cover image The Edge of Reason

The Edge of Reason

Melinda Snodgrass, . . Tor, $24.95 (381pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1516-8

Former SF author Snodgrass (Circuit Breaker ) returns to novel writing after a 20-year break with this gritty narrative of a war between light and dark. Richard Oort, upper-class concert pianist turned Albuquerque cop, adds a new career as a paladin wielding a sword that embodies reason and order. Recruited by Kenntnis, a wealthy technology entrepreneur, after rescuing a sorceress in distress, Richard learns that Kenntnis is “the Serpent, and Prometheus, and Lucifer.” Richard is his latest weapon in the eons-old battle against the Old Ones, who feed on emotions stirred by religious beliefs. While Richard can be overly dramatic, he is generally portrayed sympathetically as he struggles to comprehend supernatural warfare and more earthly concerns such as his mother’s suicide. Balancing a harsh critique of organized religion with touches of humor and a good-hearted priest who grounds his faith in the Golden Rule, Snodgrass just barely avoids polemic. (May)