cover image Mercury Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Laura Bickle. Harper Voyager Impulse, $2.99 e-book (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-243761-7

Bickle’s fantastic follow-up to Dark Alchemy finds geologist Petra Dee on the trail of a giant mystical snake after the corpses of three campers are discovered in Yellowstone National Park. Also seeking the snake, or basilisk, is a murderous cult of female bikers called the Sisters of Serpens. Petra is keen to find the snake and put an end to the violence, and when she discovers that the Alchemical Tree of Life is dying—as is someone she cares deeply about—her mission becomes even more urgent. This wonderfully unusual Weird West novel combines the best of contemporary fantasy with metaphysical magic and mayhem, and even a bit of romance. Bickle has a knack for creating atmosphere, and she fills the fast-paced narrative with vivid scenes of wonder and a poignant story of death and rebirth. Fans of the first book will be enthralled, and new readers will easily fall into the quirky, dusty land that Petra and her unusual friends inhabit. Agent: Becca Stumpf, Prospect Agency. (Oct.)