zaterdag 6 november 2010

Jayne Castle – Dark Light

The sixth book in the Harmony World series, published in 2008. Don’t you just love this cover? I see a young Tom Cruise in this picture … hmmmm ….

Dark Light

Everything is different underground. Just ask the residents of Harmony, a futuristic world where alien catacombs can lead you astray - and where psychic senses spark out-of-this-world passion...

Reporter Sierra McIntyre's stories on Crystal City's ghost hunters - and their mysterious guild - have earned her tabloid a bit of respect. And they've allowed her to clothe her dust bunny companion Elvis in rock-and-roll style. It helps that she has mega-rez intuition to fall back on...

Especially when she interviews Ghost Hunter Guild Boss John Fontana about the disappearances of retired, homeless hunters. She doesn't want to trust the physically and psychically powerful man, but her senses - and Elvis - give her the green light. To uncover the conspiracy within his own organization, Fontana proposes...marriage. And though it's purely a business arrangement, there is nothing pure about the attraction that sizzles between them...

Sierra McIntyre comes from a rich and old family, with ties to the old Earth Arcane Society, a well kept secret here on harmony. They are psychics in their own rights, not because of the strange world they live one, not because of their links to amber. A well kept secret, as ordinary people are still afraid of what they can’t understand. Just like the well kept Guild Secret about Dark Light, a very rare ability to work with the other end of the Ghost Light spectrum, and John Fontana has that peculiar ability. It enabled him to duel the former Guild Boss, who could wield blue ghostlight.

When Sierra gets to meet Fontana for a special interview, sparks strike between them, or in Harmonic terms: they rezz, instantly connect on a psychic lever. Even her dust bunny Elvis (complete with white rhinestone cape) likes Fontana. Sierra has accused the Guild of abandoning its hunters when they no longer can work the catacombs, there are homeless men disappearing, and the Guild should look after them better. And how about that new drug on the market, that especially affects the hunters? To her surprise, Fontana agrees with her, and he needs her help to find out the truth. To stop the new drugs and to find the abducted hunters, dead or alive. But Sierra is in danger too, the gang that is trafficking the drug is after he, and just to keep her safe, she should marry him. Cause killing a Guild Boss wife would attract way to much attention. So that very same day they enter in a Marriage of Convenience. Her family is shocked, not McIntyre for generations has done that, they always go straight for the Covenant Marriage. But luckily they are all back in Frequency City, and will find out after the fact. And so Sierra herself is cover material for the paper she is working for. After all, the marriage of a Guild Boss is huge news, not only in Crystal City.

Danger is closer than they think. Some bikers try to catch Sierra on the way to her wedding, if not for some old hunter friends who save her. They are astonished to learn about her wedding the new Guild Boss, and insist to bring her there safely. Fontana is very grateful for them. One thing that didn’t occur to Sierra, is that as his wife, she is supposed to move in with him. After all, she only has a little cheap flat, and he lives in a secure mansion. Or not so secure when it is burned down with them in it. They make a narrow escape into the catacombs, where there are other bikers awaiting them, using a strange violet ghost light to hunt them.

I very much liked this story. It was fast paced with lots of action, both above ground and in the catacombs and rainforest, with a good amount of humor. I also liked the secondary characters as Sierra’s coworkers. Strangely enough, the farfetched headlines and stories they made up, came true, sort of. And Elvis, the dust bunny, he really stole the show. I liked both Sierra and Fontana. She stood up to him, something he apparently isn’t used to, and soon has him wrapped around her finger, even though he is not aware of it. But he will do anything to keep her safe. Again some new alien devices are found, and new types of ruins with their own stories, so the alien history is being expanded too. I am really looking forward to the next two books, I do hope they get delivered soon.

8 stars.

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