PYR, May 26 2009, $15.98
Archeologist Jack Churchill knows he has failed to move on as his grief over the suicide death of his girlfriend Marianne two years ago haunts him whether he is awake or sleeping as he wonders what he could have done different. Clients and peers assume solicitor Ruth Gallagher has her act together but she hides her fears with a cloak of confidence that she knows is a sham.
Church and Ruth meet when they come to the aid of a mugging victim under London’s Albert Bridge. However, when they see the hideous culprit, both faint. Each wants to forget what happened blaming it on an out of control imagination fueled by loneliness and fear, but neither can ignore the truth especially after software designer and total stranger Laura duSantiago sends an email insisting she can explain the eerie bridge incident. On the way to see her they are attacked by a creature similar to the mugger. An unkempt hippie Tom (Learmont) rescues them and explains the earth is returning to its roots when demons and other mythological characters roamed freely as the Age of Reason is ending. The trio sans Tom and two others forge an unlikely counterinsurgency the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons in an effort to locate four artifacts from before time to liberate the incarcerated gods, who normally could not care less about humanity and if freed may do nothing, but remain the only hope mankind has of surviving the evil invasion.
The first book of The Age of Misrule is a terrific urban fantasy thriller that brings Celtic mythology into modern day London. The story line is fast-paced from the opening encounter at the bridge and never slows down as the champions are on the run. The keys to the opening gamut are major plots are completed though the next tale is set up and the quintet has flaws that make each unlikely heroes and poor choices for membership on a fantastic five team. Readers will enjoy this fine beginning and look forward to more malice from Mark Chadbourne.