Trio of Sorcery
Tor, Oct 2010, $24.99
“Arcanum 101”. Diana Tregarde is just starting college, but also is a Guardian witch dedicated to keeping mortals safe from nasty supernaturals. She makes friends with four other students who reside in the same building she does. They saw her banish a dybbuk; but rather than fearing her, they offer to assist her in finding a kidnapped little girl. There only clues come from the fortune teller advising the distraught mother, but the Harvard freshman Guardian believes the woman practices the dark arts.
“Drums”. Nathan Begay, the new client of private investigators Jennifer Talldeer and David Spirited Horse, hires them to follow his girlfriend Caroline. She does not want to see him or any of her friends. Caroline seems lifeless as of her soul has been drained from her. Jenny observes Caroline dancing with a ghost; a raging evil spirit who died without honor or love and has chosen Caroline as his death bride.
“Ghost in the Machine”. Tom Bishop was intimately involved with the MMORPG (multi-player online game); he helped create another zone to the game. Dark Valley is very popular, but the programmed Wendigo is doing things outside the coding and Tom cannot stop him doing what it wants. The programmers hire Ellen McBridge to fix the flaw. She uses shaman magic to try to get the ghost out of the machine.
The returns of Diane Tregarde (early 1990s; see Children of the Night and Burning Water) and Jennifer Talldeer (mid 1990s; see Scared Ground) will elate fans of Mercedes Lackey. While this is Ellen McBridge’s first tale, she holds her own with the other two paranormal investigators. The three novellas are well written and entertaining while starring strong females with similar traits but different scenarios confronting the supernatural.