cover image The Damnation Affair

The Damnation Affair

Lilith Saintcrow. Orbit, $18.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-316-25159-4

Saintcrow follows The Iron Wyrm Affair with another dark fantasy full of magic and mayhem in the Wild West. Boston socialite Catherine Barrowe-Brown arrives in the desolate, dangerous town of Damnation, ostensibly to act as the new schoolteacher, and secretly planning to search for her missing brother. In between conducting classes and clashing with Sheriff Jack Gabriel, she encounters zombies, dark magic, hostile townspeople, and unpleasant truths about her brother%E2%80%99s fate. Saintcrow weaves romance and mystery into this horror-laced depiction of a weird West, full of spells and things that go bump in the night. In keeping with the attitudes of the era, whites display some uncomfortable biases towards minorities, including Chinese, here called by the French term %E2%80%9CChinoise.%E2%80%9D The plot and setting both raise a number of unanswered questions, and the romance between Catherine and Jack often feels one-sided, but it%E2%80%99s still a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goldman Literary Agency. (Dec.)