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New Amsterdam

Elizabeth Bear, Author
Elizabeth Bear, Author . Subterranean $25 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59606-106-4
Reviewed on: 03/19/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Paperback - 267 pages - 978-1-59606-163-7
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Set in a New Amsterdam that's still a royal colony at the turn of the 20th century, this engaging dark fantasy collection from John W. Campbell Award–winner Bear (Carnival ) introduces a tough, witty female sleuth. Abigail Irene Garrett is the perfect Victorian hard-boiled detective, with the added benefit of necromantic skills that make her a formidable forensic investigator in a world where sorcery is common. Teaming occasionally with vampire sleuth Sebastien de Ulloa, Irene cuts a figure of crime-fighting confidence through five of the six stories, grappling with demonic killers summoned for personal revenge or political intrigue, and plunging into wildly unpredictable adventures such as those recounted in "Lumière," a stunning blend of steampunk and eldritch horror. Bear's tales are not only ingeniously mysterious but also richly textured with details that bring the society and history of her alternate America to vivid life. Readers who like the grit of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels and the historical heft of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vampire tales will find similar pleasures here. (May)

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