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5 Star IHIBRP Review: “Absence of Color: Spectrum of Color Book One” by Susan Wee

A Heart-Pounding, Once-In-A-Lifetime, Hold-Onto-Your-Hat Adventure!

Like most fantasy novels that take place in a foreign environment—where the reader must become accustomed to new terms for people, places, and things, I underwent a slight adjustment period getting familiarized with Wee’s highly-complex world. But I savored the author’s descriptive passages, colorful dialogue, and larger-than-life characters, and by the middle of the first chapter, I was already fully committed to devouring “Absence of Color” as quickly as I could. Here was a read not only to be enjoyed but experienced—just as one would any heart-pounding, once-in-a-lifetime, hold-onto-your-hat adventure.

Wee’s ambitious, fast-paced, medieval-styled fantasy thriller captures the imagination as much as it holds the heart hostage to the plights of a number of protagonists who are as well developed in character as any real, living person. Secret orders and brotherhoods, wizened sages and mages, stealthy assassins and spies … All are convincingly real. Likewise, each is impacted and influenced by a plethora of royal schemes and clerical plots turned upside-down! Like any conglomeration of kingdoms that is on the brink of war and great upheaval—think “Game of Thrones”, Wee’s world is affected by mad kings, scheming sorcerers, a religious community gone amok, pillaging pirates, and unassuming but wizened women who seem to hold all the cards.

In the midst of all this adventure, stand three teens whom one can’t help but feel a close connection to; Twig, Connie, and Frankie who are all intimately tied together by a single horrifying circumstance. The reader develops a vested interest in these three fast-friends, and as they escape the bounds of their wretched lives and search for their true places in the world, Wee provides glimpses of their dark and mysterious pasts, as well as their possible futures. All of their fates depend on an enigmatic man called Darby—who seems to be a person with much more influence than he lets on, and his sidekick, Wagner. One can’t help but press their knuckles to the saddle-horn as we ride along with Darby and Wagner. As they assume responsibility for two of the wayward teens, they swashbuckle their way through each other’s homelands collecting intel, saving innocents, turning up long-lost kin, and—above all—protecting the future of the realm.

Technically, Wee’s sentence structure is a bit fractured, but her brilliance shines through as she weaves a complex tale of espionage and intrigue in which the original identities of the characters are in constant flux—swapping out as quickly as one can wave down a dwarfish server in the pirate hideout known as “Stronghold” to order a pint of ale! Throughout Wee’s saga, no one is who they seem to be, and the anticipation of resolving a major conflict between good and evil will have you sitting on the edge of your seat biting your nails. This is a glorious ride, and I simply cannot wait to read the next chapter of this exceptional novel series!

Find "Absence of Color: Spectrum of Color Book One" on Amazon at

Note: I must warn the reader that some situations in this novel are violent, and there is strong sexual content that may trigger unwanted reactions in survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse. I recommend that the reader be of an appropriate age (over 17) in order to deal with these types of situations.


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