Wolves of the Northern Rift

Jon Messenger. Crimson Tree (crimsontreepublishing.com), $10.95 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-940534-74-9
This series opener is a bit rough around the edges, but its mashup of steampunk, mystery, and urban fantasy still manages to be enjoyable. Royal Inquisitor Simon Whitlock and his apothecary companion, Luthor Strong, have been dispatched to Haversham in the Kingdom of Kohvus to investigate reports of werewolf activity. They’re confident that, as with their other missions, this will turn out to be some sort of hoax. Then they are presented with the corpse of a genuine-seeming werewolf and attacked by a party of werewolves wielding flintlock rifles. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the lycanthropes aren’t the only oddity in town. Even Luthor has some surprising secrets. Messenger (Purge of Prometheus) stumbles over occasional odd word choices as well as some clichéd dialogue, and the titular rift never appears. The final pages pose an interesting problem for the investigators, promising further adventures. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/05/2015
Genre: Fiction
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