cover image Forced Perspectives

Forced Perspectives

Tim Powers. Baen, $25 (384p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2440-3

Federal agents Sebastian Vickery and Ingrid Castine return in Powers’s frenetic urban fantasy that playfully blends Egyptian mythology, alternate Los Angeles history, and modern technology. After sealing off the rift between the world and a labyrinthine underworld in Alternate Routes, Vickery and Castine have both developed the ability to see echoes of the past. Tech genius Simon Harlowe is obsessed with creating an egregore, an all-encompassing entity of minds working as one, and sees Vickery and Castine’s new power as a necessary ingredient. As Harlowe and his team hound the agents, hoping to use them as “interface message processors” in his group mind, Vickery and Castine see ghosts of the city’s past, allowing Powers to weave in film history, long-forgotten Egyptian myth that was buried with the set of The Ten Commandments, a 1960s cult, and other eccentricities. A cast of unusual side characters—among them Harlowe’s adopted twin daughters, Lexi and Amber, who are by turns humorous and disturbing—add color and complexity. This labyrinthine tale of the bizarre and fantastic will grip urban fantasy enthusiasts until the end. (Mar.)