The Conclave Of Shadows (Missy Masters book 2) by Alyc Helms (book review).

Missy Masters adopted her grandfather’s super-hero persona, Mr. Mystic, when he disappeared several years ago. Now the Argent Aces need Mr. Mystic’s help to recover an artefact from the shadow realms. The Conclave of Shadow, no longer held in check by the dragon Missy defeated, is growing bolder, creating more knights and attempting to bring down the barrier between their world and ours. Missy must re-establish the protections around San Francisco before our world turns dark forever, but she’s going to need some help…


After a few disappointing reads, ‘The Conclave Of Shadows’ was exactly what I needed to perk me up. With its fast pace and dry sense of humour, the story carried me along, page after page, and took me on a fantastic adventure through the streets of San Francisco and the menacing weirdness of the Shadow Realm. It’s a fairly light read, the kind of book you can race through in an afternoon or enjoy leisurely over a couple of days, but it delivers a fantastic story with great characters.

I really love the blend of nostalgic 1950s super-heroes with modern day San Francisco, it’s a mix that works really well and, when you then add in the extra fantasy elements of dragons and other realms, there’s something here to please everyone. Alyc Helms’ light-hearted approach to the situations, injecting plenty of dry humour, stops the story from getting too heavy, while still letting the menace of the scarier moments come through. There are also serious moments, too, particularly as Missy tries to reconnect with her two wayward dragon children and as she tries to understand her new Shadow ally, the mysterious Lady.

Missy is a brilliant character because she comes across as just a normal woman trying to do her best in a world that’s trying to trip her up. Maintaining her anonymity as she appears as Mr. Mystic, dealing with her unusual family, forging friendships in unlikely places and risking everything she holds dear to protect other people, all while maintaining her sense of humour. Awesome woman! The supernatural characters are all intriguing and add other elements to the story and the relationships between the different people and different factions is always interesting to follow.

I’m really pleased that Helms’ second book to feature Missy was as entertaining and satisfying as the first and I hope there are more books to come in this series.

Vinca Russell

September 2016

(pub: Angry Robot. 336 page paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK), $ 7.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-85766-518-8)

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