cenobites of Hellraiser and a twist on Adam, Eve and the snake. That’s just a snapshot – take a look at his Amazon page and you can see he’s written a lot of stories.
They do all have one thing in common: quality.
Kane is a great writer and knows above all how to tell a good story. Arcana is another winner from him.
The setup is a bit like Harry Potter and Ben Aaronovitch decided to have a baby and then it grew up to be hard as nails.
We’re in an alternative world, where magic exists but it’s users are hunted by magic police called M-Forcers. The opening attack on a shopping centre is superbly done – a masterclass in rising tension as you realise what’s about to happen. From there, we meet Callum and Ferne and the main plot kicks in.
There are a few twists along the way, but in Kane’s hands the ‘chosen one’ trope becomes interesting and engaging again. The only misstep for me is how quickly Ferne and Callum fall in love as that felt more YA than the rest of the story (nothing wrong with YA, before anyone jumps down my throat).
The set pieces are hugely entertaining and are begging to be filmed. A sequel please Mr Kane.