Sunday, October 11, 2009

Trick Of The Light - Rob Thurman

Trick Of The Light
A Trickster Novel
Rob Thurman

Urban Fantasy

To the casual observer, Trixa Iktoni owns a seedy bar in Las Vegas. Her old friend, Leo, an American Indian who delights in telling clueless tourists that his tribal name is something like “Leo Maker Of Warm Yellow Water” just to watch their faces, tends bar. Appearances are deceiving. Trixa spends quite a bit of her time killing demons, aided by street kids Zeke and Griffin. They’ve all sort of adopted each other, and their family is just as strong as any formed by blood bonds.

Zeke is essentially a sociopath and “born soldier.” He’s a telepath, but sees black and white and nothing in between. Griffin is an empath and makes up for the missing parts of Zeke. They were in foster care together, ran the streets together, and found Trixa together. They now work for an outfit called Eden House. Those in charge of Eden House claim to predate Christ in their demon-eradicating efforts.

There are plenty of demons in Sin City. Some of them even like to come into Trixa’s bar and flirt with her. She’s attracted, but she knows perfectly well that fire burns. Aside from drinks, Trixa trades in information. When she hears about something called the Light of Life, she knows it’s something big. And not only because both sides are desperate to get their hands on it. According to legend, this object will grant the holder absolute immunity from harm. So if that whole Armageddon thing happens, whoever’s holding the Light at the time wins. Not exactly small stakes.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author. Since it’s not part of her ongoing series, it’s a great place for first time readers to start. The pacing is a bit uneven in the first half of the book, but picks up and sustains quite nicely through the second half. I admit, I had part of the ‘big twist’ in the plot figured out fairly early on, but there were plenty of twists that absolutely surprised me. The finale is large enough to satisfy any reader, with room left for possible future volumes. The author manages to blend well-drawn characters, an interesting mythology, action, and a bit of dark humor into something that’s somehow more than the sum of it’s parts. I’ll be looking forward (and possibly back – to her previous work) to more from this author.

Rating: 8
October 2009
ISBN# 978-0-451-46288-6 (paperback)


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