cover image Joe Ledger: Unstoppable

Joe Ledger: Unstoppable

Edited by Jonathan Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt. Griffin, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-09080-5

The 20 stories in this uneven thriller anthology set in Stoker Award–winner Maberry’s alternate universe all feature Joe Ledger, a former Baltimore cop who now defends America from threats both natural and supernatural for the Department of Military Sciences. The series’s premise, as stated in movie producer Tony Eldridge’s foreword, is certainly promising: “Drop John McClane from Die Hard into an episode of Fringe and you’ve entered the world of Joe Ledger.” Jon McGoran’s “Strange Harvest” and Javier Grillo-Marxuach’s “No Business at All,” both clever tales, live up to this challenge. Unfortunately, other entries make the suspension of disbelief an uphill struggle, such as James Ray Tuck’s “White Flame on a Sunday,” in which Ledger and his occult bounty hunter friend, Deacon Chalk, encounter a sigil to summon a Sumerian “elephantine god who will one day destroy the world by stampeding across it, using its immensity to press humanity into a sweet wine for its consumption.” Other contributors include such notable genre authors as Steve Alten, Scott Sigler, Christopher Golden, and Tim Lebbon. (Oct.)