September 22, 2023
PIL (The Women of Adalor Book 1) Review

With PIL, Annlyel James has created an engaging short novel. A brilliant first novel, which I am sure will lead to others!

Future of the Force‘s very own writer Annlyel James has written and self-published her debut short novel: PIL (The Women of Adalor Book 1). The whole team is incredibly proud of this huge achievement and I have had the privileged of reading Pil and just knew I had to review it!

Pil is just over 100 pages long, so the perfect length for an afternoon of escapism. And escapism is certainly what Pil offers. The novel is set within a mythical world. James has mastered the art of worldbuilding, with the bulk of the narrative taking place in the sprawling city of New Armore. Although throughout we are introduced to a variety of original locations. The city of New Armore is a perfect mix of wealth and crime. It is within this mixed society that our eighteen-year-old protagonist Pil lives. Having lost both parents young Pil has been taken in by Elf assassin Mestra.

PIL (The Women of Adalor Book 1) Cover


The novel acts as a snapshot into the mother/daughter duo’s lives. The focus is on one particular assassination: that of Charlie Chinnum. However, James is clever because the events are not about the lead-up to the assassination. Or even the assassination itself as one would think, rather the focus is on the aftermath of the death. By focusing on the aftermath James intertwines multiple characters, all of whom have been affected by the death of Chinnum in some way. And whilst there is a clear villain: crime boss Crane Silverhand, it’s hard to find a hero. Sure Pil as the protagonist has some heroic qualities but she is the daughter of an assassin – a fact that is at the very center of her character Arc.

For a short novel, James has perfected the creation of complex characters. So much so that I wish the novel was longer, I want more from these characters. I need to know what’s next for Pil.  


Overall, Annlyel James has created an engaging short novel. For a debut story, she has effectively interwoven multiple characters, changing their perspectives throughout, everyone with a distinct voice. Once I started I couldn’t stop, the narrative is easy to follow in that sense, but it is certainly not simple. A brilliant first novel, which I am sure will lead to others. I’m just hoping we get the next installment for Pil’s life. 

PIL (The Women of Adalor Book 1) by Annlyel James is a self-published novel and is available to buy from Amazon now!


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