Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot, April 29th)-Virgin “Ginny” Jackson loves working at Birrimun Park, a protected piece of land set against the city sprawl of the Western Quarter. She particularly enjoys watching the sunset in the park, and one night, she discovers that she’s not alone. In fact, there’s one dead body where moments before she had heard two distinct voices. She can’t linger at the scene, however, because she’s been tasked with picking up US Marshall Nate Sixkiller from the airport. He’s arrived to help her with the increasing problem of drug runners at the park, but Virgin doesn’t really want his help. Sixkiller is brooding and enigmatic, and Virgin isn’t quite sure she can trust him, but when she’s threatened in her own home, he’s got her back, and when she starts seeing an eagle she’s named Aquila that hasn’t shown itself since she was a teen, Nate seems to know more than he’s letting on. It doesn’t help that the detective in charge of the investigation of the death in the park seems to be gunning for her, and Virgin is the prime suspect. She’ll have to go to some pretty dangerous places to find out what is really going on, and as she follows the evidence, some of it seems to lead back to her father’s death, which she’s never thought was an accident. Luckily, she’s got Sixkiller, her off and on lover, Heart, and her best friend Caro, an investigative journalist, on her side, but will it be enough to keep her out of increasingly hot water?
Tired of the same old thing when it comes to urban fantasy? Look no further than Virgin Jackson. First off, it’s set in a future Australia teeming with oddities, outlaw enclaves, and some fun future tech, and second, it’s just…different. I love the idea of a huge preserved oasis in the midst of a future urban coastal sprawl (even if it is as a result of human environmental damage). It’s a bit like Westworld, but without, you know, the automatons. Virgin patrols the Park on her enhanced horse Benny and the Western Quarter is packed with bars that are a mash up of different themes, like gangsta and western. Then the author throws in spirit animals and gang turf wars and it elevates things to a whole new level of awesome. Most of the action takes place outside of the Park, so I’m hoping we’ll get to explore it a little more in the next book, but I really like the headstrong Virgin, and also the fact that there wasn’t a heavy focus on her romantic life. She has one, but it fits in with her no-nonsense attitude and it’s certainly not the main focus of this fun book. Virgin gamely takes on everything that’s tossed at her (physically and spiritually) and begins to discover something much bigger than your everyday criminal activity. Much of the book sets up what will obviously be a series, and the author kind of throws the kitchen sink at Virgin at book’s end, which definitely makes one anxious for the next book, and that’s ok, because I personally like that anticipation. I’ll hang out with Virgin anytime, and am really looking forward to the next book!
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments