Princess Holy Aura

Ryk E. Spoor. Baen, $16 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8282-0
In Spoor’s affable horror fantasy, a 35-year-old man must transform into a 14-year-old girl to save the world from a Lovecraftian menace. After Stephen Russ rescues a young boy from a pack of winged feral cats in an alley, a rat named Silvertail makes a shocking proclamation: Steve must become Princess Holy Aura and defeat the eldritch horrors threatening to end the world. Steve is transformed and takes the everyday name of Holly Owen. With Silvertail posing as her father, Holly recruits the remaining three maidens of the apocalypse, who will help with the fight. But before she can take on Azathoth of the Nine Arms, she’ll have to survive what might be the most terrifying thing of all: high school. Readers will enjoy watching Steve, a gamer geek with a heart of gold, learn how to navigate the world as a teen girl, though his ability to return to his original form is sometimes too convenient. The Lovecraftian abominations are sufficiently over-the-top and the fight scenes are lively, but awkward dialogue and lots of exposition bog down the already overstuffed narrative. However, it’s easy to root for Steve/Holy Aura to save the day, even if it takes a bit too long to get there. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 12/05/2017
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