Shadows Before The Sun by Kelly Gay
Series: Charlie Madigan #4
Published by Pocket
Published on: July 31, 2012
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!
After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.
Shadows before the Sun quickly passes the “Likable Fantasy Names” test with flying colors. Our protagonist, Charlie Madigan, adores her daughter, Emma. Hank, an astral plane-hopping siren, Alessandra, an oracle, Charybdon, one of the two alternate planes of existence, and Elysia, the other alternate plane of existence flaunt their Greco-Roman heritage. Sure, the uses can be somewhat loose, such as calling the head siren-witches, Circes, but I give props (the Greeks invented theatre, get it?) where they are due.
The plot has a brilliant story-within-a-story construction. First Charlie must cross into Elysia to search for Hank. Once that’s taken care of (I won’t say how or if it is), she must deal with her extraordinary power, a glowing arm, and the divine assassin dispatched by the Creator to shut it down.
Charlie aces the “Lead Actress Likability” test: loves her daughter Emma, feels an assortment of feelings for Hank, and undisguisedly hates the Circes. That undisguised hatred for Circes becomes quite the running joke. Alessandra, although I get the feeling she was not so likable earlier in this fantasy, comes across as a solid sidekick/enigmatic leader.
Elysia’s architecture and the involved battle sequence(s) that take place there dapple frequently in rich blues and oranges and nearly everything has a set of columns. This one took me back to the heyday of fantasical lit. (for me like grades four-six: Redwall and Dune series). I am quite excited to start this series proper – at the beginning – posthaste. Don’t be fooled by the rather drab cover. I am sure they were just trying to reflect the dreary Atlanta skyline, which I think got all overcast in a previous entry.
|Recommended:||For a liberal dosage of mythological flare|
|Like this, like that:||The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire and the Jane Yellowrock series by P.N. Elrod|