The first Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova thriller (Roma Nova Thriller Series)

Fiction - Thriller - Espionage
336 Pages
Reviewed on 09/15/2019
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Author Biography

Why I wrote AURELIA

When I was drafting SUCCESSIO, I knew had to find about Aurelia as a younger woman, what her part was in the Great Rebellion, why she was so anxious about Caius Tellus, why she was so self-contained, who was the love of her life and every other question I had raised about her in the previous three books! She was too interesting no to delve further.

Awards for AURELIA

Historical Novel Society’s indie Editor’s Choice for Autumn 2015, B.R.A.G. Medallion, finalist, 2016 HNS Indie Award, Discovered Diamond January 2016, Chill With A Book Readers’ Award 2017

Alison Morton writes the award-winning Roma Nova thriller series – "intelligent adventure thrillers with heart.". She blends her deep love of Roman history with six years’ military service and a life of reading crime, adventure and thriller fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Aurelia is the first entry in the Aurelia Mitela Roma Nova thriller series by Alison Morton - a compelling thriller with powerful underpinnings of espionage and a sophisticated and strong female protagonist. Set against a riveting political backdrop in the 1960s, the story follows Aurelia Mitela who was once a Praetorian Officer, now trained as an undercover agent. Entrusted with a new mission to investigate silver smuggling in Berlin, she finds herself in dire straits when her path crosses with her archenemy, Caius Tellus, who will stop at nothing to see her dead. Aurelia may be confident that she can outwit this enemy, but he is about to play an even more lethal blow, going for her most vulnerable part — her young daughter.

This is a wonderful opening for a series that will have readers spellbound, a narrative with an appeal for readers with different tastes, melding the fine craft of a spy thriller with the sophisticated characters in mystery, and the fascinating setting of a historical novel. Alison Morton has a great gift for character and it is exemplified in this novel, with characters like the mysterious smuggler, Miklós, having indispensable roles that help to flesh out the story. The story is told in a strong and powerful voice and in prose that is captivating. The story has strong plot elements and it takes readers to exciting places and dramatic encounters, with narrow escapes and breathtaking, emotionally charged moments. This is a novel with a strong appeal for fans of thrillers; balanced and deftly written.

Keyla Damaer

Aurelia Mitela is a mother and a soldier in Roma Nova, what remains of the Roman Empire in an alternate timeline. She loves her job and her family, but an accident forces her to leave her job and take up the reins of her family. Once she is settled into her new role, the Empress of Roma Nova offers her a temporary assignment as a diplomat in Berlin, where, through her family connections, she will have to investigate a delicate matter. Many things will happen in Berlin, both good and bad. In plot twist after plot twist, Alison Morton takes the readers to the final pages without disappointing them.

As an alternate historical novel, Aurelia by Alison Morton throws the reader into a dimension where the Roman culture never died out. The story takes place in Roma Nova in an alternate timeline where the Roman Empire didn’t fall. Roma Nova citizens, though, live in a modern era like ours. They drive cars, fly planes, and behave as we do. In this alternate timeline, women are not second class citizens, but rule like men and they do it in a matriarchal society. I love books with strong women, but where the female character is not basically a man with a woman's name. Morton knows how to write a female lead character without falling into the trap of making her too masculine. The book is in the first person, therefore we see the story through Aurelia's eyes and only hers. This is a style I usually dislike, but Alison Morton has mastered it. All in all, I loved this book.

K.J. Simmill

Ex-Praetorian officer Aurelia Mitela regretted ever thinking she was bored. Following her mother's death, she is forced to take care of matters. But such a life was not becoming of her. When the opportunity to be retrained as an undercover operative is placed before her, it is a chance she could not resist. Her familial ties put her in the unique position to investigate a smuggling ring, an opportunity which allows her to realign with the person she wanted to be. Unaware of the dangers she will bring upon herself and her family, she delves deeper into the investigation, determined to expose the guilty party, but when someone finds the means to exploit her, she has some difficult choices to make; country, duty, or family.

Aurelia is part of Alison Morton's Nova Roma thriller series. Interesting twists will keep a reader engaged as they become invested in the well-developed characters. Aurelia, the main protagonist, is perfectly complemented by the challenging antagonist. Morton's world-building shows insight into how times may have been different if history had moved in an alternative direction, and her descriptions suggest she has good knowledge and understanding of key areas, all of which enhance the feeling of reality injected into the complex and thoughtful story arcs. Action, mystery, and adventure drive this steady-paced plot forward, as divided between duty, country, and family, Aurelia is forced to make difficult, sometimes heart-wrenching choices. I enjoyed watching her character change and alter as her investigation takes interesting and life-threatening twists. Those who enjoy strong female leads and a 1960s alternative history setting are bound to enjoy every moment of this tale.