Kept From Cages by Phil Williams (Ikiri Book 1)

8/10 Elements of Tarantino, Indiana Jones, and James Bond mix to form a heady brew of adrenaline cut with cutural soul.

Deep South jazz band criminals.

Sold yet?

Ok, let's continue. Because they're only half the story.

We meet the crew in a Resevoir Dogs-style, post-heist car accident as they make their way toward an isolated farm house for help. What they find inside triggers a series of otherworldly events, lost family, and relentless, deadly threats.

The book alternates these chapters with another intriguing storyline: special agent Sean Tasker (from an under-the-radar British agency) is assigned to investigate a remote town in the far north of the world where the entire population has been massacred, with no evidence of a killer in sight. A deep dive into a shady corporation and a series of questionable events brings Tasker on a globe-spanning trip from Ordshaw, England all the way into the deep jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He pairs with a remarkably unstable yet compelling assassin to discover the source of what's going on, and just might connect the dots with the supernatural horror chasing down our favorite jazz criminal troupe.

This book is pure adventure, no two ways about it. Elements of Tarantino, Indiana Jones, and James Bond mix to form a heady brew of adrenaline cut with cutural soul. There are some instances where the characters felt conveniently shoehorned into where they needed to be, and there wasn't much backstory or tangible depth given to most of the major players. I also felt there to be one too many types of threats thrown into the mix. But by the book's end, I was hooked into finding out how the conclusion of the duology was going to play out.

Kept from Cages is a globe-spanning mystery adventure that sets the table for what looks to be a new Phil Williams world to explore. Regardless of how this particular adventure ends, I hope to see more tales set in this urban fantasy world.

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Phil Williams's Ikiri series

Kept From Cages

Ikiri Book 1

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