Wit and intelligence inform this off-beat, tongue-in-cheek fantasy from Spencer (Alien Taste , etc.), set in near-future Pittsburgh—or rather, the part of Pittsburgh that's been translated to the Faerie world of Elfhome by a faulty hyperphase gate created by the Chinese. After 18-year-old tech genius Tinker saves Windwolf, the elven governor of North America on Elfhome, from a pack of nasty wargs, Windwolf in gratitude turns her into an elf and makes her his consort. In her new and important position, Tinker becomes the target for a conspiracy of humans, elves and oni (Japanese demons that control their own part of Faerie) who are trying to build another gate for use in conquering Earth and Elfhome. Furious action, including a memorable car chase, good characterization, playful eroticism and well-developed folklore all help lift this well above the fantasy average. The routine jacket art, of an elven biological dirigible, probably won't help, but Buffy fans should find a lot to like in the book's resourceful heroine. (Nov.)
FYI: Spencer has won the 2003 John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award.
Release date: 11/01/2003