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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The Palladium by Thorsten Brandl contains all the ingredients that make for an exciting urban fantasy. You have the tried and tested formula of a down-on-his-luck writer who accidentally finds a good story. Michael Baker is that writer, and he doesn’t expect to find an unlikely story in the most unlikely of places. He has no plans to check in at The Orchid Hotel, but the need for shelter and warmth plus the fact that he got lost drew him there. The bellhop tells him that the hotel has its own share of crazy stories. Michael will soon become embroiled in a death-defying tale in that hotel with some portal travels. With a gorgon on his side, he is about to become part of protecting a mighty artifact.
The Palladium breathes new life into a familiar premise, thanks to Thorsten Brandl’s wicked imagination. It is truly one hell of a dream on which he has based the plot. Think of the hotel in John Wick that caters to assassins except this one caters to gods of mythology—now that’s an idea worth exploring. Brandl’s exploration results in a page-turning action fantasy with a romantic angle on the side. It gives a great degree of escapist pleasure, and especially when the hero falls into the trope of a loser who saves the world - as if to say that everyone is given a moment to shine. It has good pacing by showing and not telling. You learn more about Michael through his thoughts and actions. The Palladium puts a modern touch on the age-old gods and in the heightened aesthetics of this hotel. Highly recommended for lovers of urban fantasy. It’s a blast.