cover image Unwept: The Nightbirds Trilogy, Book 1

Unwept: The Nightbirds Trilogy, Book 1

Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman. Tor, $22.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3203-5

This slow-paced start to a historical fantasy trilogy introduces Ellis Harkington, an amnesiac desperate to access knowledge that will change everything about the town of Gamin, Maine. The Hickmans (Bronze Canticles) take a long time to introduce the speculative elements, leaving Ellis to wander a well-detailed account of an upscale, early-20th-century New England society. While hints are dropped that something fantastical is going on—a Victrola appearing on command, the lack of concern over a shipwreck, and the blending of Ellis’s dreams with reality—the overall impression is of a period romance, not a fantasy. When the magical elements finally appear, they show up at breakneck speed, slamming the reader against some abrupt revelations about Gamin, Ellis, and her friends in the eclectic Nightbirds society. The novel is not one of the authors’ strongest efforts, but that won’t stop their fans from investing in this series. (July)