cover image The Mona Lisa Sacrifice: 
Book One of the Book of Cross

The Mona Lisa Sacrifice: Book One of the Book of Cross

Peter Roman. ChiZine (Diamond, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-77148-145-8

Vancouver author Roman (a pen name for Peter Darbyshire, The Warhol Gang) pushes urban fantasy noir to its logical extreme by casting the resurrected body of Christ—now called Cross—as an angel-slaying, wise-cracking antihero in search of the real Mona Lisa who inspired da Vinci’s painting. Traversing a landscape that owes much to the work of Richard Kadrey and Neil Gaiman, Cross pursues his target through encounters with faeries, a homicidal mummy, and a resurrected Princess Diana. All this is done at the behest of an observing angel, who has offered Cross the ultimate prize: his betrayer, Judas. The novel never lets the reader pause for breath, bouncing back and forth at breakneck speed between flashbacks of lost love and the modern quest, and the unstoppable protagonist is precisely as powerful as he needs to be at any given moment to move the plot along. Fans of the genre will find one of its ultimate expressions here, but the casual conflation of Christ, sasquatches, Greek myth, and the TV show Supernatural may be a bit much for others. (June)