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The Conductors by Nicole Glover

“Brimming with celestial magic and an enduringly fierce heroine, The Conductors is a new vision of the Underground Railroad.”

Cecelia Beckman Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Hetty Rhodes was a conductor in the Vigilance Society of the Underground Railroad.  With her husband Benjy and her inherited celestial magic she assists countless slaves find their way to freedom. 

After the end of the Civil War, Hetty and her husband move to Philadelphia where they use their past skills and their magic to help their community.  Working side-by-side they investigate local crimes that would otherwise go unsolved and unnoticed by the white authorities.

And when they find a close friend murdered, Hetty and Benny will be tested to their limits. While over time discovering how little they know of the people they call friends and themselves.

My Review: The Conductors

The beginning of this harrowing tale is notably atmospheric— you can envision a white hand plastering up reward and wanted signs for runaway slaves, one after the other. Feel the tension rise like chills as the demand and stakes on those signs grows higher and higher.  An acrid taste of disgust burning in the back of your throat like bile at the truth of the lengths slave owners would go through to keep slavery from ending.

Glover’s way in addressing and depicting a brutally dangerous time in just the opening three pages illustrates her mastery of her writing.  Her prose painted with soul-filled magic even when the landscape is one of pain and suffering.  It is thought provoking and riveting as she depicts the Civil War along with the present. The Conductors has this fervent pace from the very beginning along with the driving force of the narrative: Hetty Rhodes.

A Few More Thoughts

Seeking freedom left many scars and Hetty has her share as she sought freedom at whatever cost.  Long after Hetty’s journey to freedom and the Civil War, Glover weaves the present with the past seamlessly.  This elegant dance between Hetty’s past and present, blends the story together like music.  Adding new weighty notes with each turning page.  Creating an unforgettable cadence for the overarching melody.

My one concern was the ending.  Without giving too much away, there is a plot reveal that I felt would have been better placed earlier on in the novel.  Had Glover presented this piece of the story sooner rather than at the very end, the aftermath and scope of the detective thread of the story would be portrayed as a catharsis of what Hetty ultimately finds in the end of the novel.

One Last Thing

I thoroughly enjoyed The Conductors.  Readers will appreciate the found family, the slow burn between Hetty and Benjy, and the astronomy magic flowing through this story making this debut one you don’t want to miss.

Happy Reading ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Author: Nicole Glover

Publisher: HMH Books

Publication Date: March, 2021

Pages: 432

ISBN-10:  0358197058

ISBN-13:  9780358197058

Audience: 16 and up

Jacket Art: Unknown at this time

Jacket Design: Unknown at this time

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