The Chase Begins (Catastrophe Incoming #1), by Aimee Donnellan

The Book

The Chase Begins
Series: Catastrophe Incoming
Pages: 148
Age Group: Adult
Published on 6/23/2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Epic FantasyQueer
Available on:


"She's escaped. Gods help us all."

The Theocracy of Izirm is losing a war against dragons. While the Bishops scramble for a solution, the holy city of Kequm faces a more immediate the murderous mage, Nightingale, has escaped prison and only one person can stop her.

Lark is a devoted follower of the Scholar god who searches for adventure around every corner. Ever since apprehending Nightingale three years ago, they've done whatever they can to forget the hole she ripped through their heart, and can think of nothing worse than facing her again. But when Nightingale's meddling leaves Kequm vulnerable, Lark has no choice but to act.

A whimsical New Adult fantasy adventure novella set in a queernormative, mysterious world begging to be explored.  

My Review

The Chase Begins is the first novella in the epic fantasy series Catastrophe Incoming, written by the Kiwi author Aimee Donnellan. An intense plot which gives us hints of a bigger world, a love triangle and compelling characters are some of the elements that made me love reading it.

The Theocrazy of Izim is losing the war against the dragons; but in the holy city of Kequm there's a threat demands more of their attention: Nightshade, a murderous mage, has escaped. Only one person can stop her: Lark, a devoted scholar who helped capture her three years ago; a really difficult task, as Lark is still grieving from the hole Nightshade left in their heart. But when Nightshade shows her face and makes Kequm, their closest person, vulnerable, Lark acknowledges they are the only one that can stop Nightshade.

With this premise, Donnellan has created a really intense story, mixing together really well-written action scenes with more intimate moments that allow us to take a look at the heart of our pair: how Lark is still feeling vulnerable to Nightshade, but Kequm helping them to soothe that lost. 

There are hints of a big world, with a history that is previous to our arrival as spectators, which I would hope to see more developed at some points. It's important to notice that the world is queer-normative, something that feels really natural, smoothly blended into the rest of the details, with a good amount of diversity that fits perfectly in the world.

The Chase Begins is a great starter novella, an introduction to a bigger world; if you are looking for queer fantasy and prefer your read in bite sizes, Catastrophe Incoming is a good recommendation.

The Author/s

Aimee Donnellan

Aimee Donnellan

Aimee Donnellan is an author of whimsical queer fantasy for new adults. She is proudly bisexual and on the aromantic spectrum, and loves to write bisexuals even more chaotic and disastrous than herself.

She lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her fiancè — who helps her write and worldbuild — and dreams of dog ownership when not playing video games or Dungeons and Dragons.