Irregulars

Nicole Kimberling, Josh Lanyon, Astrid Amara, and Ginn Hale. Blind Eye (www.blindeyebooks.com), $15.95 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-935560-16-6
A shadowy NATO agency tasked with policing magical creatures from other realms links these four novellas crafted by prolific collaborators Kimberling, Amara, Hale (Hell Cop), and Lanyon (the Adrien English series). In “Cherries Worth Getting,” Kimberling adeptly and humorously melds Portland, Ore.’s pretentiously earnest art and food cultures with a search for human traffickers. Amara’s “No Life but This” introduces a fish-out-of-water human survivor of an Aztec-influenced realm who battles a terrifically realized demon lord while figuring out how to rejoin human culture. Hale’s “Things Unseen and Deadly” stars Half-Dead Henry, a world-weary standout among the Irregular Affairs Division agents. The weakest selection is Lanyon’s “Green Glass Beads,” which sometimes lapses into standard gay erotic fare; only Kimberling is really successful in making the sex and romance an organic extension of character development. Otherwise, all four writers commendably fashion a fully human world that intersects with the fantastic in disarmingly commonplace ways. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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