Thursday, June 30, 2011

Water to Burn-Katherine Kerr

Water to Burn
Katherine Kerr
Daw, Aug 2 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756406912

In San Francisco psychic Nola O’Grady works for a top secret government agency so secret the CIA never heard of them. She runs the Apocalypse squad whose mission is to support Harmony in the combat with Chaos across the multi-earths. Her staff consists of two stringers and a bodyguard spying for the Israelis. Having been successful in her last endeavor against the Chaos Masters (see License to Ensorcell), Nola and her bodyguard Israeli and Interpol agent Ari Nathan understand that was just one battle in a great war that crosses dimensions.

She is proven right starting with a strange wave coming out of nowhere that drowns a tweener child. The Prophet Reb Ezekiel, who ran the Kibbutz where Nola grew up, has been seen stalking the city; the problem with the sightings is Reb Zeke is supposed to be dead. On top of this on the personal front someone seems to be blackmailing Nola’s brother-in-law. To Nola none of these events connect until she finds the core is the enigmatic Peacock Angel cult.

With a nod to DC comics Infinite Earths (before the “Crisis” and subsequent reinventions) Water to Burn is a terrific urban science fiction with fantasy and police procedural elements. The story line is loaded with action as Nola and Ari investigate strange phenomena in a world where other worlds collide and cultural anthology is the most important socials science (wonder what personality type some of these others would turn up under Myers-Briggs). Nola is a great protagonist holding the story line focused. However, the key is the Katherine Kerr universe that readers will enjoy exploring as long as the heroine and her bodyguard provide protection.

Harriet Klausner

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