Iron Shadows

Steven Barnes, Author Tor Books $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-312-85708-0
Pounding on the heels of Blood Brothers, Barnes's 1996 fictionalized position statement on American racism, this non-stop erotic thriller seems tailored for the big screen, hormone-zapped adolescents and earsplitting wraparound sound. Cat Juvell, who's white, and Jax Carpenter, who's black, newly divorced but still best friends and private-eye partners, hire on to rescue wealthy heiress Kolla Sinclair from the Golden Sun, a cult led by enigmatic mixed-blood twin gurus Joy and Tomo Oshita. Once Jax and Cat plunge undercover into the titillating rites of the Golden Sun, Barnes doesn't overlook a single cliche of dark fantasy fiction. Before the final ectoplasmic chase, he peels off layer after layer of plot, alternating heavy-breathing sex therapy with heavy-handed flashbacks about the twins' darksome mission. Joy and Tomo, it seems, are two halves of a monstrous whole, post-Nagasaki mutations shaped by their revenge-crazed Japanese mother and a sexually abusive U.S. Marine stepfather into supernatural instruments of mass destruction. Barnes's occasional lapses into farce notwithstanding (""Take them to the yurt!""), this yarn packs a stinging punch. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/02/1998
Release date: 02/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-8125-4808-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-27904-8
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