Saturday, October 05, 2013

In The House Of The Wicked - Thomas E. Sniegoski

In The House Of The Wicked
A Remy Chandler Novel
Thomas E. Sniegoski
Urban Fantasy

Note: There are some spoilers here if you haven’t read the books leading up to this one.  My advice is to seek out A KISS BEFORE THE APOCALYPSE, DANCING ON THE HEAD OF A PIN, WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD, and A HUNDRED WORDS FOR HATE just for the sheer pleasure of reading a well-crafted fantasy series. 

Recent events have forced Remy Chandler, outwardly a PI living and working in Boston, to an unavoidable conclusion.  It’s time now for him to reconcile the two sides of his nature; his human self and his angelic self.  Remy was once Remiel of the host Seraphim.  He’s been living on Earth for centuries and trying to suppress his angelic nature.  It’s time to face the fact that, to survive in any form, these two ‘sides’ of himself must merge.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  The Seraphim was a fierce warrior and much given to smiting those who deserve it.  The human side of Remy would like to keep that sort of thing to a minimum.

As a human, Remy met Ashley Berg when she was five and her family moved into his neighborhood.  The two bonded over an escaped cat, and have been friends since that time.  Ashley often takes care of Marlow, Remy’s Black Lab, when Remy is unavailable.  It comes as a shock to hear that Ashley is missing.  She’s just moved away to attend college, and at first Remy wants to believe that this is simply a young woman tasting freedom and growing lax about calling her parents.  When the local police find Ashley’s car, with traces of blood inside, he knows it’s serious.  Following her trail, he realizes that not only has she been kidnapped, but that the kidnapper is a magick user who wants to get Remy’s attention.  He’s succeeded.
This installment of the series takes place both on Earth and in a sort of space between worlds.  It’s a unique and alien landscape, but the author builds it in such a way that it makes perfect internal sense.  There are some new characters introduced here, and some longstanding characters return.  Of the latter, the most poignant return is homicide detective Steven Mulvehill, a friend to Remy, who has seen far too much of Remiel’s reality than he can cope with easily.  His arc in this story is, perhaps, a small part of the whole, but for longtime readers, it is hugely important.

The search for Ashley is what draws Remy in, but it’s the sorcerer behind the plot that keeps him digging.  The roots of this story stretch back into the past, and deal with a group of magick users who accessed powers far beyond their ability to control.  Each one is changed forever by the exposure to this power, and they seem to believe that the last one standing will inherit the earth.  It seems far more likely that they’ll destroy it.  The battle here is huge, and the results are equally enormous.  By the end of the story, it looks like the entire world may have changed.  It’s a brave thing to do with a story, and I’m eager to see what comes next.
Rating: 8 ½
August 2012
ISBN# 978-0-451-46456-9 (trade paperback)


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