Lucy A. Snyder, . . Ballantine, $7.99 (360pp) ISBN 978-0-345-51209-3
Snyder combines the best of Jim Butcher and T.A. Pratt in this wildly imaginative and intensely gripping urban fantasy trilogy launch. When an innocent spell somehow opens a portal to Hell, young mage Jessie Shimmer manages to kill the demon about to stomp on downtown Columbus, Ohio, but she loses an eye, a hand, and her lover and mentor, Cooper. Benedict Jordan, ruling mage for the area, forbids any attempts to find Cooper, who may still be alive in Hell, and strips Jessie of her resources. With little more than her ferret familiar, her magic, and the help of Cooper's smart-ass half-brother, Jessie must rescue Cooper and uncover Benedict's motives. Threads of romance, horror, action, and humor weave throughout, serving as the perfect backdrop against which memorable characters and a unique system of magic can shine.
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009