Dust Walkers by Ken Lange
Now….for something COMPLETELY different! An adventure to the American Southwest with a new magic “law enforcement” officer still learning the world and his own power.
Publisher’s Description: When newly minted vigil Gavin Randall is summoned to a small town in New Mexico, the last thing he’s expecting is to have to fight a cartel of necromancers. Their undead horde tests the limits of his powers and shows him just how vulnerable he really is…and that’s not the worst of it.
His enemies have spent centuries preparing for a war no one within the Archive has foreseen, and he has yet to learn to control his abilities or figure out his place in this ancient conflict. With time running out, will he be able to forge the alliances he needs to survive the coming storm?
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).
Nervous Nellie says…
“Even a deaf, dumb, and blind man couldn’t miss this much concentrated assholery.”
“I get it. This is just one more fire in the middle of an inferno.”
This is a science fiction/urban fantasy with a retired military problem solver brought in to solve the supernatural world’s serious problems. This book has no sex, no graphic violence (there is violence just not described in blood soaking detail-just a little ick) and no cliffhanger. There is a little swearing, but it’s just normal every day stuff. The romance that we read about in book 1, Accession of the Stone Born, is briefly touched on, but was not a focal point in this book.
This book has a few of the same characters as in the first book, but other than that it’s completely different. Gavin is now what you might call a supernatural law enforcement officer. He got this honor in the first book when he was chosen as vigil. With that in mind, he goes where people need help. Not us ordinary people, the people that are supernaturally based. Shape shifters, vampires, mages, witches…you get the idea.
There seems to be a problem with people disappearing in New Mexico and Gavin wants to figure it out. You’d think it would be a simple missing persons case, but you’d be wrong. It’s a lot more than that. I met a lot of new characters. I thought I’d be sad that only a couple of the regulars in book 1 made an appearance in book 2, but there was some big critical “dust up” in NoLA so those characters couldn’t help Gavin. With all that going on, Gavin was basically on his own with his own supernatural “dust up” with the Dust Walkers
Besides solving several missing persons cases, he has to solve his own mystery involving his developing powers. He has Grim and he is a Vigil. That’s a heavy load. He stumbles and falls a few times, but when push comes to shove, he nails it. There are questions from book 1 that are answered in book 2 and then more questions that come up in book 2 that will have to wait til book 3. The over arc is progressing along as more paths open up.
I really liked this second installment of this Gavin’s story. The over arc had some “make ya wanna say hmmmm…” moments when I discovered a couple of cool things. It mostly made me want to re-read The Wanderer Awakens, book 1 of Warden Global, to find more hints and suggestions to help put the puzzle pieces of the over arc together. These two series are bound together so even though you can read one and not the other, I wouldn’t advise it. It’s much more satisfying to have the whole picture painted.
This story was also serious. No, we don’t have a zombie hoard running through our town or anything, but it does show that prejudice is still alive and well. Not only supernatural vs. mundane but all kinds discrimination. It frustrates me that in this day and age, whether this world or a fantasy world, there are still those that are singled out because of one reason or another. That single mindedness is impeded because Gavin is a decent human being (relatively speaking human) and stands behind his friends no matter the situation. It’s also a bonus for me when the black hats get a taste of their own medicine.
One Book Two reviews of this series and the companion series, Warden Global: