Thursday, April 10, 2008

Night Child-Jes Battis

Night Child
Jes Battis
Ace, May 27 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780441016020

She is an Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver Mystical Crime Lab which is part of the Central Occult Regulation Enterprise. They are mages who try to prevent demons from harming humans. Currently the two sides have a working truce that is about to be tested.

In the middle of the night Tess Corday and her partner Derek are called to the crime scene featuring a murdered vampire. The telepath at the crime scene picks up images of the vampire’s last moments filled with fire and a teenage girl. In the vampire’s pocket is a picture of himself and his sire as well as an address. Tess and Derek visit the home of Cassandra and her niece Mia. They are shocked to realize the aunt is a demon and the niece is a mage whose powers remain surprisingly dormant. Mia confides that the vampire was in her guardian’s home. A vampire attacks the two investigators, but they escape unharmed. They get into further trouble when they are warned then ordered by their superiors to stay away from Mia. Tess feels a strong affinity for Mia so she risks her life and her job to keep the focus of seemingly everyone’s interest safe.

NIGHT CHILD will appeal to a wider audience then just the obvious Dresden urban fantasy crowd. The world building is fabulous as the audience will feel like Jes Battis’ humans are caught in the middle of a cold war that could go hot in a nanosecond between mages and demons. Adding to the depth of the characterizations is both sides have good and bad members with their ethics being extremely complex. Fans will appreciate this tour of the Battis universe where the supernatural, the natural, and the hybrid live together in a not so peaceful co-existence.

Harriet Klausner

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