01/02/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Bantam Spectra. 354 page enlarged paperback. Price: $12.00 (US), $14.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-553-38470-3.
check out websites: www.bantamdell.com , www.christophergolden.com and www.timlebbon.net
In the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina, it seemed like the world forgot New Orleans. A moment when it seemed the mighty machine of the United States broke. Even now, whilst we have moved on to new disasters, we are occasionally reminded that Katrina tore a hole in the heart of America and in flooded the pain we are all feeling now. Natural disasters are a matter for nature or are they?
In this novel, a young girl who Max Corbett loved and lost represents the gaping hole of loss. He is recalled to the city he loved by Gabrielle's cousin. He has his chance to mourn for his girl because she is now truly lost, drowned by the rising waters and only found six months after the waters receded. However, at her funeral he meets a man who suggests there is something to be salvage from this tragedy. All it takes is a map and a little bottle of magic.
The authors have taken the backdrop of the broken city and woven a plot around its supposed history. It's all made up, of course, fed by the previous tales of zombies and bloodsuckers and the fear of dark magic. As Max follows the moments created within the city, he gathers magic to himself but all he wants to do is see the woman he lost again and ask why she betrayed him.
This novel works well and creates an enjoyable tension and mystery as we try to fit the pieces of the map together. The use of New Orleans and the vivid descriptions of the devastation still in evidence six months after the storm form a solid backing to the story. However, I found the ending, although satisfying in some ways, a little flat. Perhaps I expected too much or perhaps it needed a longer book. I enjoyed the journey even though the destination was a disappointment.
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA