Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Hurry up, you little snack.”
Can science save us when all else fails?
Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.
Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.
Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found. (Goodreads)
The date is 1963 and two elves compete for prestige and honor at a job fair after college graduation. Felecia Eloytrisk Cambri (Trisk) and Trenton Kalamack (Kal), have despised one another for years. An argument at the job fair ends up with both of them chastised and no longer top recruiting prospectives. Trisk is offered a job with Global Industries, a human laboratory. Her job is to monitor the lab tests the humans are running, reporting anything of interest back to the elven conclave. When a fellow human scientist, Daniel Plank, develops a biological virus to be used in war, Trisk uses her skills to tweak it so it doesn’t affect any Interlanders (supernaturals). At the same time, she herself creates a strain of almost indestructible tomatoes to try and help end hunger. When Kal is brought in by the conclave to “check” over Trisk’s work, his ego gets the best of him and we are left with a killer tomato that systemically begins to wipe out the human race.
Fans of Kim Harrison’s epic urban fantasy series The Hollows and its itchy witchy heroine, Rachel Morgan, will want to jump on Harrison’s’ newest release, The Turn. This prequel introduces the world, creating a light background bridge of information for first time readers while giving long time fans a chance to see how it all started and get some answers to lingering questions.
Fans will remember that the decline of the human population, the initial reveal of the supernatural community, and the subsequent chaos that followed for YEARS all boiled down to a virus that was blamed on tomatoes. T4-Angel tomatoes to be exact. The Turn explains the hows, the whys, and most importantly, the WHOs that set all this into motion.
Action packed with plenty of intrigue, mystery, a machiavellian like series of plot lines, and Harrison’s winning dialogue keeps pacing smooth and steady. The genre seems to split between UF and mystery/thriller with a strong dose of corporate espionage. Harrison doles out the information is a manner that instantly draws you in and holds you hostage till the end. Strong characterization and dialogue engages as Harrison builds her cast of players-using new and familiar faces. The balance between the story and the characters is well maintained-neither overpowering nor sacrificing for the other. Fans may be disappointed to see that while a romance does slowly develop, it’s awkward and added more for the convenience of the story rather than an organic pairing.
I loved getting to meet the faces behind the events that made up the basis of The Hollow series and also seeing some very familiar faces. Trisk is utterly brilliant in her makeup and showcases the strong and appealing heroines Harrison is famous for. Kal is an egotistical jerk who you will love to hate. Trisk and Kal’s relationship is very similar to that of Rachel and Kal’s son, Trent. Their antagonism is so prevalent in the story it is the fuel that powers everything. It was interesting to see that Trent got his elitist attitude honestly thought there are some things revealed that will cause some to look at the little cookie maker a little differently. Daniel was a delight and I wish we could have gotten to see what became of him. It was great to see Quen, Cormel, and others who held huge roles in Rachel Morgan’s world. Reading this story really made me miss this series.
Though tragic in ways that we know can’t be fixed, Harrison offsets the seriousness with humor, love, and shows us that in times of great need, people will rise to the occasion. She leaves us with a viable ending that leads us into world we came to love and I’m thrilled Harrison choose to revisit it one last time.