cover image Talon of God

Talon of God

Wesley Snipes and Ray Norman. Harper Voyager, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-266816-5

In this theological urban fantasy, a young ER physician in Chicago must add faith to reason to prevent all hell from breaking loose. Lauryn Jefferson, daughter of a Baptist minister, chooses to practice medicine rather than preach. When a new drug laced with sulfur turns her patients into demonic monsters, her savior is Talon, a sword-wielding soldier of God astride a motorcycle. As her ex, a Chicago cop, battles the cartel responsible for the demon drug, Lauryn has to redeem first her younger brother and then the rest of Chicago from their personal devils. Debut novelists Snipes (star of the Blade vampire hunter film trilogy) and Norman bring a cinematic flair to the proceedings (including a “giant flying hell fortress”). The overall tone of the book is fundamentalist, but the authors broaden their audience by discreetly avoiding both explicit violence and thorny cultural issues; they do explicitly disparage the subjugation of women as being based on a misinterpretation of the Bible, but no one remarks on African-American Lauryn’s relationship with a white police officer. The dialogue turns a bit Sunday school (“Fear is the devil’s rope, and he will tie you down if you let him”), but the embrace of mercy and forgiveness towards one’s enemies is a welcome act of faith in what otherwise could have been Blade with a Bible. (July)