Urban Fantasy of Good Battling Evil #urbanfantasy #paranormal #book #review

A cop in modern Albuquerque, with (as one reviewer said) a walk-in closet full of skeletons, is drawn into the battle between good and evil, where evil is magical creatures and monsters including “every god you can name,” and the good is science and reason.

Oddly enough, the forces of good seem to be magical immortals, just like those of evil, but they want to lock evil out of our dimension by helping humans become rational. This may sound intellectual, but the story is easy to read and full of action.

Most humans have a touch of magic and so are vulnerable to evil, but in a neat reversal of the usual trope, instead of secretly being a wizard or some such thing, the cop may save the world because he has no magic at all inside him. Oddly enough again, this allows him to wield a magic sword.

I found it easy to forgive the oddities because I like the bold premise. The story moves along with flawed characters who (most but not all) grow into heroes.

The first two main characters we meet are exceptionally attractive, and I groaned thinking this was all-too-typical. But there’s actually a point in the story to their good-looks, so kudos! The main immortal good-guy is fabulously wealthy, which helps to keep the plot moving by, for example, producing a private plane when needed.

The cop’s neuroses are explained in a believable manner and the story carried me right along as evil invades our world.

Modest spoilers – Expected amounts of violence and mayhem are present, but also a few possible triggers that you might want to know about. Religious believers may find it offensive to include their god with the evil gods. There’s a little preaching about this idea but it’s not heavy handed. There is rape, torture, and suicide, a child is endangered, and a bisexual character endures harassment at work. What sort of triggers do you think I should mention in a review?

The ending sets up the next book in the series, but isn’t an annoying cliffhanger – though some reviewers on Amazon thought it was too abrupt. Three books are available in the series.

What others are saying
The Edge of Reason earns a respectable, if not overwhelming, 3.5 stars from 23 reviews on Amazon. Those who liked the book enjoyed the provocative premise and the characters, nay-sayers thought the plot twists were trite and predictable.

Colony Mars #OnMars #ScienceFiction

Cover Concept - not quite done yet, but what do you think?

Cover Concept – not quite done yet, but what do you think?

Colonists take a one-way trip to Mars. They may have made a mistake. They must build a foothold on the cold barren planet, but troubles follow them from Earth and threaten them from space.

Here’s the opening of my new novel.

Standard writing advice says the first few hundred words must grab readers. I’d love to know what you think, what you like and what you don’t, so please comment. I’ll post the first few chapters over the coming weeks. Thanks for the read. — Kate —

Chapter One: Incident

ESA-ESTEC5

European Space Research and Technology Centre for spacecraft and space technology in Noordwijk, South Holland

The seaside resort of Noordwijk was a strange place to train for a mission to the barren deserts of Mars, but Colony Mars had its tidy headquarters north of the Dutch city, inland from the deep dunes of the beach. Sightseers hurried through the visitors’ center to join guided tours of a Martian colony mockup and settler-candidates stopped between austere block buildings to admire the beds of summer flowers that replaced spring tulips.

Emma was about to start her last English-language tour when her link beeped an incoming message – the tone for “urgent”. One family was still coming up the ramp, two young boys ricocheting among signs diagramming the mockup of the colony they were about to enter. Emma turned discreetly to one side and tapped her headset.

“There’s a mission problem.” Emma didn’t check her contact lens for metadata – that was the mission lead’s voice. “Come to the control room as soon as duties allow.”

A chill ran through Emma. Maybe her launch date had slipped. Maybe they’d miss the window entirely and she’d remain on Earth, temporarily reprieved. Why was that the first thought that came to her? Must be pre-launch jitters.

Balancing the planets’ orbital dance with fuel requirements, Colony Mars could launch a mission every twenty-six months. Emma was about to fly on Settler Mission Three and her ship’s fuel and engines were tailored to an especially narrow launch window. If they missed it, there’d be a two year delay. But Emma excelled at focusing on the task at hand, so she turned her attention back to her tour group… Continue reading…

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