A Subtle Agency

The Metaframe War: Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - General
213 Pages
Reviewed on 04/10/2018
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

I'm in love with high-octane, action packed, thrilling stories with epic heroes and mighty villains. I want suspense, I want characters with depth who I really care what happens to them, and who I will both love and hate. I love fantasy and science fiction and I want both in the same story. I want pace, and more pace, and yet time for emotional intimacy and heart-rending scenes.

This is what I dedicate myself to writing - and why - because I love it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

A Subtle Agency, the first book in the Metaframe War series by Graeme Rodaughan, opens on a stormy night in ancient Egypt. A distraught Ahknaton determines to invoke the Divine Engine of Thoth in order to bring back to life his precious wife, Mekra. She has been killed by a scorpion bite, but in reviving her he also creates the first vampire. The novel’s fast-moving narrative then moves to the near future where, ruled by Cornelius Crane, the secret but powerful vampire nation aims to control the planet through their human subsidiary, Shadowstone. They are opposed by two covert organisations, both sworn to rid the world of vampires; the Order of Thoth and the Red Empire. However, none of this is known to the central character of the work, Anton Smith, who, while getting ready to meet his friends for a graduation night out, opens the door to Chloe Armitage and her muscular assistant, kicking off what will probably be the worst day of his life. Suddenly discovering that everything he thought he knew about his family was a lie, he is thrown into a world where highly trained humans fight almost invincible vampires for supremacy, into a wild, heart-stopping adventure which leads him to Gang Wu and his daughter Li who will train him to join the fight - a turbulent adventure that will culminate in a battle for his very existence.

A Subtle Agency is a fast-paced, polished thriller that introduces a complex web of organisations which vie for control of the planet, where vampires, powerful and almost invincible, along with their human employees, scheme to control politics, the press and public opinion while secretive opposing forces wage continuous war against them. But General Chloe Armitage, a favoured warrior of Cornelius Crane, King of the Vampires, has her own agenda and, in this first book of the Metaframe War, the scene is set for an ongoing dark and bloody conspiracy. Well-written and peopled with solid, believable characters, the narrative moves along at a brisk pace. There is plenty of blood and action as one would expect in this type of thriller, though maybe a bit too much information about the weapons and armaments used in the various fights and battles. Graeme Rodaughan has produced a worthy addition to the genre and I am sure the series will be a popular one. Fans of vampire yarns will not be disappointed.

Kim Anisi

A Subtle Agency is book one in The Metaframe War series by Graeme Rodaughan. Readers are introduced to a teenager called Anton, who soon finds out that a lot about his family background has been kept from him - for example, his true family name: Slayne. It is a name that turns him into the target of a rather unusual vampire admiral, Chloe Armitage (who's kind of a cool character in my opinion - evil, but fascinating). She's working for some sort of vampire king/overlord, and - thanks to a spell - is not able to ever harm her boss. That does not keep her from following her own agenda within the thousand-year-old vampire wars. Anton is part of her new plan. While on the run, Anton is taken in by a Chinese father and daughter team who run a noodle restaurant together. They had connections to one of Anton's family members and explain to Anton why he is special. Within a short time, Anton is introduced to a whole new world: a world in which he can access special powers, and a world in which vampires truly exist.

I enjoyed that the vampires in A Subtle Agency by Graeme Rodaughan did not only rely on their supernatural senses and strength: they are equipped with the most modern technology and work with some highly skilled people (humans who usually aren't aware of the fact that they work for a vampire organization). It's interesting to read about the different factions who are in a war against each other, and how each of the sides has their own ways of getting what they want (or at least trying to get it). What I absolutely loved about the book was that there was no overly dramatic, childish romance involved. A little romance, yes, but more believable than in that other vampire book (you know, the one with sparkling vampires). It generally was a pleasant read, even though some of the experiences the characters had to go through were less than pleasant! I'd recommend it to all readers who like vampire stories set in a modern age and who prefer their books without soppy plot fillers.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

When vampires are hiding in plain sight, there’s no telling what could happen next in the world. Of course, even with opposite sides fighting each other, that doesn’t mean there aren’t forces at work within those sides. For Chloe, the fight started long ago, for Anton it’s only just begun, but the two of them may be just what the other needs to get their own brand of justice. After all, Anton is venturing into something he’s never seen before or even knew existed, but he’s determined to do whatever it takes to help his family. Whether either one will survive the process is another matter, however, and the training to get them to that point is definitely going to be extensive in A Subtle Agency:The Metaframe War: Book 1 by Graeme Rodaughan. There’s no telling what will become of the world that we live in with either one of them and their teams taking over.

If you’re looking for a book full of adventure and action, then A Subtle Agency is a great option. You never know what is going to happen next and you won’t know who you should be rooting for. Whether it’s Anton and his quest for justice for his parents, or Chloe and her quest for complete freedom, you’ll be bouncing back and forth for sure. You get to really immerse yourself in each of the characters, from Chloe and Anton to James, Louise, Li and even Cornelius, and you’ll find there are plenty of ways to fight the enemy. Vampires are certainly out there and when they don’t get their way … well, you never know what could happen.

Diksha Sundriyal

Anton Smith had a normal life until Chloe Armitage came knocking at his door. While Chloe’s physical splendor attracts him, he can’t seem to shake off the strong sense of danger that lurks behind the veil of her politeness. As the evening moves forward, Anton discovers mysterious things about his family. All the secrets that had been kept from him slowly unravel, but not in the way Anton would have wanted. A single encounter with Chloe Armitage costs him his family, his home and his life. A Subtle Agency by Graeme Rodaughan is the first book in The Metaframe War Series. It tells the story of the clash between the vampires and the humans who use mystical powers to fight them.

A Subtle Agency is a roller-coaster ride. With its incredibly fast pace, it doesn’t give you time to breathe. Abundant in action and replete with mysterious characters with equally cryptic pasts, it has laid a firm foundation for the next book(s) in the series. Graeme Rodaughan has taken his time to create a world that easily captivates the reader’s imagination. The writing style delivers the precise tone of the story, fluctuating according to the needs of the scene. At times, it gets tense. Sometimes, it sets a sinister tone. Also, it doesn’t shy away from adding a subtle touch of humor. A lot of questions pile up by the end. While some of them find answers, a lot of them are left hanging. And this is what ensures that the reader will come back for the next chapter of Anton’s story.

Sefina Hawke

A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War: Book 1) by Graeme Rodaughan is a riveting fantasy novel that would appeal most to a mixed audience made up of mature young adults and adults who enjoy reading about vampires, the supernatural, and alternate realities, and who do not mind non-graphic sexual content. Anton Slayne was an ordinary university student living an ideal life until General Chloe Armitage and Marcus Drake showed up at his house with a story about how the grandfather he believed to be dead was actually alive. Then Anton finds himself being attacked by Chloe and Marcus and forced to watch as his father is interrogated for the location of the Papyrus of Harkon the Scribe. Does Anton have what it takes to become a member of the Order of Thoth and a vampire hunter, or will he find himself a mere pawn in vampire General Chloe Armitage’s game?

Move over Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, and Van Helsing and make room for vampire hunter Anton Slayne! A Subtle Agency (The Metaframe War: Book 1) by Graeme Rodaughan is filled with twists and turns that had me truly sympathizing for poor Anton as he was forced to quickly adapt his world view in order to survive and overcome the challenges of being a Slayne. Anton was easily my favorite character with his intelligence and bravery in the face of danger and almost certain death. Overall, I was surprised by how much I truly enjoyed this book and I really hope the author releases the sequel soon as I can’t wait to read about what comes next!