cover image Omaha Stakes

Omaha Stakes

Mark Everett Stone. Camel, $15.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-1-60381-931-2

This action-packed urban fantasy follows the brooding Kal Hakala, human head of the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation in an alternate contemporary America, to what promises to be the first of many confrontations. After reading a message from someone that wants him dead, Kal decides to trek to Omaha for the decisive first and final meeting with the letter writer. Concerned, Kal’s BSI buddies decide to rescue him before he can fall prey to this deranged killer. Stone (Things to Do in Denver When You’re Un-dead) writes in a brisk, conversational style that livens up the portrayal of his rather clichéd lead and villain. The setting fuses magic and technology in appealing ways that will hopefully be developed in future installments. Heavy-handed exposition and pop-culture references can drag down the story, and while Kal’s frolic through a nifty supernatural world is enjoyable, it does not attempt anything particularly new. (Jan.)