Sunday, August 01, 2010

Red Hot Fury - Kasey Mackenzie

Red Hot Fury
A Shades of Fury Novel
Kasey Mackenzie

Urban Fantasy

Marissa Holloway is a Fury living in Boston. In fact, she’s been the city’s Chief Magical Investigator for the past five years. Despite a truce after the Time Of Troubles (the p.c. name for a war between the arcanes and the mortals that nearly decimated both sides) many aspects of daily life are still divided. Arcane beings, not mortals, investigate crimes against other arcanes. As a Fury, Marissa (Riss) is sworn to avenge death and violence done by magic.

The story and series begin with Riss called to the scene of a murder. The corpse is that of a sister Fury. That’s bad enough, but even worse, the body is that of Vanessa, Riss’ best friend, who disappeared several years ago. Upon closer inspection, though, and after the initial shock, it seems that this body only appears to be that of Vanessa. Some strong magic is at work here, but before Riss can find out what that is, she’s summarily suspended from her job. A little detail like that isn’t enough to stop a Fury.

She enlists the help of her ex, Scott Murphy, a Warhound. Their story comes with a built-in Big Misunderstanding that has already kept them apart for nearly two years. The explanation for this, and it comes fairly early on, is at least believable as something that would separate two adults. Their romance plays out as a subplot and there are no surprises there. What is surprising is that the author has managed to find some untapped potential in the crowded urban fantasy field. Her world is a fascinating mix of magic and modern technology. In fact, the technology is what allowed mortals to hold their own during the War.

There’s a fair amount of political intrigue going on under the surface, as there are apparently some individuals who would like to see another War, with a more decisive end. Marissa’s family story is fairly complicated, but family relationships are often messy. Furies start life as mortals and manifest their powers in adolescence, so Marissa is an interesting blend of mortal past and arcane present. I could nitpick some of the reveals and twists, but the story is written in such a fun, fresh way that that would be mean-spirited. I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy, and I’m happy when I find something that seems new. This series seems to have a new slant on things and there’s clearly more to come.

Rating: 7 ½
July 2010
ISBN# 978-0-441-01892-5 (paperback)


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